Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Request for Sponsorship

Dear Casio (G-Shock)-

An untapped market. A blossoming sport in the United States.

My name is Ian Crane and I am a bicycle racer for the Hagens Berman Cycling team. For more about the team, please click here. The sport of cycling: deep in history in Europe and growing rapidly in the States ; physically difficult and surprisingly dangerous ; and the perfect medium for display of a product on a growing scale.

I am inviting your company to take part in not only the athletic development of a group of young cyclists, but also the development of young men. As mentioned earlier, cycling is a dangerous sport, one that includes high speeds and little protection. Your website mentions that "G-Shock is Tough". With the Hagens Berman Cycling team, I introduce you to a group of young gentlemen who are the epitome of tough. A group of young gentlemen who strive for excellence in sport and in life. A group of young gentlemen who do not like being late AND who can tell time. Our goals are simple. We plan to be the best that we can be. We plan to race our bicycles across the United States and present ourselves with respect and with professionalism.

In exchange for product support from your company, we at Hagens Berman Cycling team promise to represent ourselves and your company at the highest of levels, but we also can offer the following package of personal benefits:

An untapped sport: Cycling is a growing medium.  A sport where accessories have yet to be considered an option. A sport where something different stands out. Take a look at this following photo. What is the first thing that you see? The looks of suffering on the riders faces? Or the WATCH?

photo: Kevin Tu

A chance to protect young cyclists: Crashes happen in bicycle racing. G-Shock prides itself on being shock resistant and very tough. When cyclists crash at 40 mph, we have a helmet and a thin layer of spandex to protect ourselves. With the addition of watches to our racing arsenal, we have the addition of something as tough as we try to be. Let me take this time to tell you a personal story. G-Shock watches have saved my life. I crashed in a race, and landed with my arm skidding across the pavement.The G-Shock watch band protected my wrist veins and kept my palms a centimeter off the ground. If I hadn't been wearing the watch, I would have scraped through my veins and bled out in a matter of minutes. Thank you G-Shock! I'd also like to introduce you to David Fleischhauer: The other member of the team part of the current G-Shock crew. David crashed forward over his handlebars, landing on the pavement at 35 mph on his chest, his arms spread out as if he was diving into a base in a baseball game. From elbows to chest to ankle: scraped. Notice that I left out wrists and palms? That's right. His red G-Shock 6900 kept him safe and comfortable as can be.

Here is David, post crash. Everything torn up. Nipple, GONE. Wrist and palms? Completely fine. Plus, check out that hint of red that is hogging all of the viewers attention.

Local and National Visibility: The Hagens Berman Cycling team travels to races throughout the year. These races occur all over the country. We have a large team van that is begging for a large G-Shock logo:

Outside of transportation, the watches will be displayed during the races. I present you with my newest victory salute. I call it the "It's G-Shock Time" victory celebration. By checking the time while winning, the crowds are curious as to what you are looking at. Then, it becomes clear- the large white watch on the wrist.

In fact, with the evolution of social media, I would like to share a recent post on twitter. Following the first of hopefully many "It's G-Shock Time" salutes, I found this in my twitter mentions:

Made aware via victory salute. Excellent!

Lifestyle Changes: Let me introduce you to a new phrase: "G-Shock Time". This is how our team currently asks eachother for the time. "Hey, Ian, what's the G-Shock Time?". "G-Shock Time: 3:57". G-Shock time is the only option for time because we know how accurate it is. With the addition of G-Shock as a sponsor, our riders will expand the use of G-Shock time outside of our team. By using this phrase with our families, with friends, and with random people on the street, we increase the awareness of the Casio G-Shock brand name. Let me share two examples. Recently, the Hagens Berman Cycling team were competing in a race in Vancouver BC. We used the "G-Shock Time" phrase near the start line, and another racer heard it and was THRILLED at the concept. That's right Casio, INTERNATIONAL EXPOSURE! Another situation where "G-Shock Time" was shared with the world was with a woman at a bicycle race. She kindly asked us for the time, and I kindly responded "G-Shock Time 11:55". She misheard me and was shocked, and maybe disgusted. She asked for clarification, where I was able to clear things up a bit by restating "G-SHOCK Time". Now there is a moment and a brand that will never be forgotten by that woman.

Nothing Pops Like a G-Shock Watch: When wearing all spandex, something out of the norm stands out. In the cycling racing community, team uniforms are very similar. With the addition of G-Shock Watches to our racing clothing, our team will stand out as stylish while maintain the functionality that we need as competitive athletes.

What do you see in these photos? That's right, the White XL110c and the Red and Black 6900's.

Photo: Dennis Crane
Photo: Dennis Crane

Photo: Becky Heeley

Photo: Chris Wingfield
Photo: Chris Wingfield
This is the ideal time for a company such as yours to start supporting a cycling team. I may already have a watch myself but in order to be noticed as a whole, the team must all wear G-Shock watches. As a nationally recognized cycling team, our riders are stepping up and getting results on the largest of scales. For this sponsorship package, I ask for 50 watches (6900 series) to outfit our team, staff and title sponsors. Please remember that these watches will go to young athletes (and their supporters) who every day strive to be the best athlete that they can be, and with that, the best person that they can be. With this quantity of watches, you allow the riders to accessorize as needed. For rainy Northwest days, we'd accent our team uniform with a bright, electric colored watch (perhaps the baby blue or red 6900). For dangerous days, the XL watches cover more surface area and offer a greater level of intimidation. Finally, sleek black watches for podiums and our title sponsor (a lawyer). With the power of choice, we keep the attention focused on "which watch will they wear next?!". The element of surprise is an excellent attractor. Every race our wrists will be the center of attention.

Please consider this proposal a starting point. Due to everyone's individual needs and situations, deeper or more modest options can be explored. I look forward to talking with you in person to learn more about eachother's goals and priorities.

I look forward to your comments,

Ian Crane,

on behalf of the Hagens Berman Cycling team.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cascade Bicycle Tournament

This past week I've been in Bend, Oregon racing the Cascade Cycling Classic. Racing is a generally loose term unfortunately, and boy have I had some good group rides in a great city on cool roads. I'm pretty bummed with how I'm riding so I'll probably avoid extremely detailed race reports highlighting various breakaways that I did or didn't get into and I'll try to avoid talking about how I've had a strange headwind following me around all race when everyone else had tailwinds and I won't mention how many other Feillu's I have.

Short story that will probably turn long (because this way Kennett thinks I'm typing a phenom of a post since whenever we host house together we race with blog posts and then I always find embarrassing grammar errors. To bad) (LoL).

So I'll highlight stages 0-4 of Cascade, since it's Saturday night and there is still the Awbrey Butte circuit race tomorrow.

Prologue: Ride on the road for an hour. Ride the trainer for 45 minutes. Start on a downhill. Spin a 55x11 at 45mph for 2 minutes. Turn and climb back up for 3.5 minutes. Feel sick the rest of the evening. Don't sleep because of that extra cup of coffee.

Stage 1: Start on a downhill. Coast for an hour. Dodge a 40 rider, across the road crash. Smile thinking my luck is changing (oops). Get dropped on the big climb. Ride in grupetto. Eat a snickers.

Stage 2 TT: So far the racing highlight of the week. Predict morning of that I would get 88th place. Ride briskly on the race course for 35 minutes. Get 87th. Savant! Then, Kristin Armstrong rode fast enough to get somewhere around 60th in the men. Which made me 88th overall. SAVANT!

Stage 3: Start on a downhill (pattern?). 45 and drizzling at ski-resort starting/finish line. Freeze for an hour of coasting downhill. Then go 30 mph for 3 hours, then dodge 4 crashes (luck is changing??!?!), then go hard up the finish climb and lose a couple minutes. Then eat a snickers.

Stage 4: Crit. Dodge first crash! 20 minutes later, come around a corner, powerslide into a guy on the ground, go over the bars at 7 mph, luck continues, slam my knee into my stem, ride a couple more laps, remove myself from the bike race. Ate a snickers.

So that's that. One more stage to go. Maybe if I didn't eat so many snickers I'd have different stories to share.

BUT WAIT! Let's change things up a bit and end with a smile. Here is how Kennett and I spent the morning before our crit today.

I'm accepting/expecting some offers from NBA teams based on this. I'd love to be an 8th stringer and make 1.7 billion dollars a year. To never play.

Also, I'm taking suggestions for my streetball name. I'm going for CraneBraniac Da Professor

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Hello all.

What follows is a photographic representation of So-Cal steeze. A photographic representation of one man who says "all you guys dress different than me" and "whatever, it's chill". The following is a direct result of what happens when the Beach meets my pasty Seattle camera.

In remorse, and in honor of young Heeley's smashed in two collarbone, I present to you:


Commandments of Dannyswag:

Always roll in style-
Always surprise-

 Adapt with the locals-
 Dank snacks-
Not your Grandpa's socks-
Always be thin-
Steeze sits solo-
 Match the socks to the tan-
Get hazed onto a new cycling team-
 Hang with fly ladies-
Once you go black, you're gonna need to relax-
 Case in point-
Always be ready-
Remember your roots-

Cross-clash shirt to socks-
And finally, rock the shit out of that hospital kimono.

Heal up quick.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Locally Excellent

This is in no way harshing any other race in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho. I've never raced in Montana, North Dakota or Wyoming so I can not evaluate their local scene. Let me preface this by saying that as a bike racer, I'll do most any and all bike races. This is generally how things work. Regardless of the race, I love doing it, so the chances are that I will be there. However, there are some qualities of races that leave me grinning for days after the race is over.

This weekend I got to do one of those races. What made it even better was that it was a hometown local race. As a rider, it feels good to go to a race and feel like some genuine thought was put into every aspect of the race.

TDLC Events put on the Redmond Derby Days Criterium. This was the 100th year anniversary for the race, and takes place in downtown Redmond, right smack in the middle of the Derby Days festivus. Ignoring the general debauchery that was taking place nearby, I warmed up with a huge elephant ear while challenging local children to jumbo chess games, all while sword fighting clowns and marching in parades with cheerleaders. Ok, sorry, off track. But what this means is that there were stacks of crowds in the general vicinity of the course that were accidentally lured in by the sounds of Bilko screaming, the smell of BikeSale's baby oil glistening, and the sound of Danny crashing into the corner (too soon? Heal up, buddy). This is excellent, thing number one that was great about Redmond Derby Days Crit was the accidental fan support. TDLC put on a show, and this drew the spectators in. Excited announcer, consistent prime bells (more on that later), and energized fields. Racers feed off of crowd support. Making ALL races interesting lassoed in support from people who had never seen a bike race and were sucked into the spiraling, crazy vortex that all of us find so serenely normal.

What adds an adjective to the front of the word "event"? What makes something a great event, versus a terrible event? What makes something a great event compared to an event event? What makes me want to write a post applauding the fun I had at some local race? I showed up this race and felt like more than a participant. Thing number two? Perfectly advertised prize list and prime list. This has nothing to do with the total prize list, I'll talk about that later. Having the prize list and prime list advertised well beforehand allows the racers to not race at the whim of the bell, but have a plan. With random primes- some are cash and some are fresh bars of soap- you never quite know exactly what you are going to get. Since I smell fantastic naturally, I'd rather not waste my energy sprinting for soap. However, knowing ahead of time that there were X amount of 50 dollar primes, X amount of 100 dollar primes, and one 250+ dollar prime, we were able to plan our strategy around that. The next great thing? Every single payout position more than covered the entry fee. That means that if you were getting paid, you didn't get a prize that was half of what you already paid to compete. I made money, but wait, I lost money? I would rather races pay less places, but with more money for those places. OK, fine. I'll talk about the total prize list. For the P1/2, it was $1000 dollars to win. ONE GRAND! Money went twenty deep. Why weren't there more people racing? For such an incredible prize list, the field was quite small. For a local race, this is roughly FIVE TIMES the biggest winning prize I've ever sprinted for. Not only were the prizes fantastic for the P1/2, but almost all categories had substantial cash purses. Which leads me to my next great thing from the Redmond Derby Days criterium. Every single prize envelope was cash. No checks. I don't know if I'll be able to accurately describe how much easier it makes for teams to split prize money when it is all done in cash. With checks, one person has to deposit all of them, wait for the money to clear (hopefully), and then deal with distribution. With cash, IT'S DONE ON SITE. Then you can right away make irrational purchases instead of saving your money to pay for food in the winter time. Whoops.

Ok, it's true. A large prize list is a great addition to any local bike race. Racers love getting some sort of a financial kickback for their efforts. Whether or not said racer is a multi-million dollar lawyer winning a 50 dollar prime and feeling awesome, or a jobless wannabe professional cyclist like me trying to win money to survive the fall and winter, people love to win money. However much money is won, that's not all that gives a race a great vibe and a reason to compete. Like I said earlier, I love racing my bike and still go to races with small prize purses. How about the little things? Redmond Derby Days focused on those little things and that's how this local criterium went from just an event, to a show.

The next great things? Huge checks, podium girls, and champagne. As a promoter, for roughly four dollars, you can buy a bottle of cheap, disgusting tasting champagne. Then, give this champagne to an excited winner to shake and spray over everyone and everything. You have now created a memory that will last forever. Most people* have never recklessly sprayed champagne over a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers. Most people* have never shared a bottle of champagne with 4 other winners.
*excluding HorndawgBroCal

Having a podium presentation with champagne makes a victory that much more memorable. Next, I may have gotten my first kiss on Saturday!!!! My girlfriend was a little jealous of the podium girls, so I allowed her a kiss on the cheek also. All is well. Let's face it, watch any bike race on TV and the podiums have podium girls. Like I said earlier, making memories. For the last memory, what do I do with this new giant check?!? I have wanted one for a long time, and it is quite the sensation to hold a large fake check in the air while getting kissed on the cheek.
The next hassle was fitting it in the bike box on the way home.


This was a local race, I was able to drive home.

Thanks to TDLC cycling for a great event (and for the new coffee grinder that's on its way)!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Photos from BC week

Here is a 17,000 word blog post

View from our Wednesday night hotel

Photos from wingerstudios.com and ianstudios.com