I was interviewed for this news article for a new feature in Velonews and was able to get a sneak peak before it gets published:
Big Wheelie Rolling
By Toby Flenderson
In a time where light weight seems to rule the course there is one rider that takes advantage of the new technology despite possible weight gain. Four years ago mountain bike racer Charly Tri remained ahead of the curve by joining and and then leading the 29" wheel revolution. "It just rides so much better. Better traction, a smoother ride, who wouldn't want that?", Charly explains.
It took several years, but top pros are now hearing Charly's calls. The results speak for themselves and now 29" wheels can be found all over. Professional Gary Fisher rider Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski had been one of those with his eye on Charly and his exploits on his big wheels. "I wouldn't say that Charly had any influence on my bike choice," a tight lipped JHK responded, "I mean, I may read his blog. Ok, sure, he made have had a large affect on my bike choice.". Doug Swanson was a pro mountain bike racer from MN that heard Charly's call, "He just seemed to make so much sense. He has convinced me to race on a Gary Fisher Superfly this year. I can only hope to get the same benefits on it that Jo Mama, a nickname of Charly's on the MN circuit, has reaped".
Well, Charly has a new trick up his sleeve this year. "Yeah, I am riding the Trek 69'er bikes for 2008. I just found that I got almost all of the benefits of the 29'er but better acceleration and handling with the 26" rear wheel," exclaimed an excited Charly. "To me, I just want to ride the best and I am lucky that I get to". Charly will be tackling the first MN race this weekend aboard his 69'er hardtail. As Charly says, "I truly believe this will be a faster bike, but I don't think my fitness will be there. I had to take a lot of time off to let me knee heal from a crash, and then I get sick. Frankly, it may be a very tough first race for me. I know I can't use the bike as an excuse though!!".
Both JHK and Doug Swanson were both approached about Charly's new bike choice for this year. We caught up with JHK at a Velonews photoshoot. After hearing the news of the 69'ers making it into Charly's stable a normally mellow JHK turned very upset. At first he was silent, but you could see his eyes water up, and then he unexpectedly through his carbon fiber Superfly 20 feet. After screaming several expletives, he locked himself in a dressing room where he could be heard crying.
Note:the information in the next paragraph is being relayed to you despite my lawyer's objections.
Our experience notifying Doug Swanson (or defendant #1 as he will be referred to soon in court) was dramatically different. It took us awhile to convince Doug that his 29'er was now "not good enough" for Charly's remarkable talent. When Swanson realized could be riding at a deficit the interview turned ugly quickly. He first started yelling, "Do you know who I am? I hold the fastest time at Chequamgon! I win road races at will! He can't do this to me! Do you know who I am?". Doug then got right into this reporter's face. He took his index finger, and while poking me in the chest, he demanded that Charly not be able to ride his new found secret. It was then that I noticed that Dan, his brother, was on all fours behind me. With a large push from Doug I was on the ground. Doug and Dan then both hopped on their 29'ers and repeatedly rode over me. Later, they would claim they not could distinguish the fact that they they were riding over my limp body because their big wheels smooth out the ride so much. My pleas for help were only met with yelps of ,"Grandstay mafia rules".
As you can see, riders are very picky and emotional when it comes to choosing their bikes. I saw the look of fear, anger, and sadness from top racing professionals when they realized that their bike may not be the best out there. With endurance races at the top of his racing schedule, Chary is excited to start the season. It is with baited breath that the world waits to see what "Jo Mama" can conquer on his 69'er this year.
Blogger's note: I may have made all of this up, maybe.