Monday, February 2, 2009

the original Trade Zone plus a posse of messengers

The Trade Zone has moved we all have. The course used to , at one point, have a u-turn in it. This shot shows the break, in 94', moving up the hill with yours truly taking a pull and the main field approaching the turnaround. No they are not going the wrong way. The u-turn course is rarely seen these days. Norfolk used to have one, it was mercifull in that it went around a a wide median thus not so tight and one could carry speed thru easier. Trade Zone is approaching so I thought this was an appropriate photo. Osborne ( is there a u in super d's name ?) is sporting the unattached look and another big threat in that move was Chris Henry in the red n white behind Dave. I remember one classic comment on his part to Zach in which he called us small fry..made Doo Doo angry.

The next shot is of the old bunch at the fastest track in the world..for nascar.( location: Bristol, Tenn. ) But it was a trip to race on with the steep banks. The Burrito kit can still be seen on the rare occassion donned by the Australian Shane downtown doing deliveries. That guy can keep his stuff for years. That race was part of a stage race that started with a road race and later in the day a TT up a mountain. In the first stage only a couple miles into the race this guy in the field overlapped a wheel in front of him. Chucklehead went careening across the middle of the bunch the pileup put me on my ass. I got up sorta checked the bike and went to catch up. 9 I.E. I put the chain back on ) The bike went forward half a stroke and the chain fell off again which meant I went over the bars and onto the asphalt again. Frick and frack I was done with the fun. A bent chain ring was the issue. The titanium frame also cracked at the seat post weld.
I was starting to really not like this race and the name of the event was The Rainbow Classic or something sorta questionable. Between the road race and the TT I was applying hose clamps and hammering the ring. ( this drew attention points ) I did manage to get a third in the TT probably due to fresh legs..I will take it though. But the bike was running pretty bad to say the least. In the photo one can see the hose clamp around the seat clamp area. Never buy a bike with no name from a sketchy source out of eastern Europe...built out of refuse aerospace titanium from Russia or somewhere. I was young and naive..but just trying to have fun at a discount.

The motley crue of messengers are from Toronto and England and then theres me the yankee with the bike held aloft. The Pyrenees were awesome. There are castle ruins, little villages nestled in remote mountainous places and great vino not to mention the lamb. All very affordable. Good times. I crushed the freak in the sign by dropping him going up to the French border. He got my first place though by bridging up to me in the last lap in a 100 lap race and disappointed I was. This was in a lil race in Toronto a year or two earlier... on a wooden figure eight track. ( it was somehow satisfying to see him sit down and refuse to go further up the lon climb :) Definitely another story, but he got 1500 Canadian dollars and I came away in second with no cash but I did win a Kona mtn. bike. ( Fishbone played and I managed to get some beer ) The bike was large schwag to take back to the US which I managed to sell later.


  1. Keep the scanner humming. Nice historical documents Chris! For a second there I thought it was Rock Racing but then realized it is 1995 and is Burrito Brothers, the original cycling outlaws.

    Turns out I happened to be in Johnson Tenn when the Rainbow Stage Race occured (was down there conducting biology experiments..) and yea odd name but I believe it referred to some kind of bread company like Wonder only southern based.

    Anyway the Burrito Brothers squad was getting it done and I don't believe, at the time they even knew what they were up against. They were still newly minted cat threes but the event was national level Pro 1/2/3 with an assortment of Pros, including Chris Pic, who went on to ride for Mercury but was with Athens Bandag at the time. His teamates included Tim Cox and Steve Sevener, who both had names on the national scene. Also in the field was Paul Martin, who won some National Championships and ended up with the Navigators and later Texas Roadhouse, as well as Jerzy Wozniak a hard hitting eastern block journey man pro, who had been affiliated with the LA Sheriffs and shadowed by doping rumours.

    In the three stage event the Burrito Bros hit the podium twice with the Schmitt TT result as well as Moglia taking third in the crit, which was on the Bristol International Speedway, where that photo was snapped. In the road race Zach Browne scored a 7th, so all told a good show for a four man wrecking crew. The fourth person in the photo is Tom Kendrick.

    It is interesting to note that the entire YEARLY team budget for the Burrito Brothers squad was $600 and that didn't even include a free lunch sandwhich! Needless to say this outlay didn't go very far (although given that the jerseys still appear occassionally on the DC streets I would say an amazing advertising investment) The Burrito Brothers were doing it all on heart and soul. Piling into a car and hitting the road to race AND getting results, despite (or maybe because of) their limited means.

    Any upstart racers would do well to consider this (and their results) before they start holding their hands out for product and team shopping.

    One other footnote to that weekend (and that picture) was Schmitt beside securing his seat post with hose clamps, did some delicate "metal fabrication" to his chain ring, which had been bent in the RR crash, just prior to starting the TT and in the area of the time trial start. He did these manuveurs with a 22 ounce eastwig hammer and judging from his ride they appear to have been successful, or perhaps his opponents were simply out gamed by the pure spectacle.

  2. Wow, this is like a bike racing history class. Keep up the good work Chris! I have been around just long enough to remember the 'Zone course complete w/ u-turn. Next I want to see an entry that gives up the real story on pre-race ice cream -- Schmidt training secret or urban legend?

  3. I have to hand it to Jay ...his memory is on with the names..speaking of names..Wozniak..that one I will never forget bc at altoona in the last few k to go in a dense field he came over on me while he was in the leaders jersey and I got in the nastiest pile up I can recall...bleeding ear..thought it got ripped off...yeah the icei had before setting the team extreme hilly tt held for a couple years until josh came along and swept it away. The ice cream mighta helped though ? But thx Jay n Pete.