We here at Yawp have a love/hate relationship with traditional cycling teams, so we're going to form the kind of team that we'd want to join. This will probably take a longer explanation than we'd like. We want to keep this simple, but even we have a lot of questions about what, exactly, we intend to do. So let's start by doing away with the term "team."
1. a group of people who compete in a sport, game, etc., against another group.
Well, what we're out to do has nothing to do with competition. We won't be attending races. (If you want to race in your Yawp kit, that's fantastic! The Bailey Hundo and other races are fun and do good things for the cycling community. However, races are outside of our ambitions.) In the Yawp Company, the riders in the front have to carry the beer for the riders in the back--that's about all the attention we'll pay to how fast people ride. So, instead of a "team," we're going to be a company.
1. companions, associates <know a person by the company she keeps>
Why would anyone want to do this? Here's our rationale. We've tried racing, and while there are some valuable things about it, it's not quite a fit for us.
What we don't like about racing: we don't care about winning, and we certainly don't like when people who do care about winning throw elbows at us. We don't like riding in the angry centipede for the first five miles of a race. We don't like paying to ride our bikes.
What we do like about racing: the ride! Yeah! Twenty-five to one hundred miles of Colorado singletrack! Yes please! Also, races force us to go ride these amazing rides. Signing up months in advance and plunking down $100 basically ensures that we'll actually get our gear together and gas up the car and go do what we said we were going to do: ride bikes. Races also provide a very good environment to try new things. It's scary to attempt a long ride alone in unfamiliar territory, especially if you're going somewhere you've never been. Riding with a group provides support, and it's fun.
So we're going to try to take all the good parts from our racing experiences, omit all of the bad parts, and save a little money while we're at it. If that sounds good to you, then yours is the kind of company we want to keep.
What we plan to do: there will be six Company trips--one per month from May through October. We look to keep driving time to a minimum, and probably won't go any further than Fruita (although Phil's World may be a possibility). We'll ride the snot out of our bikes for two days, sit around a campfire, and drink some beer.
Fancy Clothes: Yup, we're getting some. We're planning to order both a lycra kits and wool jerseys. We're getting nice stuff, too, so you don't hate wearing it. We'll post some designs as soon as we have them.
Must I Buy the Fancy Clothes? No, you don't. But if you do, there will be benefits during the six-month Company season. You'll receive a discount on parts and labor at the shop, and you'll also get to jump the service queue. That means if we're booked out several days on service, you get a 24-hour service turnaround (provided we aren't waiting on a part).
Women's Fancy Clothes: Ladies, cycling is much better with you than without, and we're going to work hard to meet kit minimums. If we're a few kits short, we'll buy them for Yawp's sales floor.
Dues: We have no dues. We believe riding bikes should be free (see above).
What's Provided: An organizational framework, a good time, and not much else. We'll secure the camping, make maps, and reserve shuttles if we need them. We'll provide short and long route options. We'll do everything we can to make this rad for everyone, but we aren't going to cook for you (and you wouldn't want us to).
Can I buy the kit but not have fun times with everyone else? Yes. We'd rather have you ride with us, but if you prefer looking fancy and lonesome, suit yourself.
What do the kits looks like? We haven't finalized the design yet, but they won't look they were thrown in a dryer with a lasagna.
Is this just for mountain bikers? Roadies are people, too. If you want to camp with us and ride your road bike/unicycle instead, please do.
If you're interested, sign up below. We'll have our first team meeting on February 16th, 2017, at 6:00pm. Yeah!
Here are the reports from our 2015 trips: