When Sean and I first discovered bike racing, Wisconsin Super Week was in it's prime. If you're not currently a Master's racer, you're not old enough to remember that Super Week was a two-week race series that consisted almost entirely of critetiums. Basically, it was a lot like Tour of America's Dairyland, but longer. Super Week was awesome. There was music; famous actor/announcer, Eddy Van Guyse; Italian Stallion and cat-hating Hacksaw Jim Duggan impersonator, Roberto Gaggioli; and an actual international racer presence in Wisconsin (I seem to remember lots of Dutch racers, for some reason). To a couple of 20-ish year-old kids, and to every bike racer in Wisconsin, it is what we looked forward to each year.
Back then, both of us were shiftless bums trying to decide what to do in life. Some may say not much has change but, a few important things have. We each married ladies who do a great job of tolerating our shenanigans. Also, I, for one, would have never been caught publicly expressing my enthusiasm for Katy Perry's considerable talents. Mostly that's because she wasn't around back then, and I was still super into Shania Twain, though I never would have admitted it. I would have been way too self-conscious and I couldn't have faced the ridicule from Sean, who was super into Dave Matthews Band. But honestly, which is worse? Actually, you know what's worse? We had a room mate at the time who was really, really into the musical, Rent. That was the worst. It's no wonder we became such good friends; we both hated Rent! Anyway, back to now: I love Katy Perry, so go ahead, do your worst. My ability to feel shame has diminished with age. It's sort of like a super power, now.
Ok, what was I talking about?
Oh yeah, back to the awesome days of Super Week. The overall experience we had during Super Week is much of the motivation behind helping create great race events, today.
When people put the time into making races great for racers and spectators, we get behind that. And do you know who throws a great race? Do you? I'll tell ya: the Diablo's, that's who. This group of late 30-something business professionals/cycling enthusiasts has teamed up with Team Wheel and Sprocket to put on one huge weekend of good old-fashioned pedal-strokin', leg-rippin'-offin', bike racin'. It's a three-day omnium called, NEWO (North East Wisconsin Omnium). It's in our home town and if all goes well, songs from Katy Perry will fill the air and we'll lose our voices.
Since the Diablos started putting on their annual race they have become known for having a great event. From the food to the primes, to the course and sponsors, they make it a great atmosphere for everyone who shows up. We know because we've been there from the start.
I'm a little sentimental when it comes to this race. Sean and I have ridden with both these clubs for a number of years and the race is in our hometown. It is totally fun to see a community come together for events and leave with excitement for the next year. For me, what makes it particularly exciting is how the date is right in the middle of the WCA calendar. If you haven't read our blog about how we got started as race commentators, you wouldn't know the first bicycle race we ever announced was the Diablo Criterium.
Finally, just the other day, we ordered the PA sound system for the weekend. This time is different. This time, we bought it. I never thought we would be working with different events where the consideration of buying a PA was going to enter my mind. After all, we're just two dudes too out of shape to ride our bikes fast, who love watching our friends do it. And some times we make fun of them while they do it and their wives laugh out loud. Just show up this weekend and you'll see what we mean.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I can't wait for these three days. (Did I say it before? No matter. I can't wait!)
Thanks for reading.