More than a jersey. East Portland Youth Cycling.
I have known James Newman since one of my first Team Oregon bike rides when Sam and I moved to Portland back in 1994. We hit it off immediately. We both started racing as juniors a couple years apart and had many similar stories. The real bonding glue is that we both absolutely sucked when we started racing, but through much guidance and perseverance, we actually managed some decent results along the way. After junior racing I went off to school and James made the bold move to race in Belgium for a couple of seasons while living there. We shared stories on rides and now that he was in school In Portland and I was designing footwear we were both trying to regain some of those glory days. We enjoyed doing our work in the Team Oregon pacelines and teaching others the nuances of riding a rotation at your limit. One year we even teamed up to do one of Alpenrose Velodrome's 6-day races. Our size difference made it a pretty comical match but much pain and laughter ensued. When we are together we become one of those cartoon duos and highlight each other's strengths and weaknesses.
Then Life gets in the way. In 2009 our family moved up to Whidbey Island and my riding days were on pause. We have stayed in touch throughout the years, pick up exactly where we left off and can speak the kind of truth only true friends can.
That year James and his wife Adrienne had a son named Gavin. "G" is what he goes by now. When he was born I sent them a drawing I did of Mighty Mouse on a bike printed on Canvas.
Our kids had no interest in bike racing so I was hoping to do my part. Mighty Mouse or not, Gavin has been hooked from the start. 100's of miles ridden on a skoot bike, thousands as the Captian of the Cargo Boat, and then Thomas the Tank Engine. Both works of art created by James in the garage. When Gavin could finally turn the pedals on his own bike I enjoyed seeing it all play out as he bipped up and down on Alpenrose's steep banks trying for his first complete lap. It took a while but he got there.
Over the past couple years "G" has leaned in and become that obsessed teenager that
I remember being when life revolved around riding, eating, sleeping, in that order. James has had a healthy respect for not burning him out and let Gavin set the goals. Two summers ago it seemed that "G" set the burner on "High." James was quick to respond. It was also a good excuse to get that EPYC "Team Van" he has been dreaming of. It is a thing of beauty.
A trip to Track Nationals started well with some hard-earned points and ended with a very impressive "Cirque du Soleil" act gone wrong. A solid knock to the head meant that adventure was over. Gavin Bounced back like the "Silly Putty" most kids are at that age and ended the summer trying his hand and racing with the Senior Men. James had him ride with his junior gearing which meant he had to pedal at about 120rpm to stay in with the pace high. The first few times at PIR James rode a few riders back and off to the left ready to jump in if needed.
A run-on side comment from a moment I was able to observe 1st hand. If you are a 6'2" Adult and fighting for the wheel of a pot-bellied old guy, obviously over his prime, at the ass end of a Category IV race with a 4'11" kid on the smallest frame you have ever seen that fits 700c wheels. You are missing the point. You know who you are.
From the beginning, James also knew a hard sport is made much easier when you do it with friends. Gavin met teammate Luke in kindergarten, and then Jack on the velodrome when he was 7. They began weekly rides and started to form the Core of what is now called the East Portland Youth Cycling Team. EPYC.
And,..................What does any team need? A team jersey. Who has been waiting 15 years for this moment? Me.
This is the real reason for my post. There is an opportunity here to get in on the ground floor so to Speak. George Nelson, creator of Kansept1, is helping to support the team by offering a Supporter's kit that I designed. Here is the Deal. When you order a "supporters" kit you get the same jersey that the team wears minus all the sponsor's logos. Then you get to stylishly float down your favorite roads while knowing your purchase sponsored a jersey for one of the kids on the team. 100% of the profits from the Supporter's jersey go back to the team.
There are just enough jerseys to cover the cost of the team. Here is a link to get you there.
Please order one or two in your size. Buy one as a gift. Not only will you look great, you will then be an official member of the the supporters club. As part of the supporters club, you will be able to claim bragging rights for all future successes by an EPYC racer. Numbers are limited so please order soon or you will miss this "Only Happening Once Collectors Opportunity." Please follow George's Kansept1 as he starts his business by supporting the future of cycling. James is doing a great thing for all the right reasons and we would love you to be a part of it. Click Here to check the Video Gavin put together recently to help promote the team. (turn your volume down,...Juniors??!!)
*Sizing is Euro fit so plan accordingly.
To order a jersey Click HERE
East Portland Youth Cycling Instagram Account HERE
East Portland Youth Cycling FaceBook Account HERE
PEZ cycling news did a photo feature. Click HERE
Mark Ginsberg's link should you ever need legal help HERE
James and I out of position during a madison exchange.