The Evolution of PRC Jersey Design

prcelderjersey4 Two months of deliberating, discussing, and trying new designs. The PRC is not the first jersey I’ve designed but it was the most difficult as we went through a lot of different mindsets. It was my feeling early on that the jersey needed to be the PUNK ROCK jersey… so when you looked at it it was obvious that it belonged to the Punk Rock Cycling Team.

My first go was garbage. Straight garbage. I enjoyed the idea of plaid, have always wanted a plaid kit, and I even drew this plaid from scratch. The biggest turn off about this jersey was the amount of pink. Pink is being used far too much nowadays in cycling- it is overdone. Add to that SO MANY cycling teams revert to pink as the fall-to color for women.

Jane, Jen, and I sat down and switched it up a bit. We moved from pink to a primary color of brown. Brown was VERY exciting to me! No team that I knew of had ever done brown, plus it seemed that every hip design out right now was using a brown and blue combo. Add in a little pink to keep the “girly” flair was the idea. This was our first run with brown…

But the first run with brown wasn’t quite right. The brown wasn’t a rich brown but rather a urine-n-poop brown and the idea of plaid was really starting to annoy me. The more research I did the more Slipstream-esque crap I seemed to find. Now Slipstream doesn’t use plaid… they use argyle. But to me they’re the same thing…. if you’re best friend is argyle, then plaid is his cute little sister you’re not allowed to date.

Slipstream is on the verge of being one of the most popular teams in the US and Europe. They will cover the cycling world in argyle and everywhere they go their creativity will be rewarded with giant baked potatoes. How I can compete with that?

So we tried out stripes. And stripes were okay but they weren’t that “edge” we were looking for. The stripes were just a bit too Willy Wonka for me. We also gave up spelling out “Punk Rock Cycling” and instead tried using just the word, “PUNK”. Which was cool, but not really what I was looking for.

But brown had to die for other reasons than just the Vanderkitten jersey… in my calling every clothing manufacturer (that we’re comfortable using) no one could guarantee a quality product with the center panel of the shorts in brown. I should mention here that I promised a few members on the team that our center panel would be dark. They’re girls… and apparently during full moons they have issues with light colored shorts.

So after all that time and energy I pitched the brown and went to black. I have always liked the solid black kits and it would be far more punk to go black. This was also the first time I used PRC which really struck a chord with me. Kind of an homage to the hardcore bands of the early 80s that used acronyms to name their band.

And on the next version I tried out the checkerboard. Apparently I was using herion that day and had convinced myself that checkerboard was SOOOO different than argyle or plaid. This design was quickly called out for nothing but a lame, donkey-poop knock off of argyle or plaid. I couldn’t give up on the idea. I HATE YOU SLIPSTREAM DESIGNERS! I HATE YOU!!!!!
I needed help giving up on the plaid-argyle-checker theme. My designer buddy Max was just that help. Max immediately went to work on the project….

Black and blue were for sure colors that we’d keep. Max added to the funk with some green- and finally a huge sigh of relief fell over me. The green was just the change I needed. I had been hanging on to pink for so long… I was glad to see it go. We also moved from the YOU ARE LOVED font to the 215000EURO font.

Max took this vision one step further and made the straight lines into a zig-zag pattern. I was in love (with the jersey, not Max). The jersey was tough, edgy, dark and resembled everything we hate and love about the 80s, punk rock music, and cycling in general.prcelderjersey12
The final draft. Front and back with shorts. It’s hard to see digitally, but there is a glow behind the Elder logos to lift them off the jersey. It’ll be pretty sick-sweet.
Much love to Max for helping me out with all of this, and a big thanks to the girls on the team for going on the roller coaster ride with me. Now we move to stage two- the art department at Louis Garneau. They will take the designs we’ve done, rip it apart, and rebuild it in a manner that is positive to work in printed fabric.

PRC News

QUARTER RAGE THIS WEDNESDAY. If the weather holds this Wednesday will be the first of three Quarter Rage MTB Time Trials. Quarter Rage is a very low key mountain bike time trial held in Denman Woods in Des Moines, IA. Get all the times, categories, distances, and other information here.emilyjanekelli

JANE RIESSEN WINS 2007 IOWA CUP. The Iowa Cup is a collection of 14 road races and criteriums in the state of Iowa including some of the most challenging races in the Midwest like Snake Alley Criterium, and the Iowa Road and Criterium Championships. You can see the entire article about Jane’s victory here.

PRC PHOTO ALBUM. We’ve created a series of on-line photo albums using Flickr. On the sidebar of this website we will have ten rotating photos of the women on the team. Clicking one of these photos will open a full-size version of that image within Flickr. Just one more tool to get people looking at the women on the team, what they’re doing, what they’re riding, and what they’re wearing (don’t forget to come back to this website though)

Right now you can view two different slide shows of the PRC girls. The first being their team photo shoot at the Liars Club in September and the second is a random collection of pictures of the girls from 2006 and 2007, before they were officially PRC.

PRC WOMEN COMMITTED TO RIDECLEAN. With all the recent doping allegations, confessions, and convictions on professional cyclists, RIDECLEAN has come about as a movement for the betterment of our sport. The PRC team has been listed on the RIDECLEAN website as a team committed to “ride clean”. Meaning none of our athletes will ever use performance enhancing drugs and if they do they have granted us permission to publicly flog them like a rented mule. View the other RIDECLEAN committed teams and learn more about RIDECLEAN here.

WEBSITE GRIDLOCK. I say “gridlock” because the word “traffic” doesn’t begin to explain what we’ve seen come through the website. Since we announced the PRC Womens Team on the the 24th of September (two weeks ago) we’ve had 3079 visits. We are holding at an average of over 200 visitors each day with an average visit length of over 3.5 minutes!! That’s a crazy-long time for someone to spend viewing a website that doesn’t sell anything. Remember, we always keep the statistics of this website public… feel free to check them out whenever you’d like.

Follow These Steps

desmoinescranksgiving2007

Step 1: Click on the image to make it large.
Step 2: Print a minimum of 300 copies on your work printer. They owe you anyhow.
Step 3: Plaster flyers all over your office, friend’s office, gym, neighborhood, bar, bike shop, etc

Fire Your Coach

It could be argued that during the Lance Armstrong era the one man who may have benefited the most, outside of Lance, was Lance’s coach; Chris Carmichael. With the Armstrong era over we see the aftermath and how it has changed the face of endurance sports coaching. Coaches like Carmichael have chiseled into the minds of athletes everywhere the idea that you absolutely need a coach in order to achieve in sport. Hence the number of cycling and triathlon coaches in the US has skyrocketed in the past decade and while there are many legitimately trained and experienced coaches among them there are just as many opportunistic scumbags hoping to make a buck off of some beginners desire and need.
pinkslip
I started as a “coach” nearly five years ago and I’ve had some successes and some failures. Admittedly, when I began I was more the opportunistic scumbag than the legitimately trained and no doubt I ruined a few athletes with poor advice and overtraining along the way. In the last few years I got my ducks in a row, got educated, and my successes now greatly outnumber my failures as a coach. Yet I still felt something wasn’t right.

My epiphany came when I attempted to design one unifying training structure where all athletes of all levels could improve if they followed the base plan. Something similar to the Cyclists Training Bible but without all the confusing horse crap that comes with it. Ultimately, in order for this unified training program to work properly it relied heavily on the athlete’s ability to understand how their bodies react to the stresses of training. In attempting to solve that hurdle it hit me; if I teach someone how to train themselves would they ever need a coach again?

Like many coaches out there I could spend many years working with the same 10-20 athletes, creating a monotonous workout plan where they report their progress and I adjust the workouts accordingly. But what have they learned? Nothing. The adage to give a man a fish or teach him to fish would apply here. The athletes simply wake up, do a workout, write a report, and repeat but at no point learn how to structure their workouts for themselves. With this new way of thinking I setting a goal to teach my athletes how to teach themselves, how to listen to their bodies, and how to find that internal motivator that will push them to achieve. Then through their own trial and error they will succeed and their accomplishments will carry a far greater ownership.

The Carmichael model of a cycling or triathlon coach is based on highly external motivation. The coach inadvertently teaches his/her athletes to be reliant and to use the coach as a form of accountability. This, to me, is teaching weakness because we all know through many of our own life experiences that external motivation is never as successful as internal motivation. External motivation creates a sense of “I MUST DO” while internal motivation creates the sense of “I WANT TO DO” and the latter always yields positive results no matter where you land on the podium.

Today, I refuse to charge for my services as a “coach”- if I choose to work with someone I want to be their friend, not their business associate. And instead of creating a daily training plan I sit down with an athlete and tell them everything I know about reading their own bodies. I will talk about how to understand their stresses, how to manage their rest periods, how to know when they’ve pushed themselves hard enough, and how to begin building a workout accordingly. And then after 2-3 sessions I will advise them to fire their coach.

Become your own coach and experiment with different types of training because NO ONE will ever know you better than you will. NO ONE will ever understand what you’re feeling better than you do and if you truly desire to be a great athlete then NO ONE will ever motivate you as well as you can. If you use a coach, use them only to bounce ideas off of, try not to rely on them to create your training plan from the ground up. Take advice from everyone and use only what makes sense to you and your schedule.

So if you’re currently working with a coach I challenge you to ask them this one question, “What would it take for me to learn how to coach myself?” I’d be curious of their answers but would venture a guess that the great coaches would be excited to help while the scumbags would give you dozens of reasons why you can’t succeed without them and their magical programs.

Have fun and figure things out on your own… I promise you each step along the way will be far more rewarding.

Max’s Interview

My buddy Max needed some help with some assignments he has going at school and, being from my alma mater, I have a soft spot for helping Drake students (Sidenote: Did you know “alma mater” means “nourishing mother” in Latin? That leaves an odd image of a graduating class suckling the many teet of the state university). So since Max took up all my blog writing time for the day I figured it fair game to just post the interview he had with me. Enjoy.

Hey DQ,
Thanks again for being down to be my subject! I figured I’d ask you questions about both assignments as long as I’m here.
Max.

First, Cranksgiving:

Max: What is Cranksgiving?
DQ: Cranksgiving is a charity ride/race where cyclists are given a grocery list of items which they must purchase at numerous stores. The first rider who completes their shopping and returns to the finish is the winner and all the food collected by the participants is donated to the Food Bank of Iowa.

Max: What purpose does it serve?
DQ: Aside from the charity of providing food to the needy. It helps create a level of urban cycling culture in the Des Moines area, allows many cyclists an opportunity to enjoy a day of commraderie, and shows that cycling events can not only be fun but functional as well.

Max: When did it start?
DQ: Cranksgiving started in New York more than ten years ago. It began as an underground race for professional bike couriers and has since spread all across the nation. In 2006 over a dozen cities in the U.S. had a Cranksgiving event.

Max: Why should people be interested?
DQ: The event is a great way to spend the day. Meeting new people, getting exercise, and playing your role in a bit of friendly competition are all dwarfed when you see the vast amounts of food we can raise for people in need. It helps remind us all that the greatest impacts can be made when we group together with a common goal.

Max: When does it take place?
DQ: Saturday, November 17th, 2007. High noon. Starting and finishing at Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave in Des Moines, IA.

Second, biking:

Max: If I already have a car, why should I bike?
DQ: Many of the bad things that can happen to a city are caused by the automobile. Pollution, urban sprawl, endless construction, gridlock, and we can’t forget that outside of cancer most people will likely die in their automobile. Biking leaves no environmental impact, uses less space, and promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Max: How much can I find a decent used bike for?
DQ: eBay is a great source for used bikes and I often hear stories of people finding a nice used bike for around $100. Though I would always remind people that you get what you pay for and what may seem like a wonderful deal on the front end may end up nickel and dime-ing you to death.

Max: What’s the base price on new bikes?
DQ: Comfort bikes and mountain bikes will have a starting price between $250 and $350. Fitness bikes will begin at $500 while a decent road bike will start at $700. Though if you’re just starting in the sport I would always warn about the costs of accessories as well. Helmets, shoes, repair kits, and proper cycling gear can hit you for and extra $100-$500 depending on the level of quality you go for.

Max: If I shave my head, will I bike faster?
DQ: Shaving your head will only make you faster if you’re not wearing a helmet. However, you will go blind from all the unimpeded sweat that will be pouring into your eyes.