Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Juniors

Revolutions, and later Bikechain, has raised quite a few juniors over the past 15+ years. I suppose the first two were Carl and Armie(sp?). I was living in Daytona, for school, when the boys opened Revolutions. But we always got together to ride whenever I came home. That's how I met Carl. He and Armie were the original shop rats. I kept hearing Armie's name, but never met him until some years later. Carl however, I rode with on these visits. He was a freshman or sophomore in high school, and built like a fire hydrant. At 12, the boy had calves bigger around than other kids' thighs. He was fearless, and talented, and was usually the first to try whatever dumb idea was brought up. When we began racing as a crew, Carl would just destroy the junior fields. That's how it is with juniors, the kids who develop the fastest, typically ride the fastest. I can remember more trash talking coming from the Joe's Bike Shop team juniors, as they tried to figure out how to beat Carl.

Carl has grown up now, but like most of us, is still a big kid at heart. His talent has grown along with him, and if you ever do a campus ride with him, he'll scare the shit out of you, dropping huge ledges and skying over staircases. He's living in Orlando, turning wrenches for a big shop down there. Most of his racing involves skinny tires these days. I've even heard rumors that he's married now, but like any kid, he's damned hard to get hold of, once he left the T-town nest. If anyone talks to him, tell I said to call me up, or else!

Another of the juniors, that luckily got a little less direct influence from us, as I think his Dad had better sense than to turn him loose with us, is now commonly referred to as Little Ball. I'm pretty sure that Little Ball was racing around his Mom's womb as a zygote. That's him on the right. He rode the smallest frame that Kona made, and he weighed less than his pedals, until he was about 19. Thanks to mountain bikes, Little Ball has been to the Olympic Training Center several times, and rode in Mexico representing the US of A at the Pan American Games. Now a days, he's typically found trying give Big Jim Slade a heart attack.

I guess the 2nd generation of Revolutions juniors came in the form of a 4 pack.  Joel, Jacob, Jarond and Phil were all friends who somehow got sucked into mountain bikes together. Joel was the most talented at the time, and regularly did well in the junior races. He seemed to be the leader of the little group, and more often than not, it seemed like it was the 3 J's versus Phil. The boys would come by after school, and when they got too rowdy in the shop, Red Dragon usually gave them a choice between menial labor tasks, or getting out. Phil would watch the J boys as they bitched and moaned there way out the door and headed off, as he picked up a broom or rag, and did Dragon's bidding. The boy was tenacious, and wanted to be in that shop. The J boys all found their way into various sorts of trouble, and have long since given up bikes. But Phil, well he's a whole story all his own, and there is a book now being published to tell his tale. On the brief side, he kept racing with us until he discovered the darkside, road bikes. He showed even more promise in FL criteriums, where fearlessness will take you a long way. I can't tell you how many times I've seen him put his 20" handlebar through 15" gaps, all in the middle of full gallop, no holds barred, 30+ mph road sprints. He did a 12 hour solo mtb race, back when folks just didn't do that around here, just to prove he could. To top it all off, Phil is Type 1 diabetic. He nearly died at 6 months of age, when he was diagnosed. He never let it stop him, and after meeting a fellow diabetic cyclist in college, they started Team Type 1. TT1 has blown up, and for 2011, the team is now fielding a pro squad on the European race circuit.

Generation 3 was brought around by Little Ball. You guys know him, too, as our own lovable but grumpy, Ice Berg. I remember when Ice Berg first came around. Double D told me, "Great! I guess we're raising yet another junior to kick our asses!". Ice Berg has definitely lived up to his billing, and as long as he doesn't crash or break something, is still a threat at most any race, be it road, mountain, cross, of mx. This boy's story is still developing, so stay tuned.

The most recent batch of juniors looks to consist of Lil' Wrecking Ball, Mingo Jr, and Rupe, Stormin' Norman's offspring. This is the first generation of juniors, in which the Dad's are crew members. Luckily, these boy's Dad's are present and accounted for on most rides, so they don't get the full B/C dose, that some of the others got.

Now, to clear up a myth. Many of you have asked about a junior who has been seen riding with us on occasion, lately, and typically joins us in Felasco. Contrary to popular belief, this guy is crew, and not a junior.


BIG JIM said...

I enjoyed that write up allot. Man I wish I would have been around to see guys like Zak and Phil grow up.

Double Nought Seven said...

I live in the same area as Little Phil and probably cab't get near him! Great pics Chris, good to see ol Carl! Little Phil.......started hanging with Ace and Welder dude and the next thing you know he's a big time accomplished roadie! Again, great stuff Chris. Did you like my last voice mail by the way? Or was the crazy end the one I sent to Cuz?

Mark said...

Good post. "loveable but grumpy Berg" haha. Not nice comments there towards the end though...

007, not sure if I got the crazy VM or not, but it was worth sharing with the wife and sister-in-law. They think you are crazy now, too.

Pencil me in for your road race

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Thats was funny and filled in some blanks for me. I used to work with Carls aunt. She said he showed up unannounced at her house on a bike, when he was five or so. He lived far away and scared the hell out of her and his folks.
I can't wait to get me and LWB back in the woods. Nine weeks boys!