Off the Track: A Ride with the Interns
Surprise! It's Matt! So today will be my (triumphant?) return to the Velodrome after 4 weeks of being MIA. Why have I been gone so long? Well my car randomly decided one fine afternoon that a parking and emergency break were not enough to stop it from rolling down the hill I live on. Although I chased after the car for a few seconds yelling “NO! STOP! $#@!&! NO!” I realized I would not be stopping this 2000lb machine. Apparently it really wanted to slam into the car and fire hydrant at the bottom of my street.   Now, seeing as I’m the only intern without cycling knowledge or experience, it may seem strange that I’m so caught up in the whole velo game. I think I’m living proof at how addicting this place is. Having a night off every Friday sounds like a dream for most people, but there I was sitting a mere 20 miles away from the excitement wondering who would win the Keirin Cup, wishing I could see Marty (our boss) compete, and imagining how cool seeing Tandemonium for the first time would be. Three months ago I wouldn’t have known what any of that was, yet now I can’t wait to hear and see every detail. I’m sad that I’ve missed out on copious amounts of girl talk and inside jokes with my fellow interns but for these last three weeks of the season I’m back…and I'm giddy like a schoolgirl at a Twilight book signing. Tonight, look out for the tan guy in the day glow yellow shirt, because he’ll be the happiest person there.

Hello all. Here I am on Tuesday night of MASTERS! Where are you? If you're reading this...why? Come on down!
While I sit here at souvenirs, waiting for you to arrive and buy a LIMITED EDITION SCREEN PRINT POSTER...I thought I would tell a velo-story. I realize it would have behooved me to write this weeks ago - but I need to get this off of my chest. 
This is Roberto Chiappa. He was with us here in T-Town for a few weeks laying down the law on the track, fast as he is. 

Now, I don't claim to be a master of the Italian language. You would think 7 years of classes (3 at university level) would qualify someone for language proficiency, but trust me on this one, it does not. So why the following incident occurred is beyond me. I blacked out and I am pleading  loss of sanity. 

Our journey begins in rider registration on a Friday night in the not-so-distant past. It must have been the heat in that booth (which is not very well ventilated) but I decided that I was going to have a conversation with Roberto Chiappa because hey - I'm Italian, he's Italian, I know how to say the word squirrel in all made perfect sense at the time.

So Roberto arrives and instead of asking for his race number in Italian (which I'm pretty sure I would have been capable of doing if I wasn't in awe of him), I get him registered all American-like. And then, I blurted out poorly structured Italian that (I hope) translated to something along the lines of "Where are you from?"
Let me take a moment to point out a few things:

First of all, I know where he's from. I am a google search professional and I also have a lot of time on my hands. He is originally from Terni, which - if my quickly-fading Italian education serves correctly - is in central Italy. And even if I didn't already know, the rider registration software definitely could have told me.
Second of all, hind sight is 20/20. I see now that I probably should have prefaced that question with something like "Hi, my name is Loren and I speak Italian". 

Because I skipped right to "where are you from" after registering him in English, he seemed a little taken-aback. He gave me a bewildered look for about 32 minutes. 
Just kidding. It wasn't that long. But it FELT like 32 minutes because while I was waiting for a response my inner monologue sounded something like this:
"Did I really just ask him that? If he says he's from "ITALY" I'm going to lay down on the track during the Keirin because I'm pretty sure being run over by a motorcycle would be preferable to how uncomfortable I feel right now".
But, he wasn't mean or sarcastic at all! He told me he was from Terni and I pretended to be surprised. He asked the same of me and I muttered that my family was from Ravenna. He smiled and went off to the infield to warm up. I threw up on Cortney. Just kidding again, you guys. Gross, whats wrong with you?

In the following weeks Roberto would say "Ciao" and ask me how I was on his way in (that actually only happened once, but it was very cool).

I guess the moral of the story is that this internship is too awesome for me and I am incapable of holding myself together in front of world-class athletes. Rumor has it, we'll be seeing even more incredible cyclists this month and I will have more chances to be awkward in front of them. Here's hoping they don't speak Italian, though I am perfectly confident that I can find some way to embarrass myself in any language. 

Well, there is a huge line here at souvenirs so I should probably go. If you're lucky we'll still have LIMITED EDITION MASTERS WINE BY CLOVER HILL left by the time you make it down here this week.

This is Loren - your resident awkward intern - signing out and reminding you again that I am unemployed and to please hire me. 
It's a beautiful Tuesday night of racing at VPCC. The infield is packed with cyclists, definitely a great turn out.

I know most of you have been keeping an eye or two on the tour. And for your viewing pleasure here are the posters for stages 1-12, a click and a scroll would be in your best interest. Now these posters are worth scrolling through.

Hope to see everyone out at the velo for another exciting Friday night, and keep those TVs on the tour.
You now have a reason to be wearing your best threads to VPCC tomorrow. PRIZES! It's T-shirt time. We know you have some crazy, colorful, cycling Ts in your closet. We know you’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to break them out. Now is the time! Cause you could be leaving with some swag.
If your shirt is the best, most colorful, or most unique…you will have a prize coming your way. AND a TV feature on Service Electric. What more could you want out of a night of cycling?

3 Prizes for 3 Stylish Spectators:
    1.     Castelli Bicycling Magazine Kit
    2.     Polar CS200cad Heart Rate Monitor
    3.     2012 Season Pass to the World Series of Bicycling

Our inspiration comes from this lovely Bicycling Magazine feature: 16 Super Cool T-Shirts. It's definitely worth looking at.

Here are a few of the favorites:
The interns will help pick out the finalists, and then a panel of elite cyclists will select the winners.

I need to say that the interns will not be accepting bribes, but we do love iced coffee (hint hint).

See you tomorrow night!
Planking 07/14/2011
As you know, we are all about healthy physical activity here at the velodrome. Since we interns are healthy AND trendy, planking is our core exercise of choice. 
Whats that you say? You don't know what planking is?? Well, my friend. Get ready to revolutionize your workout routine.

According to the internet, planking is "the practice of lying down flat with arms to the side , to mimic a wooden plank" (wikipedia). This isometric exercise strengthens the abdominals, back, and shoulders. From what I gather, the more unusual and challenging the setting - the better. Also "having a photograph of the participant taken and posted on the Internet" is the most important part of this exercise fad. 

Well, thank heavens we have this blog so that our workout could be complete. 

Here we have Cortney planking behind the grandstands:

And Micah planking on a trash can:

Not to be outdone, Cortney planked twice in one day! Way to go!

Keep it up and soon you will look like this:

He must plank all day every day.

I'm so glad we discovered planking because its the perfect exercise to squeeze in on our way to do inventory at the beer stand! I suggest you try to fit it in to your work day as well. 

*Special thanks to the internet

Earned after only one night's work

As you learned from our last blog post we do a loose change premium during every race. The normal person donates coins, dollar bills, and on occasion a five dollar bill, but one person goes above and beyond by donating a million dollar bill.

Trying not to spend it all in one place

How you might ask? Well, unfortunately the money hasn't been validated by the US Treasury, but we're happy to accept it anyway. As interns, we take whatever money we can get. When the loose change premium comes around watch who donates next to you. You might just be sitting next to our Million Dollar Mystery Person.

Being an intern really does pay off.

And to quote The Social Network, "You know what's cooler than a million dollars? A billion dollars." So if you're ready to drop a billion dollars come find us during the loose change premium.

This is Cortney and Kylee, currently watching the races from the top of the bleachers. Tonight is an ordinary night, no special events. And it's pretty mellow compared to Friday night racing, especially since this past week was a busy week for the cyclists.


A little summary of what we did today:

-Hung these flags (to the right)
-Spent some time in rider registration
-Micah's working results in the skybox

-Matt's in the beer stand (and Cortney joined him for a photo-op)
-And we just did the loose change premium

For those of you who don't know, the loose change premium is a sum of money that is collected from the spectators and goes back to the riders. It can be given away to the winner of a certain lap or race, which is decided during the night.

It was a good, exciting night racing, even though there was a brief crash. Looking forward to an exciting Friday night.

That's all for now.