We ran into newly minted cat 1 Jason Beerman at Interbike and accosted him for a quick interview. For those who don’t know Jason, he was a former Hell’s Kitchen/Champion System rider who left New York for Boston a couple years back.
<b>VN:</b> What are you doing next season?
<b>JB:</b> I’m racing for the <a href=http://www.tenetracing.com>Kenda/Raleigh Cycling Team</a>, which is mostly Vermont guys, Massachusetts guys. I just took over the management, and I’m still going to race. And I’m here at my first Interbike, and it’s completely…overwhelming. Flashing lights…I keep getting lost. I feel like PacMan, I keep going down the same aisles.
<b>VN:</b> Did you go by the booth that’s streamers only?
<b>JB:</b> No, I gotta check out the streamer booth. Actually, I checked out the site for pictures from last year to see how I should dress. I didn’t want to go too over the top. I could’ve gone with the tuxedo or the schlubwear, I went with the schlubwear.
<b>VN:</b> What really impressed you this year:
<b>JB:</b> The first thing I did was go to the Quarq booth, the new power meter. It’s on the outside of the spider. The SRM patent expired, so, they took advantage and got patent pending on their thing. It’s wireless, it’s got GPS. It works with the Garmin as well. And it’s really really expensive, just like the SRM. The unit that fits on the spider is $1200, and the computer unit is a thousand, and the cranks are sold separately…
<b>VN:</b> So it comes out to ten thousand dollars?
<b>JB:</b> Yeah. (laughs) But it’s definitely pretty cool, it’s definitely worth checking out.
<b>VN:</b> What’s different about Boston compared to NY?
<b>JB:</b> You mean about cycling?
<b>VN:</b> We don’t really care about anything else?
<b>JB:</b> I don’t know, it’s a totally different scene. It’s more dispersed. You have the whole Central Park scene, the Prospect Park scene, you have the jogger lane issues, and everyone knows everyone somehow. Three degrees of separation. In New England it’s much more dispersed, there’s not the same sense of community. You gotta drive. There’s training races around Boston, but you can’t ride to the races. There’s so many characters in New York.
<b>VN:</b> Is it friendlier in Boston?
<b>JB:</b> It’s friendlier but it’s not as familiar. I do miss the hard ass NY scene, but I don’t miss 9W, ’cause I lived in Brooklyn.
<i>Our Interbike visit was all too short, so we sent Jason a couple of follow ups.</i>
<b>VN:</b> Tell us more about the Kenda/Raleigh team. How’d you come to be the team manager?
<b>JB:</b> The Kenda/Raleigh Cycling Team was established in 2003 as Louis Garneau Racing and it switched title sponsorship to its current incarnation in 2006, which is when I joined after moving up to Boston from Brooklyn. The team has a strong tradition: it has graduated 7 riders to the professional ranks and 3 team members have ridden for the USA Cycling Under-23 Development Team. We are a 12-man team and we do all the east coast “classics” as well as a handful of NRC events. The team is made up of guys who love racing their bikes and take it very seriously, but also have lives and jobs away from cycling.
Our team director from last year moved to Utah a couple months ago so there was a long lull, like at the end of a race when everyone is looking at each other but not attacking, and no one wanted to immediately take the reins. I flinched first so there was a bloodless coup and I ended up with a binder full of contracts and all the team’s spare equipment which – surprise – doesn’t fit into my 700 square foot apartment. I quickly married my wife, Jen (the day after coming home from Interbike!) to prevent her from walking out on me (because of all the bike parts and frames that now litter the apartment) without some legal repercussions.
<b>VN:</b> How’d you do at the show? Score any good sponsors?
<b>JB:</b> Interbike was great because I was able to meet our sponsors in person which is nice because email contact has severe limitations when it comes to human interaction. Kenda and Raleigh have both been awesome and have provided the team with top notch support, as have all the team’s other sponsors. The team directorship has turned into a fun passion (read: 2nd “job”) for me, and I’m really excited at the way things are shaping up for 2008.
On the other hand, Interbike was scary because it was in Vegas and everything there scares me. Although I did get to hug Liggett, smell Cipollini’s cologne from 1km away, and witness how truly out of place cyclists look in the buffet line at the Circus Circus.