photo by Andy Bokanev
A short while back our photographer friend Andy Bokanev checked in from the Redlands Bicycle Classic Stage Race (their tagline is "Where Legends Are Born" in case you were wondering). He has been doing some fantastic shooting & following of the Seattle based Hagens Berman U23 racing team. Well, that is all well and good, but at the same time, I knew of another racer who was attending this race — a legend in the making — if you will.
Anna Grace Christiansen has been in the Portland racing scene to the point where the two have almost become ubiquitous. In the past couple years, wherever there has been a crit or road race, you need not look long or hard to see who is on the front. The black and yellow (black and yellow, black and yellow) kits of the Ironclad Cycling Team are hard to miss. And so is the fact that while Anna Grace happens to be on the front, she tends to look like she is smiling.
photo by Andy Bokanev
"That's just my pain face" she will tell you. Chances are, she really likes this whole bike racing thing. Which is why we must commend her for giving back.
Last summer she went back to the good ol' middle west of the country for the Nature Valley Grand Prix - which has since undergone a bit of cosmetic surgery to come out as The North Star Bicycle Festival. Anna was recognized with the green jersey of last years race, which is awarded to the top finishing amateur racer. See what I mean? Legend in the making.
Flash forward to now and we are making socks!
AVAILABLE HERE »» Anna Grace Christiansen Special $20 Let's Race Bikes Socks!
Anna decided that she wanted to field an amateur team to participate in this year's stage race, whatever it may be called, and to do that she needed to raise some funds. She suggested asking for sponsorship dollars, the thought of which, makes me cringe. Why not make something that people want to buy, I suggested boldly, loudly. "Like what?" Anna said back, boldly-er. "What are you suggesting?" It should also be noted at some point, if not here, that while the team she was racing for at Redlands has since folded, she will be racing with the Specialized/Lu Lu Lemon team at the Previously Named Nature Valley Bicycle Race.
No Big deal.
That is where we come in. You can read the story from Anna herself over on her blog - Tiny Wooded Box - PB: LRB - but the gist of it is that we got together one evening, head-butted each other with amazing ideas, and lo and behold - A Sock Is Born.
As it turns out, Anna is also a pretty talented GD, or "Graphix Designeux" — as they say in the biz — she works for this little company here in Portland called Danner Boots. Maybe you have heard of them? It should also be noted at this point that they are giving her the freedom of schedule to work from the road and race bikes - (psst. go buy some boots why don't you?) - and just generally be awesome.
And the big reveal!
It's the state of Oregon. On a sock!
This is the sock that Anna designed to raise money for her adventures in bike racing this summer. 100% of the proceeds from the sock will go to making sure that this fantastic group of women get to the great state of Minnesota (also Anna's home state) to race bicycles. Make it happen people!
STILL AVAILABLE HERE »» Anna Grace Christiansen Special $20 Let's Race Bikes Socks!