Last week we went to Austin, Texas for a little meeting of the minds. Well, maybe it was more of a meeting of bodies in motion, but that sounds a bit more...raw...than meeting of the minds, so we will stick to that. The week sparked creativity and more than a little romanticizing about the days of yore. "Have you been to Austin before?" Is a question that you get asked whenever you go there. It's like their residents are trying to suss out whether or not you were the one that pooped in their flower bed last year at "southby." Well, it made me think back all those years to my first official trip to that beautiful sweat-lodge to the South.
The year was 2009 and I was working on making a good impression with my new employer at the time. We had done a few Continental trips, but this was one of the first we took for Rapha to just check out an area. Mellow Johnny's had opened rather recently (I actually have no idea how long they had been open before that) but they were just becoming the force on the scene that they are now. So, we decided to head down and put on a 30th Anniversary tribute to the film Breaking Away. We decided the best way to do that was to stage our very own Little 500 race. In 100+ degree heat none the less.
Check out the film Benji Wagner (from Poler) made here.
Looking back through those photos it is easy some of the early signs that Team Wooly Mammoth would play the significant role that it now does. The question I beg to ask is this: How could one not be enamored with all that Romance in the air? And at the same time, why didn't I take any photos of any other team?
There were bright pink t-shirts before pink t-shirts were a thing. Catlike helmets where previously there were none, especially not on that sun baked track. Colnago headbands? Why not? Colnago headbands paired with Blublocker shades? Even better. Gold Ghisallo medallions swung from their necks and Boonen-esque mullets from the backs of their heads. How could you look on with anything but pride filling your breast for these compatriots? But, the allure of the game, keeps calling your name...we all hustlah's in love with the same thing.
Intrigue! Heat! Action! in pink and gold. The day had it all and in the end, maybe Adam did break his collar bone, but that didn't keep his Wooly teammates from continuing to ride the course while his limp, sweaty body was removed from the roaring stadium. It didn't. And if it did anything it was cement Team Wooly Mammoth in the hearts and minds of (nearly) everyone involved. I can only speak for myself, but I know I returned from that trip with a renewed vigor for life - for Oakleys, for Belgian style hair cuts, for Panache. And when Patrizio made the leap from Texas to Portland a few years later, we were ready to pick up where he left off.
Stay tuned for a forthcoming Wooly Mammoth Summer Collection of goods loosely nspired by these actual events. Bicycle and Beach Volleyball fabrication of the Ukraine.