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Dear Brendan

From: Jill Layfield
Subject: Getting on the same page
Date: March 25, 2013 11:16:01 AM MDT
To: Brendan Quirk

Dear Brendan –

Given how tumultuous last week was, I thought it’d be wise to send you an email summarizing our conversations up to this point. As you recall, upon receiving your resignation/confession, I asked you to reconsider. I suggested that a 72-hour ‘cooling off period’ might be beneficial to you.

So for three days you vanished. Upon your return you made it clear you were conflicted. You told me you spent the time wandering the streets of San Francisco — mostly sleepless and mostly without food or drink — ‘one part adventure race, one part religious mission,’ you described it.

You told me of the emptiness in your soul upon your return to Utah. You hadn’t found as many spectacular stolen bikes as you’d expected. Most were the wrong frame size. And the few 54cm’s you saw had bars 44cm or wider. Even worse, you lamented, nearly all of them had ergonomic drops.

You were at a crossroads, you said. One part of you thought that with more time you could track down better bikes. But given your poor start, you told me that under certain conditions you’d be willing to rescind last week’s letter and stay put at Backcountry.

So I want to confirm that, yes, I’m happy to accommodate all of the requests you made:

Paper Napkins1) All Backcountry meeting rooms and kitchens will be stocked exclusively with Limited Edition Tour de France Leader’s Jerseys™ paper napkins. Usage of any other napkins are heretofore banned. Next week, the paper towel dispensers will be eliminated.

2) We have repainted our two distribution centers Fluoro Yellow, perfectly color-matched to everything Farnese Vini. Because this was particularly important to you, as promised, the work was completed on Saturday.

3) The soon-to-be-released, new-and-improved Competitive Cyclist website will be visually anchored in the same Fluoro Yellow. And, yes, all text will be Fluoro Orange.

As we discussed, you’ve agreed to stop reading brooding literature for an entire year since — regardless of how it delights, its true power is in how it crushes. You will turn your mind into an ally. And no more Li’l Wayne since, as you said, his music lights little matches of rage in you.

Welcome back. We have a lot of work to do.

Yours (and, most importantly, your boss), Jill

p.s. Enjoy the vintage wagon porn I dug up. The C E O is P R O.

Wagon lust continues

Paint upgrade

Training of another sort, I

Color palette upgrade

Patience is a virtue

– Speaking of comebacks, did you notice that Heinrich Haussler finished fourth in last weekend’s Ghent-Wevelgem? This is a very good thing for fans of animated racing. When Haussler was at his career peak in 2009, he had the markings of a once-in-a-generation hardman. He was a fearsome breakaway artist, yet he could sprint with the peloton’s best. As you might remember, in ’09 he was bridesmaid in both Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders, then won Stage 13 of the Tour de France. In 2010 his knees got the worst of him and he all but vanished from the racing scene for the next three seasons. Here’s hoping that his performance last weekend is sign of a resurrection.

– Jill’s email alluded to My Great Vulnerability: No burden is quite as heavy as that of wagon lust. Chalk up one vote for Volvo, courtesy of Team Movistar. Then chalk up another, for some technology every cyclist will love.

– We have our own list of banned words. The Washington Post curated a much more robust list.

– If you are the Facebooking type, I highly recommend the Brakethrough Media page. Eye candy is its specialty. So is the zaniness of bike racing culture. It’s so much more than racing porn. A must-follow. A teaser below —

Getting in the mood

– Did anyone else get an email invitation from Cycle Face to be a ‘beta tester’? My bullshit detector glowed red at their promise of having ‘…unlocked a unique algorithm that helps determine how much nutrition you need on your rides.’ One summer day a few seasons back, a four hour ride went to pieces because my craving for coconut crème pie was mania, a chapter out of ‘The Girlfriend’s Guide To Pregnancy.’ I stopped and ate a piece. Then I ate another. Then I almost broke Strava because the next 50km were so blisteringly fast. Algorithm that. But, then again, I know Amazon makes a fortune selling consumables on a subscription basis. Easy money is some of the best kind.