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by Jeff Johnson ('JEJO')
Once upon a time there was a little boy named John. He was a young bike racer for the Beaverton bicycle club. Then he grew up and became loud. Then, one day, he said: “I think I’ll start a bike team and call it Team Beer.” One thing led to another and several people joined the team. And those people actually raced their bikes for the first time ever. It was good. Somehow, when you get a couple of hack cyclists who have the nerve to race, it makes it easier for others to try it themselves. It’s kind of a ‘Well-shit-they-suck-at-this-so-I-can’t-be-any-worse’ mentality.
Somehow, Team Beer became recognized. Recognized enough to be invited to the first ever Rapha Gentlemen’s Race, in 2008. Again, it was good. Team Beer found that something special happened when they rode long, hard races together, particularly when the prospect of finishing was in doubt. They had a great time. Camaraderie is a wonderful thing.
by Kevin Ziemke ('Boom Boom')
I’ve never been much for teams and whatnot but Team Beer is the best team in the world. I’ve ridden Rapha Gentlemen’s Races in the NW but this year the amount of camaraderie really made the tears well up. With some new faces on the team I was anxious about the day, yet still very excited. The hangovers subsided for many of us once we hit the candy cave, for others it would be the pain cave. We never faltered and kept our cool during the punishing heat and miserable gravel climbs. When Jade asked, “Is it okay to walk?”, I knew it was going to be a super day. Plus, the sounds coming from other teammates during monumental efforts was frightening. The cycling itself was of such intensity that the memories now are blurred. But Team Beer proved to be a tight, tough group of belligerent and loud individuals. We also are setting the bar for co-ed teams for future RGRs.
by John Howe ('Froot Dawg')
We don’t care about winning. We don’t enter races to win. We ride because we like riding. On that first RGR, most of us had no idea what we were in for. Now, four years later, I would rather be last with my bros, than win with strangers. This year there was, admittedly, one team I wanted to beat – Chris King. I work with these guys so I really wanted to beat them. We started first, they started second. We started rolling but eventually they caught us. Then we caught them. Then they caught us, we caught them and so on. Finally, near the end, while we were waiting for our last teammate, their sixth man showed up. Phil is someone I see every day at work and he looked haggard. We said he should ride with us and he did. We had a mile or two to go. At one point, I looked at Kevin and said: “All we have to do is beat Phil and we beat Chris King.” Kevin back at me shaking his head: “No.” We let Phil go ahead, recognizing that we didn’t enter the race to win. We had already won. Team Beer camaraderie had won the day and the future of Team Beer was again secure.