Deer hunting is as much about enjoying time spent sitting quietly in the woods as it is about the hunt, but for the first time in ages, I have venison left in the freezer from last year. That means the pressure to restock the larder is off this hunting season, so I may use the excuse of waiting for a big buck to simply enjoy my time in the woods watching the does, yearlings and small bucks pass by my stand.
On a typical day in the hemlocks outside of Peeskville, I probably have deer to watch 10 minutes of the twelve hours I spend sitting in my stand, the rest of the time is spent with red squirrels, bluejays and chickadees. While I enjoy watching the smaller denizens of the forest as well as time to having the time to think, I’m just not zen enough to sit still for days without doing anything else, so I usually pack a book with my bow and camo.
To keep in the spirit of the hunt, I typically either reread Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey, or look for a new book by a midwest author with novels set in the Northwoods. I am particularly fond of mysteries by William Kent Krueger and Vitoria Houston, but this last weekend I broke tradition and brought along Geoff Drake’s Team 7-Eleven book that I read a few weeks ago. I wanted to reread the second half which details the American team’s historic trip to race in Europe.
I read the book quickly when I got a copy a few weeks ago and wrote about it in a post here. Since I will get a chance to hang out with a number of the team members at the Saris Gala this Saturday, I wanted to read the book a little more carefully, in part because I wanted not only to be able to talk intelligently with the team members at the party, but also because the second half of the book was really a great read. The accounts of the American’s early victories are really exciting, and the history of the evolution of American cycling in Europe really helps you put in perspective Ochowicz’s most recent success leading the BMC team to 1st place at the Tour de France.
I hope you get a chance to come to the Gala to read the book and to meet the team this Saturday. You can preregister and get more info about the items in the silent auction and all the other details about the Gala at the Saris Gala website here.
Here is a list of the guys from the long Team 7-Eleven roster who will be at the Gala.
7-Eleven Cycling Team: The 7-Eleven Cycling Team was founded in the U.S. in 1981 by Jim Ochowicz, a former U.S. Olympic cyclist. In 1985, Ochowicz changed the men’s team’s status to professional. In 1986 this team became the first U.S. professional cycling team to compete in the Tour de France. 7-Eleven was responsible for an overall increase in bike racing interest in the United States. 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the first U.S. team to compete in the Tour de France.
Jim Ochowicz: Jim Ochowicz is a two-time Olympic cyclist and former speed skater who co-founded Team 7-Eleven in 1981. He managed 7-Eleven through 1991 and its successor, the Motorola Cycling Team, through 1995. He served six years as president of the board of directors of USA Cycling and is currently the manager of the BMC Racing Team. He was inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1997.
Chris Carmichael: Chris Carmichael is the founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems, a pioneering company in the endurance coaching industry. Chris is an Olympian, was a member of the iconic 7-Eleven Pro Cycling Team, and is a bestselling author of more than 10 books on training and nutrition. He was named the US Olympic Committee Coach of the Year in 1999, inducted into the US Bicycling Hall of Fame in 2003, and was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from USA Cycling in 2004. Chris and CTS have been the trusted coaching resource for thousands of amateur athletes and some of the world’s greatest champions, including two-time Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander and 7-time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong.
Ron Kiefel: Kiefel is a seven-time Tour de France racer, Olympic bronze medalist and member of the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame. Kiefel rode for American professional teams such as 7-Eleven, Motorola, Coors Light and Saturn. His wins included the 1985 Trofeo Laigueglia, a Stage victory at the 1985 Giro d’Italia, and the 1987 Tour of Tuscany.
Alex Stieda: Stieda captured five jerseys of the Tour de France, the White (Rookie), Polka dot (climber), Red (intermediate points), Combination (all jersey points combined) and Yellow Jersey on the second day of the 1986 Tour de France, becoming the first North American to lead the Tour de France. He was on the 7-Eleven team for 9 years, 1982 to 1990 inclusively.
Jeff Pierce: At the 1987 Tour de France, Pierce gained fame by becoming the third American to win a stage in the Tour de France, winning the final stage on the Champs-Élysées while riding for Team 7-Eleven. After his retirement from competitive cycling, Pierce served as USA Cycling’s Vice President of Athletics. Pierce worked in publishing for Rodale Press, Bicycling Magazine, and Marketing for Schwinn/GT. He has Midwestern routes, spending most summer weekends in Wisconsin racing at events like Super Week at the Wisconsin Milk Race.
Raul Alcala: Raul is a professional road racing cyclist, who competed between 1985 and 1999 and again in 2008. In 1986, Alcalá became the first Mexican cyclist to compete in the Tour de France. In the 1987 Tour de France, he received the Maillot Blanc, awarded to the best rider under 25. In both 1989 and 1990, he won a stage in the Tour de France and finished in 8th place. In 2008, Alcalá returned to professional racing by competing in the Vuelta Chihuahua. In 2010, he won the Mexican National time trial championship at the age of 46.
Doug Shapiro: Doug Shapiro has 35 years of cycling experience that includes being a member of two American Olympic Teams, and was the third American to ever compete and finish the Tour de France. For the last twenty years, he has served as a consultant and expert witness to attorneys who represent parties involved in bicycle accident litigation. In 1980, he received a Congressional Gold Medal at the White House due to the 1980 Olympic Boycott. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress and this corrective measure was long overdue given the sacrifice by the American Olympic team.
In addition to those cycling luminaries, Wauwatosa resident and long-time 7-Eleven team member, Tom Schuler (AKA Fred Bear) will also be there. Tom is a personal friend of mine and pretty well known among the local racing community. An all-around great guy, Tom has had a huge impact on the local cycling scene as the head of his company Team Sports.
Here is short list of his professional accomplishments:
Prior to starting Team Sports, Tom was a 10-year member of the 7-Eleven Cycling Team, 1987 CoreStates USPRO winner and 1980 member of the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team; Tom has been a tremendous supporter of cycling.
- US National Team (1975 – 1983)
- Member of the 1980 US Olympic Team 1981
- US Ameteur Champion Member of the 7-Eleven Profesional Cycling Team (1979 – 1989)
- Over 100 Career Victories 1987
- US Pro ChampionEuropean Competition:
- Giro d’Italia (1985)
- Milano – Sanremo (1985)
- World Championships (1985, 87)
- Assistant General Manager /
- Assistand Directeur Sportif
- Motorola Professional Cycling Team
Tom has been hoping to go up north bow hunting with me and my buddy Casey, but he is so busy keeping the local racing scene going, he never has time to hunt. How does early January look Tom?