For Immediate Release:
Jan. 27, 2009
Premier Sports Partners is pleased to introduce the UCI Continental Team: "Team Mountain Khakis-cycleMK." This team was formerly known as the "Time Pro Cycling Team." The team remains strongly committed to its mission of identifying young talent and teaching the trade of professional cycling. Pairing young high-potential riders with experienced captains and mentors speeds knowledge transfer and shortens the learning curve and everyone is given the common goal of delivering top performances in national caliber races. The team management is pleased to have found such a strong supporter of our mission and goals in the Mountain Khakis organization.
Mountain Khakis is a Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based company that produces high quality, all-purpose outdoor pants. Mountain Khakis were designed by outdoor enthusiasts to handle the day-in-day-out needs of the rugged outdoor lifestyle and are made to be durable, yet comfortable. Crafted with attention to every detail, Mountain Khakis pride themselves on producing one of the highest quality products in the outdoor apparel industry.
The 2009 team will be directed by Jason Snow and consists of many returning riders as well as some key additions. Andy Baker, Jackie Simes, Eric Barlevav, David Guttenplan, Mike Stoop, Tom Soladay, Daniel Ramsey, Jon Hamblen, and Adam Myerson are returning riders. New additions include Mark Hekman, Toby Marzot, Logan Loader, Will Hoffarth, Spencer Beamer, and Issac Howe. The All-American team will alternate its young riders and experienced mentors through both a southeast regional calendar and a full NRC, USA Crit and U.S.Pro Tour schedule with the ultimate goal of winning a National Racing Calendar event.
As part of the process of cultivating the next generation of US cyclists, Premier Sports Partners have established a unique talent identification process. Two riders on the 2009 team, Logan Loader and Will Hoffarth, were selected from our 2008 Performance Camp. It is an unprecedented opportunity and offers all young riders a legitimate forum to show that they have what it takes to ride for a professional team. We hope to take at least 4 riders from the camp this year for our 2010 team. The camp will be held from June 10th through the 14th in Winston-Salem NC.
More information about the Mountain Khakis program, the team, and the Performance Camp can be obtained at the team website www.teammountainkhakis.com.
We wish to say a special "thank you" to those who support of our mission and make this program possible: Mountain Khakis; Edifice Construciton; Budget Self Storage; Hincapie Sportswear; Kazane; Dedicated Athlete; Cyclesafe.org; Freedom; Eleven81; Lazer; Hibros; Albabici; Scicon; Tifosi Optics; 360 Self Storage Advisors; Momentum Auto Sales; TRP Brakes; Sun Printing; and, of course, our financial benefactors and dedicated fans.
MK Ambassador Rob LaPier and his is best buddies Chris Tatsuno and Tyler Horne bidding farwell to the '89 Chevy the best way they know how!
When the storm finally stopped we were all in quite a panic. The unfortunate in-bounds fatality and devastating slide that partially destroyed the Couloir restaurant has been a tragic reminder that nature rules. This year’s snowpack prompts us that no matter what goals one may have on the “to do” list, the mountains dictate the window of opportunity.
So instead of using December’s full moon illumination to venture into the untracked backcountry we did the opposite. A crew of snow enthusiasts gathered at one of the flattest places in Teton County for a night of skiing in the Stilson Parking lot.
My friend Chris Tatsuno, of www.Christatsuno.com, has been living out of his ’89 Chevy Van for about three years now. He is a soulful ski bum who is truly free to roam… wherever he can afford to on his raft guiding salary. When Chris heard about the holiday storm cycle in the Tetons he headed to Jackson to find a temporary parking lot for the, ‘motor home.’ When the storm calmed down he packed up and headed out of town. His van, however, was on her last leg and broke down just south of Hoback Junction. Being a good friend, my trusty ’95 Toyota Tacoma and I came to the rescue. We pulled the van to the Stilson lot, a temporary resting place before giving it a proper send-off.
After many cold nights and well over 100,000 miles together Chris was sad to leave behind his companion but the prospects of a new(er) van were calling his name. It was hard to see him depressed for a few days but alas the light bulb sparked. In all the years of traveling he had always wanted to jump the van. If this was truly the end of the Chevy’s days then it was high time to ‘jib’ the van before leaving it for dead.
Chris used a fleet of diggers to sculpt a jump and pile snow on the passenger side to cushion the fall. Thanks to a few curious locals we were able to rally a snowmobile and driver to complete the tow package. Most funerals cost between $5-10K, Tatsuno was total invested 24 PBR cans.
That night everyone took a few turns tapping Chris’ old girl. I am not sure if it was the smell of two-stroke, the nearly flat landings and tons of carnage, or the gangsta rap music in the background, but I was somehow reminded of my younger days in Colorado. I almost forgot that I moved to Jackson for the Tetons non-terrain park scene.’ I can only imagine what the frequent bus drivers were thinking when they saw a crew of 15 skiers illuminated by headlights and a snowmobile revving in the far corner of the lot.
That evening we made the most of a full moon night bid the van farewell. Chris’ enthusiasm reminded me that no matter what genre of riding one falls into, or what mountain town you call home, we all share a passion for the winter. To all those who have loved and lost (a vehicle), raise your glasses to Chris Tatsuno, his van and undying devotion to life in the mountains. Cheers.
Words by Rob LaPier // Images by Julie Weinberger: www.jamminjuliephotography.com
MK Ambassador, Rob LaPier