Monday, February 9, 2009

A bike for a cuban?

You know you've been riding a long time when you can say that you competed against the soviets. I remember racing against riders from the eastern block and on many occasions getting my butt kicked by guys in pretty much BMX cranks. It was crazy some of the equipment these guys were on.

Recently at the Tour of San Luis I was reminded that the latest and greatest equipment isn't always necessary when I saw the Cubans. Chad Nordwall a buddy of mine who owns Above Category probably the sweetest bicycle shop on earth e-mailed me about a photo he'd seen at the Tour of San Luis on of a Cuban rider on. Well I'll just paste what he wrote:

"I’m looking a pic of one of the Cuban guys, crazy! First you see Basso, then you see this Cuban guy on an old Scott, with OLD campy! Like 3 rolls of bar tape used to cover the bars! Standard wheels, tube socks and all, super crazy!"

When I saw the picture Chad was talking about I chuckled since I had just been talking to that guy on the same day. His name is Alonso Lisuandy and I was blown away by how strong he was yet the crap he was riding. I mean were talking 80's here. What also struck me was that the Liquigas guys kept yelling at him to get out of the way. (Although Basso wasn't one of those guys) Not very nice boys. The guy was just trying to keep his position and since he's on a small national team like Cuba the Pro Tour neanderthals just pushed him around. But the kid held his own and wouldn't move.

Anyhoot. After San Luis I went to camp and met up with Chad at the shop and he had a great idea of getting this guy a bike. So Chad and I are now in the market to get a bike for Alonso and the more challenging part is to get the bike to Alonso either in Cuba or when he travels out. If any of you out there are interested in helping then please get out your checkbook and send some money out to contribute to the project. You can e-mail me at and the checks can be made to Above Category Chad's shop.