2014 marks our third year competing at the Red Hook Criterium as a team, and Chas’ fourth time to Milano for this event. Through these years, the event has grown leaps and bounds in every way. From the professionalism of it’s production, to the level of it’s competitors  The race course this year was the same as 2013, but the lap times cut three seconds faster. With this format of racing growing in popularity in Europe, the the skill level of the racers has matured at the same pace. There is no question these races are fast and dangerous, there is just no other way to put it. In Barcelona there must have been 25 riders involved in crashes in the 45 minute main race. With that said, the Milano stop saw some terrible crashes in qualifying, but no major crashes in the men’s main event. Riders kept it safe, often single file in the corners, and passing in the straights. As a bike shop, we never tried to build a team. We liked our friends, and wanted to help them by providing some of the resources needed to race at a local, national, and sometimes international level. What came from that natural direction was a group of friends, that at the core, have respect, and trust in one another. Walton and Rainier met during an 850 mile stage ride that followed the Tour of California in 2009. Portland connects Walton, Chas, and Kyle, where they all knew one another on some level, then re-locating to San Francisco. Kyle’s brother Evan has traveled with us to Red Hook events, and he has always been part of our family. He has had an open invite to race with us for a long time, and the trip to Milano this year was a natural step to suit up, and smash some faces in on the bike. Garrett, not pictured here, embodies this friendship, and he bleeds artwork for the bikes, and raceware. His efforts are a visual solve for what MASH feels like. When I look at these photos (missing Walton, who is home with a broken clavicle) When i look at these photos, I am so so stoked. These are our friends, who turn out to be very competitive racers, with different strengths, with the same end goals. Show up, go fast, have fun. We like to keep things simple, and that is how we came to be friends.