THE EARY YEARS CONTINUED…

TBT! Many thanks to newly returning member AJ Karapelou for this weeks piece adding on from Jim Clune’s early year blog posted two weeks ago…

Speaking of the 90’s…at the end of that decade the team was changing. The team shrunk down to about 14 active members. Tuesday night crits series, Usery Pass RR and Stat Crit Championships were the main team events. Team meetings were held right after the Tuesday night crit at the Blarney Stone pub.
At one of the first meetings in 1999 we held board member elections. Many appetizers and barley sodas later… we had a new president – AJ Karapelou.
One of the first orders of business was to secure sponsors. 1999 was a tough year. Thanks to the solid commitment of Sean O’Brien we were able to retain Carlos O Brien’s as our main sponsor. The Blarney Stone and Bicycle Showcase rounded out the other sponsors. Without their sponsorship, there would not have been a team and it would have ended right there and then. Thankfully that wasn’t the case!
Second order of business was to redesign the kit. We looked at the sponsors and made a decision to highlight the main sponsor in the middle of the chest and to limit the amount of noise around their logo by placing minor sponsors on the back pockets or shoulder areas. The result is the kit in the photo below. To highlight the Carlos O’Brien’s logo we used a blue back ground with green offsets. We liked blue. We really really liked blue.
The new kit and supportive sponsors helped us to generate a real buzz with riders. Within a few months, what started as 14 grew close to 50 riders of all categories (masters, juniors, women, Cat 5’s, 4’s, 3’s, Mountain bikers). Within a year we were approximately 100 riders strong. We became the Kevin Bacon of bike racing. Many active riders in AZ started with or rode for Procon at one point in their career.
The rapid growth allowed us to promote other races in Arizona. The town of Snowflake approached us to promote a race as a way to highlight their community and its growth. With the towns help, we were able to hold a two day race (Circuit Race and Crit) in one of the windiest places in Arizona.
To recap, within a year of almost folding as a team we were at 100+ members, promoted 4 major race events and were one of the premier teams in Arizona. What happened next??…. You will have to tune in next blog to find out!
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THE EARLY YEARS

Procon Cycling the Early Years

Procon/Carlos O’Brien’s has a long and varied history. But what’s the story? How did it start?

Procon as we know it was formed in the early to mid 90’s, buy merging two teams, Phoenix Consumers Cycling Club (PCCC) and Team Proformance. At the time Proformance was an up and coming team with a focus on developing new riders, women’s and juniors racing. Members were all actively racing and were primarily cat 3’s, 4’s and a few masters. PCCC was one of the oldest active teams in the state, but had lost focus and sponsorship and membership was declining.

PCCC approached the Proformance board with the idea of merging the two teams and using the strength of each to advance cycling in the state. Membership of both teams voted to support the merger and it was on. The two major sponsors China Mist Iced Tea from Proformance and Champman Auto Group from PCCC came on board to sponsor the combined team. Our own Sean O’Brien was an active racer, and as Carlos O’Brien’s was also a sponsor of Proformance they came on board as well. Sean has been a minor or major sponsor since the teams’ inception and has always been a supporter of the team and cycling in Arizona!

So what’s with the name? That came about during a brainstorming secession with the combined PCCC/Proformance board in the dining room of Tommy and Bill Burke’s, the PCCC president’s, house. We were throwing out all kinds of names without success when Bill’s daughter, maybe 10 yrs old at the time, just blurted out PRO (from Proformance) CON (from Consumers)”Procon” and it stuck.

Procon has always sought to promote rider development including juniors (Jeremy Bounds and Ron Jensen raced as juniors) and race promotion with an emphasis on road racing.   We promoted the occasional Crit and TT but the Usery Pass road race was the main focus for many years. Usery was always the first race on the calendar which made it the most popular single day RR in the state. If you never got the chance to race that venue, it was a classic multi loop course, starting at Salt River Recreation, up Usery to McDowell, Power to Bush Highway with a finish 2 or 3 km up Usery. It moved to a Usery/ Bush Highway loop before permit hassles caused it to fade away.
What a long strange trip it’s been…
TBT! Many thanks to Jim Clune for providing this weeks piece! Check out the kit form the early 90’s…

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DATES SET FOR 2016 AVONDALE CRITS

Mark these dates fans and racers, the Avondale Crit series is set for the 2016 season. Avondale Crit #1 is on January 24th, while Avondale Crit #2 will be on February 21st. More details to follow. In the meantime, good luck to all our Psycho-crossers.

 

Hi everyone,
It was a pleasure meeting and racing with a lot of you this past weekend. I know I had a lot of fun trading in my fat tires for some skinny ones at the Avondale Crit on Sunday.
I just wanted to elaborate on Braden’s report, specifically from the mountain side. Great job to Terrin Lane, Jason Hall, and Kyler Kienholz who represented this weekend at MBAA race #1 – McDowell Meltdown:
     Terrin Lane took 5th overall in women’s expert open class.
     Jason Hall took 20th overall in men’s expert open class.
     Kyler Kienholz was 20th in men’s Intermediate 35-49
     Gerrit Mack 22nd in Expert men’s open after a flat tire dropped him 12 spots.
I also wanted to mention the Carlos O’Brien’s Mountain Men Team (Braden, Jason H. Matt F. and I) took 7th overall in quad team racers at the 12 Hours of Papago the two weeks ago in Tempe.
The next mountain bike race is January 31st at Estrella MTN Park (4 miles directly South of the Avondale Crit). If you are interested in racing we would love to have you out there. Even if it is your first time, there’s a category for that!
I have attached a mountain specific race schedule for anyone who wants to get a little dirty with us. I look forward to riding with you all soon.
Thanks, Gerrit Mack

AVONDALE CRITERIUMS

The 2015 AZ race season is almost upon us and once again COB will put on 2 more  Avondale Crits. The first race will be held on Sunday, January 18th, the second on February 22nd at the same Avondale location as previous years. Dust off your legs in Yuma at the North End Classic on Saturday, then finish up the weekend in Avondale with COB. Find out more by clicking the link below….

2015 AVONDALE CRITERIUM FLYER
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