Thanks to Chuck's post from the Wente Crit, many of us have had a good laugh and fun these past few weeks. And we continued to play on this age old theme of good vs bad, of dark vs light at the Mike's Bikes Cat's Hill Classic. Here's the race video: http://vimeo.com/42036413

Obviously, Mike's Bikes is really a force of good and happiness to all of us. Let me share why:

Before deciding to join Team Mike's Bikes, I did some research and asked around about Matt Adams and the company. I was impressed by all that I learned. Mike's Bikes is the largest and most successful bike shop in the country thanks to the vision of the partners Ken Martin and Matt Adams. Their vision is simple: to bring biking happiness to all.

When you step into any of the 11 Mike's Bikes stores throughout Norcal, you feel this vision at work. The employees happily greet you and cater to your needs regardless of whether you are a novice recreational rider or a seasoned racer. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is treated with the same great customer service. Btw, I'm always curious about people's background and their journey to where they are today. So it's interesting to note that both Matt and Ken started as regular bike employees at Mike's. They are just regular guys like many of us who have worked at bike shops. Except, now they have created a biking empire in Norcal.

But what's even more impressive about Mike's is how they give back. In my book, the true worth and value of a person is measured by how much they give of themselves rather than how much they earn or make. In this regard, Mike's (Matt and Ken) are truly giants. Their bike Africa philanthropy project is impressive.

So before I even joined the team, I already liked these guys. Then, I met Matt Adams and many of the Mike's Bikes employees. I knew then, I had to be part of this team and turn the 2011 creme puff image around. My goal was simple: create a team that represents the excellence of Mike's Bikes.

At first, I simply looked around for talented riders who would successfully represent the company's high standing image. But then I thought, let's invest in the younger riders. However, in order to do this correctly, it's important to create the right peer support structure for the younger riders. We needed to bring not just one but a group of them. But our budget did not support adding (4) U23 riders. So I spoke with Matt, and he generously opened up the budget to support these young guns, the future of our sport.

I even suggested that perhaps, we don't need all these high end equipment to make room in our budget. Of course, Matt Adams would have none of this. If we are truly to represent the excellence of Mike's Bikes, then everything has to be the best. This is why we have the best bikes, the best wheels, the best clothing, the best gruoppo, the best nutritional products, the best coaching. The best training tools (garmin, gopro, cyclops powertap). We are a fortunate group of riders.

Over the years, I've developed the belief that a happy rider is a fast rider. Ultimately, we ride to pursue happiness. And the key to happiness is NOT wins. The key to happiness is feeling purposeful and being part of a community (something larger than oneself). We've worked hard since the end of the last year to create this sense of purpose for each rider (being the best teammate) and to have them be part of the Mike's community, not just with their teammates but with the entire Mike's organization. Interestingly, without the active pursuit of wins but a focus on great teamwork, we've won a lot more than I could have expected. These kids are great.

Also, I absolutely love going to the Mike's stores because many of the employees are genuinely interested and happy with the team's success. I feel that they too share in the team's success. We are after all their team. And it's our goal to be Norcal's most enjoyed and supported team too by bringing you biking happiness every week through our race videos, race reports, and team rides. Hope you are enjoying the show that is Team Mike's Bikes. We're just getting started.

Mike's Bikes is truly the force of good and happiness in Norcal cycling.