Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Support...

Support, Representin', Keeping it real... what ever you want to call it, there are a lot of people preaching it and about 5 people actually doing it. I hear it day in and day out, especially in L.A., about how everyone is keeping it real, or representin' or whatever. The truth is no one is...

Cycling is at a fork in the road. On one side you have teams doing everything they can to win the favor of the stupid jackasses in charge of the ASO and the UCI, and never knowing who to please more turns it into a ridiculous circus. On the other side you have teams doing what they want, following the rules as they are written and handling their business. You have sponsors that have been scared away and you have sponsors like Adidas who have stayed their ground and continued to support the sport despite all the negative publicity. And then you have down to the roots, unsolicited love for the sport. Small business owners who live and breath each local race, each event like the riders who pay 20 dollars to line up. These are the business owners who, outside of cycling, fight for every dollar that comes their way. These are the guys who give money to teams as much for the love of the road as the possible extra $500 in revenue their sponsorship MIGHT generate.

I'm all for supporting companies that support cycling. I wear Adidas cycling shoes and I drink Sierra Nevada Beer. I don't make fun of Kazakhstan any more and I have toyed with the idea of buying a Rock & Republic T-shirt (the only article of clothing they make that I could afford). I don't care what teams or clubs a company supports, as long as they support my sport. So tonight I went to Scarantino's Italian Inn, A Bearclaw sponsor. I love the Bearclaw guys, they keep things real serious. And by serious I mean completely insane.

I'm all about shameless plugs. If you pay me, or send me free stuff, or feed me or buy me something I'll write nice things about you and your organization. That's why Exxon will never get a nice post since half of my earning's every year go to pay for their fucking gas. But I digress. Tonight I went to Scarantino's in Pasadena to watch Stage 3 of the tour of California. I ate some food and drank some beer, and asked the owner to comp my meal in exchange for a favorable write up. Jesse shot me down like a drunken frat boy at lesbian bar, but regardless, It was fucking awesome.

For those of you that don't know, Scarantino's is a cozy Italian restaurant located on Colorado Blvd. between Allan and Sierra Madre in Pasadena. It's on the North side of the street and they have a nice distressed wooden sign. During the spring, summer and early fall, Jesse (the owner, I think) has committed to showing all cycling that is on VS. I would assume that if there were cycling not on VS, but on some other channel that he would show that too, but currently VS is all we have. Scarantino's isn't a big chain, thus the food isn't crap. From a cyclists point of view (and the point of view of someone who knows a thing or 14 about food), they cook the pasta right (Al Dente), the Calamari is the best ever, and the beer selection includes such incredible selections as Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout and Ayinger's Dopplebock, while avoiding the typical crap (Fat Tire was the only American Beer I remember seeing on the menu) that gets shoved down restaurant owner's throat's by the big distributors. Aside from being the only place in the L.A. Basin that has promised to show everything cycling, the food makes it worth the trip from Burbank; and those who know me and my disdain for car bound travel will attest that this is saying a lot.

For my 12 regular readers, I recommend you go here. The food is reasonably priced, the beer and wine selection is great, and if you go when there is cycling on VS, it will be on the TV. So go. Go to Scarantino's. Go now... right now!

2 comments:

Erik said...

Corey you make nice with that nice man Jesse. Only ask for a free meal after you have written the article and published it. You only get paid when the work is done. Have you not learned anything from your Dad?
You buy em books and you buy em books and all you do is get a bunch of smart-assed kids!

Dad

Bill Meadows said...

yes! a new place to check out that sounds human! tis on sucka....tis on.....