Team launches tend to be quite stuffy affairs, so we opted for something more interactive and fun. Hosted by team sponsor Endras BMW in Pickering, event logistics were perfectly executed all night. Upon our arrival last night, Heath, Mardi, and I were directed to the valet parking, and told where to sign up to test drive the new 3-Series Beemers. Not a bad start.
Once inside, the party was already well underway. A banquet table was constantly being refilled with more platters of yummy food (oysters! prosciutto! olives!), which nobody could get enough of. At the other end of the showroom was an open bar, with glasses of wine and bottles of beer at the ready. All the while a DJ was playing a cool set of electro mash-ups.
Team captain Ed Veal, along with teammates Big Mike Mandel and Nick DiCristafaro were already on their stationary trainers, keeping warm, and interacting with the crowd. People were very curious about their racing machines, so Ed invited one gentleman, clad in sequined leather pants and gold jewelery (no joke!) to hop on and give it a go. He was so stoked about it, he even mock-raced Mike, although it was an arcade game. Everyone got a good laugh.
Unfortunately most of the team wasn’t there to represent, but with good reason: they’re away racing. In Elite Men’s, that includes young upstarts Logan Cornel & Jeff Moote, and old faithfuls Darko Ficko, Ken Ng, and Sean Kelly. The powerhouse Elite Women’s squad includes former national champions Lyne Bessette & Merrill Collins, Leigh Hobson, Julia Bradley, Emilie Roy and Krista Ruby.
The contrast between bikes on display (motor vs. pedal) was comical, quite frankly. BMW’s salesmen were eager to show off an S1000RR superbike, which has 193 hp, but weighs a mere 200 kg. How strange, then, that a fully-packaged Pinarello Dogma2 costs more, and you still have to sweat to make it work- even with electronic shifting!
The night wrapped up with a raffle giveaway of a $2500 shopping spree at the shop, won by a rookie rider. A big thanks to our gracious hosts at Endras BMW (especially Mark Endras, Sally Byun, and their photographer who fixed my camera), and to everyone who came out.