How to Beat Tyler Farrar at Guitar Hero
I don’t know.
I don’t even know how to play Guitar Hero, or what it looks like, or why it’s so awesome. All I know is that last night, in front of a full house at Upper Echelon Fitness I made Tyler defend his addiction to the XBox and it was my favorite part of the interview. Why? Because Tyler Farrar is sweet and funny and down to earth and accessible and you can say, “Dude I heard you’re good at Guitar Hero.” and he will laugh and shift in his seat and offer up 3 different reasons why it’s good for his training (recovery!). And that makes him awesome.
We talked about his four Grand Tour wins this year, Garmin’s mega bad luck in the Tour, how he’s feeling about the addition of Thor Hushovd for 2011, how his father is doing these days, what it’s like to sprint with a broken wrist, the infamous head-butting incident, how he won his first bike race on a white Bianchi with downtube shifters, why Tour of Flanders is his favorite race and the fact that he is going to do a cyclocross race in January! (Ok, that part of the conversation may have actually been my favorite part.)
Here’s an awesome video from Matt Haughey with Tyler answering questions about riding with Thor (and Heinrich Haussler), switching to Cervelo bikes, and doping.
It was fun.
Dave Roth, the Grand Poobah of my Portland Social Cycle Seen Heart, even came and took pictures. (All photos in this post are his unless otherwise noted)
We laughed and took questions from the incredibly rad crowd. We even watched some super cool racing clips projected onto the big wall.
Tyler signed autographs and gave away a Garmin 500. He posed for pictures with little kids while nailing a look that I like to call “Euro Cardi-Casual”. We even managed to have complementary outfits! Oh la la!
Tina Brubaker showed up with the mud of Barton Park still dried on her neck and face wearing a plaid shirt and black beanie and looking about as tiny and adorable as possible. Then she walked up to the autograph table, got Tyler to sign a picture of himself and then proceeded to throw down one of her rider cards, take the pen out of his hand, and sign her own picture. “Here, you should probably have one of mine, too.”
Fucking hot shit, Man Breaker. Well played.
Finally, my buddies Matt and Traci asked Tyler to sign my beer – a Laurelwood Vinter Varmer. Tyler kindly added a “Gotcha!” voice bubble to the label art in reference to my squirrel-induced crash in Washington Park two weeks ago. Very funny guys.
After the event, we were lucky enough to have dinner with Tyler and his girlfriend Stephanie. For the record, Stephanie is adorable, sweet AND funny. Total slam dunk, Tyler. Nice work! Also, she has a boot addiction to rival my own, which basically makes us BFFs forever no matter what.
We talked about house renovations, the secret red-head society that I didn’t even know existed, really insane-sounding moto-pacing sprint workouts, home decorating (Stephanie ratted Tyler out for picking a glossy color called “Rose Petal” that apparently did not go over well on the fireplace wall at their place in Belgium) and the importance of having a well-stocked bar at home.
Other fun facts?
Farrar’s current favorite Belgian beer: Delirium Tremens. (Kid has good taste. It was named as “Best Beer in the World” in 1998 at the World Beer Championships. Stuart Kallen also gives it the number one spot in his The 50 Greatest Beers in the World.)
The Garmin-Transitions doctor advised all of the riders to hop up and down on one foot while brushing their teeth. Really! Apparently, doing this every day (10 hops on each foot) once in the morning and once at night (hence the association with the regimen of tooth brushing) is enough to increase bone density to make riders more resistant to injury when they hit the deck. Amazing.
Last but probably most important. His last name is pronounced like Farrah Fawcet’s first name. Phil Ligget says it wrong. All the time. Don’t listen to them.
I think I did ok, don’t you?