FIVE THINGS is a feature on the Banjo Brothers Blog. It’s a short interview about life and bicycles with a notable person. This week's notable person is cyclist Jason Lardy.
Jason is the host of Blast Beats n’ Bicycles, a 2-hour radio show on WMCN 91.7 FM, Macalester College Radio in St. Paul, MN. Each week, the show includes an hour of heavy music, with special emphasis on the Twin Cities hard rock and heavy metal scene, and an hour of discussion of bicycle topics with Twin Cities cycling advocates, racers and fellow bike nerds. Archives of the show can be found at http://blastbeatbikes.com
Jason is also the President of the MN Cycling Center – the non-profit organization working to build the next generation of velodrome cycling in MN. With his event-production partner, Charlie Warner, he is the co-director of the Big Waters Classic bike race and the upcoming revival of the MN Ironman Bike Ride. Jason also announces the races at the NSC Velodrome each week.
We hope you enjoy this week's Banjo Brothers Five Things.
BANJO BROS: WHAT ARE YOU RIDING?
JL: I have collected an unsettling number of bikes, but I’m particularly fond of two of them. My get-around-town rig is my Twin Six Rando. It’s insanely comfortable, has matching fenders and to paraphrase Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel, “How much more black could this bike be? The answer would be none. None more black.” Fun fact: A Rando appears in several episodes of the Netflix show, Russian Doll!
My other baby is brand new to me and is likely to become my forever bike. It’s a Colnago CT1 Titanio. I have a dear friend, Mark Dillon, to thank for this bike finding its way to me. I’ve wanted a titanium bike for a long time and I fell in love with this beauty the minute I saw it. It’s also my first bike with Campagnolo parts and I’m still learning to shift in Italian.
BANJO BROS: WHERE ARE YOU RIDING?
JL: My wife, Lisa, and I recently rode The Loop in Tucson. It’s a wonderful off-street paved trail network that stretches all the way around Tucson – and then some. Our 56-mile ride took us out in the desert, past a live fire military shooting range (!) and through many of the neighborhoods in Tucson. It was a great ride on great bikes (Shout out: Broadway Cycles for the great rental experience). The only disturbing part of the ride was the regular appearance of trail-side signs that read, “Watch out for venomous creatures.” Good motivation to keep pedaling!
My number 1 goal is to make sure MN doesn’t lose track cycling forever. The NSC Velodrome in Blaine is scheduled for demolition this fall after 30 years of racing. This one-of-a-kind facility has hosted thousands of racers, from kids as young as 5 to World Champions and Tour de France stage winners. It will be a devastating loss when it comes down.
BANJO BROS: WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO, READING OR WATCHING?
JL: Since I’ve been hosting the radio show, I’ve been listening to a lot of interview podcasts. I try to learn from the hosts to improve my own interviews. One in particular that I listen to regularly is the Eddie Trunk Podcast. Eddie’s the pre-eminent heavy music journalist and he gets EVERYONE to sit down with him.
I try to see a lot of live music locally, too. My nephew is in a ska-punk band called Vibe Corp. They play frequently around town and we catch most of their gigs. (Check them out on Spotify!).
Since this is Spring Classics racing season – my favorite part of the season – I’m also watching a lot of bike race streams.
BANJO BROS: WHAT ARE YOU COOKING, EATING/DRINKING?
JL: Lisa is writing a cookbook focused on desserts and I’ve been conscripted as a recipe tester. It’s the best job in the world, but it also mandates extra miles on the bike. Not the worst thing in the world.
Here’s my favorite of her recipes: CHOCOLATE WHOOPIE PIES WITH PEANUT BUTTER MARSHMALLOW FLUFF
BANJO BROS: WHAT'S STUCK IN YOUR CRAW?
JL: My number 1 goal is to make sure MN doesn’t lose track cycling forever. The NSC Velodrome in Blaine is scheduled for demolition this fall after 30 years of racing. This one-of-a-kind facility has hosted thousands of racers, from kids as young as 5 to World Champions and Tour de France stage winners. It will be a devastating loss when it comes down.
The MN Cycling Center is the non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating a new home for MN track cycling. Our vision is to build a multi-purpose community event center that will house a velodrome and provide facilities for concerts and events, retail and other sports. We’ve also created an after-school STEM program that teaches kids science using bikes as the “vehicle” for learning. We’ve introduced legislation this spring at the MN Capitol requesting initial funding. Our bill was heard by the MN House State Government Finance Committee and 40+ supporters packed the hearing room, including kids from Seward Montessori and the NSC Velodrome’s VeloKids racing program who testified.
We are asking everyone in the MN cycling community to sign the petition on our website and ask their legislators to support our request.
So much music gets stuck in my ear, but Dessa’s song “Velodrome” hits me right in the feels every time. It’s like she’s right there on the track with us.
BIG ERIC'S BARGAIN BIN IS THE OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF FIVE THINGS INTERVIEWS. CLICK HERE TO VISIT.
MORE ABOUT THE FIVE THINGS INTERVIEWS FROM BANJO BROTHERS
A big Banjo Brothers thank you to Jason Lardy for participating in this week's edition of Five Things. These short interviews about life and bicycles will appear every Friday on the Banjo Brothers Blog. If you liked this FIVE THINGS from Banjo Brothers you should check our full series of past five things interviews.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE INTERVIEWED FOR FIVE THINGS?
Use the contact form on our website to send us a note. See you next Friday. Also, since you're here, we do need to mention, Banjo Brothers make a whole line of tough, practical and affordable gear for cyclists. Thanks for reading.