Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lessons learned

This post will be a combination things: experiences from Madison that need some explaining, a lesson that my bike taught me yesterday, and a little something about impressive creativity...but not in that order.

First, check these out:
We had a bunch of banners left over from the Subaru UAR series and thought we'd be resourceful. Becky Gould, a participant from Austin, wrote us about using some of her past race shirts as shopping bags. I asked her what she could do with banners. She came up with some SWEEET tote bags. I don't often find myself getting excited about tote bags, but I can't wait to use these! She even added some cool details like cut-out stars on the handle junction. I can't wait to see what she can do with our old billboards! Thanks Becky!!!! If you want one of these for your own uses, let me know and I'll see if Becky wants to get into the bag business.
Here's Rasta modeling one.
In Madison, we went out after the staff meeting. This is Thomas and Hans. Thomas rounded up the troops to work the Madison event. He runs a boat rental joint called Supreme Water Sports. You can check out dolphins and some sweet steel drum music on his website here. He took us out for a night on the town. Here's Hans experiencing a 'boot' from Essen Haus. It was definetly an experience. You can only imagine what the men's bathrooms were like considering that most folks were drinking out of two liter containers.
We polished off a couple boots and listened to polka.
Hans showed off his Van Halen tatoo (he says it's not a Van Halen tatoo, but don't believe him). Thomas proudly displayed this lovely homage to his favorite tennis shoe manufacturer.
My camera is waterproof, so I wanted to see if it was beer proof (It is). So this is actually what it is like to look through beer goggles. This can only be done in a glass the size of a boot, you see. We also used the camera to record some inebriated banter that I can't post on this blog as it's not quite family-friendly. But let's just say that if you ever want to be embarrassed, record you and your friends after drinking from footwear. Wow - it was quite the night. Thankfully, Jackie doesn't drink much beer and she got everybody home safe and sound.
The next morning, Brian took me a on a lovely ride to Paoli. I was not quite recovered and not my converstational self, but it was a nice ride nonetheless. Brian's rocking and rolling with Death's Door Distillery. He's all about using local wheat to make these beverages which 1st began with Capital Brewery (our Madison beer sponsor) Island Wheat Beer. He's a great guy and he's all about bikes, booze, keeping it local. We like those things - a lot. He also won the Madison race last year (the epic one in 50 degree rain) - but this year he came out to cheer everybody on - and let his little boy Otto enjoy the big wheels. Brian is one of those people that we meet in our line of work that makes it all so much fun.
Then is was business as usual. You know, like hauling 4 very large rubber ducks across town. I wanted to roll down the windows and blast some Sword of Doom - just b/c so many people were looking at us all strange...I figured that some metal might just be the icing on the cake. But I didn't want to embarass Hans. Always looking out for 'Hansy'.

The Madison race went great. You can see the photos in the previous posts.
We had a day to recover, so Jackie and I enjoyed the East Side of Milwuakee. We saw these crazy upright-bike-paddleboat-float-things - and took a couple out for a spin. Pretty silly, but at least you can pedal them.
In the airport, we spent some time in the "Recombobulation Area". Seriously? Somebody paid to have that sign made? 1st off, how many people have ever heard that word. I hadn't... I just figured it was the opposite of 'discombobulation'. I suppose I felt a little discombobulated after the airport security charade. And it was really reassuring to know there was place for people like myself to recombobulate. From now on, if I don't see one of these signs after the security screening, I'm going to run around waving my arms in the air shouting "Please help me! Where do I recombobulate?!" I'm pretty sure no TSA personel will know what the hell I'm talking about - unless I'm in the Milwuakee airport. Then they can just point to the sign.
Now on to the lesson that my bike taught me yesterday. This photo is of the "Link Trail" which links Boulder Canyon to Betasso Preserve (Boulder's closest MTB trail). It's a very steep, loose climb, and I've never made it up completely before. But yesterday I told myself it would be different. My friend Ben told me the other day that he made it and so did his friend Jim. You can just hear the peer pressure, right? So I told myself that I was going to make it. At 1st attempt, my rear wheel spun out about 1/2 way up. I turned around and headed back down. I hit it with a bit more speed, keep looking ahead about 15 feet, and.....had to touch once when my wheel spun again. But then I finished it off. Doing way better than ever before. Next time, I KNOW that I will make it up. So what's the lesson? Once you see/hear/read about something being done, then you know it can be done. Just that knowledge made it a lot easier for me to climb this hill. But what's really cool is to be a 'trail blazer' and do something for the 1st time. And that's what I took away from it all. I'm going to work hard to do something new and different each day. Maybe it's a new sustainability idea, or a new way to get more people on bikes more often, or just maybe a new physical feat to be proud of. Just something new - to keep things moving forward.
And when you do make it up the climb, this is the type of trail that rewards you. Buffed out, swoopy, and a great place to reflect on this crazy life. to the Farmer's Market. Jackie wants to get a bushel of peaches for making preserves. We're taking the BOB trailer. Then we're taking the pups for a nice long hike. It's Labor Day weekend!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Good times, bad times

I'm happy to say I had one of those awesome rides today. It was a MTB ride and I found myself wishing the trail never ended. I felt great, the bike was riding was just one of those rides.
Here's what it looked like...
In not so great news (well maybe kinda great news)...there's this guy:
He was caught with 2,865 stolen bikes in Toronto. If I had my druthers, that would be means for 'the chair'. Hopefully all those 1000's of riders will find their long lost bikes. I had a bike stolen from my once. It was a chrome Mongoose bmx bike. It was a terrible experience that changed my life as a 10 year old. Maybe I should head to Toronto to see if this dude ended up with it. But...he was caught, so I guess the story is good news after all.

In other good news, it looks like our next President is one of us. One of these days I hope to meet Mr. Obama and talk to him about getting more people on bikes more often. Let's cross our fingers.
And in news of the cool, yet weird...the SSWC was last weekend. For those of you who don't know, it's the MTB single speed world championships. It changes locations each year and this year's was in Napa. It's a race I'd certainly like to attend as it's always filled with beer, fun-loving-mountain bikers, and lots of costumes. The thing I don't really understand is why when people can choose just about any costume, they commonly default to cross dressing. It's curious, huh?
Check out this dude.

And lots of other photos on this forum
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about expressing alter-egos. I'm just kinda surprised so many alter-egos are those of transtesticles. To each their own, I suppose.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Scenes from Madison

We just got some of the 1st photos back from Madison. They're awesome!

You can view the complete set and buy some prints for yourself HERE

All photos courtesy of Vibrance Photography

Good times. Good times.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

some things to enjoy

I found myself watching Spike Jonze videos today. If you don't know about Spike - you need to.

I first heard of Spike when I was into freestyle BMX when I was 12. My Dad took me to Wizard Publications in Torrance to check out the magazine offices. I met Spike and Mark 'Lew' Lewman...but I mainly drooled over the bikes they had on the racks to test out. Little did I know that I was in the presence of the dude that come up with this creativity....

Lots of skate videos like
And this

His Jackass appearance
His Most famous movie

Some cool music videos
Like this (he's the lead dancer)
and this
and this (MTV video of the year)

And some sweet commercials
like this
and this

But this is my all-time favorite. I once requested this on an Austin video show and they played it. It made my day.

And I just found out about this:
Spike's adaptation of the book Where the Wild Things Are. My Mom used to read this to me all the time as a kid. I'll be there opening night - no doubt.

Back in the mountains

Images Courtesy of the Isthmus

We made it back to Colorado after a great swing through Madison. Thanks to all the racers that showed up and took part in the Trek Urban Assault Ride. I'll never forget the dudes with the kilts doing burpees to win some Swobo shorts (Team PornStache).

Check out RESULTS.

The photos will soon be available here.

Here are some articles, videos, etc to check out:

The Isthmus story

Channel 3 News (did anybody see the TV clip)?

Madison's CW news story

Word's getting out in Chicago

Ok - it's time to ride my bike. It's such a tease to put on all these crazy events in all these awesome cities, watching everybody ride and drink, and limbo and such. One of these days, I'll get to ride in a UAR!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Madison rocked!

A couple days ago, we got a call asking if the Urban Assault was some sort of "Death Race" on bikes. I think they thought it was an event where hellions take to the streets, collecting points for beating up the elderly, kicking small children, and taking out their urban angst with a u-lock. I guess the names leads some folks astray. Little do they know we just had a race with huge rubber duckies and mini-bikes.

And then my friend sent me the following video. They say there are no coincidences. So check out the video. We'll have photos and results from Madtown posted shortly.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wow... we've been buzzed.

Check out the latest video
Packet pick up today in Madtown. TREK URBAN ASSAULT RIDE in Madison 2MoRo!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Madtown and random topics

We're in the lovely state of Wisconsin spending some time with la familia before the UAR. Jackie's from Menomonee Falls, so she's pretty much a local. We've been to bike shops, coffee shops, breweries and I have to say that Wisconsin is a very cool place for this lifestyle.

Last time we were here, it was in the middle of a blizzard, so it's good to see the weather behaving itself. And it looks like this weekend's going to be another beautiful couple days.

We've got about 50 Trek employees coming out to race in the UAR this weekend. They'll have just finished rocking out TrekWorld, the big dealer show, so we anticipate they'll be ready to get their ride and drink on. We'll make sure we have plenty of beer! Hopefully somebody will have a few too many and put a couple of these bad boys in our trailer.

I have to say that we're pretty darn lucky to travel to all these cool cities when the weather is good. Poor Austin is setting records with like 50 days over 100. Sheesh. I don't know how I used to do it. Good ol global warming. Pretty soon we're all going to just burn up. For real.

On our last newsletter, we asked folks to send us their ideas for new UAR cities. We've had some interesting ideas: Lihue Kauaii (love to make it, but how would we get our gear there?), Joplin MO (Ummm. no), Flagstaff AZ (YES - we're coming next year!), and of course lots of requests to come back to SoCal (build some bike lanes and were there) and Dallas (LA with a cowboy hat). Keep the ideas coming - and tell us why.

We're soon going to visit our friends at Capital Brewery. We met this brewery from our friend Brian, who's now working on 'stronger' drinks. Brian tells me he's got a bottle of whiskey to check out. I'm down. Last year he hooked us up with some Vodka. And I like that it's all locally made. Does that make it officially moonshine?

Ok...that's all for now. We're about to go kayak for a bit. This is the land of the lakes and they're calling us.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Yeah...but how do you attach a couple bikes to it?

I just read about this is Outside...
It's a portable plane that floats and only requires 20 hours of training to fly. It runs on unleaded and can go 350 miles at 10,000ft. It's $135K - which is a lot, but it's a helluva lot cooler than a motor home for the same price, you know? I was seriously looking at it thinking about how to attach bikes. Prolly can't happen. So maybe one of these would fit inside.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Keeping the theme going...

Here's another nice use of BMX in a video. This time choreographed...with Donnie Darko-esque masks. Spooky and awesome.

It's a rainy day today and a good excuse to do some things that I normally don't do. I bought a couple books to read: Brave New Word by Huxley and BIg Sur by Kerouac. The Olympics are on in the background and the dogs are all sleeping. There's a Cannondale roadbike frame in the garage I'm thinking about making in to a singlespeed for the winter. Maybe I'll take on that project today.

I still can't believe Phelp's .01 margin of victory in the 100m Butterfly. They better REALLY trust their timing technology. That's THE smallest margin of victory possible. Somebody up there is really pulling for this double-jointed-knee, long ass torso dude. Pretty damn impressive one way or another. Swimming is hard. I like bikes instead.

Friday, August 15, 2008

a couple of BMX videos...

First...the video for the Cool Kid's Black Mag song. You know the song, "...Dyno with the black mags..."
They rhyme 'skin with no melanin' and the give a PK Ripper some video play. Very nice.

Next...a little instructional video in case you wanted to know how to do a Bunnyhop Whip. "Bunny hop as high as you can an kick the bike around." Piece of cake, right?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Good times

So Kurtie Kropp and I were in Crested Butte at our campsite after a nice long MTB Ride. We were putting back some Bulleit and enjoying the views when the mosquitoes woke up. I reached for the bug spray that Jackie got me. It's odd smelling and primarily Cat Nip oil. Before I put it on, I was checking out the label and saw this little note...
I called the company (somehow, we had a signal at the campsite) and asked if it was for real. She said that the zoos wouldn't let them test in on the big cats. I had a pretty big laugh and said that we were officially her test pilots (we'd try it the next day when we were on our bikes and had more of a fighting chance). Luckily, I'm happy to report that no Cougars got frisky with us. Ha!!

We got back home and it was time for Jackie's Bday. We had a little party with Ultimate Frisbee, NBB beers, Jackie's home made whiskey sours, and this cake I made. I know that it looks like a 7 year old did it, but it tasted good!
The next day, Jackie took her birthday present for a spin...
and Kurt was pulling some sweet wheelies on the HumuHumuNukuNukuApuA'a
and...have you all noticed that the nights are getting shorter and cooler. Here's the sunset coming back from a ride around 8pm....
Fall is almost here.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jackie's Bday

We stopped by the County Fair and had our annual taste of the tilt-a-whirl and cotton candy.....

Today's her party. Yay!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mountain Biking

Sorry for the lack of posts.

I've been busy doing a little riding. This is REAL mountain biking. Here are a few photos from Crested Butte.
Last season's HUGE snowfall means lots of wild flowers in the spring. Some were over head.
This is a dream of mine....throw down a TeePee in a beautiful part of the mountains for the season. See that little TeePee?
Miles and miles and miles of smooth, flowing single track. You have to work for it, but there's so much hooting and hollering on the way down that the animals must think we're talking some special 'mountain biker language'.

It was a great 3 days on the bike.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

14,255 ft

I finally climbed the mountain that I see everyday when I look out my front door. Longs Peak is in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a very exciting, yet tiring experience. Almost 11 hours of hiking. Check it out...
The alarm went off at 2:30 am. That's right. You have to get an early start on the ride so that you get down before the afternoon storms come in. We hit the trail at 4:30 am - and still got completely soaked in the rain for 1:30 of the decent.
All in all, we had great weather. The trail was beautiful.
We inadvertently took a longer route to the summit and added a couple hours of scrambling. It was fun, but we felt it on the way down.
Jeff and I celebrated with a can of Fat Tire at the summit. Then I took a nap. The top of Long's Peak was as big as a football field.
A view from the top. WAY off in the distance is my house. 14,255 ft with 360 degree views. This is the tallest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Here's the bottom of the boulder field looking up at the keyhole. This point is about 1/2 way.
And here's a Columbine flower in the rain on the way back down. It's the Colorado state flower.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


We took a quick trip out to Cali to wish my little bro 'bon voyage' as he heads off to college for the 1st time. A big time in a man's life...we're very proud of young Alex. Here are some of the adventures...

We tested out the camera to see if it is indeed waterproof. It is.

We devoted a healthy amount of time learning to play wii. I think tennis is the best game by far. Still don't know how to do a fast serve every time. Here's my Dad winning a game against the younger generation - a big accomplishment. We were getting worked up and sweaty. It's certainly cool to break a sweat playing a video game - and my shoulder is still sore from 'boxing'. Crazy...sore from a video game.

Alex was rocking his new Swobo Dixon. It's an urban MTB with a 9sd internal hub. Pretty sweet!
We found the "Solar Sew'er" in Venice - he was making some really cool stitch patches (perfect for messenger bags) using solar and bike power. We picked up a couple of bike patches. He's found a very nice way to pay the bills.
Here's some local Venetian marks. Alex took this one. He's a killer photographer.
We had to hit the waves in Manhattan Beach. Not too much ocean up in the mountains. It was great.

We had to use a rope swing to get across a stream.
... and Jackie does it with grace and ease.
Here's an example of the excesses of Cali - an $87MM home being built. It's the only house in Manhattan Beach on 3 lots. Just think - you could buy forty three $2MM houses for the same price. Or 9,666,667 six packs of Fat Tire. Or 12,428 top of the line Trek Madones. Or 43,500,000 Clif Cool Tags. That's a lot of money to spend on a property that's going to get swallowed up by the ocean. KEEP IT SIMPLE, YO!