Monday, November 30, 2009

Insider Tip for Riding with a Single Speeder

Most of you geared riders have gone through this, I'm sure. You showed up to a group ride a few years back and there was some joker there with a single speed. You sort of rolled your eyes and were maybe even somewhat annoyed that you'd have to wait for this guy. And then he completely smoked you. Ever since, you've been wondering what could possibly be done do slow these single speeders down to a pace you could keep up with.

Well last week during a ride with a SS'er, I inadvertently stumbled across an N-step process for bringing single speeders down to the level of a mere mortal. When used properly on most SS'ers, the process works like Kryptonite.

1) Only ride with a single speeder if there are trails nearby that are at least 20% grade. Preferably closer to 30%.

2) Right at the beginning of the ride, start talking about how there are some nearby trails that you've really been wanting to try (the trails that exceed 20% grade).

3) Mention that the trails are a bit steep, so you don't know if it's a good idea for a single speeder to ride them.

4) (VERY IMPORTANT STEP, which is why I'm putting this in caps, bold, underline and in red font, which is by far the best way to denote importance) Tell at least one of those single speeder jokes that just never get old, like "well, if it gets too steep you can always shift into an easier gear... oh wait, ha ha ha ha." Single speeders LOVE these jokes. Seriously, they can't get enough of them.

***Note: steps 3 and 4 are like SS'er bait, and it works better on SS'ers than rainbow-colored powerbait at a fish farm. Upon hearing these types of jokes, a SS simply cannot resist the opportunity to prove his/her ability to ride anything you can on gears.

5) Take them on the steep trails first thing. There is no point in making their kneecaps explode at the end of the ride. While riding these trails, shift into your granny gear and try to keep a straight face.

6) Once the SS'ers are good and tired, then ride the other trails you had planned on riding from the beginning. If you've implemented the process with the requisite level of proficiency, the SS'ers will be so tired that you may actually keep them in sight during the remainder of the ride.

This process is subject to two caveats:

1) This process can never be used against he who discovered and disclosed the process when he is riding his single speed (i.e., me).

2) The process fails if the single speeder you're riding with is named Kenny. He'll bury you regardless of which trails you take.

You're welcome.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Didn't Take Long

I figured someone would turn a sub-40 on the Dry Loop TT. I didn't think it would happen till next year though. While I was finishing my 4th (or was it 5th?) piece of pie (let's see, 1 slice lemon meringue, 2 of apple, 1 berry, 1 pumpkin... yeah, it was 5) someone else was setting a record time in Dry Canyon. Check it.

Brandon and I were the only participants in the "Frozen Turkey" ride this morning. We did an out and back on the Great Western Trail toward Little Baldy before descending Dry. Great Western is a great trail that merits further research during a future lunch meeting. During the descent down Dry, we had an audience or 3 or 4 Thanksgiving hikers while we both smoked the pipe. I'm guessing that 99% of the population would look at that portion of trail and conclude that it would be impossible to ride it on a bike. Hopefully Brandon and I gave them a good story to tell over Thanksgiving dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

MLS Cup Final

I've always been a bit of a soccer fan. I played growing up, but haven't touched a soccer ball much since high school. Nowadays, spectating will have to do, at least until this whole bike riding phase wears off.

During the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea, the U.S. actually had a decent run and a few of my college friends and I were desperate to watch some of the key matches. Of course, none of us could actually afford cable, but I happened to live in a place where cable was included in the rent. This was back when I couldn't even afford a VCR, so the only option was to watch it live. This meant getting a knock at my door every few nights for a couple of weeks at 2 or 3am. I'd pull myself out of bed to let my friends in, and we'd spend the rest of the night yelling, screaming, jumping, and doing everything else in our power to keep my wife and the rest of my unfortunate neighbors awake. Those were good times. For us. Maybe not so much for my neighbors.

So when RSL came to town 5 seasons ago, we decided to go in on season tickets with some friends of ours. Last week when RSL surprised everyone (well, everyone within the small percentage of the population who follow the MLS, anyway) by beating Chicago to reach the MLS cup finals, I figured I may as well check out the ticket prices. The best tickets available were only $25. I figured this could be a rare opportunity so I bought a couple. The next morning, I told my wife that we should start looking for babysitters, because we were taking a road trip to Seattle for the MLS finals. She was all in.

The road trip with just the two of us reminded me of the good old days. It had been a while, and it was long overdue. There's something about a long trip in the car with your significant other to a destination that really doesn't seem to merit the drive that just hits the spot every once in a while (and no, I'm not talking about the road trip to Fruita with Brandon). This is especially true when the destination ends up far exceeding expectations like Seattle did on this trip. The game itself ended up being the most exciting and memorable sporting event I've ever attended.

I was especially impressed with the turnout from the RSL fans. Being that the L.A. Galaxy market is at least 10 times the SLC market, not to mention the Beckham factor, I figured we'd see at least 10 times more Galaxy fans than RSL fans. It was just the opposite though. Between the RSL fans who made the trip and the local Seattle fans who overwhelmingly adopted the underdog RSL team, the crowd was crazy for RSL which created a raucous atmosphere that added to the experience. The tension in the second have and extra time was palpable, as RSL had numerous chances to win the game but failed to convert, and the tension carried over to the shootout to the point that I thought the stadium was going to spontaneously combust.

Here is a quick video compilation to give you a feel for what it was like to be at the MLS cup final. The camera work really sucks at the end. No seriously, it sucks really really bad. But I wasn't too interested in filming at the time - I was more intereated in the thrill of victory and agony of defeat that was going on around me, which often included getting jumped on, hugged, and high fived by the people around us. So sorry for the camera work, but it should give you an idea of the atmosphere in the stadium.

For better footage, here are the highlights, including the shootout:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Alternative Uses for CarboRocket

As I eluded to in my previous post, a couple weeks ago during a lunch meeting (we were conducting research on Frank at the time), a few of the local marketing geniuses (i.e., me and my friends) held a spontaneous brainstorming session to come up with some ideas for CarboRocket's winter advertising campaign . Unfortunately, most of Kenny's ideas were NSFW. However, we did come up with some pretty good ideas that Brad should consider incorporating.

Basically, the ad campaign goes something like this: We all know that CarboRocket works miracles. However, CarboRocket will always be limited in its growth potential if it is only tapping the hydration market. What many people may not realize is that CR's uses can go way beyond hydration. The winter ad campaign focuses on these often ignored uses. For instance:

1) Miracle cure: Dan (the Intern) has miraculously cured a Mark-sized gash to his arm, simply by pouring CR in the wound. A day after the wound was inflicted, there was no sign of the injury.
2) Lube: For bikes, of course. And tools that don't quite fit and/or get stuck while in use. Kenny had some additional ideas here that may need to be further vetted offline.

3) Shammy Cream: Apply in powder form. Add sweat and it creates the perfect consistency. Trust me.

4) Chain Cleaner/Degreaser: There has been some talk that peeing on your chain is also a good substitute. This is absolutely true, as long as you are drinking the proper amount of CarboRocket, in which case there should be no distinguishable difference between your pee and CR.

5) Baby Formula: You think you're going to make fast kids by feeding them milk!? Pffft...

6) Flu Vaccine: I've heard people complaining about swine flue vaccine shortages. I'm not sure what the problem is, because last I checked, Racer's still had plenty of CR.

Brad - feel free to incorporate any of these ideas into your winter advertising campaign. We accept all forms of payment, including CarboRocket.

And to all, please feel free to add the N'th use for CarboRocket in the comments.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Time Trial in Town

So I realize that November 17th isn't exactly the best time to be introducing yet another TT. But I'm being optomistic that that current good riding conditions in the Timp Foothill Trails will continue.

Last week Mr. Maddox and I were in a bit of a hurry, so we decided to ride the Dry Canyon Loop without stopping like we normally do to rave about the trail, talk about tired legs, and think up alternative uses for CarboRocket. When we finished, we noted our times, and started talking about what how the current Time Trial blogs in existence currently all lack a key element: a real mountain biking course.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against a trail that's almost as smooth as a sidewalk that you sprint up in 7-12 minutes. It's a good indicator of top-end fitness, or in my case, a good indicator of my lack thereof. But how often will you race a 10 minute dirt hillclimb? When have you ever ridden up without looking forward to the down?

So being the marketing geniuses that we are, we decided to fill this "gap" in the time trial market, and the Dry Loop Time Trial was born. It's certainly different than anything that's currently out there, at least locally. It even gives you options for which route to take. For instance, the new lower belt trail:

Photo credits to Adam

After our initial attempt, I got an email from Maddox (co-founder). He tells me that on his way home from the ride, he asks himself "do we really want to encourage riders to go all out on that descent? I decided, hell yes!"

So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth. Hopefully within the next couple of days, the entire loop will be in good shape and will give you a few more chances to log your times. If not, well... you now have something to train for over the winter. So check it out, ride hard, and send me your times. Nobody has done this all-out yet, so you have a good chance of being the top rung on the ladder if you act soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fall Moab, Fiscal Year 2010... in Fruita

As is par for the course with me, my Fall Moab report is coming a bit late. And because it's late, you've probably already read 3 or 4 other Fall Moab reports, and/or seen a couple of really great videos like Fatty's and Kris'.

So all I'll say is that every once in a great while, it's worth waking up at 3:30am and driving 8 hours (round trip) within a 19 hour period, just so that you can ride your bike for a while. But only if your destination is Fruita. Or maybe Moab.

The few pictures I took turned out pretty lame, but I do have some documentation that is even more valuable than pictures. If a picture says a thousand words, then the the GPS tracks from rides like these must say ten thousand. Or maybe even a million. So when you visit Fruita, especially if it's your first visit, follow these routes and you won't be disappointed, because they give you a great single-day view of what Fruita is all about. Click on each of these pictures and then push the "play" button for additional details on the elevation profile, the route, etc.

Horsethief (if you click into this track, you'll notice that after the ride, I hopped on the freeway, road 75 miles per hour to Fruita, went through the McDonald's drivethrough, and then to the campground, all on my 32x20 singlespeed):

Lunch Loops - this is now on my new top 5. Maybe even higher. You have to like technical stuff to enjoy the small loop in the middle called "Holy Cross." By the time we hit it, some folks were getting tired of tech-stuff, so I'd recommend hitting it first, and then doing the more mellow (but still technical and super fun) outer-loop:

Kessell - Fast, fun, easy. Perfect way to end the day:

Thursday, November 5, 2009


What conclusion would you arrive to if a few people you work exhibited the following characteristics:

1) They disappear every day at lunch to go to secret "meetings."

2) They also are always hungry, particularly after said lunch meetings. You could probably say that they have the "munchies."

3) When they return from their lunch meetings, they have red eyes and big silly grins on their faces.

4) You'll occasionally hear them mention something about "smoking the pipe" during lunch.

5) If 2-3 days go by and they have been unable to sneak away for their "meetings", they get all jittery, high-strung, and irritable.

Yeah, Maddox and I were talking after one of our recent lunch "meetings" (actually, I think we were IM'ing - the modern day equivalent of talking. Or at least it is until Google Wave takes over and IM'ing becomes the cassette tapes of communicating), and he made the observation that if we're not careful, rumors are going to start circulating around the office.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This post may have been a bit better timed a few days ago, but I kept forgetting to grab my not-so-universal-serial-bus cable for my camera. By the way, what is up with every company coming out with their own proprietary "USB" connections. Doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose? From now on, I'm only buying Canon cameras (even though they only last about a year before they go Kaput) and Blackberry phones (even if I won't be as cool as people with iPhones), just so that I can use one USB cable for both.


Rick's Helloween ride was awesome. I don't have much to add to what has already been said, except that i can't believe how fast Kyle, Kenny, Rick, Brandon, etc. took off up the dirt road while I felt like someone started a fire in my lungs.

Oh, and Rick hooked me up with this Salt Cycling jersey and a bag of CarboRocket after the race, likely because I was blasting some kick-A tunes during the ride:

I somewhat reluctantly gave the bag of CR to another deserving participant (one can never have too much CarboRocket), but there was no way I was parting with the jersey. I think my favorite two jerseys currently come out of Rick's Salt Cycling collection. So if you haven't picked one up yet, go grab one. Thanks for the hookup, Rick!

I also did some good documenting along the way:
Fish, you're going to love this one of Dan/Kenny:
Best costume, IMO, goes to Rob:
Brokeback Mountain Biking:
Ryan road the entire ride with this costume:
Rick Madoff with yo money:
The Helloween Mastermind:

The two stooges:
And I was rockin' out. Next time I'll bring extra batteries for the ghetto blaster:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Offsite Conference

While Rick was collaborating with some of the up-and-coming companies in the valley during a lunch meeting in Corner Canyon, I called together some of the most high-powered movers and shakers within our company for an offsite presentation held at the Dry Canyon Conference Room. Maddox, Jon and I did some field research that included Betty, Crank, Area 51 and Dry.

We'll need to do some benchmarking with the Draper group sometime soon, because at the end of the day, I'm confident that if we synergize by combining forces, and if we can think outside the box, we'll see some great results.
I just love corporate speak.