This blog emanates from the brain of Todd Brown... it is what it is.

Chris Carmichael: What I Learned

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When I planned this years SoCal Cycling Summit I was truly excited to have America’s best known cycling coach on board: Chris Carmichael.

As the event neared, and more and more negative press came out regarding Lance, I was a little worried.  Some sponsors didn’t want to be involved because of the association between Chris and Lance.  Some people said the same thing.

Fortunately, this has never been about sponsors it’s been about us and our desirie to bring the best and brightest to our town to kick off our season and further connect this community we all love.

So, while I respect and get those decisions, I pressed on because I wanted to hear from the man that legitimized professional cycling coaching and has been a true pioneer, the guy who has a thriving business in an industry known to run on financial fumes, the guy who’s coaches have helped people I know personally to reach peak potential.

Here’s what I learned:

First I learned that Chris is a very humble, soft spoken, thoughtful human being.

He’s very, very smart.

All our interactions were professional, with a uncommon kindness and gratitude.

He has tremendous vision, and consequently a good feel for what works.

Chris’ story telling skills are great, and this is where he really lit up his presentation.
The stories from inside the pro peloton  were hilarious.  I reveled in his accounts of the early 7-11 days, the days that inspired me to try the road myself while living in Utah so far away from my surfing life.

During the evening, as I drifted between those accounts woven into real-life cycling advice and my own pressures to pull off a good event I learned Chris is a good guy to have involved, and a good guy to keep an eye on.  Genuine inspiration and hope shined on the faces of my friends as they allowed the pressures of life to move to the back and the dreams of a moment or two of personal cycling triumphs to be front and center.  It’s good.

Of course, I also learned a ton of stuff about the Time Crunched Cyclist… but you can read the book for that.

Three cheers to all who attended, helped, sponsored, and supported.

Now, go ride your bike!

Why every town needs and often has a TMWC

Because it’s fun to ride with and meet new people.

Because faster people make me better.

Because the same course shows improvement.

Because the same time makes it dependable.

Because fast folks need a way to give back and help new folks.

Because together we achieve more.

Because if I know you will be there, I’ll get outta bed.

Because you give me real feedback.

Because that doughnut is easier to drop if I know the consequence is being dropped.

Because it’s a diverse group that enriches my life.

Because I like people. Because we can engage for good.

Because we can support each other professionally.

Because I get back early and can get my work done.

Because my lover gets it that I need a hobby and an outlet.

Because we support each other in sickness and health.

Because old kids like beating old guys they thought were fast.

Because old guys like seeing new, young blood.

Because runners are people too (and their running days are numbered).

Because it’s good to teach others how to ride in a group and the tactics to stay on – should they ever want to race.

Because it’s just once a week.

This Is Pedal Industries

           

    

We’ve been hauling for the last 12 months.  It’s been a blast.

First was GTB – Off The Bike Branding – more here.

Next was bringing more lifestyle to cycling with Damion.

Then we had Joe Friel come  to Oakley which lead to BiciFire.

And now we are focused on unveiling Dusty Shins.

With all this going on, I felt it necessary to create a mother ship.  There is no way I could do all this alone, so a name representative of what we are doing was kicked around. Hence, we have christened the ship Pedal Industries.

How The Boogie Man Can Make You Faster, Better, Stronger

There’s a new dude on our ride.

He’s a goof.

Sits on, and sits on, and then punches my ticket when it counts.

He’s the Boogie Man as far as I’m concerned, a real you know what. AND, his riding style is just off the range of acceptable so as to add a few extra beats a minute – probably wasting what little adrenaline I might have as well.

This is just the kind of person one would like to ride away from – easily.  Ho-hum, off with you.

But, my boogie man is getting faster.  He’s hanging on longer, and I do fear he’s going to pass me up.

Propelled by the twin motivations of beating the Boogie Man when it suits me and the even more awesome terror of being whipped, I am focused.  The troops are being rallied: better food, sleep, training.

Hopefully the Boogie Man gets really, really fast.  That will make it a great season for sure.

I’ll thank him someday, might even get to know him.

Cat D – Let Them Dope and Race

Fighting doping is a loser. Let’s roll with it.

Keep testing, and those that get caught just move on to a new category called Category D.

No bans, no suspensions, no returning after time served. Keep racing boys and girls. Are you pro? Cat 2? Masters super star?  We have a league and level playing field for you.

Cat D will grow the sport.

Body building gave up a long, long time ago. They have doped and natural competitions. It’s a bigger market place.  Conversely, NFL, NBA, WWE all turn a blind eye. But they aren’t lifelong sports like body building and cycling.  Cat D will extend blown careers, maybe indefinitely.

Cat D will bring in new sponsor dollars.

New sponsorship dollars will flow in for Cat D products. No more shadow doctors, now the DR. Fuentes of the world can advertise. No more mystery drugs, the makers of Clenbuterol can have the coveted butt panel on racing bibs.

Cat D will give hope.

As Cat D heroes race for decades and extend their careers beyond rediculous, drug makers will have new heroes to give real hope to the aging and decrepit.

I woke up from a bad dream once that I had cancer.  At the end, I was stoked because Lance had shown that restored, even improved, performance was a reality.

Cat D will save money.

No more testing and re-busting previous dopers. We can concentrate resources on keeping the natural racers honest.

Send the Cat D racers off first on the race course. Doped to the gills, they can blast down the road at moto speed and clear the path for natural racers to follow. Okay, that’s a stretch but we can get faster motos with their own doping product sponsors.

Cat D will create genuine interest again.

Cycling is a lifelong sport, and most of us aren’t willing to risk our health, so our “natural” interest will ideally be on the natural Pro’s competition.

The natural results will be more attainable and something a youngster could actually hope to achieve and therefore see a future for themselves in the sport.

Cat D fans, like WWF fans, will exist and thrive and not be mocked as fools. Their heroes – Lance and Tyler and Roberto and Eddie and… will race on, and be cheered on.

Think I’m nuts?  Think about it, really think about it.

Cat D: Dope on, Do what you want, Don’t stop racing.

SoCal Cycling Summit

In 2012, I had the idea to bring the top thinkers, innovators and products to our friends in Southern California.

Jan 2013 we had our first event with Joe Friel at Oakley.  Joe’s knowledge and presentation top notch – mind expanding.   275 people attended.  It was awesome.  We gave away thousands and thousands of dollars in product.

For 2014, Chris Carmichael will be joining us at Oakley.  It will sell out for sure.  The sponsors are back, plus some BIG surprises.

Click here for details.

A Special Place

There is a special place in my heart for bike shop owners.

For most, it’s a hardy road/path they ride; full of risk, danger, adventure and friendship.

Pushed by a personal love for their own bike experience, they set off to share their truth of what makes life great and worthy. For some it’s to do it better, for others to do it different, and for all to just do it.

To own a bike shop, and live the dream.

The love and passion ebbs and flows.

Competition is tough, much tougher than any three week tour or off road century. Everyday they compete with other specialty shops, big box stores, the internet, etc.

In my travels, I get to meet with them personally. Sometimes, at the end of the day I feel like I’m greeting them at the top of a brutal climb. Other times, early in the morning, they have a sense of warming up and readying themselves for a challenging day in the saddle.

Call me sentimental, but I really do pray for their survival. I hope for their success.

May they have the courage to make it to the next smiling child getting a first bike, the next adult sharing how their health has improved.

If you share this sentiment, stop by your local shop and give that man or woman a hug. Send an anonymous thank you note. Buy a gift card to the local restaurant for them and their family to enjoy.

Trust me, they need a little love. Today.

 

Fall!

Fall could be my favorite time of the year to ride, at least it is right now.

The weather this week has been wonderful, and getting out today to ride Canyon Velo with the usual suspects was perfect.

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How we raised over $1000 for local high school MTB scene on a free bike ride

Why did Robert (Robot) and Craig personally cut checks of $323 each for the local high school mtb teams?  Why did David and Patrick kick in $100 each?

About 12 years ago, 4 of us started riding on Tuesday mornings… we jokingly called it the TMWC (Tuesday Morning World Championships).

Fast forward to July 2013, the ride had grown to the point that we jokingly put on a TMWC Invitational Fundraiser.

We created kits.

kits

We created T-shirts.

We blasted on FB and Strava.

50 people showed up! (we used to be thrilled with 8, and we average about 20)

The event was free.  If someone bought a tshirt or jersey or donated on top, that went in the kitty.

In all, we cleared $1,100 for the kids.  Personally, I was stoked… and so were the MTB teams.

But then Robot got the bug and shouted out on email he was matching it.  Craig followed, then Patrick then David.

Cool beans.

I’m already looking forward to next year.