Todd's Blog


Great Design… nothing better

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(Full disclosure, this kit is for my local training ride).

Great designers can take your concept, your sketch, your wet noodle of lameness… and make it:

Vibrant.  Exciting. Must have.

Great design sells because the value is so obvious.


Custom Board Shorts

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Yep, we can do fully sublimated custom boardshorts… what could be cooler than kickin’ it after Ironman boardshorts that match your race gear?


The Handshake Deal

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The handshake deal is only as good as your next trip to the can – that hand going to get washed or soiled real soon.

Get it in writing. Detail it out. Sign it. Now go exceed your partner’s expectations.


Work vs vacation?

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“Work is better than vacation—and it is important to have a purpose to wake up each day.”

– Shimon Peres, 87 years old at the time

Let me just add “My” to the front of that quote.


Go ahead…

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When the vendor/customer relationship is solid and the trust is earned business becomes much faster, and much more fun.

 


Joe Yule

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My friend Joe Yule is doing some really cool stuff for cycling.

Along with designing for the Garmin Pro Tour team, he’s making really sweet kits for famous rides around LA – The Belgian Waffle Ride, The Donut Ride, The New Pier Ride.

I couldn’t help but enlist him to do something for our local ride, the Tuesday Morning World Championships.

Can’t wait to see the group a decked out in TMWC blue kits.

Kits can be ordered from now through 3/21/13 at http://www.dnacycling.biz/tmwc/

Ride On! (in style)


INCREDIBLY Fast at 50

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Johnny O owns the Harding TT overall course record per Strava.

Tim Z, bested everybody, ALL Cat 1s, at the first US Cup.

Doug Andrews doesn’t even race age group, he races Pro.

Mark H, is clicking off road KOMs and crushing all ages.

Aging up in racing rarely means, never?, better personal race results.

The fastest guys in my world are old, leathery, experienced, and determined to be the best… not just their best, THE best.

Its a shocking list of triumphs by old guys. (Please add away its far from complete.)  Many of them are still fully sponsored, lavished as young pros.

This only serves to inspire the rest of us as to what’s possible, and even enrage a few of us to further dedication.

The why’s, how’s, and what’s… Is it a generational thing?


Levers and Tools

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“Got everything?”

Shouting this at a broken down rider when traveling at 25+ mph cusps on useless.

Out of ear shot, no wordy response will be heard. Trust me on this.

Having a bag under the saddle which is short of proper equipment leaves rider stranded, or nearly so.

There I was, friends rushing past, trying desperately to pry off my tire sans levers. Eventually, the task was completed.

Without the proper tools, a task can take forever. Simple and quick turns to painful, complicated, frustrating and slow.

Pride sucks.

When help is needed, be clear and concise.

Yell, “Help!”


Smell The Roses

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Smell the roses,

Feel the sun,

Hear the wind,

See the fun,

Drink the moment,

Savor the spin,

Nibble on life,

Let loose within.

 


Spring Classics

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The Spring Classics are here.

Men becoming monsters on bikes, racing the Hell of the North, and more.

Frankenstein will be my reading preparation, finally letting this classic loose on my mind.

A few pages in I find this: “for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye”.

Let the monsters free, the winter fades and with it the lonely miles of preparation, prodding, and poking.

The Classics overwhelm mere mortals.


Master Lee

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“You can do it.”

Master Lee teaches Tae Kwon Do. He teaches children, and some adults, that they can in deed break a board with their bare hands, feet and heads.

“You can do it” comes from his gut, deep inside the man.  It is bellowed with power and confidence.

“You can do it” moves along the scale from encouragement to perceived anger.

He is Master Lee.

Quivering little tikes earn great confidence. He teaches with patience, allowing his wealth of experience to wash over and prepare the uninitiated to do the unthinkable.

Master Lee’s approach lives in contrast to the cheap entertainment of throwing a newby into the fire of a gnarly downhill or group ride.

The few that survive go on to a lifetime of riding, the rest…


Is STRAVA perfection?

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Two riders ride headed out for a ride.

At a designated spot, one stopped and the other rode ahead.

Why?

The rider behind waited for the one ahead to clear the trail, then the rider behind gave it his all to KOM the segment.

They checked times, swapped duties, and repeated until they had either PRd or KOMd.

STRAVA has so many of us striving (that’s the root Norwegian word).

Its all about feedback and measurement and seeing what is possible then going for perfection in the form of a PR… Even a KOM.

Which is better a PR or a KOM? Neither?


Vision & Speed

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I’m getting slower.

My 20-10 vision is gone.

No longer do I see the rocks and lay of the land far in advance. So I focus even more on what’s directly in front of me.  Rocks become boulders, grooves-canyons, bumps-ski jumps Slow, slow, slow.

Good vision equals riding much faster AND much safer.  On the trail, in business, in our families… Lose your vision and you go slower and crash more, there is little to no flow.

So fix it, admit it, and get some glasses – physical glasses or a mentor or something inspirational.

Get back to flow.

 


Just what is your intention?

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Downhill mountain biking, crit racing and surfing are spiritually connected.

Act like you can make it and you will.

Single-track on the side of the cliff.

Shooting the gap in a sprint finish.

Making a huge drop.

Hesitate… And you die.

 


Broken bones, what are friends for?

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My daughter’s friends tracked us down at 9pm Saturday night. We were just starting dinner, she had just finished a poorly executed trampoline-powered back flip.

“We don’t want to alert you, but Shelby might have a broken arm.”

It’s a brave call to make, especially when I know if it wasn’t broken she would be making that call herself.

Susie, Trevor and I rescued our red-eyed little girl and sister from Big Air. At Mission Hospital, we confirmed the humorous was cracked all the way through. The staff was awesome.

Friends can push us beyond our limits. That can be good and bad, and it takes a while to know which one.

Having a trampoline in the back yard for 15 years didn’t prepare her for going beyond her limits. She’s a gifted dancer, and no doubt with thorough instruction she will go back and master the back flip.

Eastwood said it best, “a man has got to know his limitations.”

Sunday those same friends visited in droves, expressing sympathy and sharing cakes and candy and hugs.

Real friends challenge us, and help us pick up the broken pieces.


Begging to differ, Amazon great rep?

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Amazon has the top corporate reputation. Yep

… Among consumers.

I know a few businesses who feel and think otherwise. These folks cover the bar codes on products in their stores because their customers try product, then buy at amazon.

What is the D-factor for all parties in this equation? Amazon for winning on price war? Manufacturer for jumping in bed with Amazon to their own dealers detriment? Customers who save a few bones only to find one day their shop is gone?

Who really wins long term and short term?

Does it matter? (to you?)

Where is Amazon vulnerable?

Tribe creation.

Custom products.

Warranty issues.

Service after the sale.

The rules keep changing, but the game remains the same.  Hit ’em where it hurts.


10 speed thinking

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My first real bike was a Schwinn Sting Ray.

On a Saturday ride to the jumps in La Habra, a rumor spread about the two-speed Kick Back.

What?! Two speeds on a bike, and no shifters. Mythical.

When I “got mine”, the thrill of kicking it back and nearly doubling my speed was like spiked cool aid and James Bond. We couldn’t get enough, and we went about it as sly as possible so the other cats we rode with couldn’t figure out how we smoked ’em.

Schwinn, was a big dreamer and drove our industry far beyond where we could see… Beyond where anybody was looking, or so it seems now.

Where is the big thinking now?

Most of my thinking is done on my bike, riding alone and pondering how to apply other people’s ideas to cycling.  For example, Google’s 10x.

The jump from 7-speed, to 8 to 9 to 10 to 11 is incremental.  It got us from the Kick Back to 2×10 and 1×11.  It’s good, but it took 40 years.

I think we can and should go bigger and faster.

(Addendum:  I had somebody point out to me today that Stan’s has brilliantly revolutionized the way we think about wheels in a very short time.)


It’s better to beat me than to beat you

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Lots of solo dirt miles have left me peaceful, skilled, and totally lacking snap.

The road, specifically the group ride, has always been the method of choice for bringing back snap, power, and will. Getting left behind hurts, and the fear of it allows me to suffer like I never would by myself.

On the Canyon Velo ride I was pushed to my limit and finally dropped. Low in spirit I pedaled in squares to home, got on the MTB and reviewed my death in slo-mo.

When it all uploaded and processed on Strava a warming of my heart occurred.

12 PRs!

Y’all may have killed me on the ride, but me killing the old Todd was the best.


Are you using your hub?

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With the growth of cycling among people that wear big boy pants to work, what are you doing to use your expanding hub?

Golf gets a pass when the boys head out for 5 hours of 18.  In between the swings, there is chatter and banter that often leads to ka-ching!

Jim Bishop video tapes the TMWC, he also gets my real estate transactions.  David Frank met Craig Runnals on a ride and now Craig gets David’s real estate appraisals.  David and Jim met through cycling, and now David gets a crack at offering financing to Jim’s home buyers/sellers.

“Brace yourself my love, I just have to go do this ride.  I’ve never done it, and who knows what path it might take us down?”

 


I Just Wanna Weeeeeen

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Humiliated, crushed and tossed aside Nacho Libre declares “I just wanna weeeeen!

Me too.

 

 

 

Mounting a ridiculous moto on a quixotic quest for greatness in the wrestling ring and true love, Nacho leaves the sanctuary of the monastery. Self-imposed, self-driven, lonely and pitiful.

The drive.

Like Nacho, we cyclists eventually realize “sometimes when you are a man you wear stretchy pants.”

The proper tools.

Looking back on a minor win, Nacho bursts “remember when I ripped my blouse and attacked?”.  Sidekick and partner Esteven checks back “and then he knocked you out”.

The honest celebrations.

Wistfully singing about his true love, Incarnacion, Nacho realizes he has reincarnated himself and is ready to weeeeeen.

The revelation that we are ready.