Musings

Posts about marketing, life, and baked goods. All the important things.

My Summer Reading List So Far

 PC:  Forbes

PC: Forbes

I don't have kids, friends, or much going on aside from work and riding bikes, so that gives me lots of time to read. What does that mean for you? I can give you some super baller book recommendations so you can be 100% sure your book-reading adventures are worth the time and effort. Luckily for you, over the last few weeks, I've read some real doozies. Here are my favorites. 

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyou

I couldn't put this one down. Carreyou details the rise and fall of the fraudulent blood-sample company, Theranos, led by the now-infamous Elizabeth Holmes. A tail of greed, lies, and obsession with Steve Jobs (and black turtlenecks), Bad Blood is really the story of how easily it can be to stomp on your moral compass when people are willing to give you tens of millions of dollars. I can't recommend this book enough. Pick it up at your local bookstore or on Amazon.

Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by Michael Isikoff and David Corn

Before you make assumptions based on the title, this isn't a book just about collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia. Isikoff and Corn also intricately detail what can only be described as the complete incompetence of the Democrats as they dealt with Clinton's server questions, repeated cyber attacks by Russian and other state actors, as well as with John Podesta's emails being hacked. Between Trump's campaign routinely bragging about being in touch with Kremlin operatives and Paul Manafort's blatant corruption, it's hard to tell which party was trying harder to look completely incapable of running a race for Student Senate, let alone running a country. If your confidence in democracy and morality of our political leaders needs any additional kicks to the abdomen, this book is for you. Buy it at your local bookstore. Or, if you must, get it on your Kindle from Amazon.

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday

I'm usually not one for these types of books, by I really dig reading Ryan Holiday's stuff on Medium, so I gave this one a shot. It's really short and only $6 on Kindle, and it's worth the time and investment. The book makes the point that traditional marketing is dead and that new, ingenious methods are by far more practical for small businesses and startups. He's not wrong. The face of marketing has changed radically in the last five years and is completely unrecognizable to best practices and efforts of a decade ago. The book isn't going to tell you how to be the next big thing, but at $6, you're a fool to think he's going to give you a customized plan. But it does get you thinking about unconventional ways to sell more widgets and whatnot, so he's done his job if you ask me. 

War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence by Ronan Farrow

Another page-turner, Ronan Farrow is on a mother effin' roll right now. He's the guy who brought down Harvey Weinstein with his supremely ballsy reporting, and his first book is an absolute gem. In the book, Farrow demonstrates key moments in American history when empowered diplomats had the resources and range to end armed conflicts or prevent them from happening in the first place. His time spent with Richard Holbrooke shapes his perspective, with Holbrooke being portrayed as the last diplomat of a breed largely extinct - much to the detriment of the U.S. and to the benefit of the military-industrial complex. If Foreign Relations is your bag, this one is certainly worth picking up at your bookstore of choice, local library, or on Kindle.

A couple of other mentions, Unbelievable by Katy Tur and Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie. 

Any recommendations? Send them my way via Electronic Mail

Wes does sales for VP Demand Creation Services. Follow him on Instagram or connect with him on LinkedIn

 

 

A Fascinating and Humbling Realization: Maybe I'm the Asshole

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It's 3:30 pm on a Friday and I'm irate. Seething, I reread the email from my coworker again, thinking I must be missing something. How could this individual not have accomplished this task? He's had the whole week. And if he wasn't going to get it done, why is he waiting until 3:30 pm on a Friday to tell me it isn't going to happen? A slew of words are running through my head; the vast majority of which are unrepeatable and aren't longer than four letters. I send what can only be described a shitty reply and continue to stew on this grievance for the rest of the workday.

Later, I tell my wife about the "epic dingleberry" who didn't get their work done, setting my sales efforts back for the next week. She, with her own stresses and problems, feigns disgust as best she can, but I can tell she'd rather talk about anything else. With no one to commiserate with, I pick up my yoga rug and head to a Restorative class. Basically, Restorative yoga is all about relaxing and chilling out, which is what I really want to do so I can forget about Neanderthal Ned's eff-up. 

I'm laying down, lights are out, and we're listing to stereotypical yoga music; chanting, singing in tongues, the whole nine yards. Blood still boiling, the yoga teacher says, completely nonchalantly, "Accept that you don't know everything. In fact, you know next to nothing."

Bullshit, I think. I have a college degree and I read The New Yorker

She continues, "Consider your neighbor. You think you know everything about them, but do you know how their family is doing? Do you know if they're healthy? Have they suffered a loss?"

I follow them on Instagram. They seem ok, I think, after considering and then quickly dismissing her point.

"You may have the perception of happiness, health, and prosperity. But have you asked them how they've been lately? Have you practiced empathy?"

At this point, my feud (a very one-sided feud, existing entirely in my head) immediately comes back into my thoughts. Shit, I think. I don't know why he didn't get that done. He could have been sick, or his wife was sick, or his dog died. I have no idea why it didn't get done, more importantly, I hadn't even bothered to ask why or if there was something I could have done to help. Then, I thought, if there was something like a sickness or a death, this individual didn't feel comfortable enough to tell me - what could that say about me and how I treat others? 

"Before you can forgive others, you need to forgive yourself." 

"Stop being a dick," I command myself, while still Zenned out on my yoga mat. That's the best forgiveness I could give myself, as ashamed of myself as I was. 

I left class with a new daily intention. I'm not going to be an asshole anymore. I'm going to practice empathy. I'm going to hold back judgment; after all, I don't know what people are going through. I have no idea what's going on at home. Before reacting with excessive amounts of hostility, I'm going tell myself to chill out, back off, and offer solutions rather simply add to the problem. Maybe if we all asked ourselves, "Am I being an asshole right now?" the world would be a better place. 

Wes does sales and marketing for VP Demand Creation Services. Sign up for a newsletter that goes out sometimes for more posts like this. He's also on Instagram and Twitter. He's writing this right now in the third-person. What an asshole thing to do, right?

 

I've Gotten a Bit Faster at Bike Riding. Here's Why.

 This is an actual professional headshot.

This is an actual professional headshot.

Now, I'm far from fast when it comes to bike racing. I get beat by the winners in the Pro/Elite fields by tens of minutes at bike races. I'm only sort of competitive in the Expert field, for Pete's sake. But, this spring, I've done a slightly better in races than in years past, and a few people have asked me how I've picked up the pace since last year when I was usually dropped before we left the parking lot on some rides. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure it's any one specific thing. But here are few things I've changed over the winter that, I think, are helping me out. Maybe you can use them too. 

I Ride My Bike More

This winter, I rode 5-6 days a week at Yen Yoga & Fitness. I also took strength classes for most of the winter, focusing on my core and doing tons of #SQUATS. In short, my offseason was way more intense than it has been the past few seasons. During the spring, or, "spring" as I think we can call it this year, I got outside as much as possible to get some base miles in. I'd guess I'm 400 or so miles of quality training ahead of where I was last year. Obviously, I'm really lucky. I teach at Yen, I don't have kids, or friends, or much else going on, so I have plenty of time to devote towards riding my bike nowhere in the winter. Even when I travel for work, I can usually plan my training to coincide with a rest day or two. So, in reality, I have no excuse for not getting the miles in, other than laziness. Luckily, I'm marginally less lazy as in the past. Pretty sure that's what Team Sky means when they flaunt "marginal gains" all the time. 

The Yoga, Man. It Helps.

Yin yoga is my latest thing. Yin is basically just laying on the floor stretching for an hour or so, except you get 3,000 Karma points and smell like Essential Oils when you leave the yoga studio. Basically, If I take a Yin class at Yen once per week, I feel less tired and fatigued and can train about two extra hours each week. The extra training adds up, and I strongly feel Yin is one of the reasons I've been able to train more the last five months or so. Oh, and the no kids/friends/social responsibilities helps with fitting in Yin classes as well. 

Dropped Ten Pounds

We did Chubby Buddies again this winter and I dropped 10lbs. as a result. In reality, I had one really good month where it all came off, then I sort of plateaued. Still, hauling around an extra 10lbs over the course of a bike race really adds up. Now that I'm a bit lighter, I feel stronger on the hills, faster on the descents, and it's also nice to not have my gut jiggle (as much) when I hit bumps on the road or on the trails. Cycling, especially road racing, is essentially a math equation; the more you weigh going uphill, the more power you need to put out to keep up with lighter riders. To go faster, you can either add a bunch of power or lose weight. I can't tell you which one is easier because both require a ton of dedication and persistence. But working on both is a good idea if you want to go quicker on your bicycle. 

I've Been Riding with Faster People

The only sure-fire way to get faster is to get your head kicked-in on a weekly basis. Last year, I rode by myself a ton. You just can't mimic high-intensity race efforts while riding by yourself; you simply can't push yourself to go that hard on your own. Even when training indoors, I get a way better workout by riding in a class with other people than I do riding alone in my basement. Luckily for me, I live a mile from Cody and we have similar work schedules, so we get to ride together a lot. He can climb, roll the flats, and descend faster than me on the road and in the woods, meaning every ride with him is a real workout. I also got to ride with the 3T-Q+M team in Georgia this spring, and that was quite an experience. Sean Kickbush, Al McWilliams, Danny Soltan, Jay Ellis, Seth Kleinglass - oh, and Cody; it was a real eye-opener to see how hard they're capable of pushing themselves, even with the start of the season several months and a few feet of snow away. You learn a lot just by riding with them, even if you (well, I) only managed to stick with them for half of their rides most days. 

It ain't exactly rocket science, is it? Ride your bike more. Weigh less. Look after yourself so you can ride your bike more. Since most of you have kids/friends/social lives, having the time to dedicate to riding is tough. But as I learned from the 3T-Q+M guys, you have to make the most of the time you have to ride and not waste an opportunity to get fitter by half-assing it. 

Hopefully this helps. Happy trails and I hope to see y'all in the woods soon! More writing is up on kolotc.co. Check it out. 

Wes is a sales dude at VP Associations and 4x Stanley Cup winner with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram for more bike stuff and other topics, like Roman history and stuff.

 

 

Let's Do Some Bike Racing

 Dan, Wes, Ty.

Dan, Wes, Ty.

You'd be forgiven for letting the spring bike racing season in Michigan sneak up on you. I know I have. Winter has hung around longer than a dingleberry on a golden retriever's bum, and I think we're all ready to see some sunshine and warm temps. We've all been telling ourselves "one more week and we're golden" for six weeks now, so our self-delusion can't hang on much longer. 

This weather has made training for Lowell, Barry-Roubaix, Yankee Springs, and Rust Shaker extremely difficult for a lot of folks. Luckily, my second job is teaching indoor cycling at Yen Yoga & Fitness, so I'm pretty damn spoiled. I'm getting 6-8 hours in per week, which is pretty darn good for indoor riding. I'm lucky to have some excellent (and very entertaining) instructors at Yen who can keep it challenging and fun, even as we embark on our fourth consecutive month of riding nowhere inside. To the guys and gals riding in their basements on trainers, I give you major propers - I don't think I could force myself to go down there and ride alone. You're way stronger than me. 

As for the fitness itself, I have no idea how fast I'll be this spring since we haven't been able to get in any real group rides. I do know that I can brush my teeth now with minimal jiggle of my man tits, so I guess you could say I'm in the form of my life. 

My first race will be Rust Shaker, as I'll miss Barry-Roubaix this year. Bummed, but we're spoiled with so many great races all year long that I really have to choose my spots so I don't go broke. Rust Shaker will be interesting, as it's a real crapshoot to see who will show up. With no one able to get in the woods much, plus Yankee Springs TT the same day, it's a bit of a toss-up to see who will be at the race. I'm currently the only dude in the Pro/Elite category, so if you want to win, get yourself signed up - I'm sure you'll put a whooping on me. 

I'm really excited to race bikes this year. After half-assing it the last two or three years, I'm having a lot of fun trying to get fit, eat better, and see how it turns out. I even cut out drinking (except for at Jaden Drews' birthday party) so you know I'm getting serious. Not sure if I'll ever be as fast as guys like Cody, Kickbush, and other high-flyers, but I'm enjoying the effort of trying to improve, and that seems like half the battle. 

One quick note on Barry-Roubaix; please take a lot of pictures. It's so cool to see the entire town swarming with bikes and Spandex enthusiasts. Maybe I'll get talked into putting that race on the credit card this week; it's such a cool event and I hope everyone has fun and enjoys it. 

Cross your fingers for spring, everyone. See you out on the trails soon. 

Wes Sovis is the starting shortstop for the San Franciso Giants and two-time Emmy nominee. Follow him on Instagram or Strava

Where Does Social Media Marketing Go From Here?

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It's been a rough year and a half for Facebook. There was that whole election fiasco. And then the botched reaction to that fiasco, which included denials of any wrongdoing by both Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandburg, before finally admitting what every other news outlet had already reported. And then, seemingly for good measure, they went ahead and hit the headlines again as details of the Cambridge Analytica scandal emerged. While it's become obvious to most that trusting social media companies with our personal data is more of a voluntary risk than an act of good faith, it leaves social media marketing professionals asking some really important questions about our responsibilities in marketing on Facebook.

These Are Ad Networks, Not Social Media Networks

The main concept that consumers and marketers need to accept and wrangle with is that social media platforms exist to sell advertising. A social media platform's value proposition to brands has nothing to do with the ability to connect users around the world; its proposition is that it can connect brands to users around the world. In a business model that gives away its services for free, it's the consumers who are the products for brands. Most users, I think, know this and accept this reality. But now that we know that Facebook will do business with just about any sketchy entity out there, and that Facebook users (our consumers) face negative effects to their health from using the site, how much longer can marketers utilize this platform, and others like it, in good conscience? Are these problems ours to worry about? 

As a Brand, How Do You Do Social Media Right? 

If Facebook and other social media outlets won't impose safeguards on companies, then reputable brands need to hold themselves to a higher standard. Sure, there are important insights to be gained from utilizing metrics to reach your ideal consumers. I certainly wouldn't argue against using these insights for paid ads to ensure your boosted posts hits your audience. But the best brands will do what they do best; create incredible content that will win over consumers with quality, rather than through manipulation of personal data. If your company produces valuble, quality content, then you'll be playing on another level from your competitors, and you'll be doing it ethically.

So, do you want to continue to utilize Facebook and other social media platforms to reach your audience? I think you should. But go into it keeping in mind that social media marketing is an opportunity for your brand to produce and share quality content in an ethical way. This approach will prove to be an important differentiator for your company on social media, which will prove far more valuable the scraping data from unsuspecting, innocent users. Take the high road in regards to social media marketing - it'll pay off in the long run. 

Wes is a Business Development Manager and Marketing Enthusiast at VP Demand Creation Services. He also likes craft beer and going to bed at 9pm. Follow VP on Insta and Twitter if you find value in our marketing-related posts. 

Stuff I Learned on My Drive Through the South

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A few observations from our 15 hour drive from Traverse City to Helen, Georgia. The journey was actuated by a Chrysler Minivan, and from my incredibly comfortable, heated, leather seat, I took in much of what the South has to offer. In short, the South offers a lot.

Waffle Houses. Holy shit. These people down here love Waffle House. Straight up. Every exit between Ohio and North Carolina had a sign for a Waffle House. Having never eaten at Waffle House, I can only assume it’s an establishment serving a range of incredibly healthy, organic foods providing a sense of connection and holistic nourishment for consumers.

Dollar General. Every town between Ohio and Georgia has at least one Dollar General. One can only assume the South is populated by people with a strong sense of thrift and value. Or, it’s possible these venues also double as community gathering places or civil government offices, such is their prevalence.

Southern Accents. I’m a happily married man. But I’m a sucker for a gal with a southern drawl. If Whitney, a redheaded barista at Starbucks in Kentucky, and I had met at a different time under different circumstances, who knows, you know?

Be on Your Game. There are some roads down here that are, in short, terrifying. There are no guardrails to stop you from plunging down forested cliffs into streams and rivers that would, without question, render rescue an effort in futility. I’m not great with heights, so I made a concerted effort to keep my eyes firmly on my toes as we traversed these death-defying byways.

It’s Gorgeous. Pretty much the whole drive south of Cincinnati is awesome. The topography is diverse, the hamlets dotting the route are rustic as shit, and there are things like farms, red barns, and houses up in the “holler” that make you feel like you’re in as much another time as another state.

More on our trip to Helen, Georgia after we get pedaling. Be sure to follow kolo tc on Instagram for more photos and the kolo tc blog for all of the cycling related content/shit/stuff.

Wes is on Instagram.

Podcasts to Listen to While Driving or Working or Whatever

 This is from a  Schlitz Beer  ad. 

This is from a Schlitz Beer ad. 

I drive for work. A lot. Roughly 6-10 hours per work week are spent behind the wheel of a car, driving at a rate of speed that would suggest I either have a woman about to give birth in the car or that I need to use the restroom rather urgently. The drives can be mind-numbingly boring, which makes long days in the car all the more exhausting. But the experienced traveling salesman knows there are no such things as long roads trips, just poor driving entertainment. Here are the podcasts that I've been listening to while traveling the last few months that have made even the longest of drives fly by. May they make your long drive to your spring break destinations be that much better, productive, and maybe even help you learn a thing or two. 

Hidden Brain with Shankar Vendantam is a podcast my wife and I first gave a shot while driving to the U.P. this past summer. It's consistently the most fascinating podcast out there, with a wide array of topics, guests, and insights that keep it fresh listen after listen. Topics can be super heavy, as was the case of a recent episode documenting decades of sexual harassment by contemporary American Playwright Israel Horowitz.  But episodes can also be light and even hilarious, as with the episode on modern slang. Check it out for yourself.

It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders is my go-to when I need some positivity and good vibes. You probably remember Sam as being the best part of the NPR Politics Podcast before, during, and after the 2016 Presidential election. It's Been a Minute put's Sam's positive attitude and easy-going attitude on full display, while still providing political interviews, culture news, and some awesome guests from various news outlets. Try Sam on for size here.

Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill is sort of the opposite of It's Been a Minute. It's pretty much always heavy with the latest political news and certainly pulls no punches when it comes to facing even the most complicated topics of the day head-on. If you're worried about political bias, and you should be, Intercepted is unique in that it really goes after every political party with equal parts criticism and sarcasm. The host, Jeremy Scahill, is one of the best interviewers in the game, and he's an expert at getting, well, experts on the various topics he's covering, rather than just political talking heads that make the rounds on the various cable outlets. Intercepted probably isn't for everyone, but it's certainly worth giving a try

I also love Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and I'll also sprinkle in The Art of Manliness from time to time. If you have any podcasts that I should add to my rotation, be sure to let me know.

Wes works for VP-Demand Creation Services and rides bikes for kolo tc. You should follow him on Instagram. Or don't. 

On Mindless Consumption

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Scrolling. Mindless scrolling. That's what I'm doing. I'm waiting at Belle Tire to get a tire replacement. I'm in my work inbox and I'm scrolling. What am I looking for? Nothing, really. I'm waiting for a new email to magically appear. Not a specific email, mind you. Anything will do. The dopamine rush that accompanies the blue dot and vibration of a new email happens whether it's a crucial email or spam addressed to someone names Nathalie. So I wait. Then go to Instagram. Then Gmail. Back to Outlook. Clicking for a digital high. 

I look up from my phone. Everyone else is staring down intently at their Apple, Samsung, or whatever mobile hardware they sport. The old lady next to me is reading a blog on how to get her dog to stop pissing in the house. I can tell because her TEXT IS HUGE, yet she's still got the phone two inches from her face. One guy is on Instagram. Someone else is on Facebook. But everyone, to a man, in the waiting room is on their phones. It's endemic. It's an issue. 

According to Nielson, the average American spends over 11 hours a day looking at a screen. Computer, smartphone, TV; almost half of our day is spent looking at a digital device. And smartphones are becoming an increasing contributor this, with the average consumer spending five hours a day on their phone. I'm the epitome of this mindless consumption. I work in spreadsheets, have meetings on Skype, check Instagram habitually. When the day is done, I close my laptop, only to get it back out again to binge on Netflix.

I'm of the modern era that can't defecate without checking a social media platform. We even piss with one hand and check football scores in the other. I can't tell you how many times I've been to restaurants and witnessed entire dates spent with both parties on their phones, the conversation consisting of grunts and head nods. In an age where we're as connected with the world around us as ever, we can't maintain eye contact, let alone carry a conversation, with the person across the table from us. I'm not advocating a mass exodus from social media, television, or from the World Wide Web. These mediums have the ability and opportunity to provide incredible value for consumers, business, relationships, and more. But we need to seriously examine how we use these tools. Meaningless, low-value content and mindless consumption is taking away time from our days and making us miserable.

Let's close our laptops, put our phones out of reach and live a little. Right after you finish this blog post, of course. 

 

Come Ride Bikes With Me!

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January 1st. As your hangover subsides, you formulate your resolutions for 2018. If you have no objections, I'll venture a guess at what those may be: 1. Never drink again. (Ha!) 2. Lose weight. 3. Work less and play more. 4. Read Homer's The Iliad all the way through. 

Admirable goals, one and all. One of those resolutions is in my wheelhouse in which I mean to help you hold yourself accountable. Come ride bikes at Yen Yoga Fitness with me. Whether you take my classes or we ride together in other people's classes, let's work together to get fitter, healthier, and look better in our skinny jeans, taking it one class at a time. 

You can view the Yen Yoga class schedule (not just cycling classes) at Yen here. Your first class is $5, and you then get an unlimited month for just $40. One thing that's really cool is that with one membership, you get access to every single type of class out there - from cycling to HIIT classes, Yin yoga (stretching) to core strengthening classes and hot yoga. Any type of fitness you're looking for is available at one location. 

I teach Wednesday and Friday nights at 5:30, but I also take 4-5 cycling classes a week, plus 2-3 strength classes a week. If you want to try a class or two with me, just send me an email. I'd be happy to show you around the studio. There are so many great people there who go out of their way to make new people feel welcome. I hope to see you around in 2018!

Wes is a cycling instructor at Yen Yoga, as well as the lead singer in a Third Eye Blind tribute band. He also writes for kolo t.c. sometimes. You can follow Wes on Strava and Instagram

 

Chubby Buddies 2.0

 Photo credit: Atomic Toasters

Photo credit: Atomic Toasters

I roll out of bed and am immediately reminded of my deeds from that last few days. It's December 26th. That last three days have been a Hedonist's wet dream. Beer, hard cider, brownies, gingerbread cookies, cake, third and fourth helpings of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In summary, I fell off the healthy eating wagon into a pile of doughnuts.

After dropping 15 pounds last summer, I find myself living with a layer of blubber a sea lion would scoff at. I've been active, taking cycling classes, running, taking HIIT classes and whatnot. But if you're eating 4,000 calories a day, you can work out all you want and still gain a third or fourth chin. 

It's time. Chubby Buddies 2.0 is starting up. Weigh-ins are Mondays. If you don't want the world to know your name or your weight, just make those up and subtract the actual weight you lose from that number. Since I'm a bit selfish, we're going to run this through April 1 so I'm in shape before bike racing season. We'll have 3 months to get fit, feel better, and really cut a nice figure in our skinny jeans.

Sign Up Here

Wes is a sales guy for VP-DCS. He's also an extremely average amateur cyclist and the Euchre Player of the Year in 2017. Follow him on Instagram and Strava

New Season, New Challenges

 This is a picture I stole from the Internet. Sorry, Internet. 

This is a picture I stole from the Internet. Sorry, Internet. 

After Iceman, I usually feel down in the dumps. The bike racing season is over, and then if you needed a further kick in the teeth, it's super cold and it gets dark at 5pm. Yaaay. When you live in a frozen hellscape like Michigan, it's sort of a big deal to have something to look forward to during 6 months of darkness and cold. My XC skiing friends are stoked, but I can't really afford another hobby that involves carbon anything, so it's a bit of a scramble to find something to look forward to, keep myself active, and burn off my cookie-a-day addiction. 

This year, I'm going to focus on being a joggist. Runner? Whatever they're called. People who run around in the snow and the cold and the dark - for fun. This past summer, I really got into running, and I'm excited to get back to it. There are a lot of benefits to waddling (my version of running) and it's a great change-up to cycling. Here's why I like running. Jogging. Waddling. Whatever it is I do in my Nikes.

1. It Doesn't Take Up Much Time

In peak cycling season, I need 90 minutes to get tired out, even if I'm really putting down the watts. Not so with running. Even when I'm in really good running shape, I can do a 45-minute run and be absolutely wiped out. I burn almost the same amount of calories running in half the time of cycling, so it's a good ROI (business jargon!) especially when the days are short. 

2. It's Cheap

A pair of $60 shoes will last you 6 months. And that's it. No tune-ups, no flat tires, no carbon upgrades. If you really want to get competitive - and you should - most races are like $35 and go to charity. There's something really cool (and humbling) about trying something new, getting your butt kicked, and learning that these joggists (waddlers - is that what we're going with?) are extremely dedicated to what they do. As much or more so, one will realize, as us cyclists are about riding our bikes. Props, you runnists. 

To keep you motivated (you can substitute "motivated" with "accountable" if you wish) you should sign up for a race. I recommend the Farmland 5K. It's a 5K run, and you can also do a 12-mile bike ride to boost your ego after getting whooped in the run by the 5th-grade girls track team from every elementary school in town. 

3. It's Easy to Get Fast When You're So Slow to Start With

My first run this winter was 3.5 miles and I ran an average of 8:20 miles. When I was an obese 3rd grader, I think I could have beaten that pace. But what I love about running is that I'm so terrible when I start the season, I can quickly go from a complete laughing stock to almost decent in just a few weeks. In cycling, I have to wait for months to shave 30 seconds off my SOL time - the conditions have to be right, I have to weigh the right amount and get in the right group to make it happen, too. With running, I'll take a full minute off my average mile time and it'll take like 2 weeks to get there - I'm basically Forest Gump in less than a month! 

If you live in TC and want to run, jog, or waddle with me, just send me an email. It might be slow. It might be ugly. But it's better than sitting on the couch. 

And just remember. It's only a few months until it's bike time again. 

Wes Sovis is an Emmy Award nominee and 3-time National League Rookie of the year. Follow him on Insta or Strava. Don't add him on Facebook. You won't like what happens if you try. 

A Massive Iceman Hangover

 Some Pro dudes. Flying. Living. Learning.

Some Pro dudes. Flying. Living. Learning.

After months of anticipation, Iceman 2017 has quickly come and gone. The Super Bowl of the cycling season has a tendency to go by in a flash, leaving participants waking up on Sunday morning wondering what to look forward to next. Thanksgiving? Meh. Christmas? No thanks - too many in-laws. So, the countdown to Barry-Roubaix begins with only a few hundred days to go.

*Sigh*

So with ample time on our hands, it's worth thinking about what a special day in the woods this Iceman was. Riders and fans alike largely avoided the deluge that was forecasted for the entire week prior to the race. The worst of the weather came in the form of big, fluffy snowflakes coming down as the early morning waves took flight towards TC. If you use the term "fluffy" to describe weather for Iceman, you got off pretty damn easy, if you ask me. 

From my position at the back of Wave 2, I saw a few hundred people in front of me and a few hundred more behind as we shivered and waited on the start line. To get some idea of the massive scale at which this race is run, just think that every three minutes, for almost four hours, over 100 people per wave took off from Kalkaska. You don't see 4,500 riders all summer, let alone all in one place at one time. It's really something special to be part of. 

As you may have heard, my own race got off to a rough start on Friday night. While messing around, getting #SICK air, I may have got a landing wrong. May have crashed. And it certainly was hilarious to watch. Obviously, going into Iceman with bruised or broken ribs isn't ideal preparation. I had texted Cody Friday night saying I wasn't racing - the pain was way too much to lay on my back, let alone race a bike. In true brotherly fashion, Cody encouraged me ("Don't be a wuss. You'd better race tomorrow") to at least start the race to see how it went. 

I lined up at the back of Wave 2, not wanting to get in anyone's way in case the pain was too much. But once I got going and my blood started moving, not to mention all the adrenaline in my veins, I actually didn't feel terrible. Sure, it hurt to breathe, and each bump was like getting kicked in the side, but I actually could block out the pain once we were underway. I also had a really relaxed start due to being towards the back of the wave, which meant I didn't go into the red the entire first half of the race. That really helped me cross Williamsburg road feeling stronger than in any previous editions of the race. Somehow, I came home 3rd in my age group and 137th overall. I didn't stay for my moment of glory on the podium because the finishing times were goofed up and I thought I was in 8th, plus I ran out of adrenaline and the pain in my ribs was becoming unbearable. Anyway, the check and medal are in the mail, so as soon as that $90 check hits, I'll give my boss my notice and turn Pro for real. (Seriously. Thanks for the money, Iceman!)

 Me and my #BOI Tim Botrell

Me and my #BOI Tim Botrell

The best part of the race is seeing people kick butt, or even seeing them at all. It was really cool to see Andrew Shafer out there, who hasn't been able to ride much the last few months because life is super busy with kids and work. Quinn Raftery has worked his tail off at Brockmiller, lost 30lbs, and rocked his first Iceman in under 3 hours. Two of my Yen Cycling All-Stars also had killer rides - Amy Coneset was 10th in her age group and Neil Vajda was 12th among the almost 40-year-olds. Also, so cool to see "Little" Timmy Coffey rock the Pro race and Keegan "Goat Boy" Korienek take the Juniors race. Those kids, as well as the over 60 Norte Youth Cycling kids who raced on Saturday, are what it's all about. Let's make sure those kids and more are still doing this "bike riding" thing for the next 29 Icemans, okay?

Until Farmland 5K, I'll probably see you on the trainers. I might try going for a run. I hear that's so hot right now. Thanks for making Iceman 2017 such a blast, all. Let's do it again next year.

Wes is a middling cyclist with a sales hobby that takes up 40+ hours a week and pays his bills. Most of them. He's sponsored by Breakaway Cafe & Coffee Bar, located on the #EASTSIDE of TC. Follow him on Insta or whatever. 

 

 

 

 

How to Iceman - A Few Tips for Your Best Race

 Todd Vigland Get Clicks, Y'all

Todd Vigland Get Clicks, Y'all

Iceman 2017

Iceman is a big effin' deal. On Saturday, over 4,000 people will line up in Kalkaska, including former Olympians, national champions, and tons people who have less than 4% body fat. But, if we're honest, the number of elite riders is dwarfed by the vast majority of the field. Most of the racers will be like you and me; weekend warriors with full-time jobs and a commitment to show up to work on Monday no matter how well or how poorly we do. With these people in mind, here are a few tips for the weekend warriors who will be taking on their first Iceman. 

This is What You Have, For Better or Worse

There's no such thing as cramming before a bike race. You're as fit as you're going to be for the race; doing an Out and Back on Wednesday isn't going to prepare you for Saturday. Unfortunately, (or fortunately?) your fitness ain't going to change the week of the race. Keep your legs moving, taper a bit, and don't try to get 3-month's training between now and Saturday. You're better off getting in a few efforts in your legs, resting, and eating healthy. It is what it is, as the Laziest Philosopher Ever once said. 

Not the Time to Experiment

The day before the race is not an ideal time to try anything new. Seriously. Don't try to go tubeless, don't adjust your seat height, don't fuss over getting new shoes. You'd be shocked at just how badly you can mess up your back, your knees, or your race by making last-minute equipment changes. In the words of Don Marsh, just run what you brung and make the most of it.

The same goes for food and beverage before and during the race. If you don't normally eat five plates of chicken alfredo the day before a race or big ride, the day before Iceman isn't the day to see how it goes. Nor is it the time to see how your stomach reacts to a new energy gel, bar, or drink. Iceman is a tough enough race as it is; you don't need to make it all the more challenging by riding with your cheeks clenched for 29 miles as you find out that your body really doesn't like Gu. Eat and drink what you always do before and during rides; go with what's worked in the past. 

You'll Catch More Flies with Honey

First off, what a dumb expression, right? Who wants to catch flies? Anyway, I'm talking about how to interact with your fellow competitors. If you want an easier time passing, you're far more likely to get some cooperation by giving someone encouragement and asking politely than simply yelling "MOVE YOUR ASS!" to the person ahead of you in the conga-line. And be smart about when you ask. If you had three miles of two-track to make your move around someone and you ask the second you get into singletrack, sorry, but you messed up. 

If someone wants to get by you, play the game. It's a long race. Let them by. Sit on their wheel. They're more likely to let you pass later in the race if you obliged them earlier. In bike racing, karma is very real. Be nice, be positive, and it'll be on your side. 

It's a Head Game, Man

You can do a million pre-rides. You can study every Strava segment. You can watch onboard videos from last year's race. But when it really comes down to it, a lot of your race is going to come down to how you feel on race day. If you've been riding, eating right, and you've taken care of your bike, you're going to be fine. Just relax. The secret to a fast Iceman is as much in your head as it is in your legs. Be positive, even if your start is less than ideal. It's a 30-mile bike race, so don't get down if you crash, get dropped, or if you're hung up behind traffic. Fitness and a good attitude always shines through in the end. 

It's a celebration of bikes, active lifestyles, and grown adults wearing Spandex in the woods. Don't make it anything more than that. Enjoy it, have some fun, and we'll see you at the finish.  

Wes Sovis is best known for his work as Cody's brother. You can follow him on Instagram. But we don't recommend it. 

 

The #YOUTHS Shine at Peak to Peak 2017

kid kicking ass.JPG

The Best Part of the Day

The highlight of my race came at the base of the ascent of the Crystal climb at the end of the first lap of 2017 Peak to Peak Mountain Bike Challenge. After a dropped chain 3 miles in forced me to chase back to the front group, and then a split in the lead group saw me on the front again bridging up to the top 10. On my wheel were two of TC's brightest #YOUTHS, Ryan Miller and Garret Jenema.

Just before we reached the base of the climb, Garrett shot ahead to the front group, tacking onto the back of the lead group of our 16-34-year-olds class. I lumbered up to his wheel right before the climb began in earnest. With a quick turn behind to see me on his wheel, Garrett smiled and gave me a thumbs up, his youthful enthusiasm on full display.

Here I am, heart rate absolutely pinned. Legs are being filled with lactic acid to the point of bursting, and this kid is only getting more fired up at the prospect of hitting this Category 4 climb - the first of three difficult ascents on today's menu. I was so excited to see him, and then Ryan, positively floating up that climb, surrounded by some of the best riders in the Midwest.

The Kids are Alright

 It really was a coming out party of sorts for lots of #YOUTHS on Saturday. Crowds lining the Crystal Climb for the morning races saw Kyan Olshove reaching the top of the formidable hill at nearly the twice the speed of his fellow competitors. Not far behind, the diminutive and orange-clad figure of Carter Schmidt put on an equal display of power and finesse. Hayden Fox of Kona/Central District Cyclery was busy putting on a show of his own on the descents, surely making his parents nervous in the process. Will Unger, of Norte fame, has gone from a kid who struggled on even shorter rides to coming home with a third place, a transformation over the course of just one year that made his parents so proud. And the rest of us very, very impressed.

carter.JPG

 

Who Run the World? Girls. Specifically, These Ones

It's not all about the boys though. Maddy Frank from Freewheeler and Emma Schwab of Hagerty Cycling having been putting the Expert Women class on notice for some time now, and announced their presence with podium finishes behind a very strong Angela Webster. It won't be long until these girls are in the fight with Kaitlyn Patterson, Susan Vigland, Lauria Brockmiller and the rest of the top tier of Michigan cycling. The speed and stamina these kids have at such a young age is so impressive - just think what power these girls will have in their legs by the time they graduate from high school!

Thanks, Big People

As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a kid. Here in Traverse City, we're so lucky to have Norte Youth Cycling, guided by Ty and Johanna Schmidt, an incredible Board of Directors, and a small army of volunteers to help plan and execute rides multiple times per week. People like Bill Unger, Pete Worden, Chad and Heather Jordan, Anne Schwartz, and so many others donate seemingly limitless amounts of time and energy to make sure these kids can get out to do what they love in a safe and positive environment. 

Down in Grand Rapids, Danielle Musto's Dirt Dawgs is working equally as hard to get kids on bikes. Eric Wolting has been coaching kids all summer, sacrificing a lot of time in an already packed schedule to encourage and support the next generation of riders. It's so exciting to see these kids, smiles plastered on their faces, at group rides and races all summer long. 

From the entire cycling community, thank you to the Big People who do so much for the #YOUTHS.

What's Next?

With 75 degree weather and sunshine, this Peak to Peak was something special. But it was the sight of so many happy, healthy, active kids on bikes that made the biggest impression on everyone in attendance. Look for more of the same at Iceman in just two weeks!

Wes Sovis is a Professional Magician and part-time Business Development Manager. He writes stuff and people pay him with food sometimes, too. Follow him on Instagram. Or don't. Doesn't matter. 

Can Bikes Be Art? Two Companies Creating Two-Wheeled Masterpieces

Bikes + Creativity = Art

At the very basic level, a bicycle isn't art. It's supposed to be a tool; a method of transportation that should be engineered in such a way to convey its rider from Point A to Point B. Any additional paint added to this equation is simply marketing to make one bicycle more attractive than the next. 

But there are two companies who are proving that bicycles can be canvases in and of themselves. As cyclists, you'll likely get a bigger kick out of bike frame with monkeys on it than some painting from 200 years ago by some dead guy. If you ask me, these two companies can give that Vince Van Gough dude a run for his money any day of the week and not cut their ears off in the process. 

Quiring Cycles

 PC: Quiring Cycles

PC: Quiring Cycles

If you're from Michigan, you've certainly heard of Scott Quiring. Scott has been racing bikes forever (1987, to be exact. Before I was born) and is a damn good bike rider. Despite his success, his creations usually upstage him at races. Scott's hand-built steel, stainless steel, and titanium frames are instantly recognizable under riders around the state and the Midwest. While sometimes customers opt for simplicity in a naked steel or titanium finish, nothing is cooler than when Scott has the freedom to exercise his considerable creative skills. 

 PC: Quiring Cycling

PC: Quiring Cycling

Scott can really do it all, too. Hardtails are a breeze for him, but the guy can also do fat bikes, tandems, tandem fat bikes (yeah, I know, totally awesome), and even full suspension. 

 PC: Quiring Cycles

PC: Quiring Cycles

If you want to drool over Scott's latest creations, be sure to follow them on Facebook. They do a great job updating pictures of their latest rigs, and each new bike is so unique that you'll find yourself designing the paint scheme on your own rig while lost in an envious haze. 

Scott works out of Freesoil, MI, and his phone number is (231) 464-5611 if you want to chat bikes or maybe order him a pizza or something. 

Squid Bikes

CX fans will know all about Squid Bikes. Most CX racers have their perfectly ordered kits and plain, mass-produced bikes, and then a Squid rider comes into the picture and it looks as if a punk rocker busted his way on the course and started kicking everyone's ass while covered in tats while riding a bike with popsicles on it. No, I'm not shitting you. Popsicles. See? Told you.

 PC: Squid Bikes

PC: Squid Bikes

If you're not impressed yet, then you should know they're doing this stuff with spray paint. They use spray.bike, a paint designed exclusively for painting steel, titanium, carbon, and other bike frame materials. The designs these folks can do with just stencils and spray paint are just insane. 

 PC: Squid Bikes

PC: Squid Bikes

If you're like me, you could look at frames like these all day. So, be sure to follow Squid Bikes on Instagram to see more frames and get some tips on how you can #DIYFS (Do It Your F**cking Self - so clever!) to make your bike your own. 

Wes Sovis is a below average cyclist and above average therapist for those living with Post Traumatic Sloth Attack Syndrome. You can see his pictures of cats on Instagram. Do not friend him on Facebook because people instantly get annoying on Facebook and we don't want our friendship ruined before it has time to blossom.

My Worst Peak to Peak (And Why You Should Think About What You Eat)

IMG_2263.JPG

One Shitty Peak to Peak

For the record, I've had many positive experiences at Peak to Peak over the years. Even when the weather is terrible, you still get incredible views from the top of the ski hill once you crest the backside climb. The venue itself, Crystal Mountain, is an absolute gem of a resort in the Midwest, so anytime I get to go hang out there, I do. The course is fast and fun, plus, you know, there's beer.

But I did have one bad race at P2P, albeit had nothing to do with the venue or the race organization. It had everything to do with something called Magic Shapes.

Don't Eat Magic Shapes

At 25, nutrition doesn't really factor into a lot of your culinary decisions. At least, it didn't for me. I went through college eating turkeys sandwiches, PB&J toast, and cheese sticks as the basis of my diet. I had zero issues pounding three bowls of Fruity Pebbles and then doing a two-hour ride, followed by two or three or six beers with friends to follow. I'd wake up the next day and do it again. No issues.

But at 26, that started to change. I'd get an irritable gut every so often during a ride or a run. Not terribly frequent, but it did happen at a frequency where I began to consider my food intake prior to rides. I did a lot of thinking about the issue, but didn't actually change anything. You know. Because I was 26.

My moment of bowel-movement induced catharsis came at Peak to Peak that year.

The Race to the Lodge

I knew in warm-ups that something wasn't quite right. I had eaten Magic Shapes, which is the generic version of Lucky Charms, for breakfast because I thought it was quite thrifty to not pay extra for brand names. Still feel the same way about that. But at the time, it had caused me to feel queasy. Not nauseous. Just a little off. By halfway through the first lap, I know something horrible was happening inside me. I was riding with some of the Elite women and I was pretty sure they could see my face going red with embarrassment. I had arrived at a very inconvenient truth; my race today had nothing to do with the rest of the participants. My future dignity hinged entirely on my ability to make it back to the lodge at Crystal before my Spandex became as equally unenviable a place to be as North Korea.

Somehow, following a death-defying descent of the ski hill to the finish, I made it to the lodge in time to avoid an extremely embarrassing episode. Relieved, in more ways than one, I vowed to take a larger interest in the food I eat. It's been a long period of transformation, but a few cookies here and there aside, I've come leaps and bounds from my days of Magic Shapes and Fruity Pebbles.

Some Resources to Check Out

I'm way into blogs, and I've found a few good ones that I check out from time to time for motivation more than anything else. athletefood.com  has some really cool recipes, as well as excellently-written blog posts about competing at the highest-levels in triathlon.

The whole vegan thing has become more interesting to me recently, too. Tim Coffey is a believer, and so is Ryan Kennedy. Ryan is having a vegan meeting about going vegan that I'm going to try to make it to next week.

I guess I'm saying you are what you eat, so don't eat stuff that induces emergency bathroom visits.

Summer Bike Riding - 2017

The summer that was. From riding with the Norte kids to Ron's Ride to the start of Out and Back season, it's been one hell of a year for riding bikes in TC and around Michigan. Thanks for letting me ride with y'all and waiting up for me. Much appreciated. 

More low-quality pictures can be viewed on my Instagram.

Racing Bikes is All About Losing

 Getting beat. Badly. But having fun.

Getting beat. Badly. But having fun.

I haven't won a bike race in six years. It's unlikely that I'll win one anytime soon, too. I train hard, (sort of) watch what I eat, and strive to be a faster bike rider in every other conceivable way. Even with all that time, money, and effort, my quest for victory remains Quixotic. 

And I'm far from alone. 99% of the people at a bike race lose. And by lose, I mean get beat by one guy or gal who takes the top step of the podium. In a society best summed up by a quote from a contemporary American philosopher, "If you ain't first, you're last." -Ricky Bobby. It's difficult to understand by anyone want to go pay good money to, in all likelihood, get beat. 

So, why race at all? For me, it's about the process. It's about trying to lose a few extra pounds, take 10 seconds off a Strava segment, or keep up with another cyclist who usually kicks seven shades of shit out of me. Adding a race in there is extra motivation to get out to ride, push yourself, and set a new goal. If it was about winning, I'd undoubtedly fail. Every single race. But since it's more about racing myself, I can be satisfied with how I've improved, or in a worst case, how I came up short.  

The key here is to not let a fear of losing keep you from racing. There's always going to be someone faster than you. Even if you master the Expert class, moving up to Elite guarantees you get whipped at least a few times before you triumph. And if you start winning the Elite classes here in Northern Michigan, go race a WORS event and be prepared to get humbled. Instead of focusing on winning, or even podiums, focus on the work that will make you a faster rider. Not even a faster rider compared to others, but rather a faster rider compared to your past self.  

Let's Do This Damn Thing: Fall 2017

 Cherry Roubaix 2017

Cherry Roubaix 2017

It's been a long time since I've written. That's down to one unavoidable character trait, I supposed. Laziness. Just general laziness. Sorry about that. I'm working on it.

Life

I've also changed jobs mid-summer, and it took a little while to get my feet underneath me again after that transpired. All is well at VP Associations and I'm pumped to be back with the company and doing what I do best - calling people and buying them lunches. 

Summer

It's been a great summer for bike riding, too. I lined up for Cherry-Roubaix, despite not riding a road bike but for a handful of times all summer. It was a grueling day, but it was an absolute thrill to see a few hundred Lycra-clad goombas pedal down Front St. on a beautiful August day. That's a race I'll always do, whether I'm fit or not, because it's one of those events that you talk about for weeks after. The other event of such a high caliber being, as you'd imagine, taking place on dirt in November. 

What's Next

But before we talk about Iceman, there are two races that I'm really looking forward to. The first is the Bear Claw Epic. It was the race that got me decidedly more motivated to race bikes again last year, and that was due to it being one of the most fun races I've ever been part of. No, not in 2016. It was one of the best races I've ever done. Ever. Full stop. It's expertly ran, the money goes to benefit the Cadillac Pathway, and the course itself is ideally suited to racing. Fast, fun, with ample room to pass, the Bear Claw Epic course is one of the best places to pedal a bicycle in anger. 

Next up, I'll be taking on Peak to Peak, one of the Fall Classics that the dingleberry over at kolo tc goes on about. It's usually mentioned as a great warm up race for Iceman, but the competition and the course are more than worthy of being a prime motivator in one's fall race campaign in and of themselves. Most of the Experts and Elites will need 2:15 or more to finish the race, which makes it longer than Iceman in duration. Also, the ascent of the ski hill makes it an inherently dynamic race, which is in stark contrast to the attrition and luck based virtues of Iceman Cometh. 

Of course, the big daddy of fall is the Iceman Cometh. Over 4,000 people. Completely unpredictable weather. Fitness levels all over the place due to weather and the waning of summer's light. It's the race that keeps on our bikes and on our indoor trainers through September and October, and it's the race that means so much to so many. I'm aiming for my best Iceman ever (aren't we all?) this year and it's been this race that has been in my mind since, well, Iceman 2016. Every cookie, every beer consumed over the last year will be cursed and questioned once Iceman roles around. If only I had ridden more miles, if only I had watched my diet - the ifs, ands, or buts gel with the coulda, wouldas, and shouldas, that form the unquietable doubts in the minds of every rider on the start line. 

Let's Do This

#OperationThighGap2.0 commenced today in the hopes of reaching my ideal race weight in time for Peak to Peak. For me, this is the peak of the season and, for once, I want to be prepared like I used to be back in the proverbial day. Cody said on our ride today that I'm soft, like a puffed-pastry filled with custard. I hate custard-filled pastries, and I despise being compared both physically and mentally to one. Simply put, it's on. Autumnal amateur bike racing will never witness a transformation quite like that which is about to transpire. I shall enter my cacoon of training a chubby, soft cyclist and emerge a hardened, indomitable god of shaved legs and svelte physique. 

happy trails.

Spring Blog Update

I know you were all at home, wringing your hands with worry that I hadn't blogged in a few weeks. To all three of you reading this, I am indeed alive and well. I wanted to let you all know what I've been up to, as well as what I'm looking forward to over the next few weeks. To the one person still reading this, thanks. You're the best, Mom.

Diet Stuff

I'm down to 171! I have been eating slightly better, but the big change is when I don't drink beer. Delicious, wonderful beer. It's been tough, but a week without beer and I drop two pounds without changing anything else.

Race Stuff

Barry-Roubaix was miserable. Cold, rainy, muddy and just an overall challenge for the mind - more so even than it was for the body. I was signed up for the 62-mile, but I bailed and rode back on the 36-mile course. I was frozen, couldn't see a damn thing, and wished I had just hung out at the cafe in downtown Hastings. They had killer cookies. After the race, while warming up on Tyler Kuenig's sweet van (#vanlife), I wasn't overly disappointed about pulling the plug. I climbed really well, which has always been my Achilles heel, so I figured I was ahead of the curve. Next up is Mud, Sweat and Beers in TC in early May. I should be going pretty well by then. As long as I can stay away from the beer.

After MSB, I'm signed up for the 100-miler at the Bike Benzie Grand Fondo. It's one of my favorite rides that I did last year. The course is beautiful, challenging, and it's for a great cause. If you haven't done this one yet, you really need to. Whether you race it or cruise, you're sure to have an incredible morning in Benzie County. 

Life Stuff

I teach indoor cycling at Yen  Yoga & Fitness and once a month we've done a FUNdraising class. So far, we've raised money for Food Rescue, Safe Harbor, Norte!, the NMC Foundation and a few others. It's been so cool to organize and help get the word out about these awesome groups. If I could just ride my bike and raise money for a living, I would. It's a blast. 

Sponsor Stuff

I'm riding for Kolo t.c. this year, a blog that Cody does, and me and Brian Beckwith help out with when we can. We get jerseys at cost, which is about as good of a team deal as a perennial mid-pack amateur could ever hope for, so I'm pretty stoked to fly the colors. I also have a really generous arrangement with Breakaway Cafe, who feed me most days in exchange for doing their social media. It's totally a much better deal for me than it is them, but Breanne and Craig are pretty much the nicest people around. So go to Breakaway to get a burrito or a coffee sometime. They're good people. 

That's really it. When not riding, I'm working for Everpresent Marketing and Swell Development. If you need help with digital marketing or web development, let me know. I'll buy you lunch with my company card (at Breakaway) and we'll see how we can help. 

Tailwinds, everyone!