The Best of the Best

June 30, 2009 on 6:32 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

Over the years we have had numerous discussions about sponsoring professional athletes.  We actually have a few pros on our roster that have been on our team for a number of years and went from amateur to pro, but other than Jeanne-Anne Krizman (she won Wildflower in 2001) we haven’t had any top tier pros on our roster.   This year we were solicited by some big name pros and we were fortunate enough to sign on Andy Potts and Leanda Cave.  Both of them are having an incredible season (not to brag, but the bike fits we did on them have helped out a bit – especially for Leanda).  Both of these athletes embody what stands for – they are professional in every sense of the word and they are two great human beings.  I have spent some time with both of them and I am proud to see them flying the  The next time you are at a race make sure you say “hi” to them and tell them “Gooooo!!!”

Oh, two quick stories:

Andy – At Widlflower I bet Andy that I would beat him (I gave myself a 1 hour handicap) – yeah, that didn’t work out so well; he still beat me by a couple minutes.

Leanda – I was giving Leanda a tour of our warehouse and convinced her to take a ride on one of our man up lifts.  We had a little “incident” with my poor driving skills – needless to say I don’t think I will be conning her onto any of our warehouse equipment any more.

Hanging out with Leanda and Andy at Wildflower

Hanging out with Leanda and Andy at Wildflower

Man vs. Car

June 25, 2009 on 11:19 am | In Random Musings | No Comments

I had this 2-part video passed onto me last week.  When I used to own a car and would be sitting in traffic, I often wondered how much faster it would be to walk (or run) – much like the opening scene from Office Space.  They did a little experiment across the pond – check out the video if you have some time to kill.



Under the Fur

June 25, 2009 on 11:17 am | In Random Musings | No Comments

A couple months ago I posted a 2-part blog on how to shave your legs (see here  Now that I am full swing into Ironman training, and recently hair free on the legs I thought it would be a good idea to have a refresher on the leg shaving.  Here are a few things I forgot to mention:

Pre-shaved fur

Pre-shaved fur

1)       I really do an aweful job the first time I shave my legs, I would have to say the first ride after you shave has to be the worst because you always miss a couple hairs.  The worst part is that I seem to always miss a hair(s) behind my knee.  Absolutely the most annoying thing ever – it’s pretty much equivalent to Jim Carrey’s most annoying sound ever in Dumb and Dumber, except this is the most annoying hair ever.

2)       I’m not a huge fan of fresh new razor blades, I am just way too sloppy to be messing with that slicer and dicer (even with the Silk Effects razor).

3)       It’s always good to see what’s under the hood.  When you have hair, well let’s be real – fur, like me on my legs it is sometimes quite amazing what you can find.  Check out this picture below – ripped and ready to go!

Ready to unload some watts

Ready to unload some watts

The New Kid on the Block

June 22, 2009 on 1:54 pm | In Life at | No Comments

Let me preface this by pointing out that at one point in time I was a “normal” person. I happily ordered pizza through my TiVo service to avoid getting off the couch and I laughed out loud at the thought of a grown man wearing spandex. That was all before Ironman Arizona came along and ruined everything. I now have more spandex than a ballet troop and I can’t find time for either TiVo or pizza. Don’t even get me started on my vast knowledge of various creams and glides that no man should have to know about (if only I owned stock in Chamois BUTT’r). All this in order to participate in one silly little race in November?? (note: a participant is one who strives to survive an event, a racer is one who hopes to do better each time, I am the former)

I explain it this way; imagine all the highs and lows of your entire life condensed into 17 hours or less. One minute this is the greatest day of your life, you are running like an Olympian not quite sure why everyone around you looks like the living dead (not me though, I feel fine). A few more miles pass and you are explaining to the imaginary person next to you just how strongly you feel that cats and dogs should not be allowed to drive in the carpool lane, all the while dressed like a contestant hopeful for Dancing with the Stars.

This was the beginning of the end for me, capped off by a glance at the return address of this cool triathlon store I found online. It turns out that is located just across town, what are the odds? It was as if someone had built a store with the simple goal of feeding my addiction. After basically living there for several months, I came to the conclusion that I would look less conspicuous if I became an employee of So this is where the story begins for me, floundering in a sea of super-athletes at, trying hard to absorb as much information as fast as possible. I still have the upper hand though; I don’t think anyone here knows how to order pizza through their TiVo 😉

PS – This picture really wasn’t part of the plan 🙂  You never know who has a camera in their hand around here!


June 20, 2009 on 4:36 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

Sometimes we do not pay much attention to the tires we ride on. They stay on our wheels and as long as we do not get flats we are good with them. This last week I got a few flat tires on my bike. I somehow seem to go through cycles where I do not get any for some time then all of the sudden, I get them every few weeks or so. Not sure what to make of it. I have tried to keep track of where I ride, keep my eyes on the road as to not run over any sharp objects, keeping my tire pressure up but I am still not sure what it is that makes me get these flats like I do.

To prepare for these flats, I always make sure that I carry a few things in my bag. I have at least one tube, two CO2’s and an inflator, a patch kit (glueless), and two tire levers. This really is all you need to get a new tube on your bike tire. If you need to review the how to Check out this video we have:

How to fix a flat.

Things I try to do to prevent flats include keeping new tires on my bike. When tires start to break down, you start seeing cracks in the tire, it may be time to get new tires. Not only will these cracks allow for small pieces of glass and what not to get through, these cracks will reduce the integrity of the tire itself possibly causing an accident.

Tires are an important part of the quality of your ride on your bike. They determine the rolling resistance, how you will be able to corner…etc. Perhaps one of the important qualities of tires are how they will protect you from getting a flat. Some people give this quality up for weight. Usually the tire will be a little heavier due to the added protection. Nowadays, you can get a good compromise between these two issues.



For Racing, I always like to use a tubular tire. Not only do these offer lighter weight for the wheel but they generally offer greater protection against pinch flats, you get better traction and a better ride quality. They are easier to change when you get a flat. The disadvantage is that you have to carry another tire with you. I usually just carry Vittoria Pit Stop and if I cannot get going after that I usually call it the day.

Vittoria Pit Stop

Vittoria Pit Stop

Whichever tires you like to ride on, you will want to give your wheel a quick spin to look at the tread to see if there is anything out of the ordinary. This is especially important if you are training for Ironman distance races and you are riding 110+ miles at one time. You do not want to be stuck somewhere because your tire is bad. Your time is valuable and this is a simple 20-30 second review you can do before each ride.

BAM Race Report: The Good and the Scary

June 19, 2009 on 11:29 am | In Employee Adventures, Life at | No Comments once again made the pilgrimage to the mountains of Utah for the annual Battle At Midway Triathlon.  It was a rare treat for our Sonoran Desert crew to get out of the summer heat of Tucson and enjoy the cool mountain air for a weekend (even if it left us perpetually out of breath).  Luckily, we arrived the Thursday ahead of race day to set up our expo, which gave us a bit of time to get acclimated to the altitude.  It had been raining off and on in the days leading up to race, so we were a bit nervous about being caught in a storm during the race – and well, we were half right. Crew at the BAM swim start

Race morning greeted us with partly cloudy skies and cool temps.  Water was in the low 60’s, and I was very happy I had sprung for the blueseventy Neoprene Swim Cap – we didn’t have much chance to warm up in the water and I needed every bit of help I could get.

The bike was a pleasant surprise, however.  I had laid out my Arm Warmers on my bike in T1, expecting a chilly start to the 22 mile course.  Coming out of the water, however, the sun was peeking through the clouds and just warm enough to convince me to leave the insulation behind.

Nick L. had finished the swim well before me, having (wisely) opted for the “Lite” distance, but Lisa R. blew by me in the first miles of the bike, acting entirely too cheery.  After that, I just enjoyed the scenery and marveled at the speed of the Zipp 606 wheelset I  was demoing.

I finished the bike in just under an hour, which was another pleasant surprise, but I knew the hurting was just about to begin.  The 9k run in Soldier Hollow is infamously brutal, and it did not disappoint.  I had just finished the bulk of the first climb and was looking down on the finish, hundreds of feet below and too many miles away, when I heard the announcer call out Nick as he finished.  After a few more miles running a roller coaster of lung-busting ups and knee-pounding downs I entered what I thought was the home stretch, but turned out to be a cruel joke of a climb in the last mile.  I was especially cursing Lisa (or would have, if I had any breath to spare) as she finished the race.

So all in all a great race – beautiful scenery, a fast bike course, and a butt-kicking run.  Congratulations to Lisa on finishing 3rd overall (took the sting out of her destroying me by 12 minutes!).

Congrats Lisa!  3rd overall.

If only the story ended there . . .

After the awards ceremony, and just before packet-pickup for the Xterra Duathlon, a freak Thunderstorm came through and completely obliterated the expo.  Luckily, all that was hurt was gear, and not the crew or any of the fabulous BAM race workers (who were superstars in helping us gather and dry all the merchandise we could).



The severe wind and lightning shut down the rest of the day, which was a bummer to the athletes in the Duathlon, but it was undoubtedly the right call.  Kudos to the BAM staff for putting on an excellent event under difficult circumstances, all while keeping safety as their top concern.

Welcome to America – Part 3.

June 18, 2009 on 6:11 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

Here is the third and final entry in the series about product trends making their way to America.  Last week, we discussed Electronic Muscle Stimulators – a trend that has yet to take hold in the States.  Watch out, if this ever catches on you will be behind the curve with your training and recovery without an EMS system.  If you want to stay ahead of the curve, now is the time to make the jump on your competition.  This week’s trend has been around for a while, but will soon catch fire in the triathlon market.

[b]  BASE LAYERS.  Cyclists have embraced base layers for years – that is no secret.  But did you know that athletes in many other sports wear base layers non-stop across the pond in Europe.  Why you may ask?  It is all about temperature regulation.  No one addresses this issue better than Craft.  Once you understand the concept and science behind how base layers can improve your performance, there is no going back.  Even here in sunny, hot Tucson our employees are wearing base layers under their cycling gear during the hottest parts of the year.  Triathletes are finally starting to catch on and once again Craft is the leader.  They have incorporated the temperature regulating properties into a new triathlon line. has worked with Craft to produce an exclusive line of product for 2009 in limited quantities.  For all seasons of the year, include a base layer or two in your gear list.  Your body will thank you. TV

June 18, 2009 on 5:56 pm | In Announcements, Product Information, Tech Tips | 1 Comment

Today we officially released our new TV.  We have shot and produced over 90 videos and add several more every week.  There is a ton of product information with a few fun videos mixed in.  When you have a minute you should take some time to watch, we have a lot of knowledge to share!

Check out all of our cool videos.

Check out all of our cool videos.

Swim Practice

June 12, 2009 on 5:30 pm | In Product Information, Random Musings | No Comments

Swimming is one of those sports where you need to spend some time at before you start seeing results. I have not been swimming as much this season but I plan on swimming more these next few months. Now to get my swim time down, I will attack this issue a few different ways.

One thing I will do is join Masters Swimming. Joining a Masters Swim group is a great way to improve your stroke. Most Masters groups will do stroke analysis with video. This is a great tool to use as an athlete. You can sit and get your stroke critiqued by your swim coach–yes if you join a Masters Swim group you will have someone you will call your swim coach. You can also see what other people are doing as well. Swim technique is a complicated issue. You have to get so many pieces of this puzzle just right and do it all the time.

Finis Swim Snorkle

Finis Swim Snorkle

There are many tools you can use to improve your swim. Among my favorites is the Finis Swimmers Snorkle. I like training with this tool because it allows you to keep your body position steady and focus on your stroke and not worry about moving your head to the side to breath. You see swim teams using these all the time. It really does make a difference in your focus while you are in the water. I highly recommend this product to help with your swim stroke.

Another item(s) that I like to use is pulling gear. Now I have to warn you that if you cross your center during your stroke, you can actually increase your chances of hurting your shoulders. Using paddles is a tool that can make your stroke more powerful. You are basically building muscle with paddles. To help focus on your arm strength, you can use a pull buoy to keep your lower body up.

Finis Forearm Fulcrum

Finis Forearm Fulcrum

A great gadget you can use is the Finis Forearm Fulcrum. This is a great too to help keep your arms in their proper position throughout your stroke. Feeling how much water you are actually pulling with this tool on make a big difference. You really get a great feel for it with the Finis Forearm Fulcrum.

Perhaps one of the basic things you can use to help decrease your swim times is to wear resistant shorts in the water during your practices. Both TYR and SPEEDO make a great pair of resistant short trainers. These shorts will create additional drag to make you pull more through the water. Just do not wear these at swim meets that you want to do well in.

Perhaps one of the overlooked areas is nutrition. If you do not have the proper fuel before and/or after your workout, you will not be getting the benefits you could have from your workouts/races. Before a workout/race try to get some carbohydrates to fuel your body to get you through. You do not want to get to the end of your workout and get sloppy because you do not have enough energy to finish properly. During your workout/race be sure to hydrate properly. There are some calories you can gain from these drinks too to help keep you going. After your workout, be sure to take in a recovery drink. This is even more important when you are doing multiple workouts in a day. You want your body to be fully recovered so that you can continue to train your body hard again at high levels.

Maybe the best advice I can give you is to keep at it. Be as consistent as you can be. I remember hearing someone say once that to change your stroke technique, you have to swim 10,000 yards with the change. Now what I have to say about that is that everyone is different. You may have to swim more or maybe you are lucky and you do not have to swim as much. Regardless, it takes time to get these changes implemented into your stroke. Do not expect them to make you instantly faster. You can shave off seconds here and there eventually adding up to a minute or two. And eventually you can get down to the time you want. Again, this does take time. As Mr. Miyagi would say “Patience Danielson”.

Welcome to America – Part 2.

June 12, 2009 on 1:56 pm | In Product Information | No Comments

Here is the second in the series about product trends making their way to America.  Last week, I openly posted about compression clothing – a trend that has certainly already caught on but has not reached its full potential.  This week’s post comes with a sense of hesitation.  I feel like I am giving away a secret.

[b]  ELECTRONIC MUSCLE STIMULATORS.  These babies could revolutionize the triathlon world if they ever catch on.  Have you ever wanted to do a workout while sitting at work?  Have you ever wanted to recover faster?  Have you ever wanted to warm-up smarter while not wasting energy?  Sounds like an informercial doesn’t it?  In a similar situation, electronic muscle stimulators have been around the medical industry for a while but they are now catching on as a viable training and recovery tool.  I won’t get into all the science in this blog post, but check out this video here for an introduction to the Compex EMS systems.

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