Vanilla Gel Blind Taste Test.

August 27, 2009 on 12:18 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

What is your favorite gel?  We all have that one flavor of that one brand that is our go-to time and time again.  For most of us, that one gel just agrees with our body.  Whether it be the way it goes down, the way our stomach handles it or simply the way it makes our body feel in giving us energy, our favorite gels simply work for us.  But if I had to guess, for most of us, a lot of it comes down to taste.

We decided to conduct a blind taste test of a variety of different flavored Vanilla gels here with our staff.  They were each sampled (7) different brands of Vanilla gels and were asked to rate their top (3) favorites and also their least favorite.  Here are the results from our staff (we had 40+ testers).

First Endurance EFS Liquid Shot

Remember, this test was based on flavor alone.  There is much more to making a gel choice than just flavor, but it doesn’t hurt that it tastes great.

An Autumn Packed with Events!

August 26, 2009 on 5:31 pm | In Announcements | No Comments

We like to think that we have busy and not so busy times around here. Winter is busy because we are getting ready for spring. Spring is busy because we are receiving a good chunk of our new items for the year, summer is busy because (in the majority of places) it is “in-season” and it turns out the fall is now busy with lots of events! I will say this though – it’s good to be busy! Here is what we have on our agenda for the coming months:

September 18th-20th: Halfmax National Championships expo at the Redman Triathlon, Oklahoma City.

September 21-25th: Interbike. Our annual pilgrimage to this industry pre-season event in Las Vegas.

September 26th-27th: Arizona State Hill Climb Championships. Headed to Safford, Arizona for event support.

October 5th – 10th: Kona Week at the Retail Store. Stay tuned for details.

November 5th-8th: Silverman expo at the Silverman Triathlon in Henderson, Nevada. It’s a great race.

November 18th-20th: El tour de Tucson expo. Choose from 109, 80, 67 or 35 miles, ridden around the perimeter of Tucson! This is an awesome event attended by nearly 10,000 cyclists!

December 11th-12th: Tucson Marathon expo. One of the fastest Boston Marathon qualifiers available.

Hopefully we will see some friendly faces while we are out and about!

Hello Big Nasty

August 25, 2009 on 12:12 pm | In Random Musings | 2 Comments

I have a rule when I start my recovery after a race – for every hour I race I get that many days after the event to eat whatever I want.  So if I race for 5 hours I get to pig out for 5 days.  Last month I did Ironman Lake Placid and it took me 10 hours so I just bought myself 10 days of good eating.  Another tradition I have is to go out the day after the race and eat something I would normally never eat…something good and nasty.  Before I arrived in Lake Placid I watched Coach Troy’s On The Road – Lake Placid and in this video he stopped at a local ice cream shop. 

Whitebrook Dairy Bar

Whitebrook Dairy Bar

During the race I saw this very recognizable place on both of my loops on the course.  So, needless to say, we took a trip there the day after the race.

The intention was to just get some ice cream, but when I walked up to the window I was given the challenge – they had the Big Nasty.  Obviously I couldn’t let this great culinary find pass me up….man, I felt nasty…but I earned it :).

The Big Nasty Challenge

The Big Nasty Challenge

The Big Nasty Challenge

Hello Big Nasty

The Commuters Corner – “Speed”

August 20, 2009 on 10:46 am | In Random Musings | 1 Comment

     Part two of the “Speed, Comfort, Safety” topic focuses on everyone’s top priority speed. Aldous Huxley penned it wonderfully when he said, “Speed provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.” Perhaps this is a symptom of a problem with humanity. But as the great Ricky Bobby said, “Who cares, I just wanna go fast”. If you are dead set on going faster but not ready or able to get a new machine here are some items that can make your commute go a little quicker.

     The first is the BlackBurn Delphi 4.0 Cycle computer. This will tell you how fast you are going but more importantly if you are going to slow. It is easy to lose focus starting out on the bike especially if you have a longer commute. A computer will help you maintain mental integrity so you don’t convince yourself that you’re working harder than you really are.

     The second item that you should invest in is a quality set of tires. The problem with commuting is that you may not be willing to lose flat protection to gain speed. Thankfully tires like the Michelin Pro Race 3 exist, which offer adequate puncture protection but also do not weigh more than 200 grams. Losing rotational weight makes you faster. Don’t believe me, ask me…….or google it. If you don’t mind pumping up your tires every time you ride get some of these as well.

     The third item I would recommend is the Oakley Thump Pro. I know someone is cringing out there because listening to music is the last thing you want to do on the bike. You need all your senses to protect yourself against less than attentive drivers but this is about being faster not being safer that’s next week. Why will these sunglasses make your faster? Well besides providing stellar optical clarity (I am not kidding, these lenses are crystal clear) you will also be able to forget your pain by focusing on something else, like music. Maybe there is a hill that is just killing you every time you ride. Put these babies on and throw down to some Spice Girls and watch how you climb up with ease. Probably not, but listening to music has proven to improve athletes endurance by 40%. Can’t argue with that.

     The biggest thing you can do to become faster is free, ride your bike. If you are not spending time on your bike consistently you are losing speed. So get out there and ride your bike or I’ll have Ricky Bobby put a cougar in your car.

You Know You’ve Hit the Big Time When…..

August 19, 2009 on 9:28 am | In Random Musings | No Comments

….You make the Sunday comics. Check out “Frazz” created by Jeff Mallett. Is that a catalog they are browsing? Why yes it is! Enjoy!

One year ago…

August 18, 2009 on 1:35 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

One thing I would say I am not that good at doing is looking back and reflecting on the past, especially past successes. The entire culture here at has been built on moving forward, if we make a mistake we learn and move forward. We are always striving to be the best – the best customer service, the best order packers, the best pool cleaners (just did last Tuesday…fun stuff), the best bike builders, the best buyers, the best marketers, the best at everything we do. I would say that most of this stems from the fact we are almost all athletes and it is just in our blood. However, as I started out, I don’t usually take the time to reflect upon the past all that much but today I just realized we passed our 1-year anniversary for doing our blog postings. Since the original post on 8/8/08 we have posted over 180 blogs and have shared with the entire world some of the insight into our company.

Water Balloon Toss Fun!

Water Balloon Toss Fun!

This past year has been challenging, as they all are, but an amazing year.  Our entire team here has stepped up to the plate and continued to make this the best triathlon store in the world.  To all of them I am grateful.  Yes, I know I own the place, but this is a great company to work for, it is great to come to work everyday and be around such a great group of people.

Delivering lunches to the homeless.

Delivering lunches to the homeless. sponsored OUCH takes US Championship

August 17, 2009 on 11:26 am | In UHC Pro Cycling Chronicles | No Comments

Downers Grove, IL – John Murphy of the OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis ( is the official store of OUCH) will wear the stars and stripes jersey of the U.S. National Criterium Champion for the next 12 months.

Murphy took advantage of exceptional work by his four teammates and succeeded in avoiding several crashes – including one by his own lead-out, Karl Menzies with less than half a kilometer remaining in the race – to cross the line as first American to take the national champion’s jersey. sponsored OUCH rider John Murphy sponsored OUCH rider John Murphy

“The team executed really well,” Murphy said. “We were a little shorthanded compared to the other main teams, but the guys rode today like they believed I could do it, and I did it.”

There were plenty of contributions from all four of his OUCH Presented by Maxxis teammates to help put Murphy in position to take the jersey. With a little more than two-thirds of the 61-lap race done, a dangerous three-rider group was up the road. Roman Kilun and Bobby Lea went to the front, and just those two riders rotating through brought back the break with five laps to go.

“From that point, Kelley Benefits took over the front and had seven guys lined up,” Murphy said. “Me, Karl and Pinner (Andrew Pinfold) were together right behind them. Then the last four guys in their train sat up and let the front three get a gap. Karl immediately took me up to them.”

The OUCH Presented by Maxxis duo was also joined by several other riders, including 2008 crit champion Rahsaan Bahati (Rock Racing), previous champion Tony Cruz (BMC) and Ben Kersten (Fly-V Australia), as well as Adam Myerson (Team Mountain Khakis). sponsored OUCH rider John Murphy in the starts and stripes! sponsored OUCH rider John Murphy in the starts and stripes!

With half a lap to go, Menzies was on the front working to deliver Murphy to the final corner first. But with 0.4 km to go, he slid out on a slick turn, the result of intermittent rains that had caused the start of the race to be delayed twice.

“Over the top of the last climb, Karl took over,” Murphy said. “When he crashed I barely missed going over him, by maybe a few millimeters. I tagged back on the group and with two turns to go, I took the inside line to move up. On the final corner, Bahati and Cruz came around me but Bahati overcooked it and crashed. I went through the turn at a good speed. Kersten came inside me and I thought he had good momentum going into the finish sprint, and I thought if he could keep that up it would be tough. I just went for it from there. I got close, and the outright win would’ve been great, but I’m really happy to get the jersey.”

100 rides. One destination. A world free of MS

August 15, 2009 on 2:33 pm | In Employee Adventures | No Comments

In 1993 at the age of 43 my brother-in-law was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The only thing I knew about MS was that a lady who lived in the nursing home I worked in, back in1974, had been diagnosed with MS. She was only 41 years old, married with an eight year old son and was bed ridden as a result of this disease. I don’t know what happened to her since most jobs that we have when we are in high school are only temporary.

Last February after attending Frostbike at QBP in Bloomington, MN I visited my sister and brother-in-law. After finishing dinner my brother-in-law pulled from his pocket a key chain and attached to it were several little cylinders for holding medication. With his hands shaking he managed to get each one open and take his medication. After that we retired to the family room to watch TV and my brother-in-law leaned over and removed a brace from is lower leg made of Kevlar. One of the side effects of MS is drop foot. Understanding, medicine and treatment of MS has come along way since 1974 when I was a nursing assistant. My brother-in-law is fortunate that with medication he has been able to curb some of the debilitating symptoms of MS. MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more. These problems may be permanent or may come and go. Worldwide there are about 2.5 million people living with MS and an estimated 200 new cases each week.

While visiting my sister, I decided to help work towards a World Free of MS by entering to ride in the Hoffman-Larkin MS150 ride in Minnesota. Signing up online was easy! The only requirement was to raise a minimum of $300.00 so that is where I started. I have never been very good about asking people for money. The nice thing about technology is being able to fundraise over email and allowing people to simply log onto my MS pledge page and donate. Without much effort I raised $2950.00.

In June I packed up my Felt ZW road bike and headed to Minnesota for the event. Not too hard since I was leaving 100 degree temperatures! I rode mostly by myself which gave me a chance to meet lots of really nice people over the course of 150 miles. Most people that I spoke to on the ride either had a family member with MS or knew someone with the disease. It just demonstrates how many people are affected by MS.

So next time you are looking for a ride check out one of the MS rides near you. They truly are some of the most beautiful, well supported rides that you will ever find.

The Commuters Corner – “Speed, Comfort, Safety”

August 14, 2009 on 11:13 am | In Random Musings | No Comments

The vast majority of technology advances in our sport revolve around these three things, speed, comfort, and safety. All riders are different and have their own reasons for riding the two wheel wonders we call bikes. Correspondingly all cyclists have different ideas about which of the three are important. Over the next three weeks we will look at each attribute individually and talk about some products that may help you achieve your goals while commuting accordingly.

It is my belief that comfort is the most important of the three. I know that this might sound backwards. How can comfort be more important than speed or even safety? However, if you are more comfortable you are going to be able to maintain a higher level of speed over longer distances. Admittedly there are some exceptions to this theory, a cruiser might be the most comfortable bike in the world but it will never be faster than a road bike.

When commuting, it is crucial to be comfortable. Why, because you’re commuting not racing, you are interacting with traffic and want to keep your focus on the road rather than the discomfort your saddle is causing. Discomfort is often a major determent to new riders and often results in abandoning their commute. One of the best ways to counteract this is to purchase a saddle. The majority of bikes come with the most god-awful saddles ever created. So go out and try a saddle that works for you. If you don’t have an idea what saddle you want check out our demo section. My suggestion is the Selle An-Atomica saddle. This saddle is one of the most comfortable saddles I have ever been on. I do not believe that it is a coincidence that when employees need to purchase a saddle this is the picked the most, by far.

My commuting saddle.

CEP Socks and Traveling

August 12, 2009 on 5:02 pm | In Product Information | 2 Comments

Our CEP rep told us about the wonders of the socks for both active and recovery purposes when he was here a few days ago. I have used them actively and for recovery after some of my harder efforts, and can definitely feel the positive effect these socks have on your body. The one thing I had not tried was travelling and wearing them. So many people claim that wearing recovery tights or socks, especially when flying, help them to feel less fatigued when they get to their destination. Luckily for me I had a 1484 mile drive planned to Montana for my brother’s wedding and figured this to be a great opportunity to see what kind of conclusions I would draw.
I drove 1200 miles the first day wearing the CEP socks. This took me 19 hours with breaks and lunch, etc. I pulled into Dillon, Montana and can honestly say I really didn’t feel that bad. I was tired, but mostly from being on the road since 5am and it was now 12am. My legs didn’t ache as they have in the past from sitting in cars for longer drives, they felt just fine.
I figured I needed a control here, so when I left Kalispell, Montana Sunday morning at 11am, I did not wear my socks. Well, I drove approximately 20 hours and when we changed drivers just north of Phoenix, I certainly felt worse. I was much more fatigued throughout my whole body, and in particular my legs.
The moral of the story for me here is to always make sure I am wearing my socks when travelling to and from events. If they can make such a great difference on just a relaxing vacation drive, I am sure they will make a positive difference when prepping for race day. I cannot wait until CEP gets the rest of their lineup into production and ready for sale in the spring. I will absolutely be jumping on that bandwagon.

Rollin’ in the CEP!

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