Musings on online advertising, the data layer, audience targeting/optimization, life, and my hobbies. (All opinions are my own, and not necessarily those of past, present or future employers, family, friends or foes!)
There's a kick-ass log ride at Duthie Hill mountain bike park (video below) that I cannot NOT do every time I ride there. It's gotta be 200' long with 8-10 turns/transitions onto different logs. Not dangerous or particularly hard, but took me 2-3 tries to link it all up and do it from start to finish without putting a foot down -- now I've pretty much got it down. So fun.
Rode the North Shore of Vancouver a few weeks ago for the 1st time -- a freeride mecca of sorts, which I should have been hitting regularly since I moved back from England. My buddy Justin Herx had a flip video camera and, knowing the area really well, stopped in certain areas and took videos. Below is the compilation he finished -- well done I might add!!
I'm the guy with the smurfy blue Santa Cruz Bullit bike. All the terrain there is just incredible, but the video (generally looking up the trail) does not do justice to the technical nature of the riding and the consequences of a fall. Highlights include:
At about 1:15 is the rock section (pretty sure) which I sailed through the 1st time (on camera, for proof!) but went over the handlebars the 2nd time when my front tire slid out to the right. Head/shoulder first into a large bolder -- took 2.5 weeks to recover from that one, and stopped me for the day.
At 2:01 is where I took my 1st fall of the day -- not even a very hard section, mind you. Thought I'd pause at the time (trackstand) and get my balance, but then didn't have my balance. Same shoulder that I planted into the rock an hour later!
At 2:45 is a fun shot of me coming down a large boulder. The descent is straightforward -- what you don't see is the fairly difficult approach/ascent (a skinny about 10-15' long).
This is what happens when you get several "bike enthusiasts" (bike geeks, really) together for an afternoon BBQ. We take over half a parking lot, set up cones and have a "Flannel and Figure 8s" race.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, Figure 8 racing is basically what it sounds like, racing on a track shaped like a figure 8. The track crosses in the middle. As you can imagine, there is potential for carnage, and much entertainment.
First we had the qualifying round (individual), then the full race, then the relay race. All of it below in the YouTube video. It's 9 minutes, so if you want to cut to "interesting parts" here are some:
My seeding run at 1:25.
Full race at 3:29 (all of us at once).
Relay race at 5:09
My leg of the relay race at 5:28 (followed quickly by Damon grabbing too much front brake and eating shit!)
Three weeks ago I bit it hard mountain biking. My bike was in the shop getting the suspension rebuilt, and I was jonesin' to go to this new spot, so I took up my buddy's offer to use his old bike. Never considered that it would handle very differently in the air, so I hit the first jump -- probably a 12' or so gap, with an easy run-in, lip and transition -- pulled up on the lip, and the front end just kept coming up. Ending up landing on my ass and lower back. The spinal compression made my ass and back numb for a moment, and every muscle there spasmed. Not pleasant, but otherwise nothing broken but my ego. Except for a brief (light) ride last weekend, I haven't been out -- still dealing with a bit of pain.
But I met up with Justin and Jake at the dirt jump spot down the road, thinking I'd give dirt jumping a go again. After a few squishy starts, I made it through the whole line -- that was my only goal -- then pretty much stopped. The jumps felt good, but my back was hurting a bit and I just didn't feel like pushing it. But I was back in action ... albeit barely!
Justin and Jake had just finished digging a sweet 4th jump and they were just eating it up. Looked so tasty, but since I'd already wussed out I shot some video instead. Here's Justin on the line:
One of my online monikers is Kickstand. Because when I started this blog almost 3 years ago, and thus my forray into the world of social media, I was taking some time off between projects, biking a lot, and therefore decided that my primary job was to keep my bike up. Mountain bikes often have a mind of their own and, much like a spirited horse, can behave poorly at times and throw you.
And sometimes they'll even keep going, requiring you to chase after them ... ;-)
I turned 40 years old earlier this week. Now I'm not the kind of guy to get all concerned about age -- I prefer to think I'm 30 with 10 years experience -- but 40 is a big one, I suppose. It's a birthday that makes you look at what you've accomplished so far versus where you thought you'd be, and take inventory of your life. It might also be a reminder to "act your age".
Looking back, I feel I've had a wonderful first 40 years. I've married a wonderful woman, raised two incredible kids, traveled to 8 countries, lived abroad, and built 3 companies (helping take one public in London). I've summited Ranier, Shasta, and Baker, rockclimbed multi-pitch routes in Yosemite, Tahoe, and Squamish, ice-climbed frozen waterfalls, trekked glaciers, canoed my way across 80+ miles of Canadian wilderness, backpacked 100 miles around Mt Ranier, fly fished all over the Northwest, and jumped my mountain bike all over the UK, Whistler, and Seattle. I've spent many nights camping in blizzard conditions, skied well over 3M vertical feet of "steep and deep". Most importantly, I'm provided for my family, been a good husband, and instilled good values in my children, plus I am a healthy, intelligent, and productive member of society. All in all, things are good.
As for acting my age, I'm not so sure I always do. Just after my birthday, I sent an email to my brothers, sister, parents, etc. thanking them for the warm wishes and telling them what I did for my birthday. I told them I had bought myself a new set of golf clubs (to finally replace my set from 1982), a longboard/skateboard (which I'd wanted since longboarding the Long Walk in England), and a nice bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon. I also got Halo3 from Jenny and the kids -- Hunter and I had played 2 hours already. Here was my twin brother Justin's reply -- quite apropos, I think:
Work, video game, golf clubs, a frickin’ skateboard, sushi, and high-priced bourbon…….hmmm, you’re clearly having an internal struggle between an age of 40 and somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 to 25. Good on ya. May you never quite figure it out.
The day I turned 40 wasn't bad at all. I didn't think much about it -- hell, I was just enjoying sushi, bourbon and Halo3. But the next day I woke up and it kinda sunk in. I think perhaps I am grasping at my youth a little bit ...
On Friday I had an errand to run in Seattle and opted to take my longboard from the office. On the way back I greatly enjoyed cruising down 3rd avenue in Seattle, weaving around three lanes of stop-and-go traffic -- not something 40 years olds typically do.
I got up Saturday morning and decided to run a mile, to see if I could do it in 7 minutes. I don't run at all (the last time I timed a mile was in high school) but try to keep in reasonable good shape. I did it -- 7 minutes exactly, without throwing up!
I've been eyeing this new line of dirt jumps since I found out about them a couple months ago. I haven't been jumping much this summer, but yesterday afternoon I put on my armor, got on my dirt jump bike, shook off the fear, and gave 'er hell. Three foot lips and 5-6 foot gaps -- so decent air, with a little rain mixed in to make it nice and slippery, but I did it.
I've been loving Halo3 and played 5 hours with Hunter this weekend.
I suppose I might always forget how old I am. I suppose as the years continue to pass, I'll only be a little more surprised each time I look inthe mirror. But I don't care -- life is for living, and I'm going to live it to the fullest. If the first 40 years are any indication, my next 40 are going to be pretty damn good.
Always clear away stinging nettles from the areas where you're jumping!! I was building at my new local spot today, and just not real smooth in the air. I ate shit twice (nice soft sandy landings!) but the first time I went face first into a bush of stinging nettles. My face still hurts! No, I wasn't my full-face helmut. Yes it could have been avoided if I had been, and yes it could have been much worse.
Do not begin to push your front-end down to the transition (landing zone) unless you're sure the front tire is going to clear it. You should know or make the judgement call right at the apex of your height -- easier said than done. If you're not sure, bail FAST otherwise you'll land like this poor shmuck at http://www.big-boys.com/articles/bikewind.html. It's happened to everyone who's jumped proper doubles, and it hurts. That's actually how I broke my thumb in May.