I Survived the End of The World

•December 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I waited to see if the end was really coming on Friday, I hated to waste all of this time typing and then have it go to waste. Image

I have been traveling a lot over the last two months but one of my stops was in Italy. I was there working an a new project and I got to test in the Pinafarini wind tunnel on Torino. It was a very nice facility and everyone treated me extremely nice, we tested for two days and hopefully I learned some things.Image

   I was home for 4 days before I left to go to the Texas A&M tunnel for a day of testing, it was fun as usual.  The engineers at A&M have installed a new 3000 HP, variable speed motor and it has completely transformed the testing there.  It is whisper quiet now, literally when you are testing you can stand by the rider and just talk to them, no yelling, no hand signals, just have a conversation and get on with the test.  It was so great, it truly has made testing there a whole new experience. Oh and by the way, I was working on this Superman position for triathlon and it was interesting to see that it still works pretty good, rather damn good really. The only problem, other than needing a little core strength, is that  2cm of height can absolutely make or break this setup.  When it’s right it’s fast but if it’s off it is not worth trying, so if you want to try it, schedule some tunnel time and work on your core strength.Image

Many of you that read this Blog also do bike fittings from time to time.   Paul Swift from bikefit.com developed a nifty tool that makes changing out saddles and adjusting them a snap. He was kind enough to send me one to test out and I must say it has been great to have.  I built my own fit bike based on an old Serotta fit bike and adding the seat switcher to the bike was very easy. Now when doing a positioning on a rider, you are hesitant to start swapping saddles around, it takes a simple flick of a lever and it’s done. I’m really thinking about taking my fit bike to the wind tunnel on my next trip, I think it could speed up the rider positioning process a lot. By using the fit bike, you just work on rider position, you won’t be distracted by aero parts not being consistant. 

   Well I hope every one has a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Happy Holiday season, I’ll have more to write about real soon. 

Business in Kona

•October 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Ginger and I decided to go to Kona this year for the Ironman triathlon, it’s a week long event that takes a lot of energy from you, even as a spectator.  I had a lot of friends and sponsored athletes doing the race so I thought it would be fun to join in.  We took our bikes and did several good morning rides out on the Queen K.  
On Wednesday before the race  I went to the Annual Slowtwitch gathering and visited with many of the posters on the “forum” Lot’s of fun and I look to stay longer next year.  I met Chrissie Wellington there and she was visiting with everyboody, she is a great ambassador for the sport.

Then it was raceday, you could feel the excitement in the air, we bought sidewalk chalk and  made the road in front of our Condo as tacky as possible, lot’s of fun.

So the race was on, we cheered for all of our friends and athletes, a very good friend of ours, Mark Miller from Lafayette finally qualified for the race after 17 years so it was big fun having him run by.

Mark had brought his family and several friends so they all came to our place for the afternoon, he had a great day.

The race was a typical Kona day, it turned very windy and got hot, running through those Lava fields is something special and something I have no interest in doing.

Today we had our first ever half Ironman race here in Tyler, a local racer named Steve Ferris decided to put this on, this was a huge undertaking.  The race went very well, it was billed as the hardest Half in Texas and after talking to the competitors after the event I believe it lived up to the expectations.  I was one of the announcers and our local riders really turned out to do volunteer work , without these supporters we could not have had this race. We had one unexpected race volunteer that helped with the swim.

So in a few more days I’m on the road again, I’m going to California to work with some athletes, then going from there to Taiwan to start a few new product projects. I should get all of the traveling done just in time to get back for some Turkey.

Relearning my Blog

•September 30, 2012 • 3 Comments

I was reminded that I have not posted in several months on my Blog so I sat down to catch up.  The first thing I realized was that the procedures had all changed and I needed to relearn how to post on my Blog.  So bare with me as I do this, I have several new things to show you.

  The first thing is that I had to relearn how to load a photo, I believe I have conquered this.  Some of you may remember that I bought a Chevy Volt when they first came out.  The Volt is an electric car, I have had it for two years and have driven it more than 30,000 miles so far.  I LOVE MY VOLT. For me it has been just awesome and my lifetime fuel mileage is 75.6 mpg’s so far.  It has been flawless and is a great car on the highway.  But on to better things.

We have outgrown our office space and have moved the seat business to a larger building.  I found a much larger space and decided to build myself a first class fitting area.  I haven’t had my own private area with a desk and all of my stuff put out where ever I wanted it for years, so now I have good area for doing some good studies.  Because I have been traveling so much I had to really cut back on my fitting schedules but I plan to again take appointments whenever I am in town.  The whole world of “fitting” has changed so much in just the last 3-4 years, now, most bike shops have a person on staff that has been to some type of school to learn about fitting. This has been a good thing for the consumer because you are less likely to get injured right off on the bike.  It has also changed the need for a base fit for new racers, now, I believe that you need to race for a couple of years and log a couple of thousand miles before you might need my services.  I’m still the very best at aerodynamics and solving injuries or finding that championship winning speed but if you just got a new bike and need to get your seat height checked, go to your local fitter and work with them.  These days everyone has a power meter and a coach it seems, these are all great training tools that should be looked into.  I have some new things that I am working on in that area.

  This past weekend Ginger and I went to a triathlon in Kerrville, Tx. it was a very well run event by Jack & Adams in Austin. We were there a day early so Ginger and I went to  Fredricksburg which is a big tourist town about 25 miles away.  As we wandered along the main street I saw a store that said 5 & Dime, I haven’t been in one of those in over 50 years [scary number] it was just like I remembered it being.  There were toy Army Men, Toy cars, loop weaving kits and not a computer game in sight.  It was such a crazy stroll down memory lane, I used to go to the Bayou by my house and catch little turtles and sell them to the local 5& dime for about 2 cents each, this place even had the little turtles!! but now they are plastic and cost 29 cents but still, it was so cool to see all of this stuff.

Well back to reality, next week we leave to got to Kona for the Ironman triathlon, I’ll post some pictures soon.  When I get back I have some wind tunnel time to burn up testing several new products and theories so that should be fun.  And yes, I will do better at posting  more regularly.

Volt

•September 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Volt

Sometimes Pressure is a Good Thing

•June 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I recently acquired a Tactilus pressure pad so I could further my research into building better, smarter seat designs.  The unit itself is just a thin pad of sensors that can be placed wherever you want to measure pressure.  The readouts can be seen in 2d, 3d, and a myriad of colors and settings.  It’s simple in concept, but digging into the units full capability will take some time.  I recently spent a day with a rider, Jeff Waskowiak,  just starting to play around with the unit and simply visually looking at various areas of pressure between different positions and seats.  I had a unit very similar to this one in the years past that I used to measure seat pressure, as well as foot/hand pressure.  It turns out you can learn a lot when you take the guessing game out of asking someone  about their seat comfort.  Asking, “How does it feel,” now turns into, “Well look at that” because now I can see again exactly how its feeling for the rider at an exact point on the seat.  The pressure points are mapped out into pressure zones and are associated with a specific color…for example, if there is red, that translates into a certain pressure zone being applied at that point on the mat…with light blue being the “lightest” pressure displayed.  I would say this is the adult version of the playstation…except this playstation costs quite a bit more :)

A Beach of a Time

•April 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A crowded airport was the start to my overseas venture to Taiwan and The Philippines.  I needed to go to Taiwan to make some more progress on a few projects I’m working on, and the Philippines visit was all about the triathlon team Cobb Cycling sponsors, Team TBB, as they were having their yearly training camp here.  I just hoped I lucked out and got a seat with some extra recline if you know what I mean.  Getting to the airport was step a, and I was definitely going to be making my way to step zzzzz.zzzzz.zzzz.zzzzz within a few hours hopefully, to make the long plane flights more tolerable.   But let’s backtrack a second here.  before I went to the DFW airport, I dropped my porsche off to get a new rooftop put on it…you know, style it up a bit.  It never sits right in my stomach handing the keys to this car off to some guy I don’t know, but she needed a new hair-do :)  Hopefully when I got back from my trip, she’d be looking purdy!

One of my Team USA track athletes, Dotsie Bausch, sent me this photo a few days ago, while she was making an appearance at the BP MS 150 charity ride in Houston and Austin.  She was at the finish line cheering riders on when she spotted this man on a PLUS saddle.  Dotsie is a prime example of a quality athlete that works hard for both her goals in sport, and her sponsors.  Well done, and thank you Dotsie!

Ok so, I’m about to do something that will really give my age away, but here we go.  Ginger and I attended a Beach Boys concert yesterday, and had a great time.  I pulled out the appropriate garb, so as that I would potentially be mistaken for a real beach boy, and get ushered on the stage to sing a tune.  That definitely didn’t happen, but I wasn’t the only one in a Hawaiian shirt, that’s for sure :)

Congratulations to Team TBB members Caroline “XENA” Steffen and David Dellow, for two dominating wins at Koh Samui Triathlon, Thailand!

 

Snake Eggs

•April 3, 2012 • 2 Comments

IF I was a barefoot runner, this would have been a bad day for me.  Feisty snakes and bare skin are not a good match.  A few weeks ago, Ginger and myself went to a local park to do a bit of trail running…only to be greeted by a nasty east texas copperhead snake.  Not exactly a friend I want to hang out with.  This little guy wasn’t too big, but if you are from Texas you understand that the BIG snake is just right around the corner watching you poke at its baby.

Easter is this weekend, and I got back into doing a little airbrushing on some easter eggs for my wife Ginger.  Airbrushing has always been a past-time of mine, and I’ll have some fun once in a while with it now.  These are hollow eggs shells I was painting up a bit, and you’ll see my finished masterpiece laying in a basket.

pro triathlete champion ironmanI wanted to send out a congratulations to a terrific pro triathlete that I spons0r, Caroline Steffen “XENA!”  She had a great victory at Ironman Melbourne a few weekends ago posting a very fast time.  Way to go XENA!  She may just take Kona this year folks.  Check out her team website, of which I am a proud sponsor, www.teamtbb.com for some cool photos and athlete profiles.

 
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