29 - Oliver Andersen

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There is a saying that sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees.

Translation: In this crazy world, where we spin around the cities and communities where we live at brake neck speeds, we forget to stop and look around and take into account what we take advantage of.

So what better way to do this than on a bike.

Today’s guest, joining us from, Denmark, is Oliver Andersen – the Urban Bicycle Explorer. 

His goal is to inspire people all around the globe to bike and use it as a tool for exploration and pleasure in their life. What a great idea.

 

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28 - Martin Eberlen

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When most people think of a multi-day bike tour they might consider doing it in places like the Napa Valley, Croatia or maybe even The French Alps.  But not today’s guest.

Martin Eberlen decided to ride 1,600 miles from the City of Stanley, North Dakota where the Dakota Access Pipeline begins through to its end in Patoka, Illinois.

This controversial pipeline transports 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day across four states.

The end result of his ride is a book called Our Land and (S)oil.

The book is not only a graphic depiction of the impact the pipeline has had on the people and countryside but also an observation of the culture of America’s Mid-West.

Link to BBC Article

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27 - Tiffany Cromwell

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The Diva from Down Under is how Rapha describes today’s guest. 

Tiffany Cromwell is one of the World’s most accomplished female road riders having lived her stellar career racing in some of the most illustrious events on pro cycling’s calendar.

Currently racing for Team Canyon-SRAM she calls Adelaide Australia her home, but spends a lot of her time racing and training on the roads of Europe.

In the off season, Tiffany likes to relax with running marathons, mountain bike racing, boxercise and rowing.

So, I dare you, tell Tiffany she runs like a girl.  My guess is that she’d take it as a badge of honour and beat you to a pulp in whatever athletic and aerobic challenge you throw her way.

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26 - Zwift

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There is a place where you can ride your bike that’s a cross between the French Alps and Hawaii. It rarely rains. It never really gets dark. It is never cold. It is never windy. There are no cars. You can always find friends from all over the world to ride with, or you can choose to ride by yourself. There are butterflies and Sloths and Mountain Goats and 1,000 foot waterfalls and you can ride through a volcano. 

Sound too good to be true, or maybe that I’ve been imbibing in too much of Colorado’s finest weed? Well, it’s all true, but I am missing out one really important fact. 

All this happens on a stationary trainer and, in my case, in my basement.

Behold – Zwift. A new Verb added to the Oxford English Dictionary – To Zwift.

Joining me today is Scott Barger, Zwift’s Co founder and Head of Member experience

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25 - Leadville 100

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This episode of Ben & Bikes is coming to you from Leadville, Colorado.  At 10,152 ft above sea level (a hair over 3,000 M for those smart ones out there that choose to use a base 10 measuring system) Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States.   A former gold & silver mining town that lies near the headwaters of the Arkansas River in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and sitting close to the base of the 2 highest mountains above 14,000ft in Colorado, Mounts Elbert and Massive. 

What a great place for a 100 mile mountain bike race!

The Leadville Trail 100 MTB was first run in 1994 and has become one of the best marketed, attended and known marathon events in mountain bike racing.

The Leadville 100 race is legendary, mentioned in the same breath as the Iditarod, the Transalpine and La Ruta.  In 2017 nearly 1,484 started, about 70% of those managed to finish in less than 12 hours

This year the Leadville 100 marks its 25th anniversary.

The race is run on a 50-mile (80 km) out and back course, starting and finishing in downtown Leadville. Major climbs include an over 3,000 feet ascent from miles 40-50 to the Columbine mine, Power Line at mile 80, and St Kevins at mile 86.

Do it in less than 12 hours and you’ll get a small silver belt buckle, do it in less than 9, and you’ll get a monstrous one.  Both will enable you to stand tall with your mates in the bar and to show your Grandchildren before you take them off on their first mountain bike ride.

As is standard for these types of races, there is an ever burning energy source behind an event of this magnitude and that’s certainly true for this race and that energy source is provided by Ken Chlouber and Merilee Maupin, the founders of the Leadville 100 and the leaders behind the Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation.

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24 - Seamus Mullen

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This episode is coming to you from Brooklyn and my guest is Seamus Mullen, an award winning New York Chef, author, a leading authority on health and wellness, and a cyclist.

Seamus trained in Spain and, as they say, one thing led to another and he now operates two Spanish influenced restaurants, Tertulia (English translation – Social gathering) and a Tapas Bar called El Colmado (English translation – The Grocery Store).

He is the author of Hero Food and Real Food Heals – The latter being described as “125 Paleo-inspired, delicious recipes to revitalize your health every day”.  But there’s a lot more to Seamus’s story that that.

In 2007 Seamus Mullen was diagnosed with early onset Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Some years after this diagnosis Seamus, found himself being described by an integrative doctor as a “hot mess”.  Despite being at the top of the New York chef food chain, he was profoundly unwell, about 50 pounds overweight, in constant pain and taking some serious meds.  He had been in this situation for about 10 years.

As a result of a myopically planned diet, significant lifestyle changes and reconnecting with his love of riding bikes, Seamus’s path back to good health began. This despite almost dying in the OR.  Twice.

“As I got farther and farther away from the light, I regained consciousness….That’s what it took for me to completely change my life, my diet, my fitness.  Shit happens, and you can either get in the way of your body, or you can get out of the way.  I knew something had to change or the next time, I wouldn’t survive.”

 Real Food Heals

Real Food Heals

 The Before & After

The Before & After

 Biking in NYC

Biking in NYC

 Shredding some single track

Shredding some single track

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23 - People for Bikes

22 -Bidit Roy

The Bikes And Podcast's first international episode featuring an interview with Bidit Roy, Indian documentary film maker.  I was introduced to Bidit by Ayleen Crotty of the Filmed by Bike Festival and subject of Episode 11.

I talk with Bidit about his love of making documentaries, how they connect him to people who have a story to tell and his latest film.  There are links to The Bicycle Maker,  which was featured in the Filmed by Bike Festival, On The Church Trail and his newest endeavour The Ride for Better India, below.

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21 - First Descents

I ride bikes, I hike and I fish, to name a few of my favourite outdoor pursuits.  The common denominator is that all of these take place in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.  The great outdoors represents a prescription, a healing place, both mentally and physically, providing me with the ability to escape from the stress and concerns of modern life, such is the power of adventure.

But, what if what ails you was orders of magnitude greater than a bad day at the office, nose to tail traffic or a bounced cheque, what if you were struck down by cancer in the prime of your life, can a prescription for Outdoor Therapy provide you with the same opportunity for healing?  The charity First Descents believes so.  Their research shows that 100% of their participants reported increased ability to cope with cancer and it shitty effects.

First Descents addresses what the National Cancer Institute identifies as a major determinant of long term survivorship; ongoing psycho-social supportive care.  In plain speak, what that really means is while the doctors and medicine may have saved a life, First Descents teaches people how to live again.

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 Ryan at First Descents HQ

Ryan at First Descents HQ

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Spiders Will Eat Your Face
Starring Mike Fallek

20 - Guerrilla Gravity Bikes

This episode comes to you from the Denver Headquarters of Guerrilla Gravity.  Manufacturers of Badass Mountain Bikes.  Made for going fast.  That’s Guerrilla as in Che Guevara and not Gorilla as in King Kong. 

As I am a fan of a) Mountain Bikes and B) going fast I am looking forward to talking to the team about their brand, their story and what makes their awesome bikes, so awesome (y).

Guerrilla Gravity bike frames are designed and built in house in Denver Colorado, no too far from Mile High Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos.

The company is led by its President Will Montague, its Chief Engineer Matt Giaraffa and head of Marketing Kristy Anderson.  All 3 come from quite different backgrounds, Mike for example has a background in both racing car and aerospace design, but as you might expect they share a passion for building a mountain bike that you are stoked to ride for a long time.

Joining me today is Matt Giaraffa, Chief Engineer.

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 The GG Team - Matt second from left

The GG Team - Matt second from left

 A GG Bike in Action

A GG Bike in Action

19 - The Rwandan Cycling Team

It’s 1994 and Rwanda, a land locked country on the Eastern side of Africa, just on the Equator, was in the midst of one of the worst genocides in history. 

In 100 days more than 1 million Tutsis were slaughtered, representing about 70% of their population. 

At that time a bicycle = life.  If you had a bicycle you might escape the slaughter.  If you had a bicycle you could try to make your way to safety, too afraid to look back at the staggering and stomach churning displays of man’s inhumanity to man.

A documentary called Rising from the Ashes details how some of those survivors were given a reason to hope by cycling legend Jock Boyer (the first American to enter the Tour de France and  a member of the United States Cycling Hall of Fame) as he helped a fledgling Rwandan cycling team not only get off the ground, but also, amazingly, managing to attend the London Olympics in 2012.  The riders of Team Rwanda gave their countrymen a vision of something greater than themselves and their history; hope for the future.

Scroll forwards to 2017 and the Rwandan Cycling Team will be racing at this year’s inaugural Colorado Classic pro cycling race

Join me as I talk to Jock Boyer about the movie, the team and the race.

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 Jock Boyer and Adrian Niyonshuti 

Jock Boyer and Adrian Niyonshuti 

 Team Rwanda's Colorado Classic Jersey - Note Rhinos

Team Rwanda's Colorado Classic Jersey - Note Rhinos

 The Tour de Rwanda - © Mrjka Boensch Bees

The Tour de Rwanda - ©Mrjka Boensch Bees

Spiders Will Eat Your Face
$0.99
Starring Mike Fallek

18 - The Check In Foundation

 Clay Watson at a High School League Race

Clay Watson at a High School League Race

In the space of 12 months I have known three people commit suicide.  All 3 of them were men.  In my interactions with them, I never would have guessed there was anything wrong, and news of their suicide came as a complete shock.

In conversations with the people they left behind though, it is clear that theirs was a thin veneer and they knew there were signs of inner turmoil; signs that only a loved one might have noticed such as severe moodiness, disinterest with things they loved to do and periods of complete withdrawal.

Join me as I talk to April Paige, as we talk about the suicide of her partner and her creation of the Check In Foundation.

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 April, Clay & Bailey

April, Clay & Bailey

17 - Commuting

In a first, I’m pleased to say that I’m interviewing a member of that most select, elite and smart group of people, a listener of the Bikes And…Podcast.  A listener who reached out to me with an idea for a story. 

Honestly, when I started this podcast back on 2016, this is exactly the sort of person I wanted to talk to.  It’s been super talking to people who have events to promote, or beers to drink, but for the most part I have reached out to them to invite them onto the show.  So, to have someone actually take the time to click on the contact button on my web site, fill out the form with an idea, means a lot to me. 

If you want to be on the show, don’t be shy.  You don’t have to have the perfect voice, just an idea about a story relating to a bicycle. 

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 Robert & Westwind

Robert & Westwind

16 - The Colorado Classic

Editorial Note: In this podcast it is inadvertently mentioned that the race that precedes the Colorado Classic is the Tour of California, it should be the Tour of Utah. 

7 years ago, I stood on the steps of Colorado’s Capital Building, along with 4,000 other cycling enthusiasts, to witness the birth of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.  Quite possibly the longest and hardest to pronounce name in sporting event history, this marked the return of professional cycling to Colorado since the heady days of the Coors Classic which ran from 1980 to 1988 and before that the Red Zinger.

Sadly, this event was not to last

Scroll forwards to 2016 and rumours began to circulate that there was a new team in town, represented by RPM Events, an investment team that includes Denver’s Gart Family and local philanthropist Ben Walton (grandson of Sam Walton) with the goal of resurrecting a Professional bike race in Colorado and soon it was announced that this race would be called the Colorado Classic.  Not only a bike race, but also a huge music festival, all under the banner of Velorama Colorado. 

The event will run from August 10-13, have 4 race stages in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge and Denver, the 3 day music festival, based in Denver’s hip and trendy RiNo district will feature headline acts such as Death Cab for Cutie & Wilco. 

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 Velorama

Velorama

15 - Making The Best of It

In June 2007, Jamie Osborne was doing the one thing that listeners to this podcast love to do.  Riding a bike.  Nothing more, nothing less.  He was on a lunch ride with colleagues, the same as he had countless times before.

Things were getting a little competitive, the lead group’s pace increasing to 25 miles per hour.  Jamie, ever so slightly the competitive and self driven type, found himself off this pace and dug deep within himself to catch up.  Next came the unimaginable.  His bike’s frame failed and broke in two places resulting in a partially severed spinal cord.

Listen to us discuss the accident, his long road to recovery and his life today.  

It is a remarkable story of courage, fortitude and overcoming tragedy with a winning mindset.

His book, "Will Your Way Back" is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

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 The broken bike

The broken bike

 The Injury

The Injury

 Rehab

Rehab

 On the bike again

On the bike again

 Skiing Again

Skiing Again

14 - Trail Heroes

On April 20th, I was on the 303 Trail Monitor Facebook page and saw that someone called James Kovaly had posted some pictures of a sign he had placed on one of the crown jewels of the trail system known as “Buffalo Creek” and this generated a storm of controversy.

The sign, sitting off to the side of what looks to be a 3 out of 5 switchback reads “Don’t Skid” “Skidding destroys the trail”.  This was like red rag to a bull for many of the red blooded 303 Trail members who wrote comments like “I give it 5 years before we have stop lights and cops enforcing speed limits out there”

Listen to the two of us discussing why James, a leader within the COMBA organization, worked with the Forest Service to place these signs.

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13 - Recumbent Bikes

Back on February the 4th I was riding my road bike on a favourite loop near my house.  I was about to hit a Strava segment named “Short Grind’ , given that it’s on a little kicker of a hill, when about 400 yards ahead of me I see something in the bike lane, that I can’t quite make out.  As I get closer I pick out a small flag waving like the lure of angler fish.  Closer still and I make out the unmistakable image of someone riding a recumbent bike.  I pull alongside and attempt to have a conversation with the pilot.  He’s a little out of breath to have a long chat so I keep going to the top of the hill and wait for him there. 

Thank goodness Jeff didn’t think I was some kind of axe murderer, and just to prove my theory that 90% of people are inherently good, he asked me if I was OK.  At that point I told him that I run a podcast called Bikes And…and that I’d always wanted to interview someone who rides a recumbent bike. We traded information and a few emails later, a little cajoling from me, and I am so excited to welcome him to this podcast. 

Links to organisations and companies mentioned in this episode of Bikes And...are listed below the photos.

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12 - Trail Conflict

Editorial Note:  In this podcast Andrew described the attack taking place on the north facing side of North Table Mesa.  It was actually the south facing side.

Last week end, news began to spread, here along Denver’s Front-Range biking community about a mountain biker who had been assaulted on a popular bike trail near Golden, the North Table Mountain Trail. 

Most of us who live here realise that if you add the amazing access we all have to incredible trail systems to Denver’s growing populations, there is inevitable conflict between bikers, riders, runner, horse riders and hikers and dog walkers. Pressure on these trails can be significant but conflicts are typically resolved in one way or another, but this incident went way beyond a few curt words and maybe an exchanged middle finger.

 Nobody owns the trails, and courtesy among trail users is assumed. In this situation, the rider was physically assaulted, pulled to the ground, kicked, punched and his bike damaged.

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Andrew 1.jpg

11 - Filmed by bike

In this Podcast, I’m joined by Ayleen Crotty, the founder and Festival Director of “Filmed by Bike”  a Portland, Oregon Film Festival held every year at the historic Hollywood Theatre. 

From May 5th – 7th the 15th Filmed by Bike Festival showcases documentaries, animation and scripted features that are not only shown to the local audience, but are also distributed around the country and the world for communities that want to host their own film festivals, spreading the word of bike advocacy and helping people understand that riding a bike is not all about improving your Strava time, but more about just plain old community and having fun. 

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 “Race Across America” Lorenz Wetscher| Bavaria, Germany

“Race Across America” Lorenz Wetscher| Bavaria, Germany

 “Dada | The Malagasy Trialist” Felix LaBlanc | Chambery, France

“Dada | The Malagasy Trialist” Felix LaBlanc | Chambery, France

    “Flashes of Altai” Joey Schusler | Boulder, CO

 

“Flashes of Altai” Joey Schusler | Boulder, CO

 “Gorge Roubaix” Kenji Sugahara | Salem, Oregon

“Gorge Roubaix” Kenji Sugahara | Salem, Oregon

 “Dada | The Malagasy Trialist” Felix LaBlanc | Chambery, France

“Dada | The Malagasy Trialist” Felix LaBlanc | Chambery, France

10 - REACH THE BEACH

Welcome to double digits and Episode 10.  The second in the series of Bikes and …Great Causes, an interview with Brian Mayo, Regional Director of Special Events at the American Lung Association who is the master coordinator of Reach The Beach, a bike event held in Portland, Oregon every year to raise money for the American Lung Association.

Also, Brian talks about the inaugural Washington State version of Reach The Beach. 

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 Crossing the start line

Crossing the start line

 En route

En route

 Bikes And...Bikes

Bikes And...Bikes

 They Reached the Beach!

They Reached the Beach!

 The Pelican Pub...Heaven

The Pelican Pub...Heaven