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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FirstDescentsGroup.jpg
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.

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

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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. 

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

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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. 

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

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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

9 - oskar blues

Welcome to Episode 9.  Bikes and…Beer and have I wanted to do this one since the beginning of the Bikes And…Podcast?  Absolutely.

Bikes and Beer go together like Fish and Chips, Apple Pie and Ice Cream and Chips and Dip.  For many people, the idea of grabbing a beer after a day in the saddle is one the things that motivates you to keep rolling up and down the trail.  My friends at the Velominati (Episode 6) have devoted Rule #47 to the idea of the intertwined nature of bikes and beers – “Beer is a recovery drink, an Elixir for post ride trash talking, and a just plain excellent thing to pour down the neck”.

There are, of course, many beers to choose from, but me for there really is only one company that produces my go to malted adult beverage, and that is Oskar Blues

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

 

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What's Your Tipple?

What's Your Tipple?

Evolution

Evolution

Beer...Here

Beer...Here

The Receptionist

The Receptionist

8 - Parenting

For this Podcast we’re back at the Blue Spruce Brewing Company, the location for Episode 2's podcast Bikes And…Community.  The story of one man’s quest to recover his stolen Yeti.  Thank you to them as ever.  As a reminder the Blue Spruce Brewery is located at 4151 E County Line Road in Centennial, CO and offers its own ales on tap & classic pub fare, plus open mic & music events.  

Today I’m joined by the Schmidt family, Chris, Jessica and their 8 month old son Carter.  Both Chris and Jessica are avid mountain bikers and balancing that passion with that of being a parent can be a tall order.  They have managed to adjust their lives around the arrival of young Carter and were kind enough to offer to share their experiences, lessons learned and stories about how this adjustment has happened. 

In other words, if they can do it, so can you!

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

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7 - nica

Welcome to Episode 7.  Bikes and …High School Mountain Bike Racing.  For those of you who can remember back to Episode 1, I interviewed 5 student athletes who race in the Colorado High School Mountain Bike League.  Today I am interviewing Kate Rau who is the Executive Director of the league.  Before I do a little context.

The Colorado league is a chapter of what is known as NICA.  NICA stands for the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.  Based out of California and Founded in 2009, NICA develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States. NICA provides leadership, services and governance for regional leagues to produce quality mountain bike events.

Currently, 19 states have a NICA league, you probably didn’t know that and I want to say that more than 5,000 students take part in races across the USA.  Incredible.  I know what you are thinking – “why didn’t they have high school mountain bike racing when I was at school?”  I agree.

I’ll post a link to the list of these leagues on the bikes and website but it’s incredible to see states as diverse as New Jersey, Arkansas and Alabama on that list.  I know NICA is keen to keep the growth going, so if you are the sort of person who is able to get a project off the ground, please contact NICA or this podcast.  As I hope you’ll learn from today’s conversation with Kate you’ll get way more out of your efforts than you put in.

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No one's having fun here!

No one's having fun here!

JV Boy's Stampede

JV Boy's Stampede

Boulder Girl's team

Boulder Girl's team

Terrible place for a bike race!

Terrible place for a bike race!

6 - The Velominati

The Velominati, Keepers of the cog, sacred order of the cycling disciple who spend their days committed to poring over the essence of cycling to understand how it makes up the sport’s colourful fabric.  This, they believe is the Velominati's reason to be. 

They are so passionate about these beliefs that they have detailed them in a book called “The Rules” – 95 of them in fact, that talk to the way of the cycling disciple and available on Amazon. 

Some of you may already know about the 5th rule or The Five.  If you don’t know, I suggest you buy the book.

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Rule #16 - Respect the jersey

Rule #16 - Respect the jersey

Rule #21 Cold weather gear is for cold weather

Rule #21 Cold weather gear is for cold weather

Rule #55 Earn your turns

Rule #55 Earn your turns

5 - A Great Cause

Ever wanted to take part in a charity that raises money for a great cause by doing nothing more than riding a bike?  Look no further.  

Sarah Klein and I talk about the Multiple Sclerosis Society's BikeMS event.  

What it is, how to take part, some tips and tricks to help you get the most from the event and some insight into what the MS Society does with the $85MM it raises as it tries to battle this heinous disease.

Links to organizations and companies mentioned in this episode of Bikes And...are listed below.

 

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4 - The mountain biking refugee

An interview with Sina Solouksaran, International mountain biking legend, who in 2011, was on his way to representing Iran at the Asian Mountain Bike Continental Championships in China, when he was kicked off the team for nothing more than admission to belonging to a non-Muslim Faith.  

“I wanted to race for my country, for the sport of Mountain Bike Racing, not for a religion”

Leaving his family behind, and assuming refugee status, Sina found himself in Turkey, able to race, but prohibited from racing for his country.  He has not seen them for 3 years and he recently missed his Sister’s wedding.  With no American Embassy in Iran, this situation shows little chance of changing in the future.

Still a refugee, Sina’s path has led him from Turkey, to Seattle and now to Denver.

Officially supported by Giant Bicycles in the US, and ironically by Giant Turkey, he has managed to podium in many of Colorado’s premium Mountain Bike Pro Races, but all of those victories come without the all-important UCI points (Cycling’s World Governing body).  Lack of points mean that Sina starts races at the back of the starting grid and sponsors are not attracted without results.  Without sponsor support, specifically equipment and travel support, he is stuck in a vicious circle.

If his tenacity, courage and determination don’t prove that he has the mettle to be the World Champion Sina knows he can be, the world of Mountain Bike Racing is the loser.

Please contact me if you can help Sina to meet his goals.

Links to organizations and companies mentioned in this episode of Bikes And...have been listed below the photos

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Sina wearing his Team Giant Jersey

Sina wearing his Team Giant Jersey

Sina in Iran (middle in orange & white), just after he was kicked off the team.  The team was on their way to China.

Sina in Iran (middle in orange & white), just after he was kicked off the team.  The team was on their way to China.

Sina racing in Turkey, Erciyes Peak in the background. Copyright Seb Rogers - https://www.cranked.cc/

Sina racing in Turkey, Erciyes Peak in the background. Copyright Seb Rogers - https://www.cranked.cc/

On the podium in Turkey.

On the podium in Turkey.

Racing in Colorado

Racing in Colorado

Another day at the office

Another day at the office

On the podium in Colorado

On the podium in Colorado