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43 - 3 Lights Better Than One

Arsenal Cycling’s Revolutionary Lights

Arsenal Cycling’s Revolutionary Lights

Every now and then I am contacted by members of the cycling industry who want to be on the Ben & Bikes Podcast.  As loyal listeners will know I talk with people who have a bike related story to tell, and not just a product to promote, and so I’m somewhat selective about which of these industry insiders I agree to talk with.  

Today I am joined by someone who was one of that elite group of American road cyclists from the 70s and 80s in the time of team USA’s entry into European racing, the 7-Eleven Team, Schwinn racing and the Red Zinger which then went on to become the Coors Classic, and sort of, by default, the now ½ diluted Colorado Classic.

Thomas Prehn has been involved with cycling since he took up the sport in the early 1970s.

Over the course of a long career as an amateur and professional cyclist, he won the 1986 US PRO road championship, and is one of the few cyclists to have competed in, and finished all thirteen editions of the Red Zinger/Coors Classic.  He is a published author and inventor of aero cycling helmets?

Now, he has founded Arsenal Cycling focussing on technology to keep cyclists safe on the road where he has developed a bleeding edge bike light solution that would make Alex Blumenberg (The Urban Bike Ninja - Episode 39) very happy.  You can learn more about all of this by visiting arsenalcycling.com


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42 - The Unpavement Project

Jeremy - Off The Pavement

Jeremy - Off The Pavement

A conversation with Jeremy McGhee, adaptive bike ride, surfer and skier extraordinaire. Since a car hit Jeremy on his motorbike and took away the use of his legs, 16 years ago, he has made it his life's mission to get off the pavement.

Nothing gets this guy down. “If it’s money, figure it out. If it’s time, figure it out. You get less of it every day, so do it now”

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41 - My Brother's Legacy

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Back in June, 2017, I interviewed April Paige from the Check-In foundation about the work she is doing to raise awareness for the appalling numbers of people who commit suicide each year.  

Since that time I have had personal connections to 4 people who have committed suicide. 3 of them High School Students, 1 of them middle aged. All of them male, all of them white, all of them tragic.  White male suicide is a national epidemic.

In this episode I talk to the Go 4 Graham team about their work raising awareness for depression, suicide, and how engaging in vigorous exercise, like riding a bike, can be a great solution.

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40 - The Places I Pee 2

Alex Blumenberg - The Bike Ninja

Alex Blumenberg - The Bike Ninja

Back in April I interviewed Sophie George and Chris Haag just before they set off for Alaska to begin their 20,000 mile, 2 year bicycle adventure starting in Homer Alaska and ending in Uswaya Argentina. The episode was called the Places I Pee. If you want to know about why I named the episode this way, or why their web site theplacesipee.com is so called, I suggest you listen to the episode.

Here we are, about 6 months later and they have made it all the way from Homer to the Mexican border, via a brief layover at their home base in St George, Utah.

Sophie and Chris are talking with me again, this time from close to the US/Mexican border in Arizona.

As ever you can track their progress by going to their web site theplacesIpee.com

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39 - The Urban Bike Ninja

Alex Blumenberg - The Bike Ninja

Alex Blumenberg - The Bike Ninja

As ever I love it when a listener reaches out to me to be on the ben and bikes podcast If you’d like to be on the show please email me on ben@benandbikes.com or go to benandbikes.com and click on the contact button on the nav bar.

Today’s guest, who sent me an email, is joining me via Skype all the way from Spain. His real name is Axel Blumenberg, but he also goes by the Bike Ninja. From what I understand Axel was one of those people suffering a soul destroying, life wasting and exhausting commute, in his case about 4 hours every day.

Coming to his rescue was a bicycle and, from what I understand this has not only completely changed his life, but also allows him to view things from the perspective of a martial arts expert.

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38 - Risk & Reward

Josh Coming Across the Leadville MTB 100 Finish Line

Josh Coming Across the Leadville MTB 100 Finish Line

Nike was founded by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, both keen runners (and waffle fans), Trek was founded by Richard Burke a keen cyclist and GoPro was founded by Nick Woodman so he could take rad movies while he was surfing.

My guest today is Josh Clay (more on that later) Sprague, a competitive endurance athlete, who is the founder of Orange Mud, a manufacturer of some very unique running, biking and lifestyle brands.

From a garage built prototype through to global distribution using his web site orangemud.com and countless retailers the company now has hundreds of happy customers. Sounds like a dream come true, but I suspect this journey has been like an endurance race for Josh, his family and his team, as many ups as there are downs, with nothing but guts, grit and determination to get him there. (note by Leadville 100/Ken Chlouber reference)

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35 - Blood, Sweat & Tears

Jonathan Card - Crushing it

Jonathan Card - Crushing it

Last week end I had the honour to see the Leadville 100 MTB race from the athletes point of view, talking to as many as would allow me to shove an annoying microphone into their face.

I recorded more than 100 interviews and of course fitting them all into a podcast that lasts a little less than one hour is not possible. But I’ve a created representative selection to give you an insight into what makes people do this, their backgrounds and motivations. I am in awe of you all.

This episode is separated into conversations I had the night before, the morning of, on the course and the finish. 

If you are inspired by what you hear, why not you next year?

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34 - The Deal Part 2

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There are two sides to every story. In the last Episode of Ben and Bikes I spoke with Ian Dille about what happened at the 2001 Road National Championships in Florida and the subsequent article he wrote for this month’s edition of Bicycling Magazine titled “The Deal”.

Long story short: With a few laps to go on a grueling circuit, the race was between Ian Dille and Mike Friedman. Ian who had been in the lead for a while, Mike who had just caught up to him. Ian’s recollection is that Mike said to him “I won’t Sprint” “You Can Win”. 

As they closed in on the finish line, the opposite happened. Mike did sprint, and he did win.

Today my conversation is with Mike, to get his side of the story. Both of the race itself and some thoughts now that he has read the article that Ian wrote. 

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33 - The Deal Part 1

Ian Dille on the podium in 2001, letting his feelings known

Ian Dille on the podium in 2001, letting his feelings known

All of us can probably remember a time in our lives where we wish we could go back and change a decision we made. The results of that decision probably stick with us today, and probably will for the rest of our lives. For today’s guest, that time was 2001, and his decision was based on 6 words.

 

It was the 2001 U23 National Criterium Championship and Ian Dille was sitting on the starting line with 100 or more other hungry young racers. It was a tough field stacked with pros, previous champions, every person thinking “why not me”. The race starts, Ian feels great, but what happed in the last laps of that race will stay with him forever. This is his story. 

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32 - Charon Smith

Copyright Richard Lee - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Richard Lee - All Rights Reserved

It was surfing legend and fitness guru Laird Hamilton who once said “Make sure your worst enemy doesn't live between your own two ears” There is meaning in this quote for both the sport he loves and for all aspects of his life. So often sports metaphors make this transitive leap. Others include:

  • Driving for show, putting for dough
  • Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there
  • It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters
  • If you fail to prepare, you're prepared to fail

And my personal favourite:

If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like kissing your grandmother, with her teeth out.    

This is one of the reasons why I have so much belief in the power of sport to teach us how to live our lives and deal with everyday challenges. For kids, sport is an irreplaceable teacher of perseverance, teamwork, training and humility, to name but a few.

Today’s guest is someone who takes these parallels between sport and life very seriously.

6x California State Criterium Champion 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018.

2x Silver Medalist at Master National Criterium Championships in 2012, and 2014,

So Cal cup overall winner in 2012

To name but a few. By its very definition he is a champion of his sport. But it is his approach that is most inspirational. He once said “you gotta practice your winning pose, because it’s gonna happen” Translation. If you don’t think you are going to win, what’s the point.

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31 - That Time I Went Full Enduro

Copyright Andrew Archer - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Andrew Archer - All Rights Reserved

I know a thing or two about Enduro racing.  My son, sponsored by the Bank of Dad, races in many U21 events across Colorado and New Mexico.  And the things I know are thus:

  1. Trees are not your friend

  2. Who Dares Wins

  3. Don’t discount the uphill grind required to shred the downhill

  4. Get a full face helmet

  5. Knee pads and elbow pads are your friends but they stink after a while

  6. Chicks dig scars and much as guys dug scars (seriously you should see the ladies shredding Enduro races and biting the dirt just as hard as the guys)

So, when I was connected to today’s guest and she told me that she not only races Enduro in the Northeast and she has written an article for bicycling magazine on the subject, amongst many more, I knew she had to be on the ben and bikes podcast.


Gloria Liu writes in the article titled That Time I Went Full Enduro “It was a fabulous lifestyle. I got over feeling guilty about spending a whole day taking lifts or banging up some steep road to get to the downhills faster. Enduro was mountain biking’s five-pound bag of red Swedish Fish; there were none of the boring flavors, only the best one. Finally, I could eschew all that character-building stuff and maximize the fun.”

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30 - The Places I Pee

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Today’s guests, joining me from St. George, Utah, are Chris Haag and Sophie George.

They will be riding their bikes from Alaska to Argentina, a distance of 20,000 miles; it will take them 2 years to complete. 

You can learn more about their adventure and keep tabs on their progress by visiting www.theplacesipee.com

 

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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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