Archive for February, 2014

Whats in a Name?

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Lets begin with some satire. HERE.
You know my feelings on 3rd party payers for health insurance.
And speaking of Humor, check this out. HERE
And since I’m on a roll, let me show you this….made right here in Utah.
And let me say congrats – because its good to be able to laugh at yourself as well as others.

One last pic – here is the Marine Corps tribute to Iwo Jima on it anniversary and the ton of snow the base got. Pretty cool.

And with that lets get on to bicycle stuff.
Big thanks to GroPromotions for the final cross race of the series. It was fun and I showed up….to be the first and only looser.

Life is cruel – I know.
There was also regular mountain bicycle style riding.

Mean while, 1500 miles away and 50 degrees cooler was Frostbike, the event thrown by our largest distributor QBP – where they showcase many of their products as well as help their customers (bike shops) be better.
They had a fat bike pump track.

Surly had their new Ice Cream Truck on display.

Good times…..
And speaking of good times, big thanks to DD from SRAM who came by the PC shop to update me on SRAM suspension.

As many of you know, Dharma Wheels is the authorized service center for component manufactures like SRAM, Fox, Shimano and Chris King
Owning a shop is a lot like being a bicycle racer. You imagine what you want to do, and then you train according to your desire and drive and then on race day – let the dice fly. Want to improve your finish – train more. Sure, better tools can make you better – but the tools are only one part of the equation.
Shop (business) ownership is similar to bike racing in that every day is valuable and each experience either makes you better or worse.
What is nicer about being competitive in the business world is the fact that your age doesn’t help or hinder you. In 1997 I became a DT Certified wheel builder and I was one of the youngest in the class. I got destroyed in the bike race on Saturday – but I can bleed a SRAM or Fox isolated damper in 8 minutes, make a rider happy, and turn a profit at my shop. And guess what friends – I only want to get better.
So BIG thanks to SRAM and Double D for helping me stay sharp. Guys like me – they do grow on trees…..
Red Rock Rampage is next weekend…..and True Grit and Hurricane Fat Tire Festival in March! Do It!

The first weekend of the So.Utah Season

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Presidents day weekend is always the official opening to the spring season in St. George.
The weather is nice and the green is showing.
Here are the roses.

Here is the Lime tree – fresh from its winter shelter complete with christmas lights to keep it above freezing nights.

And I’m happy to say that our palm tree out front has a little green showing.

Even our shop truck sprouted new wheels.

Bet you didn’t see that comin’.
But lets get to cycling.
Look at this tasty bit shot just down the road….

Legacy of Grafton from steven lloyd on Vimeo.

In other fun videos, check THIS out.
I was asked for a mean, smart ass comment on this and I refused. Racers should always show class – and let me say this – I’ve never seen anybody throw a custom painted Independent Fabrication.
Wonder how Matty O likes that (here he is here).

And in economic news, many of you have already seen this.

Bike Mechanic Salaries from Donny Perry

And my thoughts are this…..I love being a bicycle mechanic. I love it as much as being a dentist.

And just like dentistry, or any small business, you compete on a daily basis. You bring what you have to the table every day – and go from there. Maybe you work in a shop – maybe you own a shop. Maybe you have high overhead, maybe not. Maybe your environment is competitive – maybe you own the show.
While the socialist side of me believes that many things should be standardized, like health care….the capitalist side of me is glad that there are many ways to compete in the commodity world. I’ve said before that owning a bike shop is like being a bike racer. You train, you forecast, you plan…..and then you compete. If you are good, you win and advance. And just like bike racing, you evolve and change as the courses, venues and situations do.
Anyway, trails are in nice shape.

And I hope you had a nice valentines day.

It was nice here at Dharma HQ….but Valentines day also coincides with the passing of some of my heros.
Marco Pantani, the hero of the 1998 Giro and Tour.

And my friend Cammy – who honestly loved snowboarding more than anybody I’ve ever known. Her boxing match with cancer was strong and courageous. We should all hope to live a life that people remember with pride.

The sun sets eventually for everyone….so enjoy the light while you can.

Improvements – and Festival Information

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Mainly for my mother, I’d like to show a picture of the renovated deck at the Santa Clara shop.

The project went relatively smooth – but I am better at selling/repairing bicycles and being a dentist.
Here is the deck with no furniture or cat on it.

And here we were just after demo.

The tie in to the bicycle business is that any job worth doing at our shop is worth doing right. It was a bummer dealing with our soft and failing deck – and even more of a pain taking the ramshackle unlevel pieced together deck that was there – and making it solid. But with help from my Michigan Engineer, we got ‘er done.
But at the end of the day – a solid feel is where it is at.
Speaking of a solid feel, we’ve moved our first Turner Czar of the year.

Those are our shops demo wheels – but you get the idea. Boutique level attention to detail and a superb ride…..whats not to like? It’s like hearing that the hot girl that has really been into you at the bar is also a stripper.
I know that you are picking up what I’m laying down.
Lets talk about bicycle events.
This past weekend, the route announcement party happened for Ride the Rockies!

Get details HERE
And don’t forget to attend the Hurricane Fat Tire Festival!

Register HERE
In local news, big thanks to GroPromotions for a great cross race on Sat. The weather was warm, and after a rainy thursday/friday, the course was drier than the trails.

Lookin’ boss right? Not as boss as Chewy at SSAZ2014 – one day I will make it….one day.

Yeah, those people know how to have a good time.
Just like our friends in Steamboat – home of Moots – who had their annual Winter Carnival this past weekend.

And for those of you wondering, I did not name my Santa Clara shop cat Chewy after Moffit…..I’m not one of those wierd cat people….

Maintaing Standards….and Stuporbowl

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Its been an expensive year at Dharma Wheels HQ.
Things are good – but I wanted to share some stories about our experiences on the front lines of the shop world. Since we are in the retail and satisfaction business – I felt it was appropriate.
So I scheduled an appointment for our shop “truck” (Honda Pilot) to have its rear springs upgraded so that we had more towing capacity for bike trips with this thing.

Yeah, some folks sit around their shop waiting for the phone to ring – we take the show on the road and build cycling identity for our shop.
And by identity, I mean the Bon Scott Memorial Whiskey Bar

And I know that you all know how much I love the look of brushed silver metals and whiskey.
So, the plan hatched over the phone was to buy springs with a higher spring rate for our vehicle. When I showed up at the repair station, the technition said “well man – I could only get you replacement stock springs”. “But I didn’t want stock springs?” I questioned “Well, I already ordered them.” was the pathetic response. So guess what, $600 later, I have new springs that are the same as the old ones. Now, in all fairness, and since I repair 300 forks and shocks a year – I can tell you and anything new (including a steel spring) is better than old and its true that steel springs do creep, especially after 140,000 miles….but the point being is that is it a real bummer to get NOT what you pay for. And the moral of the story is that at our shop – if we order the wrong part – we’ll eat it….because we hardly ever do.
Another bummer is the fact that after 6 months, my Android phone crapped out. Once again, I see phones as a commodity – as bicycles are and I’m surprised that my latest smart phone lasted 1/7th as long as the phone before it and 1/8th as long as the phone before that one. So, $400 later I have a new phone that has a faster processor than this computer I sit here in front of. But them’s the breaks – I didn’t purchase the $10/month insurance on the phone and now I pay. To bring it back to cycling – I see much of the cycling industry going disposable. Carbon frames, cheap wheels and the like. then there are my favorite products – like everything we sell, that have an incredible shelf life. Like this.
On that note you should read THIS about the Death of Expertise
And THIS from Sir Richard Sachs….who is admired even among his peers.

In very drunk news, StuporBowl 17 happened this past weekend and I heard it was cold.

I’d like to attend some year – some year when its 65 and sunny in MPLS in Feb… COULD happen, right?
Well, the weather will be surely warmer and trails buff at the Hurricane Fat Tire Festival, which we just signed up for….and you should too.