The Challenges of Creating a Bike Catalog

Like most shops, 718 Cyclery carries a host of bike brands, who in turn have multiple models.  These models are released very frequently, and often have component, frame material, size and color variations within each model.

A good example is the Santa Cruz 5010. It has 3 Frame Materials, 4 Sizes, 2 Colors and 10 Component Specs.. That works out to 80 flavors of this particular bike.
Multiply that by 15 bike companies, each with 8-14 base models. For mountain bikes alone, we have access to over 850 specific bikes.

We, along with many of our peers, struggle to depict these on our website. There is nothing that turns me off on any business website that I am visiting as a potential customer more than outdated product listings.  Although I understand the challenges at play, it broadcasts the message that the particular business isn't into staying on top of things. 

You only get one chance to make a first impression, right?  When that person hits our website, we better be ready at any moment.  This is the part that we struggled with in terms of keeping our inventory and bike listings current for potential customers to see.

The spectrum for dealing with this issue has a custom built solution on one side, versus 100% ported-in listings on the other (and we have tried both over the years).  

The disadvantage of the "custom" approach is that you need to manage those items manually when there is a change.  With many hundreds of bikes, you can see the downfall of this method.

One of a kind
On the other end of the spectrum, we have tried services that allow these items to be ported directly into our website, but the fees and lack of content/graphic control made us feel like we were looking at someone else's website.

Back when I was a functioning architect in an office, my specialty was creating workflows/pipelines that allowed tools and software to work together. Providing a great end-user experience while at the same time allowing for easy updates of the data on the backed. After years of trial and error, I think we've come up with a method that works.

Step 1: Data in Google Docs.  Admittedly, there is a bit of data entry up front.  The bright side is that researching and entering in the specs of every bike you sell gets you very familiar with these bikes. Using Google Docs gets your date into an industry-standard baseline format, and also allows for incremental updates as bike models evolve.


Step 2: Formatting in Adobe InDesign: Adobe InDesign is primarily a graphic presentation and layout tool.  It also have a great Data Merge feature, which allows it to read data from databases and spreadsheets.  Using this feature, we are able to live connect our data in Google Docs into our graphic layout tool.
Catalog template in InDesign
What you are looking at above is our catalog template in InDesign.  The text that has the << >> brackets on both sides matches the column headers in Google Docs.  The data from Google Docs comes in and populates the graphic template.

Step 3: Document Merge and Link: Basically, once set up, it's a one-button operation to run all of the data from Google Docs into InDesign.  The catalog populates with as many pages as there are entries. Here is an example of our Devinci catalog.  Once created and uploaded, we create a link from our website.

Here is an example of a typical catalog page on our website. For mountain bikes, we break it up by brand.

For other bike types (cyclocross, for example), we break the catalogs up by bike type.

The sustainable part of this format is that when there is an update to a bike model, all we have to do is update our master database in Google Docs and run it through the Data Merge process in InDesign. Elapsed time is less than 1 minute, and we ensure that we have the latest info facing our customers, ready for that 3am web search by a dude in Germany.

In addition, this format serves as a great training tool for our staff. As a matter of fact, I design all of our interfaces as if they were training materials for our staff.  The thought there is that if it's clear enough for training purposes, it will be clear to a customer.

Its important to format all material hitting our website for mobile devices, as 35% of people who visit us online do it through a mobile device or tablet (this % is up from 25% in 2015).

This process lets us control the graphic images, as well as have a pretty decent amount of automation.

Fall 2016 Tour of the Catskills

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718 Cyclery's Fall 2016 Tour was a 6 day tour of the Catskills from September 20-25. Unsupported, but led by the best touring staff in NYC. The ride will be 272 miles, with 15,529' of total climbing. Getting outside and creating events and experiences is what we do.


The Tour featured 5 nights of camping

Night 1, Tuesday September 20th
Beaver Pond State Park

Night 2, Wednesday September 21th
Sam Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, 953 State Route 299 Gardiner, New York 12525

Night 3, Thursday September 22nd
Peekamoose Valley Campground, County Route 42 in the Town of Denning

Night 4, Friday September 23rd
Little Pond Campground, 549 Barkaboom Rd, Andes, NY 13731

Night 5, Saturday September 24th
Kenneth Wilson, 859 Wittenberg Rd, Mt Tremper, NY 12457

Setting off from 718 Cyclery, Brooklyn NY
3rd Avenue, Ho!
Crossing the Hudson at the George Washington Bridge














Niner Demo September 24, 2016

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On Saturday, September 24th 2016, 718 Cyclery welcomed Niner Bikes to a 2017 demo at Cunningham Park, in Queens NYC.
Niner had some fantastic models to demo and display, and brought a truck and trailer full of bikes.

As with most/all 718 events, the day started at 5:00am with a shop load-out. We had rain up to about 7am. It was overcast and misty for awhile, and we were finally treated to a great fall day by around 1pm.
Demo Set-up
There is alot to be excited about with Niner's 2017 line-up. From the full-suspension family, they rolled out some RKT's, JET's and RIP's out of the truck. For hardtails, it was the AIR. And, for gravel and Cross, it was the RLT and BSB
Folks started lining up at 8:45, and by 9am we were off to the races.  Scott and Ben from Niner kept the line moving with fittings, while Greg and Joe form 718 helped people select the right bike.

Niner Full Suspension Models:

Rip9: The new RIP takes its place as the king of the mountain and Niner’s most capable trail bike. A product of our [R]Evolution, the RIP renews our outlook on what a long travel trail bike can and should do. It’s the go-to for backcountry epics and big terrain when you need every arrow in the quiver. Built with 150mm of remarkably versatile suspension on a lightweight frame, the RIP gives you all the traction, control and fun that used to be the domain of big, all mountain crushers, but without the extra pounds. Now you can enjoy more travel with less weight, and when you can have more for less?...well, you always say yes (www.ninerbikes.com)

Jet9: The all new JET anchors the [R]Evolution of our trail bikes. Knowing that technologies and rider expectations have changed over the years, we’ve put a lot of time, energy and research into creating the most versatile and fun full suspension mountain bike money can buy (www.ninerbikes.com)

RKT9: The RKT 9 RDO is intended to do one thing very well – fly. All stops were pulled to create the most efficient full suspension race-worthy short travel sled. The frame is constructed using our RDO Carbon Compaction technology, which utilizes highly resilient fibers to provide front and rear triangles that are incredibly lightweight and durable. Punish it on daylong epics and be amazed – it will keep coming back for more despite its featherweight feel (www.ninerbikes.com)

By around 1pm, the sun came out

Niner Hardtail Models:

AIR9: Niner’s history is rooted in the evolution of mountain biking. From the introduction of our first hardtail, we’ve worked tirelessly to push the limits of what people think is possible when it comes to the construction, geometry and handling of premium bicycles. The [R]Evolution that began with the RKT 9 RDO continues with the new AIR 9 RDO, Bigger is Still Better, your Big Wheel Crush is now faster and more refined (www.ninerbikes.com)

Niner Gravel/Cross Models:

RLT: While other frame materials fall in and out of favor, steel stands the test of time. Finely constructed steel frames, crafted and welded by the best builders, have continued to be the benchmark other materials measure themselves against. The RLT9 Steel delivers a flawless synthesis of form and function into a frame that makes every ride open for adventure. From mounting panniers and racks for camping to traveling the gravel road that curves out of sight, the RLT9 is more than capable for the open road (www.ninerbikes.com)

BSB: It’s just you and the bike on race day. The BSB is your one up on the competition. Lightning-fast response, maximum power transfer and state-of-the-art construction combine to deliver even in the most adverse conditions. The race is on (www.ninerbikes.com)


Thanks so much to Scott and Ben at Niner, as well as Greg and the rest of the 718 crew,  We are all about creating experiences. Demo events are are great way to get people on some great bikes ot in the woods.


Women's Adventure Cycling Club Overnight Camping Trip, August 27/28 2016



This weekend was the inaugural overnight camping trip for the Women's Adventure Cycling Club. We met up at Grand Central Station on Saturday morning, five women with fully loaded bicycles. We decided to cut out miles of city traffic and sitting behind stifling hot exhaust pipes to start pedaling from Peekskill to our destination - Charles Fahnestock State Park.
We were joined by one more woman in Peekskill making us six strong. After a few minutes consulting our map and filling up our water bottles at the friendly local taco joint (go here if you're in Peekskill!), we were off!
Our trusty steeds ranged the spectrum - together our motley crew of bikes included an aluminum road bike, a steel touring bike, some vintage Raleigh and Nishiki beauties, a fat bike and a three-speed! Despite these differences, we stuck together and if a gap emerged, we pulled over to regroup and assess how everyone was feeling throughout the day, working together towards our shared goal - climb all the hills (they call this area the Hudson Highlands after all) before spending a cool evening under the stars serenaded by crickets and cicadas.
We stopped for lunch at the Putnam Valley Post Office, which had everything we needed - a wide sidewalk under an awning. Our spread ranged from fresh fruit and veggies, sandwiches, wine-flavored sausage, moon cheese, pb&j and beef jerky. People coming in and out of the post office looked longingly at our delicious lunch, some offering a piece of advice about the route we should take to get to Fahnestock - thanks guys, but we got this!
Over the next few hours, we rode past several glass-calm lakes and through countless lush forests. The beauty of bike camping is how easy it becomes to forget about Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn when you are pedaling through nature (and entertain the thought of leaving it all behind).
 While our mode of transportation was not an automobile, we kept on the lookout for a gas station where we could fill up on a different type of fuel: electrolyte-filled liquids, salty snacks and a few well-earned treats
Just when it seemed like the hills would continue forever, we reached our turn into Fahnestock campground... which was uphill! We grabbed some firewood and some water and started setting up camp and feasting on dinner, which included risotto, beans, and more fresh veggies. The campground had showers, which we welcomed happily after a hot and humid day of climbing hills (especially once the bugs realized we were around and started feasting on us).

Soon the sun had set and we illuminated the darkness with our lanterns and bike lights. We turned in under a sky full of stars after a few s'mores and conversation, getting to know each other better.
The sun was our alarm clock the next morning and we slowly got started, packing up and brewing coffee. We sped out of camp shortly after 9 am with fresh legs and relief that the 9 mile day from Fahnestock to Cold Spring would largely be downhill. Once in Coldspring we grabbed a second breakfast and, for some, third cup of coffee before catching the train back into the city.

Thanks to everyone who came along and to our leaders!! Thanks also to 718 for helping make the Women's Adventure Cycling Club a reality. We're excited for the next ride, which will be happening on October 22-23...stay tuned for more details! Join the Facebook group here and follow us on Instagram!

Sandy Hook Shop Ride, August 20, 2016


Acting on a tip from Greg, 718 Cyclery hosted a shop ride at Hartshorne Woods, NJ, by way of the Sandy Hook Ferry on Saturday, August 20th, 2016.

View from Causway over Highlands Reach / Navasink River looking south
As with any adventure worth taking, the day dawned early at 718. The ride group met at 718 @ 7am for the 30 minute ride through Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and down to the Wall Street Ferry terminal.

I rode the 2016 Santa Cruz 5010, with 130 travel front/rear

The scene at the Wall Street Ferry (Sea Streak) was pretty crowded for an 8:15am trip, but it seems the people waiting on line were in on a good thing.
Ferry leaving Wall Street
Escape from New York
"Fatbike Disembarking!"
From the ferry, it is a roughly 5 mile ride south on the Sand Hook Spit, past National Park Beaches, Campsites and Historic Fort Hancock.


Hartshorne Woods Park is located about 1 mile from the causeway, on a climb up Portland Road. Many trails are shared by bikes and hikers.  Normally, this would be a hindrance, but the hikers and walkers using the trails we so nice, it was actually fun to encounter them as it always lead to a conversation and an insider tip on trails to check out.






There is a great loop train (blue), that gave a nice overview of the park, with black trail spurs that led to more advanced terrain and overlooks.  Many trains were stepped with wooded erosion abatement devices (I think), thant made many climbs feel like going up stairs (descents we fun)
Note "steps" on climb
Safety (Pizza) First
More Climbing

Santa Cruz 5010...probably more bike than Hartshorne required, but it made climbs so easy.
John, rode the Jones 29+
Jones 29+, all decked out
After riding the trails, we had lunch and some of us slept on the grass.  It was then time to reverse course and head north to catch the 3:35 ferry
130mm of travel..no problem on this gnarly bike path

Fort Hancock, officers housing
Getting back on the ferry
The ferry scene


This was a great trip, and had us thinking this could be a future Micro-Tour destination...camping, beaches, mountain bike trails...all just a 30 minute ferry ride away

Sign up for our nest shop ride here


Women's Adventure Cycling Club Gear Clinic, August 10, 2016


The Women's Adventure Cycling Club met together on August 10 at 718 to discuss bike packing and bike touring gear. Participants came with varying levels of experience and swapped tips and advice for gear, packing, and routing a trip. The clinic was held in preparation for our first overnight trip, happening on 8/27/16, when we will be riding to Fahnestock State Park! Find out more about that trip here.




Women's Adventure Cycling Club Clinic: Gear and Bike Set-up

On Saturday, July 30 2016, the Women's Adventure Cycling Club met in Prospect Park to talk bike touring and bike packing. Our aim of the day was to answer questions, prompt ideas before investing in equipment, and have a test run of cooking lunch and ,setting up camp before experiencing the real deal.

718's Women's Adventure Cycling Club was introduced this year after multiple requests to create a group for women, female identifying and gender non-conforming folks. Our goal is to foster an inclusive space and connect people to learn about adventure cycling - riding in the woods, on trails, on gravel, off the beaten path, etc. - or think they might be!

In preparation for our overnight camping trip on August 27-28, leaders Aurora and Meg came "fully loaded" with both a bike touring and bike packing set up to explain packing essentials.

First was a bike touring set up. One of the questions folks had was whether their bike would function for a tour or bike packing trip. We discussed the geometry of touring bikes and how weight both on the front and back affects riding. We stressed working with what you have and making modifications where possible. Bike touring allows for more space to pack things which translates into more weight on the bike. 

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For bike packing, one thing we learned is that your individual body affects how much you can pack; for instance, the size of the rear pack that sits above the rear tire is influenced by your height and how much clearance you have between the saddle and the rear tire.

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Next we unpacked camping stoves and cooked up a lunch. Items we feasted on included tortillas, beans, fruit, peanut butter, cheese, steel cut oats with walnuts, and an avocado. For those of us unfamiliar with cooking with a camp stove, we learned about different types of stoves as well as how long fuel canisters typically last and what type of fuel is compatible with different types of stoves.

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During lunch, we discussed our various touring and bike packing experiences, providing ideas about safety, planning ahead for riding in desolate places, and being prepared for all types of weather conditions. The group agreed that wool is a great clothing choice because it provides phenomenal insulation and does not smell. 

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Finally, we set up and then broke down a tent - setting up a tent in your apartment is helpful, but having the experience of staking the tent into the actual earth after some bike riding and fatigue from the elements (we were working in 80% humidity and light rain showers) simulated the real thing!

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Throughout the day, everyone offered helpful suggestions - can't get chamois cream for a saddle sore because you're in place without a bike shop? Try diaper cream instead, which is readily available at most drug stores.Are you riding in a place with bad cell phone reception and stuck without a map? Load the GPS when you have service and then switch your phone into airplane mode - the GPS will still work and you can conserve your battery for emergencies. When packing up your campsite, don't bother folding your tent or sleeping bag as doing so will actually cause the fabrics to wear down faster. We all walked away with new ideas and more confidence for hitting the roads. Thank you all who participated and to our leaders!

Find out more about the Women's Adventure Cycling Club here!

SaddleDrive 2016



Every year, around this time, I am fortunate enough to get invite to Quality Bike Products (QBP) SaddleDrive event. The last 4 summers were in Utah, this year the event shifted to the Northstar Resort, near Lake Tahoe, California.

The event is centered around testing out QBP's new model year offerings from Salsa, Surly, All City, Heller and Civia. In addition to hands-on demos, there is a great product expo (centered around QBP's Dealer Choice Program), brand presentations, parties and great food.

Bracketed around 2 travel days, the event included full sessions Thursday and Friday.  The attendees were divided up into 4 groups, making grabbing that specific bike much easier


After an amazing dinner on our first night, Thursday opened up with a very focused dealer expo, really focusing on some great brands that have been curated by QBP for their Dealer's Choice Program.

The mountain was at our full disposal, along with all of the chair lifts. I had never ridden after chair-lifting up a mountain.

I was fortunate to try a bunch of bikes, and also had the misfortune of crashing a few times as I ventured to the top of the mountain.






Thanks for QBP for the invite, and I hope to be lucky to attend next year

2016 Women's Off-Road Jam


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Pretty Damned Fast and 718 Cyclery presented the 1st Annual Women's Off-Road Jam on July 24, 2016 at Cunningham Park in Queens, NYC. The goal of this FREE event was to welcome new riders into the world of off-road cycling through free coached clinic and skills drills taught by female coaches, as well as provide a place for intermediate and advanced riders to have a blast on the trails, mentor new riders, and show off their skills. Over 50 rider braved 90+ degree temperatures to enjoy the day in the woods with friends.

As always, the day began early at 718 Cyclery, with the ceremonial "Loading of the Bikes" at 7am. Actually, planning for the event started back in April.

Morning Load-out at 718 Cyclery
We were looking to have numerous sessions that women new to mountainbiking could try, as well as sessions where intermediate riders could learn a thing or two. The idea was to have multiple groups rotate through multiple sessions during the day. We were lucky to have the following events.

"Mountain Bike Basics, and Intermediate Ride" (Kathi Krause, Dirt, Rock and Root Training)

Kathi Krause, owner and head coach of Dirt Rock n Root Training, started her cycling career on the velodrome and worked her way through criteriums, road, cyclocross, and cross country before finding her way to the Pro Downhill circuit. She spent 10 years on the Pro DH circuit. During that time she won three Masters World Downhill Championships, five Masters National Downhill Championships, and many other laurels, including winning the prestigious Kamikaze Downhill race in 2004 and most recently taking 2nd Overall in the Hawaii Winter Downhill Series (http://www.dirtrocknroot.com/)

Kathi held 2 Basic and one Intermediate ride, teaching body position and well as braking and shifting.




"How to Crash", Kristen Phillips (Bicycle Habitat, Women;'s Cycling NYC)

Kristen Phillips taught a course on how to crash (or more specifically, how to land after you have crashed).  Kristen is a fixture in NYC Cycling, and has taught this course for s number of years. Using circus mats, Kristen had her trainees go through various crash positions, and taught the safest way to hit the deck.




"Obstacle Course", Michaela Albanese (Team Lazer Cat)

Michaela drove up from Philadelphia at 6:15am to work with us on this event! Michaela took 2 intermediate groups to various obstacles at Cunningham Park, working on approach and exit strategies.



"Green Lap Tour", Anna Marie Diaz-Balart (Pretty Damned Fast)

As if helping to organize this event wasn't enough, Anna Marie took multiple groups on a "Green Lap Tour", explaining basic trail riding techniques.



"Open Demo" (718 Cyclery, Salsa, Surly, Reid and Focus)

We were incredibly fortunate to have bikes from the above vendors, as well as shop bikes from Kona, Niner and Santa Cruz available for participants to test out and ride for each session. Aaron and Greg from 718 Cyclery, as well as Chris from QBP and Joe from Reid were on hand to get everyone set up with sizing and suspension.



"Lunch Presentation",Sofia Whitcombe (Sombrio)

Lunch was a burrito-fest, provided by 718 Cyclery. During lunch, Sofia presented some of the latest mountain bike gear from Sombrio



"Novice Race"

The culmination of the day was to take all that they have learned and get racing on the trails. The races were fun and cooperative (when one racer fell, others offered to stop and wait for her). These races left smiles all around




Although it was hot, this was an amazing day that hopefully kindled the off-road fire within!







Many people worked very hard and gave their time to make this free event work. Please review the group below,

Anna Marie (Pretty Damned Fast)
Merdith, Aaron and Greg (718 Cyclery)
Kristen Phillips (Bicycle Habitat)
Michaela Albanese (Team Lazer Cat)
Sofia Whitcombe (Sombrio)

Demo Bike Providers:
Reid (Reid Cycles)
Focus (Focus Bikes)


718 Spring 2016 Tour

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On May 7th, 718 Employees and some adventurous customer made their was from NYC to Pittsburgh to start our Spring Tour.  It was an unsupported affair from Pittsburgh to Washington DC via the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) and Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal Towpath. This trip was "unsupported", meaning that everyone was responsible for carrying food, water and shelter on their bikes.

The trip was 354 miles, and the group did it in 6 days.  There were some experienced riders on the trip, but also there were quite a few brave souls that made their first bike tour with us. To prepare, 718 hosted a series of 3 free classes in the months leading up to the trip.


Many thanks to Arkel for providing panniers and bags for our tour leaders.
Loading bikes in Brooklyn
The following is a dispatch from Colin, a 718 employee on his 1st bike tour

You would think that because I've never done a multi-day bike tour, I would have over prepared, but that was not the case. On the bus just outside of Pittsburg I realized I forgot one of the most essential pieces of cycling equipment: my helmet. The rest of the tour from then out was a whirlwind of new experiences, mud, sightseeing, mud, camaraderie, tunnels, and mud.
Pittsburgh
The first leg of our journey was spent on the Great Allegheny Passage or the GAP. Filled with sprawling vistas and dotted with historical facts, the route from pittsburgh was a steady incline that was barely noticeable throughout the 60+ miles of daily riding. Worth noting was the excellent food we had while riding the GAP. Specifically, a curious "Amish Grocery Store" and knick knack shop in Connersville PA called Waivie and Janes is worth all your time, money, and more.

We reached the eastern continental divide and the highest point of the GAP, an elevation of 2,932 ft, and sped through a long and fantastic tunnel that spit us out into a much appreciated long and steady descent in the C&O canal.
We had been warned by a few cyclists and concerned instagrammers that the C&O was going to be a muddy mess, but we were prepared and unafraid of a little mud and trudged onwards. While the latter half of the trip was plagued by mud and rain, the C&O was so breathtakingly lush and full of wildlife it was easy to ignore our bikes and bodies slowly turning into mud golems.

If you find yourself on the C&O you need to stop at Harpers Ferry and make the journey beyond into Bolivar and visit the Country Cafe and General Store. Great staff, and phenomenal diner food. We would have stayed there all day trying everything if we didn't have to eventually come home.
Our final day on the trip the C&O gifted us with yet more rain, and a slow creep back into civilization. The cars, runners, and tourists became more frequent as we approached DC, making the end of the trip just a little less jarring.

I had an excellent time, and would highly recommend the route from Pittsburgh to DC to anyone with any level of touring experience. "Low risk, high reward," - The Greg.
P.S. I bought a new helmet at a bike shop on the first day of the trip. Safety first!
Cleaning bikes upon return to Brooklyn


2016 Dirt Jam Event and Race Report

2016 Dirt Jam Event and Race Report

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Like most events at 718 Cyclery, Dirt Jam was born out of some random ideas, and the desire to bring people together who enjoy off-road riding. The random idea was to put on a race/event that was more of a fun celebration than just a race. Location was Cunningham Park in Queens, NYC.


Our other race events in the near past (2015's City Slicker Classic and 2016's Fat and Frozen Fatbike Race) were also a lot of fun, but we wanted Dirt Jam (sometimes referred to as DirtJam!, like SpaceJam!) to be loads of fun, whatever that means.

The ideas started rolling in late last year for an event that had fun races and events...sort of like The Lumberjack Games.  We decided we had to have a standard set of races for men and women, as well as a novice run.  We also developed and added the Nerf MTB Biathlon and the Fatbike Derby.

Nerf MTB Biathlon

This event was hatched to mimic the Nordic Biathlon event,where cross country skiers have to stop periodically and hit targets with rifles.  The game here is controlling one's heart-rate to get a steady shot.

This idea started and thankfully ended quickly as a race using BB guns. We settled on the more skin-puncture friendly Nerf arsenal of weapons.  The idea is that in the middle of a 2 lap race, contestants have to stop and hit targets (water bottles) with a Nerf rifle at 25'. We ran 4 heats of 5 riders. Riders would only be allowed to continue their 2nd lap after a target was hit.

Steady, Sergeant-at-Arms for Dirt Jam 2016





The race had its intended effect, where a fast rider who gets into the shooting stall might not be the best shot.  The best shot was an 8 year old, who nailed a target on his first try.

Fatbike Derby

Initially, the "derby" context of this event conjured up images of knocking each other around like a roller derby match.  Calmer heads again prevailed, and this was turned into a relay race of sorts. The format here were random groups of 3 (men and women mixed), assigned a random fatbike, with each rider having to compete a lap and then hand off to the next rider.








The obvious fun of this event was the craziness that happened in the "exchange area", where teams scrambled to get saddles raised/lowered while getting out of the way of crossing teams.


Novice Ride (That Turned Into a Race)

We weren't sure if this event would be a novice ride or race, so we did both, 718 Cyclery Employee and Race Team members Aaron and Clay lead the group on an instructional first lap.  At the conclusion, those who wanted to throw down and race had at it.  The amazing this about this was this basically turned into a youth event.







Men's MTB Race

We felt we had to have a least one (or 2) recognizable bike events. The Men's Race was held first.  As is out tradition, we had a Le Mans start where racers leave their bikes in a clearing, march 200 yards into the woods, and proceed to run to get their bikes.


Racers at the Starting Line


Official Finish Line




Women's MTB Race

Exactly the same format as the men's race, an amped-up group of female racers got the crowd really into it.






718 Race Team

Dirt Jam was the coming out party for the 718 Race Team. The mission of this (Men's and Women's) team is to promote the enjoyment of riding in the woods with friends, as well as the accessibility of these rides to NYC. Members finished 4, 5, 6 and 8th in the Men's Race, and provided race and medical event support.




Event Set-Up and Support

These events aren't possible without the 718 Staff and our family of shop friends. These are generally long days that begin and end with loading a lot of stuff into and out of a truck.







Industry Support

Chris from QBP and Joe from Downeast/Reid have been fixtures at our events since their inception.






Both of these great guys provided demo bikes and tech support at this event, and all events previous. The biggest thing they provide is getting newcomers on some great bikes in the woods.

Also, a big thanks to Geoff from Santa Cruz and Scott from Niner, making sure we had bikes for this event.

Causes

There were a number of great organizations that joined us at Dirt Jam to share their causes (and brownies) with a very receptive audience.



Trips for Kids

The Bike School

(more to come on the Bike School...you will be amazed)

These events are a bear to pull off, but are so exhilarating when the dust has settled and you see so many smiling friends. Thank you all, and see you at the 2016 City Slicker Classic in the Fall (or a Lumberjack Games in August).



Never Never Never Ever Discount Labor

"Why would we ever want to cut out from under us the one real leg we have to stand on?" 


This time of year (winter), it always seems a lot of shops offer tune-up deals.  

Is the idea is to bring in more work and get paid less for it?  What is the point of that? Doesn't that get you back to where you started? If that's the goal, wouldn't it be better to bring is less work for more money (or even better, more work for more money).  

All things being equal, and the quality of life for my employees being important, we'll take the latter every time. Why any shop would want to slog through more work and get paid less for it, I'll never know.



In a world where about every part and accessory that we sell is cheaper online (How Things Work Online), the only thing that keeps us around is our labor and our relationships.  Why would we ever want to cut out from under us the one real leg we have to stand on?

Maybe its the knee-jerk reaction of it being cold outside, and there's the feeling of needing to generate work when there are not so many people riding? They way you deal with that is by "shrinking the off-season" with events (races, trip, shop rides, classes, demos).  This keeps people naturally in-touch with your efforts over the winter.

The slippery slope of offering discounted labor will have negative long term effects.  For one, it trains you customers to expect a discount on labor.  Secondly, it devalues labor rates. Lastly it doesn't present a consistent message (if we're doing the same amount of work, why is it worth 25% less when its cold out?) 

"You cant hammer a nail over the internet"

First Day of 718 Summer

At 718 Cyclery, there are 2 seasons...Summer and Winter.

  • Summer: March 1st to October 31st (8 months)
  • Winter: November 1 to February 28 (4 months)
Having 2 distinct seasons of 8 and 4 month respectively helps us plan and budget in a city that can see over 100 Fahrenheit of temperature swings during the year. 


We also use this system to pay and schedule our salaried employees so that they get the same paycheck every week, year-round. Their salaries are based on a 40 hour work week. During the 8 months of Summer, they work 45 hours/week. During the 4 months of Winter they work 30 hours/week. Over the course of the year, it averages out to a 40 hour/week, which is how they get paid.

One of the banners we fly is to work hard and "reduce thee off-season"...meaning shrinking Winter as much as we can.  We do this with our regular schedule of Free Classes, Shop Rides and even Races

Charting this 4 month period (November, December, January and February) over the last 5 years, we have been successful in growing our business. Not by sitting inside and watching movies and events on TV, but by getting our asses outside and sailing into the wind.

  • Winter 2010/11, Baseline
  • Winter 2011/12, 79% growth over previous winter
  • Winter 2012/13, 35% growth over previous winter
  • Winter 2013/14, 5% growth over previous winter
  • Winter 2014/15, 12% growth over previous winter
  • Winter 2015/16, 25% (projected) growth over previous winter

In the winter, there is the most opportunity for growth. Most shops shut down for a day or 2 during the week, and reduce their hours. We keep our same shop schedule year-round, and reduce staff time in the shop, as mentioned above. Its kind of like a camera lens...you need to open the aperture up more when it get dark. 

Why Are You Guys Giving Away a Bike?

Why are you guys giving away a bike?

First, I must confess. This idea "came to me" while watching an episode of Diesel Brothers on the Discovery Channel. It is a pretty by-the-numbers reality show operation, but the endearing (endearing all the way to the bank) hook is that they give away one of their diesel behemoths to a customer.

They are pushing people to their online shop, where every $5 in purchases gets a chance to win in the free truck drawing.

Well, I got thinking...could the same model work for kick-ass bikes? That night in January, our Bike Giveaway was born.  In my view, there were 2 pretty cool advantages to trying this out.

The first was to drive traffic to our Online Shop.  In a world where consumers can buy parts cheaper than I can buy them at wholesale ("How Things Work Onlne"), we have always struggled with our place in the e-commerce world.  We are not the type of business that sits inside these 4 walls and bemoans how the internet is destroying us.  We are a shop that takes chances and finds our own way, fueled by our passions and interests. Its worth a try, right?

The second reason that made sense to me was that it could really allow us to focus on us doing what we are known for; building up incredible projects with our customers. In an era where it's all about quick and dirty, let's get slow and dirty.  Let's document the process, let's interview the builder, let's design the rig we wished we could afford..and lets give it away to a lucky nerd (718 nerds and theior immediate nerd families are not eligible)

I usually interject a short anecdote at this point of my description that makes my wife cringe.  It goes something like, "Hey, I have thrown money away with nothing to show for it before, lets take a chance, and at the very least get some great bike pics out of it!"

Looking beyond our first Giveaway Bike, we have though that maybe we can use this to really emphasize the kind of stuff we are into. What if the summer bike is a sweet Mountain Bike, the Fall is a tricked out Cargo Bike, and the winter yields a killer Fatbike?  Who the heck knows....but I do know that we'll never know unless we give it a try.

Anyway, here we are.  We have a great bike spec'd out, and we'll see where this all goes!

Salsa Winter Weekend 2016

Salsa Winter Weekend 2016

At 718 Cyclery, we value our relationship with Salsa Cycles. So, when we had the chance to get Jeremy from Salsa up to Brooklyn for a Bikepacking Class and a Demo Ride, we jumped at the chance.



Bikepacking Class 2/5/16

The weekend started on Friday, with Jeremy hosting a class on bikepacking in the shop.  Salsa didn't invent the sport, but they certainly make many bikes and products that promote and support it.  You would be hard-pressed to find a bike company more committed to "Adventure" (heck, its in their motto).


Pizza and beer were served, and Jeremy detailed some of his equipment choices and experiences. Many folks who are heading out on our Tours this Spring and Summer were in attendance. He also showed off his Salsa Deadwood 29+ Bikepacking rig.


Demo Ride 2/6/16

Saturday dawned cold and still at Cunningham Park in Queens, NYC. In addition to the blizzard we had 2 weeks ago, we had additional snow the day before the ride. Working directly with C.L.I.M.B., it was determined that the conditions would be satisfactory for our Saturday morning ride. We never want any of our rides or events to be destructive to our local trail network.

After staying at a classy hotel near the Belmont Racetrack, Jeremy showed up with the big red Salsa van filled with 22 bikes.


Befitting the season and conditions, the bike roster included BearGreases, Mukluks, Bucksaws, Blackborows, El Mariachis a Deadwood and a Fargo.

Having the best crew in NYC helps in events like these, as we had a great staff turnout to assist Jeremy.  We would need it, as a steady stream of riders descended on the registration tent right at our 9:30am open.


Conditions were in the mid-30's at start of the ride, climbing to the low 40's by the time we ended the day. We had 35 riders fill out waivers, and it was estimated that each rider took at least 2 different bikes on a spin around Cunningham Park.


It's hard to say which bike was the most popular, as all bikes were checked out and ridden.  The prevailing thought was the Carbon Beargrease was the big crowd winner.

2016 Fat and Frozen Race Report


2016 Fat and Frozen Race Report


Planning for Fat and Frozen, NYC's first fatbike race, was started in early December 2015. Coming off our "City Slicker" mountain bike race event on November 7th, 2015, we at the shop felt there was a large enough NYC/Metro Area Fatbike community that would make it worth while to throw a race.

One thing we didn't plan on for our snowbike race was the snow...records amounts of it!  Our planned date of January 23rd was snowed out due to a historic blizzard that shut NYC down.  We thought about holding it anyway, but felt that our insurance company wouldn't look to kindly if we were hosting an event during a travel ban with 55mph winds in the woods.

Luckily, we were able to move our permits, demo bikes, insurance and even the food truck  to 1 week later, on January 30th.

One thing that was important to us was to host the race as a benefit to CLIMB (Concerned Long Island Mountain Bikers). We wanted our talk of giving back to actually have some teeth.  CLIMB maintains many many miles of trails locally, and in our opinion make places like Cunningham Park possible.

As a shop, we are always looking to find opportunities to get people on these bikes, out in the wild, with friends. You can't call yourself a mountain or fatbike shop by just hanging these bikes on the walls. Additionally, we are saddled with the fact that someone can't take a reasonable test-ride outside our shop. Whereas some off-road shops may be fortunate to have a trail-head out their back door, in Brooklyn we have 3rd Avenue.  Our shop rides, tours and races are thinly veiled opportunities to get people riding out in the woods with friends.


In order to make this happen, we need partners who are willing to provide demo bikes and support. We are lucky to have QBP (Salsa, Surly, All City, Foundry) as a very able and willing partner in our effort to create a real community of off-road riders here in NYC.

The day dawned cold and relatively still. Load-out at the shop started at 6:00am, with all present and accounted for/wheels up at 7:00am, with 3 vehicles heading the 20 miles to the edge of NYC.

718 Crew getting things ready at the shop
Rental van load-out, 6:00am
Much to Greg's dismay, we arrived at Cunningham Park at 7:30:28am, 28 seconds behind schedule. The plan was to release "Team Riverdance" out onto the trail to tape and groom it where they could, while "Team Homebase" was left to set up registration table.
Initial Registration table set-up...the "1000 mile stare"
The call came in from Team Riverdance about 15 minutes into their journey down the trail.  There were many impassable areas, and they also felt that the idea of running the advanced and intermediate riders to the far side of the park was too dangerous.
Original courser map, before it was shortened for safety concerns
The concept here is safe and fun.  After the call was made, it was also determined that all available people needed to get out and work the trail into shape by tamping down all of the snow. Working in opposite directions, Team Riverdance and the Stomp 1 and Stomp 2 expeditions made it around the trail, meeting in a "Golden Spike" moment on the far side of the trail.

Mitch, explaining how its going to be
With the ability to actually hold an event, we started the registration process for our initial 10:00am race.
Race Registration
The race schedule was as follows.
  • 10:00am Men's Advanced
  • 10:30am Women's Advanced
  • 11:00am Men's Intermediate
  • 11:30am Womens's Intermediate
  • Noon Men's Novice
  • 12:30pm Women's Novice
  • 1:00 The ClayForce One Ice Jump Extravaganza
Because of the size of each heat, we once again decided on a "LeMans" start, having participants run 100 yards down a snowy incline to pick up bikes. 
Le Mans Start

The first group in particular had a tougher time on the "partially" groomed conditions, but the subsequent races had near perfect conditions. The temperatures remained in the low 40's, with sun and no wind, making conditions ideal

Self-inflicted crash








Results

Advanced Women Podium
Advanced Men Podium
Intermediate Men Podium
Intermediate Women Podium
Novice Men Podium
Novice Woman Podium Pic missing, but here they are staring the race!

Amazing Finish

After flatting on the far side of the course, Kenji was able to run it back to the pits, grab another bike (XS Salsa Mukluk) and pass 3 riders on the final lap.

"He's coming in hot"
With borrowed XS Mukluk

The ClayForce One Ice-Jump Extravaganza

No 718 event would be complete without 718 employees looking for ways to injure themselves.  At Fat and Frozen, this took the form of a built up ice/snow jump over a log.

Building our very own Workman's Comp ramp


Illegal Activity and Other Cheating

This years race was marred by illegal activity, mostly caused by shop ne'er-do-well Greg. If you look for Greg in any of the 350 pics in the gallery, he is probably up to something.
Greg providing illegal hydration to Tijon
Greg illegally pushing 2 riders

Postscript

We had over 90 riders registered for the event. We were able to generate $915 in donations for CLIMB, as well as get them 40+ new members and some fresh meat for their Spring and Summer Trail Maintenance Events

Thank You's

There were any people that threw in to make this event possible.  In no order of importance..
  • Bicycle Habitat provided a demo bike as well as 7 employees to lend a hand. In this day and age of small businesses being at each others throats, its refreshing to work with a shop as established and well-known as Habitat. Thanks to Charlie, Kristen and the rest of the crew.
  • QBP and Chris Gebhardt provided a ton of Salsa and Surly demo bikes, giving new riders a taste of the great outdoors (on a bike). Chris was like a tech with 6 hands, getting new racers sized up and ready to race all day long.
  • Andrew, the owner of Hard Time Sundaes provided his food truck and the (as advertised) Best Burgers in NYC. Please go to his website to find out where he'll be next. If you're lucky, maybe he'll do your next event.
  • Joe Kirdahy from Downeast/Reid provided a tent and some great Reid Fatbikes for people to race and demo.  Joe has been a friend for awhile, and is pretty much down for anything that involves fatbikes and mountain bikes.
  • Mr John Blye, who represents a number of great outdoor products such as Schwalbe, Arkel, Fatback, Wren and Advocate Cycles (to name a few). John was going to bring an Air Arch to the event...stay tuned for the next Air Arch appearance.
  • Kenji, and his company Roley Poley, provided 12 pro grade walkie-talkies.  Maybe I charged them, maybe I didn't...they the worked great with the charge they had.
  • Thanks to Mitch and the medical team...here's hoping Luthern Hospital doesn't notice any thing missing. Even with a banged up arm, Mitch (and Arthur) made sure all were safe.
  • Jamie, for driving and being our biggest and best-attended supporter.
  • Oh yeah... Thanks for the car Deb (my wife)
  • ..and, a final thanks to the Employees and "Friends" of 718 Cyclery.  Thanks for believing in my vision to become the best Adventure Cycling Shop in NYC.  Its been a crazy ride, and it's about to get crazier. Thank you "Speed Rope", "Ram Jet", "Pinch Flat" and "Flipper".







They Way We Were: Understanding Offset Frames and Wheels on Fatbikes

Frame Offset

Adventure Cycling, and in particular fatbikes. are a big part of what we do. We are commonly asked about frame and wheel offset as it relates to fatbike design.

Frames were offset when fatbikes arrived on the scene.  This offset was meant to accommodate the chain being able to pass very large tires on its way from the crank to the lower gears of the rear cassette. This frame offset was also required by the fact that there simply weren't a selection of larger fatbike-specific hubs we see today. These were the pioneers.

Figure I shows a standard modern mountain bike condition, with a 2" tire set into a 135mm spaced frame.

Figure II shows the interference issue that arose with the arrival of fat tires without the frame dsign to accept them.  The chain cannot pass the tire and set up in the lower (bigger) gears of the cassette.

Figure III shows the offset frame design.  Offsetting both rear dropouts to the right 17.5mm (in the case of the Surly Pugsley)


The image below shows standard line (whte) of dropout structure, while the red lines indicate the offset dropout alignment of the Surly Pugsley.

Wheel Offset

Because the frame is now 17.5 mm off center to the right, just inserting a standard/symmetrical wheel would cause the center-line of the tire to be offset. This is entirely unacceptable for safety and tracking purposes. To achieve this, many fatbike rims have parallel sets of spoke holes, making building an offset rim easier. The rime is built and dished 17.5mm to the left to achieve the result of having the tire/wheel be on the center-line of the bike


Advantages

The main advantage for this setup is that one can use any 135mm mountain bike rim on a fatbike. It also makes the use of internally geared hubs easier. In addition, if you have a fatbike with an offset fork, you could theoretically swap front for back in case of drive-train issues

Offset Fatbikes

Resources

2016: Further Focus

At 718 Cyclery, there never was a business plan. This may make a lot of business-types cringe. We have allowed the shop to take us where it would take us, like kayaking down the rapids. "Wild Ride" analogies aside, I do think that we have gotten involved with things that we never would have if following a set plan. We have always believed that getting our customers excited about what excites us is the path to growing a sustainable business. Well, what excites us?  Building bikesriding off-road, camping, touringcargo bikes and teaching.



As an architect, I was given a book titled "Now, Explore Your Strengths".  It talked about the natural human instinct of trying to become better at what we are not good at.  The book described this situation as spreading your limited resources too thin, and becoming a jack-of-all-trades but the master of none. The book went on to advocate a process of finding what you are good at and enjoy, and taking the time to become great at it.  I dove in. My salary essentially doubled and I became a very sought after specialist, even during down economic times. I had no resume or portfolio, yet worked at the best firms in NYC for close to 20 years (and gave it all up to run our sweaty bike shop!).

Back to this bike shop. After a track record of 7 years, you start to see patterns emerge.  Are we selling tons of hybrid bikes? No. Are we interested in hybrid bikes...not really.  The correlation of what we are interested in and what we sell with passion is pretty direct. We don't have a sales staff. We sell the things we use and are passionate about.  In that sense, it's not really selling as much as it is relating your experience to a customer, who may or may not be into it. 

We have lots of experience and passion in the adventure bike and cargo bike world . This passion has led us to become the NYC leader in these categories.  This wasn't some calculated market-share strategy (remember, no business plan!), these were interests that led us by the nose.

In 2015, we connected with so many people who share our interests (through camping tripsraces, etc). We are very excited to go further in 2016. We have remained fiercely independent, and have the sales numbers to prove that this method of running a business works. Our sales numbers are up 20%, and customer visits up 18% over 2014, and we passed a BIG number milestone that I never dreamed I would say. These increases are the results of narrowing down and focusing, and fly in the face of the typical business model of "selling everything" and "expanding". 

Thank you all so much for contributing to the shops existence. Without an engaged staff and passionate customers, we are just another bike shop. As you might conclude, I didn't get into this to be just another bike shop.

Hydraulic Brake Class


On November 13, 718 Cyclery added a Hydraulic Brakes Class to our roster of free maintenance and repair classes

Aaron went over the assembly of a hydraulic lever and caliper first.
Aaron also displayed the tools and bench set up to successfully work on a hydraulic system.
 The class then turned to the bleeding of both a Shimano system and an Avid system.
 Attendance topped out at around 15.
As is customary in all of our classes, the session was opened up at the end for questions and to look at people's specific brake and bike examples.

The 2015 City Slicker Classic, "From Skin-Suits to Kickstands"

The 2015 City Slicker Classic "From Skin-Suits to Kickstands"

September 26, 2015 

Clay, Mitch and Houston hatched the idea for a NYC off-road race while on our shop ride to Graham Hills The idea was to increase exposure for NYC trail and off-road riding.

October 9, 2015

So, Clay has been on me for over a year to host a race. Ideas ranged from a Super Mario Kart event to a trail race in Prospect Park.  I am not sure exactly when the idea for the City Slicker Classic came seriously into my world, but I know in the last 2 weeks it became real.
It seems that during our Bike Packing Trip to Vermont a few weeks ago, this got more real.  Maybe it was the clear mountain air, or the charcoal chested vision-questing, but we came off that mountain with a sense of clarity about this event.

Houston, a great friend of the shop, called in a big favor and got his friend to design our race poster. The design of the poster went through a few iterations, mostly centering around making the taxi drive figure less aggressive and more supportive. In addition, creating a female figure, dressed as the Statue of Libertty and carrying a slice opf pizza is a true testiment to the artist. With that in hand, we opened registration on 10/9/15.

October 11, 2015

Cunningham Park race trail scouting.

"Last Sunday, Houston, Mitch and I met out at Cunningham with 5 copies of the park map, 3 Sharpies and a cream cheese bagel. The first major decision was to include both portions of the park as they each have their own things to offer. We knew we were going to be seeing a handful of different kind of bikes and riders at different skill levels so we kept asking ourselves questions like, could a cross bike make it through that? Would a beginner to safe to bomb that section? Advanced hardtail riders will still have the upper-hand but we tried to make it as even as possible"


"We then pre-rode each difficult or expert off shoot sections to make sure they were all passable. Criteria was pretty loose but we only cut off one and half because they were too tame. We then came up with a strategy to make sure no one class of rider would have an advantage over the other, nor would people be able to turn down a chance at an obstacle without taking some form off alternative time punishment. We couldn't make it more than 1000 yds without someone asking what we were doing and wanting to sign up. 4 hours later we had the course outlined in a Sharpie rainbow across 3 maps with hazards, obstructions, check points, and medic team all clearly detailed and appropriately spread out"
Initial sketch of race course
"We ran it one last time with a stopwatch going just under race pace and guessed the average finish time will be around 45 minutes. If you ride it faster than that -- which we hope you will -- you will ralphing before the finish line. We have a pretty good course set, we're pretty sure your going to love it or die trying" (Clay)

Cunningham Park "Overpass"

October 12, 2015

I have started the process for getting sponsors involved and have been overwhelmed by the response. This list is a who's who in the mountain bike world, and can be found here.

October 13, 2015

Registration is booming today, we are at over 40 racers with 3+ weeks to go. We also leaned there is another event out at Cunningham (BikeLane!), and we are both making plans to accommodate each other. This event has gotten so big that we are bringing in a medical staff and purchasing walkie-talkies!

October 15, 2015

Race Committee Meeting (Joe, Aaron, Boss-Ass Mitch, Clay, Houston, Alfred). Our race committee met at least 4 times in the lead up to the race.

Oct 15 Race Meeting

October 25, 2015

Our last Race Committee meeting was mostly about the details

Oct 25 Race Meeting (tough guy pose)

October 26, 2015

Very early on, we determined that we could run a time-trial event, where each rider leaves and is timed in set intervals.  We just didn't have the equipment or time to mask it happen. We decided on a LeMans start, with heats no bigger than 25, figuring the running start would string riders out enough.

We found a great company (Rainbow Racing) that prints bibs/numbers for about 30 cents a number (black and white, with custom graphics)


We also determined that we needed walkie-talkies and a bullhorn. In this age of smartphones, playing with walkie-talkies is just plain fun.  In the end, our equipment didn't reach the far ends of Cunningham Park, so we had to use a relay system.

The biggest issue we face were permits and insurance.  We initially retrieved a 20 person permit from NYC. Through alot of haggling, we were able to secure a 100 person permit (reasoning that although we had 150 racers, no more than 100 would be there at any given time.

We also need to acquire insurance and develop a Race Waiver  The insurance company wouldn't issue a certificate until we had a race waiver.  This waiver needed to be vetted by a lawyer from NY, familiar with these documents. Insurance was issued oin a cost per rider/volunteer basis, and turned into our biggest expense.  Thanks to a donation, we were able to cover this and keep the entry fee free.

In addition, we also felt strongly about creating a Procedures Manual with an Emergency Action Plan

October 29, 2015

Insurance and Permits. These 2 issues were probably the biggest things that kept the Race Committee worried. Our initial permit was for 25 people, which needed to be amended to over one hundred.  Getting recommendations form CLIMB (Concerned Long Island Mountain Bikers),  we were able to present a thoughtful plan to the city in terms of trail and staging land use.

November 4, 2015

Race Maps. Great care was taken to design 3 routes that would allow advanced mountain bikers, cyclocross racers and novice riders to have a safe an enjoyable time

One of three course maps


Race Day! 11-7-15

Race day dawned clear with temperatures in the 60's. The 718 crew loaded our demo bikes and equipment starting at 4am, with the van arriving at Cunningham Park at 7am. The course marshals left to tape the course, and arrived back to link uop with other volunteers and medical tream to have a volunteer meeting at 8:45am

Pre-Race Volunteer Meeting
Registration opened at 9am for the first heat of racers, who were racing at 10am.  The registration tent saw some real hero's step up.



We developed a semi-elaborate sticker system, to determine which racer was in which race.  This helped finish line marshals determine finish order

Registration Tent

Tent City
Taping course maps to side of truck...pro move!

Races

We had more registrants than we ever imagined, which caused to have to put alot of effort into setting up race heats.  In addition, we had a number of racers who wanted to borrow bikes from our demo fleet.  To add to the complication, we developed 3 different courses and tried to match riders skill level to to a race heat
Because we had so many racers, and no timing equipment, the idea of running the event as a individual time trial was thrown out the window. The running starts, down 300 yards of trail, served to add some run to the proceedings as well as space out riders as they dove into the singletrack trail


Race Schedule
  • 10:00am Mountain Bike Open Heat 1 (Full Course)
  • 10:30am Mountain Bike Open Heat 2 (Full Course)
  • 11:00am Mountain Bike Open Heat 3 (Full Course)
  • 11:30am Female Mountain Bike (Full Course)
  • 12:30pm Open Cyclocross (Half Course x 2)
  • 1:30pm Mountain Bike Open Championship (Full Course)
  • 2:00pm Novice Race 1 (Novice Course)
  • 2:30pm Novice Race 2 (Novice Course)
  • 3:00pm Novice Race 3 (Novice Course)
The racing can best be described as a ton of friends winding around a course.  Things were competitive, but in a way that makes you feel good about the human spirit.  When riders went down, people stopped to help. When new riders were getting ready to go, they were encouraged by the more experienced group.

After Party

A small group of the volunteers that made thsi event possible

Sponsors

Our cup truly runneth over when it came to sponsors and prizes




(Keep your calendar clear in the middle of May...)