Monthly Archives: August 2008

Geaux Tigers


Our newest LSU fan

Our newest LSU fan

Lauren’s first LSU game was a success with the Tiger’s 41-13 win over App State. She doesn’t know the cheers yet like Grant, but she looks darn cure in LSU purple & gold.

Surprise visit

Jess and the kids stopped by to visit me at the office today. Amazing how seeing your kids for just 10 minutes in the middle of the day can truly make it a great day. Grant is always excited to come to my office because he can play with my various chochky and get a lolipop (today he had the cherry cola flavor).

You will also notice in the corner of the picture our new Team ThinkCash kits that came in today. I’ll do a separate posts on the kits next week.

Race Report – last Wed. Night Crit of the season

So last night was the final TBi Wednesday Night Crit of the season. To make it interesting, they tried a new format. The B racers (Cat 4 and Cat 3 35+) went off first, than the A racers (P 1, 2, 3) pushed off when the B racers hit the halfway point on the first lap (the loop is 1.6 miles, so we had a ~.8 mile head start).  The consensus at the beginning of the race was that the B racers wouldn’t push it too hard (for fear of burning too many matches and then not being able to hold on when the A racers caught us). So most though that they would catch us around lap 5-7. Surprisingly we managed to stay away until lap 11, when an elite chase group of 5 caught us (including my Mortiz teammate Justin).

With 2 laps to go I went to the front to help Justin and put in a small attack in hopes that the Metro VW guys would chase (giving Justin a chance to counter when they caught me). The only guy that followed me was from some other team I didn’t recognize and I eased up. By that point I was pretty spent (this was my first race in a couple months) so I let the group pass me and solo’d in on the last lap. Christian Helmig of Metro VW ended up taking the win (not surprising since he is the reigning State Crit Champ and just won Hotter ‘n’ Hell).

It was a fun format and gave me a solid hour of riding at intensity. My normalized power for the race was 263 watts and average speed was just over 25 mph.

Use Google Earth and win a cycling gold medal

Womens Time Trial Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong

Womens Time Trial Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong

Google Earth was one of the training tools Kristin Armstrong used to win her Olympic Gold Medal in the time trial. When she did her time trials in December, 2007 in China, she took along her husband’s GPS unit to capture the elevation along the route. Then she used that data to find the best training route back home in Boise (designing a local loop that closely mimicked the Olympic course). In a guest post on the Google Lat-Long blog, Armstrong explains:

After returning home to Boise, Idaho, I exported the GPS data to several different formats, one of which I was able to launch with Google Earth. I was then able to trace the entire course from the comfort of my home half a world away and find a similar route to train on back in Boise. This capability along with having the elevation profile proved invaluable in my preparation for my Gold Medal race.

It’s great to see cyclists using technology to improve their performance. One of the side benefits is that it gives fans an unprecedented level of information and access. A great example is Team Garmin-Chipotle’s Power Blog. They’ll have posts with a rider’s profile from a given race and insight’s into their performance. As a power junkie, it’s great to compare my numbers to the pros; as a result, I have even more respect for how good those guys really are.

New Arundel bling – plus a new site design

My buddies at Arundel Bicycle Company recently redesigned their website and it looks great. Arundel makes some of he best cycling accessories in the business. All of their stuff manages to blend style and function (everything looks cool on your bike, but more importantly it works). Arundel is based here in Fort Worth and the guys are part of the foundation of the Fort Worth-cycling-scene. 

I just got some stainless steel bottle cages for my single speed. With the Gecko Grip bar tape and Dual seat bag, that makes my single speed an “All-Arundel” bike (I’ll post pics of the bike with the new cages soon). The bike needs to look good as I ride it for 112 miles in TXTough.

If you want to add some Arundel bling to your ride, you can get a list of Arundel dealers here.

Google Maps – Bike There. Sign the petition!

There is an effort underway to convince the Google Maps team to add bicycle directions (in addition to the current driving directions). This would be a huge boon for cyclist and would really help people considering commuting to work by bike. You can sign the petition here. I’ve included the text of the petition below:

To:  Google, and the Google Maps team

We would like a ‘Bike There’ feature added to Google Maps – to go with the current ‘Drive There’ and ‘Take Public Transit’ options.

The feature would take into account actual bicycle lanes from the locality being mapped, and it would automatically plan a route for a bicyclist, possibly even providing the cyclist options for either the most direct route, or the most bicycle-friendly (safest) route. The Google Maps-based third party site, (, provides these features for two metro areas – Portland, Oregon and Madison, Wisconsin, and there are countless other mapping initiatives around the world aimed at accomplishing the same goal. We hope that Google will consider building this feature into the core Google Maps service.

There are many reasons why this feature would be a wonderful edition to Google Maps. Among them, some of the most influential would be to:
* Make bicycling safer for millions of bicyclists around the world.
* Empower world citizens to better adapt their lifestyles to face the challenges of global climate change.
* Help Google realize its core mission of ‘organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful.’

By implementing the ‘Take Public Transit’ option, Google and the Google Maps team have shown themselves to be concerned and capable world citizens; a ‘Bike There’ feature addition to Google Maps would be the ultimate statement in support of sustainable development.

For more information on this feature request please visit the Google Maps ‘Bike There’ website (

Thank you, Google and the Google Maps team! And thank you, petitioners, for joining us in attempting to realize this very important goal!


No Hotter ‘n Hell – On set instead

After having ridden Hotter ‘n Hell the last two years, it feels a little strange to not be in Wichita Falls today. Instead, I’m on set shooting customer testimonials for ThinkCash at Farstar HQ. As Kevin L. mentioned on the Farstar Blog – It’s always fun and rewarding to spend time with our customers and here their stories. There truly is a “story behind every loan” and it really makes the job more rewarding when customers personally thank you for helping them with their emergency cash needs.

Usain Bolt – More amazing than you realize

So if you saw Jamaica’s Usain Bolt win the 200 meters final in the Olympics, you had to be impressed (as Kevin points out, his 100 meter performance was also impressive). But you probably don’t realize just how impressive the 200 meter performance really was. The New York Times shows Usain Bolt’s new world record, relative to the 250 greatest 200-meter sprints ever (see above).

The chart would indicate that Bolt’s record will stand for a long time, but sports has a funny way of bucking standard distributions.

The Race to 10,000

So I was looking at my TrainingPeaks software last night (after a 27 mile ride in the pouring rain with Kevin D.) and I noticed that I’m at 6,200 miles for the year. That’s easily more miles on my bike than on my car. So I decided that I’m setting a goal of at least 10,000 miles for 2008. To hit 10,000 I basically need to average at least 225 miles a week for the rest of the year. That seems feasible right now with the long days (daylight) of summer. However, with two kids at home and less sunlight, 225 miles becomes more difficult in the late fall. Therefore, I’m going to try and knock out as many miles as possible while the schedule permits and then use my eMotion Rollers when fall comes. I’ll take care of 112 of those miles on my single speed as I raise money for the Children’s Medical Center Dallas at TX Tough.

I Love the 80’s – ThinkCash Style

Every quarter we have a company “Town Hall” at ThinkCash. It’s a great way to update all employees on the state of the company (financially, marketing campaigns, IT improvements, etc.). Last town hall we decided to “spice-it-up” with a funny video to open the event. It was such a hit that we decided to do it again. The theme for this town hall was “Back to the 80’s” (it had significance related to some internal goals). So we shot a 80’s themed video with our exec team and then invited all of our employees to dress in their favorite 80’s duds for the event.

I had a lot of fun working on the video and couldn’t have done it without Anthony’s help. That’s right, when I’m not thinking of a better ways to provide our customers with emergency cash loans, I’m producing and directing low-budget company films. BTW, props to Kevin D for his award-winning-performance.