Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tinker's Christmas Gift Ideas

If you have not already picked out that perfect present for someone special or even if you are shopping for yourself, here are a few ideas. These are my favorite things that I use daily:


Without a doubt the best mountain bike on the planet is the Cannondale Scalpel. This is the ultimate gift for that someone special. But seriously honestly, any Cannondale bike you pick will be an excellent choice. Cannondale makes a bike for every enthusiast, not just for professional racing. Check out the website for all the choices:

Cycling Shoes:
Diadora cycling shoes It takes a lot for me to break in to anything new. A few years ago I started using Diadora cycling shoes and I have been continually impressed with them and I plan to use them for the rest of my professional career and way way beyond. Yes they are awesome cycling shoes. I use the Diadora Pro Trail Carbon in white. Diadora also made me a special pair of shoes with rainbow stripes and presented them to me at Interbike in September. I feel like I can win anything when I wear them!

Finding my way (GPS):

Garmin Edge 705 - This is one of the coolest gadgets I own. I am still learning all the bells and whistles but without a doubt one of my favorite things for training, racing, and fun riding.


Tifosi Optics My favorite is the Q3 but they have so many nice selections it is difficult to choose. My favorite thing about this company is their optics. They offer excellent quality eyewear for a reasonable price. Don't let the cost fool you - they are excellent quality eyewear - and my all time favorite for fit and comfort.


Niterider TriNewt and Flight 2.0. Niterider lights have a long standing high quality reputation for their cutting edge technology, brightness, and battery life. Keep an eye out on this company as they expand their product line. Right now my favorites are the super dependable TriNewt and Flight 2.0. I could not have been so successful in the 12 and 24 hour venues without the Niterider lights.


All terrain & racing: Dred Treds;
All terrain & racing: Karma;
Road: C2C
Kenda makes a top notch product no matter which one you pick. These are my top pics for mtb and road. I use these almost exclusively for all my riding. Keep an eye out for my newest design in 2009. We hope to announce it in the spring.

Cross Training:

If you want something really special for your cross training with the kids and better half, I highly recommend the Chariot child carrier. Here are a few photos of Joshua and I with the new Chariot Cross Country model CX2. This buggy is the ultimate in luxury and toughness. Kind of like Angelina Jolie. Take one of these home to honey and she will be endlessly grateful!!! (Big time brownie points on this one!!!)

Healing Power Inside and Out:

Start you year off right with Mona Vie! I cannot say enough about how much I have realized the healing power and healthful benefits of Mona Vie. It proved it's power for me when I was recovering from the car accident. I have never healed faster than that. I also notice my gray hair is not coming in as much! Ha! It is awesome, tastes great, and a must for your wellness program. They have a special going now for the holidays. Holiday Gift set: Jacqueline Pittman Distributor

Well, that is all for tonight, I have more on my list of gift ideas and will post photos and links later this week. Here is a preview:

Reynolds Wheels
Crankbrothers Quatros
Exustar hydration system and gloves
Cannondale Scapel
Cannondale Super Six
Magura brakes,
Fizik Dolamite saddle
Crocs shoes

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bike Action Brazil Magazine

The trip to Brazil last month was awesome and one of the many highlights was being interviewed by Fabio of Bike Action Brazil magazine. I don't have the hard copies yet, or the article text, but here is the cover. I have to admit that being on a cover of a national magazine is an honor.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Epic Racing Around the World: Destination South Africa Sabie Experience

December 6, 2008 4:45 AM PST: Bags packed, feeling mostly recovered, and looking forward to a fun trip and a great race. Mostly, we were looking forward to meeting Ian van der Walt of DCM Chrome and Janse van Rensburg, my partner for the Sabie Experience, a 4 day MTB stage race in Sabie South Africa. Sabie is really close to the Kueger National Park and we were also hoping to get a chance to see zebras, a giraffe, or some other exotic animals and wildlife. I was feeling much better after the accident but I think I will have a scar for the rest of my life to remind me how dangerous this sport can be. And I thank God every day for my custom painted Uvex helmet that I think saved me that day.

The travel crew included myself, my 23 month old son Joshua, wife Terri, Elmo, and Tracy Clinton who we recruited to help out with us and Joshua. Here we are after unloading at 5:30 AM at LAX.

The mission statement for MonaVie-Cannondale is "Epic Racing Around the World". One thing about epic racing around the world are all the cool stamps you get to accumulate in your passport. Mine include such places as the UK, Brazil, Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Peru, Singapore, Japan, etc.... It is an awesome portfolio reminder about all the cool stuff I have had the good fortune of experiencing on a bike! I was more than ready to get a stamp for South Africa. I have never been there and was really looking forward to it.
We arrived in Atlanta at around 4:00 PM EST. We had a good lunch, and then went to stand in line to get on the flight to Drakar and Johannesburg. Terri and Joshua went ahead of me but the guy checking passports prior to boarding held me back. He said I needed 2 full pages in order to travel but I only had 1 and 1/2 pages available. Huh?
We asked, begged, pleaded...there was nothing we could do on a Saturday in Atlanta. The passport office is closed on the weekends and even if we tried, you can't get a US passport in less than 2 weeks. That meant no trip and no race for me. Terri said she could go without me, but she was just joking of course! (maybe...)

Not much to get mad about. They wouldn't let me on the plane to South Africa and that was final. So they booked a flight for us back to LA. There wasn't much more we could do so we made the best of it and had a beer and let it sink in. Joshua ran around checking out all the cool Christmas decorations in the Atlanta airport.

There are people that only take one trip like this in a lifetime. We felt like one of those people with our hopes and dreams of waking up with a giraffe looking at us in the window, riding bikes for hours in Sabie, and hanging out with Ian and the rest of the folks at the race. Yep it was disappointing but what really gets to me is I made a promise to race with Janse and I had to let him down. Good luck Janse...I hope you the best with who ever gets to race with you.
The most disappointing part of it all was telling Ian and Linda that we couldn't be there and why. Meanwhile we worried about the luggage but that showed up later in the day on Sunday. All in all, we were really grateful we found this out before leaving the US. We are also trying to schedule a make-up trip sometime in 2009. Will let you know what works out.

Today I filled out my passport application and it is ready to be processed.

December 6, 2008 7:30PM PST. We arrived back at LAX. The baggage didn't arrive so we filed a report. We also looked into recovering the $300 I had to pay to take the bike with me. Damn - the airlines are nuts these days!! Most people don't have bikes that cost that much.

So after feeling sorry for ourselves the rest of the night, we decided to head to Las Vegas for a couple of days. We needed a break so once the bags arrived we loaded them into the truck and headed to the Red Rock Resort and Spa in Las Vegas.

Red Rock was awesome. We woke up each morning to a breathtaking view of the red rocky mountains. I got some good riding in, and we enjoyed a few good meals. We didn't even spend a penny on slots or gambling though. Neither of us are big into gambling but we did go to the arcade and won some tickets which bought us a toy train whistle, rubber snake, and a big green bug.

Then, one of the most incredible moments happened. Joshua pooped in the potty for the very first time on Monday morning. It was so awesome! We are just hoping he doesn't wait a year until the next time!

God Bless,

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sabie Experience 4-day stage race in South Africa

I have to admit that jumping into a big trip after recovering from a big injury and the flu has made me a little more than nervous but I think I'm feeling good. Today I went for my first long ride since the injury. I felt pretty good! I went on the same mountain loop as that day. But I came home on a different route. Still feeling a little gun shy around car doors.

Working up to today has been tough. I woke up and felt so bad. Couldn't stop coughing for over an hour. So I took a nap and rested a while until I got a second wind. It was so beautiful today I had to go out and I'm so happy I did. It looks good for the trip and I'm really excited about that and to talk with my sponsors tomorrow. And also to return some calls. This is a tough job to live up to and you've just got to deal with it and what comes with it. It is not easy being on top of your game all the time. I am just so happy I feel this good because I wanted it to be great not just for my race but for the family since we are all going. It will be so fun and I was hoping it would go well.

Now just preparing for that 25 hour trip with a 2 year old..... Those are the REAL challenges in life!! Ha!

I did everything I could to try and get well and recover. One thing, though, that stood out and what I think helped the most was the Mona Vie. Seriously, it really helped me feel better and heal my injury. I've had a ton of crashes and injuries but the difference in the healing from all of them and this one was the Mona Vie. It was a miracle! Here is a photo from a few seconds ago. You can see the scar and remnants of the bruising - which pretty much covered my whole chest area. Well, it's bad and I was a complete grump in the last two weeks but my wife hasn't left me yet and she is still smiling. Maybe the Mona Vie helped out with that too? Well at least I like scars better than tatoos....I'll take a scar over the ink any day.

Here is my Toyota door scar.

Here is a really cool press release about the Sabie Experience: Sabie Experience Press Release

They said I am 'enigmatic'. I have to go look that one up...
en⋅ig⋅mat⋅ic [en-ig-mat-ik, ee-nig-] –adjective - resembling an enigma; perplexing; mysterious.

Ok so that means I am perplexing? I am perplexed. How could I be perplexing?? Or maybe I am mysterious.... I like mysterious better.

Oh -OK-back to the story.....

I will be racing as part of a duo team in a 4-day stage race and will post the race stories on the blog. The team name is: Honeystinger/DCM Chrome and my 21-year old partner is Janse van Rensburg, the current South African under 23-road champion. Read more details in the Cycling news article: Sabie Experience Press Release

So tonight we prepared for the trip and decorated the Christmas tree so when we get back it will be all ready for Chistmas. Here is Joshua decorating his version of a tree! That's my boy.

One last thing: Thank you everyone for all your messages and prayers! Every single word helped me build up the confidence and healing. I can't say thank you enough!

Peace and God Bless,