Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another great reason that my first Ironman will be Ironman Louisville

The swim is in the Ohio River!

I'm used to swimming in polluted rivers in Chattanooga
Good News & Bad News

The good news
I found a fast group that swims at the Dam on Monday nights.
I also had pretty good form for the whole swim, even with the waves.

The bad news
It only took me 20 minutes to go buoy to buoy and back, which means I have only been swimming around a half mile, when I was thinking I was swimming a mile!
I found the free Atomic Man Training Schedule - and I think I'm slightly behind

Friday, July 27, 2007

I have a twin brother in L.A.

Not really, but this just said what I've been saying for almost 2 years now!

Instead of training yesterday, I was pretty tired so I hung out with my wife and another couple and we did "pint night" at Taco Mac. I had a great time but was feeling a little guilty on the three PBR's - until I found this list of calories burned during the given exercises.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

From TriGeek:

Tour de France rider Alexandre Vinokourov tests positive for blood doping. NFL star quarterback Michael Vick is indicted for allegedly fighting dogs and killing those canines that aren't good enough fighters. An NBA referee is under investigation for fixing games for the mob. Steroid-user Barry Bonds is about to break the major league career home run record while allowing his "best friend" and trainer (who won't testify against him to a grand jury) to rot in jail.

TriGeek is by far the best triathlon blog that I have found. Here is a great article on him.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It's official I have registered for the Atomic Man Half Ironman.

I had to: represent that (i) I am in good health and in proper physical condition to participate in the Event; and (ii) I am not under the influence of alcohol or any illicit or prescription drugs which would in any way impair my ability to safely participate in the Event. I agree that it is my sole responsibility to determine whether I am sufficiently fit and healthy enough to participate in the Event.

How drunk or high would you have to be to register for such an event?

I thought I was going to get a good deal since I went through "SportsWare" ghetto web-site until the final page where they charged me almost $10 for processing.

O,well. I'm really excited.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Many of you know I am an avid reader. I just finished one of the best books I have ever read. The kind of book that you want to buy for all of your closest friends, but if your like me, you just tell them to check it out at the library like you did!

The book is The Long Tail.

I was going to write a rave review on this blog. But then I found a better review at SustainableWork so here it is:

Borrowing The Long Tail rules

Chris Anderson closes his wonderful book, The Long Tail, with a set of rules he says comprise the secret to creating a thriving Long Tail business.

Please read the book. Don't rely on my summaries. Because Mr. Anderson is the Editor at Wired and is a Silicon Valley guy, a fair amount of his text relates to enterprises he's familiar with. These often represent really cool breakthroughs in the world of digital commerce.

With self-appointed artistic license, I'm going to cite Mr. Anderson's Long Tail rules and fill in my own take on why these concepts are vitally important for us micro enterprise, citizen entrepreneur types.

Big picture (1): Make everything available.

My take: Within your niche you need to be as open and transparent and as educational as you can possibly make your enterprise. It is in your self interest and the self interest of your enterprise. It also provides the first steps to providing appropriate solutions for the right customers... where all your marketing and commercial efforts should be taking you.

Big picture (2): Help me find it.

My take: Your enterprise and your web site need to glow with usefulness. Make yourself easy to do biz with in every aspect of your organization or perish. This isn't hard. Obfuscating and trying to trick people is far harder, as well as dumber and less efficient.

Then we get the Long Tail 9 rules.

Rule 1: Move inventory way in...or way out.

My take: Knowing what you need to handle and what you need to outsource is mission critical. Surely this will change over time, but it needs to be in the front of your brain at all times. Keep asking yourself, "What is critical that I handle and what can others do better?" What value added piece do you bring to the table? Focus your resources there.

Rule 2: Let customers do the work.

My take: In the digital world they get huge numbers by crowdsourcing. Micro enterprisers can use the same phenomenon to get customers to educate themselves on our web sites first and then provide testimonials after our enterprises have provided them with value.

Rule 3: One distribution method doesn't fit all

My take: Your distribution channels and methods significantly define how you market your enterprise. Draw it out on paper. Think through the consequences. That said, I believe you need to go to market through as many non-competing sales channel as are appropriate. Be transparent and honest with everyone. Start your marketing and distribution research yesterday.

Rule 4: One product doesn't fit all

My take: Make your offering available across a range of needs. Some people need a little bit of your stuff. Some need a truckload. The Long Tail uses the term "microchunking" for breaking up your offer into appropriate pieces. It will help you, and it will help your end users self select their own appropriate entry point.

Rule 5: One price point doesn't fit all.

My take: See above. Making yourself easy to deal with on price and content increases your chances of selling stuff. Multiple price points for entry invite the widest range of potential customers available. You can sort them and grow with them once they are in your world.

Rule 6: Share information.

My take: Your job is to make your end users wish they had more waking hours to absorb all the good info and help you want to share. Do it through every venue you can use, many of which are free or close to it.

Rule 7: Think "and", not "or".

My take: "And" is easier to choose from than "or". Once your new customer has chosen your solution, there are additional benefits you want to be able to offer. Do not pile on here. Just have a good, short list of upgrades to your basic offering available.

Rule 8: Trust the market to do your job.

My take: Society rewards useful solutions. The world is wired up to instantly deliver information, reviews, alternative solutions, and all the other digital word-of-mouth conversations taking place on every subject all the time. You will be put out of business if your offering does not make a valuable contribution to your customer. As you launch, carefully note where those contributions are having the greatest impact. Follow those results, not your assumptions.

Rule 9: Understand the power of free.

My take: Understand that you will do many demos, presentations, product placements, life juggling heroics, distributor circuses, and seminars, all for free. This is your entrepreneurship hazing ritual. Welcome, and get over it. We all do it. Free stuff is a component of what we all do at the beginning of new enterprises. That said, remember that smart marketing leads to cash flow, my friend.

Chris Anderson is in fact, working on a new book tentatively titled, 'Free'. It's a really intriguing concept. The most popular working subtitle discussed on the Long Tail blog is 'Free: How Companies Get Rich By Charging Nothing'. The scuttlebutt I've heard on the radio is that Mr. Anderson may be giving this new book away to people who will accept advertising placed in the book. Copies without advertising would be sold through traditional channels. Not sure if that's true.

That's it for The Long Tail for now. Read or listen to this book.

What wants to kick back...When you can SWIM!!!!

I'm pumped! I did a mile swim on Saturday and then did a 50+ mile bike ride. I would have gone for a nice run, but the blistering sun had other plans for me. Owell, next week I will be fully prepared with some BullFrog Sunblock!

This week I am going to register for the Atomic Man and find a way to get a fast, light, CHEAP bike! How will I do that - I don't know, but I'll keep everyone updated. Until then, if anyone has any Half-Ironman tips - LET ME KNOW!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cyclist, Dog Collide during Tour de France

During Stage 9, rider Marcus Burghardt ran into a spectator's dog that wandered onto the course. The bike fared worse than the dog and rider.
Going to church on Sunday I past all the runners in the Waterfront Triathlon and was insanely jealous! But it did motivate me to start training for the Atomic Man. Saturday is looking pretty open, so I think I may go for an ultra-long (for me) training triathlon to see how far I can go.

And for anybody that works for the City of Chattanooga: Please pass this along:

Portland’s green policies add $2.6B to local economy

Economist Joe Cortright has just released a white paper titled “Portland’s Green Dividend” that claims our city’s land use and transportation policies, combined with our high rate of transit and bike use contribute $2.6 billion to our local economy every year.

This economic impact, Cortrights says, flies in the face of critics that say our economy will be stunted by encouraging public transit and non-motorized vehicle travel,

“Skeptics view biking, transit, density and urban growth boundaries as a kind of virtuous self-denial, well meaning, but silly and uneconomic. Critics see the seeds of economic ruin. They claim planning, policies and regulations that restrict use or access to resources impede growth and lower household income.

Both the skeptics and the critics are wrong. Being green means Portlanders save a bundle on cars and gas, and local residents have more money to spend on other things they value, which in turn stimulates the local economy.”

According to Cortright, one of the primary drivers of this economic boon is that Portlanders travel an four miles less per day than the national average. Four miles doesn’t sounds like much to you? Cortright does the math:

“The Portland metro area has roughly 2 million residents. If Portlanders traveled as much as the typical U.S. metro resident, that would produce 8 million more vehicle miles per day or about 2.9 billion more miles per year.

…the cost of driving is about 40 cents per mile…All told, the out-of-pocket savings work out to $1.1 billion dollars per year. This works out to about 1.5 percent of all personal income earned in the region in 2005.”

And where does this money savings go?

“Because this money gets re-spent in other sectors of the economy, it stimulates local businesses rather than rewarding Exxon or Toyota.”

And, since Portlanders are twice as likely to use transit and seven times more likely to commute by bike, Cortright says we save time (which he equates to $15 an hour), and we save 400,000 gallons of gas per day (which in turn means 1.4 million tons of greenhouse gases are not being emitted each year).

Download the PDF here

Monday, July 09, 2007

From: TreeHugger

Bike City Berlin
by Christine Lepisto, Berlin on 07. 1.07
Cars & Transportation (bikes)
Two years ago, the Berlin Senate decided that bikes should make up 15% of city traffic by the year 2010. Results released from the newest traffic study of the Berlin Development Administration show that the goal could be reached early: the number of bicyclists has more than doubled in the last decade to 400,000 riders daily, accounting for 12% of total traffic.

Some attribute the gain to habits formed after measures that encouraged bicycling during the 2006 Football (soccer) World Cup. High gas prices undoubtedly also play a part. But a clever investment strategy in biking infrastructure is more likely the primary facilitator of the migration to human powered vehicles.

Measures initiated by the Berlin Senate have doubled the network of demarcated bike lanes on city streets in the past three years. According to the Senator for City Development in Berlin, last year 2.5 million Euros were spent on improving and expanding the Berlin bike paths and bike lanes. The program also targeted improvement of connections between train stations and bike paths,and over 3000 bicycle parking places have been built on 40 stations. Unfortunately, the carrying of a bike on the public transport will continue to require purchase of an extra ticket.

The current situation in Berlin is the envy of many a city: Berliners have access to 620 Km of bike paths, 80 Km of bike lanes in the streets, 70 Km of bus lanes which are also open to bicyclists, 100 Km of combined pedestrian/bike paths and 50 Km of marked bike lanes on the sidewalks. The Berlin Senate Bicycle Traffic Strategy foresees pulling all these routes together into a network with primary routes running from the city center out to the suburbs and two traffic rings by 2016. Park-and-ride facilities will be added at 20 additional U-bahn stations in the coming year.

Additionally, 16 million Euros were invested in expanding intercity bike paths for bicycle tourism. Tourism by bicycle has seen a strong increase according to the German Bicycle Club (ADFC), especially on the route along the former Berlin Wall and for trips on long distance bike paths such as the Berlin-Copenhagen route.

Everyone say it with me: "Ich liebe mein Fahrrad!" (I love my bike!)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

I thought since I haven't been giving much commentary lately, the least I could do was offer some of my favorite links and why I like them.

Tom Peters - Innovation rules

Khosla Ventures if your interested in the technical/economic aspects of alternative energy

TreeHugger - by far the best overall site on helping out the environment

TED = technology + innovation = helping the world (at least here anyway)

Great Place for the accidental activist!

- the name says it all

ibike - great bike statistics here!
Ouch! Last post was June 21! Obviously a lot has been going on. Most of which I won't bore you with.

I decided not to register for the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon for these reasons:
1) I'm not in-shape enough :-(
2) $95 registration fee?
3) It's maxed out!

I have honestly had a funner time with my friends just doing mock triathlons with them and saving my money (and waking up when I want to on Saturday)!