One Week Away from the War of Rails 2014

You guys and gals better be getting amped for the War of Rails. It’s going down next week! Here at Outdoor Tech, we are stoked to help sponsor this event.

During the day we will be showing our latest gear and maybe even giving away some of the #stuffyouprobablywant. In the evening, we may be hanging out at some local places enjoying some adult beverages. You should really come chill with us.

Here are all the details:
Date: February 28th – March 1st 2014
Time: 8:00am – 4:00pm Pacific, Friday and Saturday
Live Stream: Saturday, March 1st 2014 11:30am-4pm Pacific
Location: Bear Mountain Ski Resort, CA
Tickets: Free to watch.
Confirmed Invited Athletes:
1. LJ Strenio
2. Kyle Smaine
3. Sandy Boville
4. Khai Krepela
5. Shay Lee
6. Hugo Pelletier
7. Tim Gage
8. Dominic Laporte
9. Brendan Trieb
10. Karl Fostvedt
11. Matt Walker
12. Charlie Owens
13. John Kutcher
14. Alex Dorszynski
15. Torin Yater-Wallace
16. Cory Vanular
17. Maxamas Hill
18. Kieran McVeigh
19. Joss Christensen
20. Steve Stepp
21. Maxmillium Smith
22. Dale Talkington
23. Pat Goodnough
24. Sean Jordan

War of Rails 2014

 

Here are a few edits of what went down last year:

Bear Mountain Edit

Monster Energy Edit

 

Here is a map so you can come hang out:

 

We will for sure be giving out free high fives. That’s pretty much worth the trip up the mountain.

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SIA 2014 RECAP

 

My first trade show I have ever attended was a full of laughs, screams, rumbles, grumbles, jumbles and fumbles. This was also my first time ever in the growing city of Denver, CO

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Steam always rising on these cold, cold streetzsia2014iphone-23 lil tilt-shift from my iphone view from the roomsia2014iphone-18sia2014   sia2014-40 sia2014-45This guy from Alpine Initiatives had a Yowie (Yeti) tattoo!  Secret giveaway: if you send me a photo of an ODT related tattoo you will get free sh*t from us.sia2014-39 International Sales Bobby Ali explaining his privates to some bearded fellows.sia2014-42sia2014-38   sia2014-43Zander Blackmon stopped by to show us his new hair-dewsia2014-35 The boys of Strange Brew came by for some free beers and laughssia2014-34 Free protection was always available!sia2014-33 Friend of ODT Rob De Luca ladies and gentssia2014-32 sia2014-31 sia2014-30 sia2014-29 sia2014-28 Crippled sales rep Alex Albers has one functioning knee after his incident during our visit to Dew Tour when he skied into a tree!sia2014-22 sia2014-21 sia2014-20 sia2014-19 Bern TM Lando always being weird and creepy.  He’s good at it!sia2014iphone-12Po-lice tryna roll upsia2014iphone-20Electric’s booth was killer. Stuff I probably want. sia2014iphone-21delicious refreshment at Whole Foodssia2014-18 Team rider Cole Drexler being a poster-boi at the Line Skis Boothsia2014-17 sia2014-16 sia2014-15 New colorways!sia2014-14Thumb drives!sia2014-13

The Moment Skis crew was hard at work pushing their handmade skis!sia2014-12 sia2014iphone-15sia2014-36sia2014-37sia2014-11 sia2014moresia2014more-6And then it was Saturday…The Beer Bong races commenced….sia2014more-5our COO Charlie flew out just for the day to run the Beer Bong contest
sia2014more-14 sia2014more-13 sia2014more-12 sia2014more-11 sia2014more-10 sia2014more-9sia2014iphone-19 aftermath of Beer Bong Races.

sia2014more-8 sia2014more-7 Caro came straight back from ISPO in Germany with a terrible illness, but managed to make it out to the booth for a few hours.sia2014more-4 sia2014more-3Tara from PR was a big help!
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Bobby rockin’ the (extremely) limited edition hoodie.sia2014-9 View from the hotel!sia2014-8 sia2014-5 sia2014-4

sia2014-3Dentist?sia2014iphone-6The show ended with a BOOM (Capri-sun courtesy of Celtek’s sack lunches which included a hand-made PBJ)
sia2014iphone-16In copper this board was on the wall of bar.
sia2014iphone-11 The on-snow booth at Copper Mtnsia2014iphone-4Neil from Candy Grind using his Safe5 while snowboarding
sia2014iphone-10 sia2014iphone-13 sia2014iphone-9….and while drinking the Ole Smokey Moonshine cherries.
sia2014iphone-7 sia2014iphone-2Copper Mountain has some gr8 tree runs and terrain so I didn’t have to dip into the park too often.  However, it is nearly impossible to find the terrain park at first.  Colorado is cold and beautiful.

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GUEST POST: ODT TEAM RIDER KC DEANE

ODT team rider KC Deane checks in with a story from the trip to Japan that landed him on the cover of Skiing Magazine’s annual photo issue:

SkiingMagPhotoAnnual

Arriving in Japan is an interesting experience.  Groggy from the red eye flight you roll off the plane to symbols and no comprehension of what is being said. I feel it’s different than any other place that I’ve travelled to ski before. Making your way to custom, mandarin symbols grace most of the signage and some of the last english that you will hear is people about to embark on their own journeys, just as we were about to begin ours. We grabbed our bags and the crew that consisted of myself, Grant Gunderson, Adam U, Sven Brunso and Carston Oliver headed out of the airport headed by bus to catch a train from the outskirts of tokyo into the central train station.  Dragging more gear than should ever be packed by one person we navigate through hundreds of thousands of people in the subway. Within 3 hours you can be in the bustling center of Tokyo, then in the middle of the mountains in a small town.  After much pointing smiling, and a seemingly short game of charades, we are pointed in the right direction and make our first train to the Nagano Prefecture which is roughly 3 hours outside of Tokyo. As Sven Brunso put it, “The train station was a sea of humanity. I felt like a Salmon swimming upstream. Everyone seemed to be going in the opposite direction of where I needed to go. You eventually have to just walk against the flow and people eventually move at the last minute. ”

We stepped off at the small station of Myokokogen to cold clear skies, and the smile of local Bill Ross.  After years of coming to Myoko it was the first time we had showed up and not been instantly covered in snow upon our arrival.  Loading Bill’s van we pack in like sardines and make a short drive to Hotel Korakuso which would be our home for the next 9 days.  Bill gave us a quick briefing of the conditions and to our surprise they were expecting day or two of clear skies to welcome us and for Sven to get a lay of the land. He also mentioned that it hadn’t snowed in almost week, which is quite uncharacteristic for Japan. Arriving at our hotel, half a world away, we had arrived at our destination tucked in the Kubiki Alps, Myoko.

4 am, jet lag has taken full effect and everyone is beginning to rouse.  As the sun peaks over the mountains and into the Myoko Valley  we head to the lobby we find Gunderson and Brunso already suited and ready.  Sven is clearly anxious and buzzing with excitement to get out on the hill. “No need to rush. The snow isn’t going anywhere. Even the lift served terrain here never gets tracked out, so soak it up and take your time.”, reminds Adam as we pull our boots on.

The bottom of the ski hill is just a quick five minute walk through the one main street in Myoko, and you are at the base of Akakura Kanko which lays in the shadow of Mt Myoko. The resort is a small area with 4 lifts that access 2,600 vertical feet of the most amazing trees you’ve ever skied, and with a quick 30-40 minute tour you find yourself perched above Akakura and the Myoko Valley open with spotted Dakekanda trees, or in america known as Erman’s Beech.  As we ascend Sven is blown away by what he sees, and for me as well I am happy to find that even though it hasn’t’ snowed in nearly a week, the trees are nearly void of tracks and our own seemingly private ski area is just as we had left it. Dropping in I heard Sven ask, “Why there aren’t any tracks? Has it been closed? Can we ski here?.”  I just laughed and said welcome to skiing in japan as I dropped in. With the sun out we took advantage of the visibility and set a skin track from the top of the resort.  Even if the snow is not deep it is good to take advantage of seeing the sun.  In Myoko, and the Nagano prefecture they average only 8 days of sun a year, which is good for skiing deep snow but tough to do long tour missions up high above the valley, and for us shoot bluebird powder photos. Typically touring consists of smaller adventures with short 30 minutes skins to access the large amount of terrain above the ski area as well as the terrain above the small town of Tsubame which sits just to the north of the ski hill in a small valley.  Laps from the top of the ski hill drop you down 2000 feet into the town, followed by a quick 15 minutes traverse back to Akakura onsen resort. From the top lift of Akakura Kanko, or Akakan we made our way to the peak of Maecyama which is a sub peak below Mt Myoko.  As we gain elevation Mt Myoko comes into view and you can see the steep and rugged mountain, with giant sulfur gas vents protruding from it’s flanks.  With our first day coming to a close, Gunderson tucks his camera away to log some turns of his own.  Before the rest of the crew knows it, Grant is laughing and throwing plumes of snow as he disappears into the trees.  Arriving at the hotel, Gunderson is there, beard caked full of snow grinning at Sven, “Welcome to Japan buddy! Oh and did I mention that this isn’t even good yet?”

The following morning the clouds hung low in the valley as we slowly made our way through town. After 3 days of skiing our crew had hit so many of the features we were in need of a reset, usually it snows so much that it isn’t and issue. By mid day snow flurries came and the light snow had arrived.  With the faint smell of sea salt the flakes came down and began to blanket the hill. Snow flakes began to get bigger and bigger and within a few hours it looked as if white leaves were falling from the sky.  As the day came to an end there was almost half a meter of new. Sven said,” I looked at the forecast the day before we left and it showed scattered snow showers for ten days. I was pretty bummed out. The first day was totally bluebird and I was confident that there wasn’t going to be the deep powder I came to Japan in search of. Three days later clouds were socked in and by morning we had a meter.”   This went on for 4 days before we saw the sun again. Finally we awoke to the clear skies, meter upon meter of fresh snow and the mountains basking in the early morning light.  We had all pretty much lost track of time at this point.  The days melted together in a haze of deep snow and jet lag. Free from the race to the powder that you experience at home, you begin to relax an settle into a different pace and as we walked to the hill, sun shining, fresh snow, no one raced to get the first chair.  As we headed up the now familiar lifts it seemed as though you feel as if Akakan has become your second home.

4:30 am, wide awake to the drum of heavy equipment. It was only sunny the day before.  Pulling myself out of bed I peaked out the window to see it dumping yet again. A great part about Japan is with the frequent snowfall it doesn’t give much time for the snow to sit in the sun creating a very solid snowpack.  Digging a 3 meter pit to the dirt we found no hard layers.  It was as if you were brushing down the side of cement wall.  The stability is great because it gives you confidence to work into some of the more exposed lines. In Japan it is really easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when there is a ton of snow and you’re skiing hot laps in a ski resort.  Sometimes pulling off the groomer into that gully with all the rad pillows in the wrong place, even just 20 meters uphill or downhill of where you thought you were going, can be the difference between a mellow pow lap and realizing halfway down a pillow line that it doesn’t go, and then having to scratch around to find the one place that doesn’t air 50 feet into an uphill gully wall landing.  Every year it feels like with the deep snow it gives you confidence that you can jump anything, and with the stability, ski anything.  With at least 4 meters of snow that had fallen Carston Oliver and I wanted to ski some of the more rowdy lines we had looked at when it was clear.  Within the ski resort there is a narrow canyon that although it is only about 300 vertical feet is steep and has all sorts of lines with spines, mandatory cliff drops at the end.  Confident that I had our line picked out I dropped in and skied to a safe point to wait for Carston.  Ripping steep pow turns we were hooting and hollering, Carston made it down and as I took a few turns I quickly realized that we were off our lines.  Holding onto a small tree stuck into a 50 degree spine I realized that we had dropped in too early and were cliffed out on top of a 60 foot drop that Carston had hit the previous year.  Considering our position there was no way we were backing out and getting up 50 degree slope in this deep of snow.  Confident in the depth of the snow and the fact that  Carston had hit this before we both made the drop for our exit.  Although we came out unscathed it was a quick reminder of how fast you can find yourself in a serious situation.

As the trip comes to a close I find myself bathed in sunshine and skiing deep snow yet again. Seems like ages ago that we were in the hustle and bustle of the Tokyo subway as we stand over the valley watching the sun dip low in the winter sky.  As I watch the crew drop one after another I find myself standing solo contemplating my last turns here in Japan.  The air is crisp and cold as I tip into my run, my first turn I drive my skis deep into the snow and cover my face in an ice blast.  The sound of my breathing, and the rustle of my jacket is the only thing that finds my ears.  This is skiing in Japan.

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How About Some Free Bluetooth for Your Snow Helmet?

Wireless Ski Helmet AudioWouldn’t it be rad if you could skip a track when you are carving down the mountain? I really wish I could just answer a call without having to take off my snow gloves. Can someone please make a universal wireless audio drop in kit for my snow helmet? And make sure its okay to get wet, it wouldn’t be too useful in the snow if it cant get a little wet would it?

 

Chill bro, we did it. They are called the Chips and they are the first universal solution for Bluetooth helmet audio. Yea, you’re stoked.

This is Exciting

You can win a pair. Yea, we are giving away 1 pair per week until the end of September. That’s a lot of Chips to give away. Yup we know and you’re welcome in advance.

Here is how to enter:

  1. Take a pic of you with your helmet on. preferably, in a situation where you dont normally wear your helmet.
  2. Post said pic to Instagram or Facebook or Twitter. Use #summerofhelmet.
  3. We pick a winner once a week.

See how simple we made it! Of course, you can always wait until they are available to purchase and just buy them. That would be cool too.

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What’s The Agenda For Long Beach

Agenda Long Beach

It was pretty cool to have the entire Outdoor Tech team at Agenda Long Beach. It wasn’t just good “team building” but we needed all hands on deck to deal with the crowds. The waves of people that kept coming were met with smiling faces, high fives, and a whole lot of answers for their questions.

I answered a lot of questions about the Privates Wireless Headphones. Yes, everyone liked the fact that they are Bluetooth and have a built in microphone. When I told them about the touch control features, well that’s when people started to lose their shit. You see, the Privates have a track pad on each headphone side. Think of it like a mouse-pad on a laptop. That’s how you control the audio volume and skip tracks; yea… it’s pretty amazing.

After many lengthy conversations in the morning, the collective rumbling of empty stomachs signaled the need to refuel. When Charlie asked if he should get a pizza about three different people replied with a synchronized “Yes”.

Pizzanista at Agenda Long Beach

The fact that Salman Agah was cooking up these pizzas with a busy army of workers was fitting for Agenda. I geeked out on that, but I didn’t start spazzing out until I took a walk.

Ed Templeton and Chad Muska  - Circa 93

That’s a picture of a picture (so meta) at the Toy Machine booth. Ed Templeton and Chad Muska. I wonder how Muska’s part in Welcome To Hell would have fit if him and Ed didn’t have that falling out right before the premiere.

People at Agenda

I headed back to the booth. By now, there were more people but not everyone was here to talk about business. Some were just looking for freebies; we indulged them. As 6pm drew nearer, things started to thin out and the foot traffic seemed to disappear. Maybe everyone wanted to go home early to get ready for all the cool parties that would be taking place later that night. Yea brah!

agenda at night

Channeling My Inner J.J. Abrams

After the show, drinks were drunk and food was eaten. The hotel lobby bar was pretty packed. The bartender was not prepared for the amount of functioning alkies that were in attendance. Charlie, Caro and I had a pretty simple order. A beer, a scotch & soda, and a vodka martini extra dirty. The “deer in headlights” look that was returned was not comforting. The man returned a few minutes later with Charlie’s martini. He asked Caro and I what we had wanted again. Caro revised his request to match Charlie’s, I also revised my order to a gin and tonic (it was a strategic move that ended up working quite well).

Caro asked what I thought about the show. I said a few things, “It’s a necessary evil” probably summed it up best. Let’s just say that I don’t think too many companies are trying to figure out what the ROI on the show is. There are some intangible qualities to the show that don’t translate easily into contributions to the bottom line. It’s all good though, I got some gin and tonic’s; thanks again Caro!

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Agenda NYC

Agenda1

“Where are you going, sir?”  An arm reached around me and gently shoved me forward, jolting me out of this weird little internal debate I was having with myself about whether or not monkeys would get any enjoyment out of chewing gum.  I had been in the taxicab line at JFK for about a half an hour, and apparently, according to this man in some sort of official uniform, it was my turn.

“Brooklyn,” I mumbled.  It was really early, and as far as my mind was concerned I had little business attempting to function in society at the moment, hence the monkeys/ chewing gum thing (Apparently they love it).  I was hustled toward one of a lineup of cabs at the curb.  Someone grabbed my bag and threw it in the trunk, I climbed in the back and before I knew it we were barreling off down the street like we had just lifted a Rembrandt from the Metropolitan.

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Agenda5

Fifty bucks, four or five middle fingers and several detours later we arrived in Greenpoint, where I would spend the day and evening with a friend from college before heading over to set up the Agenda show in Manhattan the next morning.

We went bowling.

We went bowling.

Thinking in terms of efficiency and ultimately flawless logic, I decided to hop on the subway in the morning during rush hour to make my way to the show.  Given the general lack of subways in Los Angeles I was immediately unaccustomed to this strange sort of science experiment that New Yorkers put up with every day.  At each stop more and more people crammed themselves on, into spaces just simply not capable of accommodating their forms, however pliable they may have been.  The general strategy here, I soon realized, was to avoid eye contact at all costs, rotate about a quarter turn and then go ahead and snuggle up to the nearest stranger like your first prom date.  Deodorant was apparently either not a requirement or people needed a little more instruction on how to effectively apply it.  I’m not saying LA is really any better, as apparently we seem to prefer this.  To each their own, or whatever.

Agenda10

Agenda14

Wandering off the subway in SoHo, I made a bit of a pit stop at the Burton retail store to drop off some signage for our display there.  They informed me that they’d already sold out of Turtle Shells and were ready to order some more.  Not a bad way to start off the day.  We shot the shit a little, mostly about snowboarding in Vermont, maple syrup, and monkeys chewing gum (you have to admit, it’s intriguing) and I bid them goodbye and went to go set up the booth.

ODT/Burton set-up

ODT/Burton set-up

Agenda2

Agenda’s generally a street wear type of show, but you never know what you’re going to find there.  On the surface, it can look more than a little superficial; the majority of the population there is dressed from head to toe in the latest, most trendy shit to pop out of the toy machine.  If there’s some new kind of cigarette, they’re smoking it; a new upper, they’re doing it, a new haircut, they’ve got it.  As you can probably imagine, all of that can start to bleed into a running river of inability to grasp what’s actually good and real pretty goddamn quickly, but fortunately the show embodies some pretty good characteristics as well.  It brings people of all shapes, colors, sizes, and backgrounds together and unites them over common interest.  Nobody thinks twice about shaking your hand because of your race, sexual orientation, religion, whatever, but everyone maintains the idea that if you’re going to run with this crowd, you better own it.  One guy I met there last year told me that he loved it because no matter who you were and what you wanted to do people would grant you the chance to explain to them what you were all about and why you could help them.  That can be a valuable thing in this day and age of attention spans that are whittled down to a matter of seconds and people that seem the most interested in trying to train their pet llamas to do push-ups surrounded by Navy Seals in rocking chairs stroking tranquilized lap rabbits in an effort to go viral and cash out on Youtube.  (If you actually do this and it works I expect royalties…see what I did there?).

Privates

Privates

At any rate, we were here to show our new stuff, most notably the Privates touch-control wireless headphones.  Fortunately Agenda had picked up a coffee sponsor for the New York show, so before long my blood was a quarter dark roast and everybody I talked to sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks, so I was easily blabbering on right on about pretty much anything.

Stoked

Stoked

Everyone was stoked on the Privates’ touch-control interface that allows for track-skipping and volume-changing with the swipe of a finger.  Keep an eye out for their debut early next month.

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Agenda11

Agenda13

Before I knew it the show was up and I was sitting in JFK again, handicapped by a 2-hour flight delay and about halfway through my second $13 Jameson & ginger.  The shroud of Agenda was gone, replaced by regular old society sitting around a rectangular bar outside of New York City, all eyes glued to a TV barking out the latest on a particular case in Florida.

Til next time.

-Ben

(Shout out to Civil Clothing, Han Cholo, Transworld Business, Creative Recreation, Obey, The Decades, Akoo, Crumpler, Burton, Moss, Endless Ammo, and everyone else for the good vibes)

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Wireless Summer – Happy 4th!

Hope you all had a Happy 4th and are kicking the summer off, proper! This time of year is always special for me. In addition to signaling the beginning of summer, it is also my birthday week. That’s right, I said “week”, not “day”. I got some grief for that from the crew at ODT, but if you are going to get the 4th off, and your actual birthday, why not just go with it and make it a seven day weekend, right?

On the actual birthday, I took the kids (yes I am old, I have kids) to Crystal Cove, one of the most beautiful beaches in SoCal. I like to do something with them they dig on my birthday e.g. beach, Disneyland, etc., because it makes them look forward to my birthday and they pretend to love me more.

Anyways, we were the hit of the beach with our wireless audio boombox, the Turtleshell. I have always dug the product, but it is really cool when you can actually use something your company makes, and it really, really, really works. Here is a shot of one of my Groms (Does that make me sound cool? . . . probably not) digging in the sand with the Turtleshell wireless speaker next to him. Check that out, yes it really is sand proof, water resistant and gives out really great sound. And how cute is that kid??? Totally digging his Spidey floaty . . . he might get swept away, but he ain’t going under.

Wireless Ruggedized Speaker at the Beach

Turtle and Grom

The little one gets his good looks from his Mama, speaking of which I am sooooo proud of her. On the 4th, we have a local parade, fireworks and pretty competitive 5k run. My wonderful, beautiful, incredible wife (I will get big points for this one), killed it in the 5k run, winning her age group!!!!! I will withhold what group that is, as I am sure she wouldn’t appreciate the disclosure. Check out this picture of her with the first place medal, and of course the OutdoorTech Adapt. She swears by this wireless Bluetooth audio adapter.

 

Wireless Adapter - Run withoutt wires

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

She genuinely loves running with it, and is convinced it is what led her to victory in her 21 minute 5k, wicked fast right? She digs the wire free experience that still allows her to listen to her tunes and Nike running app to keep her on pace. Who still runs with a wire connected to their phone? What’s next, should we bring back the retro version of the Walkman?

This year, in the race I had to run with my daughter because the wife was going for the gold. My time wasn’t anywhere near the wife’s, but I was proud I finished without stopping. I am not ashamed to say it, maybe a little bit, but my nine year old daughter beat me by two minutes. I was supposed to run with her and “push” her to a new best, but instead I actually held her back and she had to go on without me. It was really a heartbreaking moment, when I realized I couldn’t keep up and even more heartbreaking when she realized it and took off without me. Super proud of her too, she rocked it!

After the run, we hit the pool and once again enjoyed some ODT products while catching some rays. Here is a picture of my future Olympian by the pool rocking out with her “Kids Bop” (You parents might get that reference – I know you are jamming out to the clean version of ThriftShop) on the DJ Slims wireless audio Bluetooth headphones. And yes, I am going to have some problems with this one when she gets older, but she loves her “Pop” for now.

Wireless Headhpones

Kids Bopping

Alright, that sums up the 4th for me and my ODT gear, but seriously awesome stuff! I dig the fact that I work for a sick company that makes sick gear I can actually use. You guys enjoy the rest of the summer!

 

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CicLAvia

6a00d8341c630a53ef017d3c9aa4fe970c-640wiIt was 2:30 pm on a Sunday, I’d just woken up with bloodshot crusty eyes burning and lungs full of tobacco.  My stomach was rumbling with the usual deep crave for a foot long Subway club on flat bread.  I’ve convinced myself that despite the fact that the “flat” option is made with enriched white flower, it’s still less carbs because there’s less bread and will therefore make me less fat than any of the other bread options, even honey oat wheat.  After my usual 5 minutes of laying in bed filled with self loathing and judgment for the pain I felt as a result of what I’d done the night before, I mustered up the strength to begin my pre-Subway ritual: putting on my dirty clothes and looking at my hair in the mirror to decide if it was the good or bad version of bed head. It was the bad one.  After the 2-3 minute shoe hunt accompanied by total confusion as to how I could possibly hide my shoes from myself in a new location every time, I had to deal with the dilemma of deciding what socks to wear: dirty or clean. Yesterday’s dirty pair of socks were out of the question, yet I still find myself considering it every time. Using a new pair of socks would deplete my sock reserve and advance the deadline of laundry day. Or just say fuck it and freeball, feet style – which is what I ultimately chose to do despite the fact that there were inevitable remnants of sand still left in my shoes from yesterday’s beach adventure.  Sweaty, dirty feet, and sand.

While it sounds like some sort of sexually transmitted disease, CicLAvia (you have to emphasize the LA every time so it’ll be cute) is actually some sort of exercise in freedom. “The Historic” Wilshire boulevard is shut down from Fairfax to downtown. All of the cars parked on that street and on several other side streets seemingly at random, are towed and people ride their bikes.  It sounds pointless and disruptive as fuck, and it is – but it’s also really really great. And I only live one block from Wilshire blvd, i.e. one block from the long stretch of road that houses the event.

photo 2“Ciclovías” started over thirty years ago in Bogotá, Colombia, “as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout Latin America and the United States.” http://www.ciclavia.org/about/ 

Finally, I managed to pull myself together enough to leave my apartment and make the walk.  Head down, sagging shoulders, Charlie Brown signature style walk of shame.  Just when I’d accepted my fate and began mentally planning my day of recuperation involving the soon to be had sandwich, my couch, and Netflix (it’s very frequently one of the Harry Potters – I’m not sorry), I was snapped out of my hum drum to witness the glory of hundreds of rando’s gliding down the usually congested blvd.  “Oh yeah, that’s today!  Fuck yeah!”

I wish I could say that at this point my posture straightened up as a result of a shift to a positive mental attitude and the resolve to be better in general, and then ran to grab my bike in a fit of glee – but the Subway thing was happening.

jared_fogle

Once my sandwich crave quelled, I grabbed my bike, obviously pre-loaded with my #TurtleShell (not so shameless plug) and entered the flow of cyclists.  Effortlessly gliding along with the rest of the brood, I can only describe the sensation of community and oneness with the fellow man as a “zesty enterprise”.  The street was ablaze with excitement and happiness.  I even managed to ride by a Korean Church overflowing with parishioners rocking Jesus Loves You shirts without feeling my usual pre-installed Jewish twinge of anger toward the religion that shunned me.

photo 1The only thing more amazing than the feeling of our glorious act of freedom was the swiftness and efficiency in which it was shut down.  The formerly smiling, friendly police officers that guarded each major intersection had now turned back into the oppressive and scary force of judgment we know and love in LA.  It started with 4 motorcycles spanning the entirety of the lane in a perfect horizontal formation sirens blaring, driving against traffic towards us.  A man on the megaphone yelled, “The event is over, all regular traffic laws now apply.  Move to the right hand side of the road.”  This was misleading.  Technically, the laws in LA dictate that a bicycle has the same rights as a car, which is why they can give you a ticket for riding your bike on the sidewalk.  (But, that’s where you’ll generally find me out of fear for the fact that every single driver on the road in LA is mid text.) I contemplated bringing that up with one of the many police officers who’d been giving the task of corralling our momentary alleged freedom, but ultimately decided that it would likely only spur some sort of negative reaction from the cop followed by me explaining that I wasn’t trying to “start shit.” I was simply bringing up the issue and asking his opinion. So, I decided to just play it cool and ride my bike on the side of the fucking road.  Herded with the rest of the flock.

photoAs I watched the police disperse and corral the crowd, I started to wonder how quickly this whole scene could turn into a violent protest/ riot. It would probably only take a few people acting at the right moment and striking a tone that resonated with the surrounding crowd. Get 50 or so people and you’ll have a chain reaction that could potentially rival what happened last time.  The thought of a cadre of LA’s finest unloading tear gas and rubber bullets at the once peaceful families sprinting toward them in rage is enough to give me a 2/3rds erection.  And it all started so peacefully.  That didn’t happen though.

Kisses, Mikie.

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Wired at the Gym

Wired Headphones

Dude working out with a set of wired headpones on the treadmill.

I was at the Gym this morning, not that you could tell by looking at me.  However, I did get several looks working out in my DJ Slims wireless bluetooth headphones. It could be the constant flashing bluetooh light on the headphones, but I also think the hardwired house wives, gearing up for marriage number two, or the aspiring MMA skull crusher seeing if he can make his Deltoids literally extend further out than his head, are admiring my wireless bluetooth headphones.  I can tell they are tired of trying to find a slick and seductive way to hide the cord of their wired earbuds or headphones down their shirt, or scantily clad boobage cover i.e workout bra (This is actually a huge plus for the wire and me as a spectator).  Anyways I do think it is ridiculous that the rest of the world doesn’t cut their cords and switch to a wireless product.  It is clearly inevitable, and just a matter of time . . . be a trendsetter will ya!

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