Restlessness – Friendship – Revealed – Blend

I’ve been restless lately. I used the term “mid-life crisis”  for awhile but then the term “restless” came to mind and I think it is a better description. This has been going on for awhile now but my new term is more recent. In the last week the theme of “friendship”   has been drifting in and out of my life. It has been a prevalent theme. Then a friend spoke about “revelation” and how things have been “revealed” to her via friends.

Today I got a blog post from Seth Godin in my Inbox. with two key questions:

“How big do you want this to be?”

“How good do you want this to be?”

Initially I was thinking of these questions in relation to my business but I think in many ways they are really questions I am trying to answer during the restlessness I am currently experiencing. The “How good do you want this to be?” is an easy question to answer on the business side of life. On the personal side it is much more challenging. There is a lot I want to be good at. I want to be an excellent husband. With all of my other interests I guess the struggle is to figure out what I want to be good at or excel at for that matter. Then do you ignore the other interests or settle for being below average at them?

It is being revealed to me that the struggle is really finding, as some may say, “balance in life” but I am thinking that the word “blend” may be a better choice between the business side of life and the personal side of life.

I’ve been riding my bike some, certainly not enough trying to free my mind to process all of this, but alas it isn’t working. I guess I need to ride more or be more patient as I await for something to be revealed to me. Usually it works which is why I kind of think of this blog as “revelations from the pedals“. Certainly there is new stuff to play with on my bikes. I’ve been delving deep into the world of Garmin’s especially the Edge 1000. I have a new Assos clothing kit to test out (stay tune to a review coming to these pages soon). I’ve also been playing with the new Bontrager Transmitter light system. Lots of things to draw me to my bike, not the least to mention the freedom I feel riding and the weight I want to loose. This year I have been taking rides more for the fun of it, exploring and not watching the heart rate monitor like I used to. Simply just riding my bike. I went to a mountain bike demo a week ago and realized that I miss mountain biking and it is a lot of fun when I am not struggling to keep up with others. It was cool to check out the new Stache along with a Fuel Ex and Remedy 27.5. That Monday was a solid reminder of why I do what I do, because I LOVE IT and am one lucky person to be living the life I am even if I am restless.

I guess my question for you is: How has cycling help you reveal things you were pondering?

From Seth Godin’s blog posted 5/19/2015

Unlimited scale

Nothing grows to infinity. Certainly no project or business or idea.

And saying, “as many as possible,” implies a series of trade-offs that you’re probably not actually interested in making.

One of the most important decisions we make is almost always made without thought, without discussion:

“How big do you want this to be?”

It’s a question that always gets in the way of,

“How good do you want this to be?”

******

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Post Office – Doesn’t Complete the Process

usmailSo you ship a package completely on-line. You pay for the postage on-line for a guaranteed service that they don’t meet. You file the request for refund on-line. Amazingly in just a few hours you get a call saying….ready for this…..you need to come in to the post office to file the request for refund and fill out the paperwork……Now how does that make sense? Impressed with the response time but really you can’t just issue the refund electronically? The entire process was done on-line….up to that point. That is the problem with our government. They got most of the process but not the part that really matters. The easy part yes but not the part that would really complete the process. SMH – but I am not surprised.

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What cycling trips are on your bucket list?

Trek 520 Touring Machine

Trek 520 Touring Machine

I’ve always dreamed of riding a bicycle cross country. Upon reflection I wished I had done it after graduating from college and starting a full time job. It hasn’t happened yet but it will someday, hopefully sooner then latter. Yesterday I took a step towards making that more of a reality.

I finished building a bike that is capable of making the trip, a heavily modified 2013 Trek 520. A stock 520 is a great bike to make the trip but I wanted to add my own touch to it. This build uses the stock wheel set, frame, fork, headset, stem and seatpost. From there I made changes. I really wanted my shifting in the brake levers versus bar ends shifters which come stock so I used SRAM Red shifters that we had in stock. For braking I choose Avid Shorty Ultimate canti lever brakes. These brakes are really cool and feel great paired with the shifters. Needing a super low gear range I used a compact SRAM crankset that we had in stock along with a XX SRAM rear derailleur with an 11 – 36 cassette. A super low gear range. I added SKS fenders to keep me dry and mounted Ortlieb Classic Roller panniers to the rear rack that came stock with the bike. I also have a Topeak Tourguide front handlebar bag that I plan to install. I switched out the tires to some Bontrager H5 tires. These aren’t tires that I would ride cross country but they are going to be perfect for my first trip.

The first trip I have planned for the bike is to ride from Pittsburgh to DC using the GAP Trail (Great Allegheny Passage) and the C & O Canal. Another trip I hope to take in preparation is to ride the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. Some day I’ll be able to check the cross country ride off of my bucket list and yesterday was one of the first steps of making that a possibility.

Certainly I am looking forward to the first ride. What trips have you dreamed about taking with your bike? I’d love to hear from you.

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10th Anniversary – 10 Great Years

It’s hard to imagine but 10 years ago last night Amanda and I were busy counting inventory on the eve of closing on the purchase of the store. Today marks the 10th anniversary of our ownership. I can’t thank her enough for her love and support of the store over the years. As I sit here typing this I am thinking of the countless people who have made this possible. The employees who have been with us and who are with us over the years thank you for all of your work and support. Yet none of this would be possible without our great customers. Thank you very much for your support! I’ve gained a lot of new friends over the years and I am forever grateful for the last 10 years and am super excited about the next 10 years. Thank you everyone and I hope you and your family are enjoying the holiday season.

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Hotel Loyalty Program

I used to stay in hotels more then I currently do and while I don’t have as many room nights as I used to I still travel some and maintain membership in my favorite hotel brands loyalty programs. One of these is the Hilton Honors program. On my last trip I was in Hampton Inn Billboardsearch of a hotel and the billboards for the Hampton Inn kept speaking to me. So when it was time to stop I sought out an exit with a Hampton Inn. As I was checking in I presented my Hilton Honors membership number and told it was no longer valid. I inquired as to why stating that my Marriott nor Holiday Inn memberships never expire. The lady said that they just do. Since I was there I decided to stay instead of seek out another hotel. Somewhat surprising the evening desk person at this time never offered to sign me back up for the program during the check in process. Once settled into my room I tweeted about this and I have to give Hampton Inn credit that they responded to my tweet the next day. Simply saying they would refer it to their customer relationship group. Once I returned home I even received an e-mail survey from Hampton asking about my recent stay with them. I expressed the same concern there as I am here so it will be interesting if I get a response. Typically I wouldn’t expect a response from a survey but with how they responded to my tweet I have a little higher expectation. They never asked for or confirmed my e-mail during the check in process. So I guess I am important enough as a customer for them to keep my information but not important enough for them to be part of the Hilton Honors program.

Maybe I am not their target guest because I don’t stay enough with them. What is the cost to them to keep me part of their program? They still have my information and I never receive mail from them, just an occasional e-mail. I think they have a greater cost to not keep me in their program because now I will remove them from consideration when I need to stay in a hotel or to host an event. For a company this size I would think it would be more cost effective to keep customers in their programs which seems to be the standard of others in the industry.

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