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Entries in blogs (23) Tonight! | Mud and Cowbells takes the mic...

This could be dangerious for Sean and Brook of Bicycle to let me have air time. I promised them I will not digress into potty humor or booger jokes. OK, maybe one or two. Ha! But serioulsy, check it out tonight!

You can find all the information you need about tonights show here! The need-to-know on air time and how to participate is below!

Join the conversation by calling 877.919.LIVE or send us your emails to See you Tuesday, “LIVE” at 7:00pm (MST)

I feel like a blogger now | BlogWorld Las Vegas


I did it. I spoke to ‘my people’: bloggers and all those passionate about social media and getting the(ir) word out. BlogWorld, in Las Vegas….back again after my CrossVegas fest just a few weeks ago.

As I engaged with bloggers from around the globe, I was able to get out of my 'little' shell of cycling and learned of the content they write about and it's diversity. And it is as diverse as…well, anything on earth. It ranges wildly from politics to sex to sports to health to hobbies. When talking with another blogger your subject matter wasn't the core of the conversation as it was universally accepted between you as you engaged with other bloggers that you were sincere and focused on your area of expertise. You were sniffed out quickly if not. It truly was refreshing. You vibed on the passion of the other bloggers….1000’s of them. The counter balance were all those blogging for sheer profit. It’s not looked at as evil per se, just insincere. It’s an odd balance to strike when you are trying to be taken seriously.

So I reached out in my presentation to bloggers who were ‘long tail’ primarily. Those with limited visibility and trying to learn more about how to get their word out for various reasons…some related to monetizing as a side income, others that they feel in their heart they’ve got something to say.

The “Top 10 Blogosphere Trends” is what I went on about for 45 minutes breaking down some really interesting data….data which was used earlier in the day by Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra for their  ‘state of the blogosphere’ report we contributed data to.

So how is all this relevant to Mud and Cowbells and cyclocross? Well it’s about obscurity, actually. And theimage fact that obscurity (a.k.a. the long tail) is becoming more and more mainstream. The community has voices and some voices become authoritative…whether controversially or with general agreement from the blog’s readership. I look at M & C as a voice with a passionate reader audience who contribute to the discussion…and thus the authority we collective create ion our subject matter: ‘cross. It’s truly inspiring. A really fuzzy line is being drawn between professional journalism and layman authoring. Much talk of the ‘professional blogger’ occurred at the conference and it is a term that I am just not comfortable with….yet by analysis of the data I fall directly into the demographic believe it or not.

So for those that are bloggers, I give you my preso from BlogWorld. It was recorded and I’ll get that media as well but here’s my deck. Enjoy!

Welcoming a new church member

I'm heading to BlogWorld in a few days where I get to wax poetic on some cool trends we're seeing about bloggers and their readers who visit their sites. But secretly I'm trying to bust my way into the raddest group of bloggers on the planet my friend Micah intro'd me to: The Blogs with Balls crew. One dude who is responsible for capturing video at the Blogs with Balls and BlogWorld events with his ninja-like viedography skills is Ben Eckstein...and Holmes just filmed his first 'cross at Gloucester....and he NAILED IT! My god Ben captured a 'weekend in the life' And he's already contemplating his assault on the 'cross scene himself next year! A new disciple. 

Have a gander at his video below and the accompanying blog post on how it was made.

Gran Prix of Gloucester - A Cyclocross Film from Benjamin Eckstein on Vimeo.

Hippo Birdie, M & C.

Hippo, birdie, two ewes.

Hippo, birdie, two ewes.
Hippo, birdie, two eweeeees.
Hippo, birdie, two ewes.

Happy 2nd birthday Mud and Cowbells. Two years ago I started this thing as a means to sort of track my road to going to Masters 'Cross Worlds. It then morphed into lots of other things...mainly my rants on the three part teeter totter of life.

But more importantly than my vantage point on the scene, I learned a lot about YOU. How you share the same exact passion I do for the sport of the changing leaves. The mud. The equipment. The style. The skill and technique. The constant craving to be smoother. The improvements you make week after week in your local cycling league.

The absolute camaraderie.

Yes, the camaraderie. When you come across the line in an anonymous place and your buds you have just raced, ah, 'against'....drown you with high fives, 'how was it man??' 'did you clean that line every lap' and the usual banter, you know you are in the right place for the right reasons. If this is not happening to you, you...:

a) ...have not completed a 'cross.
b) ...should reconsider your racing and with whom you are racing.

From Portland to Boston to Bay Area to Georgia to Belgium, I get to hear from you all. Your stories and comments, observations and tubular fetishes. I relish it. And it is such an instrumental part of how I want to give back in my way to this community of, by and large, the coolest people I have met in my last 37 years. Readership is up and it still blows me out of the water how many of you stop by every day to digitally say hello.

This season is officially almost over folks. I can not wait to meet many of you in Kansas City! We will have beers. There will be talk of cross and we will geek it together. But we know that the planning, day dreaming and lusting for the leaves to change for our season is an all-year activity for us. I know how you think. And I love it.

Thanks to you all for reading my crappy blog. I'll keep trying my best.

'Cross on.

Two New Boulder-based Cycling Sites!

Boulder is very much, as you'd guess, a cycling-mad town. Now that this inter-webby thing looks as if it's going to be here for some time to come, more people are getting their stuff out there for people to consume and enjoy. Thoughts, images, you name it.

Two buds of mine have started some cool cycling-related web services. One a full up new reporting service on cycling goings-on, another a new and rad photographer capturing the fields in digital celluloid as we hup up, over and through Colorado's courses. is Mix1 Racing's Kris Thompson's site of all the cycling happenings in the 303. He's bring some old school beat style reporting to the local cycling scene. Check it out!

David Kutcipal is also from Mix1 and is out there every weekend banging out GREAT photos of all of us wanna be Sven Nys's. He's a racer so he know just when to hit the shutter,. capturing our mugs in all our suffering glory. He captures some great photos from this Saturday's BoulderRacing No. 4 at the Louisville Rec Center.

(Yeah, Jon C: You KNOW you wanna buy this photo of you gettin' your hup on!)

And if above ain't proof enough, just click on these two thumbnails of me below to see how GREAT and hi-resolution these photos David shared with me to ensure you know what they're like (just check out the detail of the snot on my leg.) You will not be dissatisfied! Hup hup!

Respect over the interweb

Web 2.0: eBay, Blogger, your web based poison which keeps your head craned over your laptop or iPhone, spending hours communicating with others you may never meet...seeing places your feet may never touch the ground of.

But in the center of all this Web 2.0 thing is trust, believe it or not. The entire predication of eBay's business model as an example, beyond creating impulsive buying patterns through 'Buy Now', is trust. I sell something, you buy it, you tell the world that I am not a wanker and what I sold was what I said it was. You grade me and I'll grade you. Trust.

The blogosphere is a lot like that. I met Timmy and Jay-RAD not only from racing, but a lot because their words spoke to me. But, I get to see them weekend in and out as we trade paint in the dirt.

But one blog in particular blew me away: Belgium Knee Warmers. I've said it a zillion times on this here blog how Radio Freddy gets right. He's the creator of PRO and talks openly about the small things in cycling that we all 'see', but likely take for granted. How to wash your bike; the style of a cyclists knit cap in the 60's; white bar tape ALWAYS matching the white seat....and ONLY in the Spring. Classic reads. He calls out the weenie-ness in us all and ensures we respect, embrace, and love our cycling roots.

So back to this trust thing. The bloggers of this world speak about a lot of things. In my case, the three part teeter totter and life trying to 'balance' all the things that are important to me and doing the best that I can with them. Spreading the word of 'reality' for bike racers like me. I guess Radio thought this cool too because out of the blue the UPS man comes to my door. "A box for me?" I say, like a little boy. I grab it and dash inside and open it up. As I tear away the paper, I see a beautiful white glow. It pains my eyes as I open it given the beauty and the sheer whiteness. And then it all came into focus...

REAL BELGIAN KNEE WARMERS!! And a small note. Just a small note that said..

They are SICK. Made by Rapha....the new PRO style in cycling funk.

Mr. Radio Freddy, THANK YOU SO MUCH for that man. Trust. I thank you for the trust that bloggers truly get. A package of the M & C love is on its way. More people should start to trust each other. It's quite fun living life this way.


My logo, created for me by Ted's crew at Anthem Branding, has gone into the viral digi-sphere it seems. I saw this guys 'interpretation' on the CX Mag blog. Ha!

Funny to see, but semi-insulted that a sub-par beer would be in the shot.....

Za Germans...

....make me laugh. I can see who comes to M & C and how they stumble upon the site. And it seems like the Germans find their way due to their very obscure 'obsessions' like you see here in the search field.


Five questions with - The Pro's Closet!

So as I mentioned previously, I am selling my 2004 Moots YBB to make room in the stable for my new custom Ahrens 29'er. There's lots of ways to sell your used stuff directly, eBay, Craig's List, local paper, name it. I'm perennially strapped for time, so I needed me some help. So, I opted to leverage the up-and-comer's "The Pro's Closet", conveniently located here in the Republic, and tap into their expertise and vast machine they are creating to provide an intriguing supply of pro-level stuff (most is used and hard to find 'last season' items from professionals) to cover the growing demand for quality stuff at the right price for shmoes like me and you to grab while it's hot.

So the more I dealt with this lot of folks at The Pro's Closet (TPC), the more I got intrigued with their growing business and how this whole operation runs...ironically 100 yards from my house. I swung by at lunch one day while working from home to see local blogger, MTB'er and all around nice guy, Nick Martin. I wanted to give you a perspective on this business that can be helping you find what you may have been looking for!

So, with that, let the five questions with fly!

1) M & C: Hey Nick! So, I'm here to tell the world a
little sumpin' sumpin' about The Pro's Closet. But,
before that, gimme a little thumbnail sketch of

Nick: Well for the previous 4 years I had sacrificed
everything in the pursuit of my dream, to make cycling
my "job". In the process I took my camera and writing
background with me and shared it will cyber space over
at Pretty simple life really,

2) M & C: So, from the starving Pro to The Pro's Closet. Intriguing. Can
you tell me about the genesis of TPC. Who's idea? In
fact, tell me exactly WHO is TPC?

Nick: Well in order to pursue my cycling habit I ended up
trying to sell all of my worldly possessions on ebay.
From my Grateful Dead bootlegs to last years kits, I
sold it all... Now this went on for about 3 years,
completely supporting my cycling until I simply ran
out of things to sell. At that time my good friend
and training partner Zack Vestal (now mgr for Trek/VW)
suggested I help him unload some goods.... from there
word of mouth took over. The Pro's Closet really
didn't evolve into what it is today until I hired
Pete Lopinto, Sierra Nevada Crit guru. Pete networked
with the roadie circuit and I spread the word on the
NORBA scene... from there we brought both worlds
together and The Pros Closet took off.

3) M& C: Sounds like a killer crew of folks who REALLY
know about the equipment you are selling to lots of
lucky people. So, speaking of the biz, how do people
find you?

Nick: Right now it is completely through word of mouth. One
guy/girl in a group ride will tell his/her riding
partners on their experience cleaning out their garage
with us and then before we knew it the spider web
formed. We have been growing consistently now for 2
years and today we are up to 6 employees and a consist
client base of up to 100 athletes.

4) M&C: OK, crystal ball time: Besides driving a Carrera
4 S and sipping Cristal, where do you see TPC headed.
What's the biz look like in 5 years?

Nick: You know there is so much gear out there that still
has many miles left in it and simply needs to find the
right owner to put it back to use. Ebay is an
exciting marketplace for both buyers and sellers and
it opens doors to items that you can't find at your
local shop. We are helping our clients free up
valuable space and putting gear into the hands of
people that will get outside and put it to use.

In 5 years I am hoping that the business will be
running itself and I can go back to my days
procrastinating the real world on my bike.....

M & C: Great to talk with you man and best of luck with the
biz! So one last question: Nijs or Wellens

Nick: They have put on a good show and it is a tough call...

So go ahead and visit The Pro's Closet! Now you know a little more about the crew of folks makin' it happin' for you.

Title no. 8

What did you do today to elevate your heart rate folks? I mean besides throttle your computer? Whatever you, me, all of us with the taken-for-granted ability to wiggle all of our appendages are doing by staring at our PowerTaps and putting in our miles to keep fit and reach our goals this season pales in comparison to the depth Chris digs day in and day out to get it done. My boy Klebl, the same kid who is responsible for getting me on a mountain bike in 92 and falling back in love with two wheels (Damn you Klebl. Damn you. I could be a happy fat drunk Irishman at this point), won his 8th national cross country ski title amongst throwing down in Europe. Read his blog here and next time you throw your leg over your carbon fiber, smile and get it done. Chris is.