Team (SharePoint) Australia Comes to America

A few months ago I was trading Tweets with @GrumpyWookie (occasionally known as Chris O’Connor) about Mtn Bike rides. He mentioned he would be in Seattle for the Microsoft MVP Summit at the end of February. We thought it would be a great idea to organize a ride. Since I’m always up for a ride and especially when friends are here from out of town we started putting all the pieces in place. There were a few logistics to organize.

100_9157First we needed to organize bikes. Then we needed to consider that it’s Winter here in Seattle while it’s Summer in Australia. And last, but not least we needed to coordinate the timing. Chris was hoping he’d get to ride in the snow --- which takes some planning in and of itself. Mother Nature was kind enough to oblige. Take a look the pics and you’ll see.

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MVP Summit or Mtn Bike Ride? No Contest!


Chris brought along a fellow Aussie by the name of Ivan Wilson (occasionally known as @IvanWilson). Chris and Ivan are here in the US ostensibly for the MVP Summit, but in reality I think they came to RIDE! Ivan let us know that just before he left Australia he got in a ride where the temp was 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Chris and Ivan arrived in the US to sub-freezing temps. Welcome to Seattle!

Pacific Bicycle Rocks!

imageMtn Bikes are Mtn Bikes --- right? Well, not if you come from Australia (or the UK). They drive on the “wrong” side of the road and they like their brake levers reversed. Pacific Bicycle is my local bike shop. Not only did they set Chris and Ivan up with sweet Specialized Stumpjumper bikes, but they also took the time and effort to swap the brake levers. Several people have told me … Swap the brake levers … or bad things can happen. So, I was glad Pacific Bicycle was willing to accommodate their need. Having a great Local Bike Shop is a HUGE plus. Thanks Scott, Kristie and the tech team at Pacific.

A Ride at Tolt-MacDonald Park

I took them to a local ride by the name of Tolt-MacDonald. It’s a set of trails that can be ridden for several hours without crossing the same trail twice. I got to introduce Chris and Ivan to the IAB (the nice name for It’s a Bitch). The IAB is the first hill everyone has to climb to get up on the plateau with all the trails.

Flintstone Mode – Note the Similarities. The Shuffling Feet and a Sweet Leg Kick for Ivan.

Fred & Barney Ivan
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For the full video … see below for Ivan in Full Flintstone Mode. Unfortunately he had a mechanical with his bike. Which forced him to cut his ride short. We’ll get to ride again … either here in Seattle or in Australia. It will happen!

Ivan–Doing a Perfect Fred Flintstone impression!

The Unvarnished Truth --- The Real Story of How Chris and I started Talking about Riding (sort of)

We were both lamenting that we know someone on each of our respective continents that are part of the Specialized Stumpjumper Trail Crew (The Infamous #SJTC) – @JohnFriedrich and @MattUnderground, respectively. We are both envious of the sweet rides and all the gear they got for being part of that exclusive club. Someday … I hope to be a part of that club. (Hint)

No Matter What --- Ride Hard and Have Fun!

Thanks to Chris and Ivan for braving the cold and getting out for a great ride. I hope to get your guys back here next year for the MVP 2012 Summit. If you happen to make it back before that we have some incredible epic rides near Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier. We do a Mt. St. Helens ride on the 3rd weekend of August. (Hint)

If you find yourself in Seattle and want to ride. Let me know. I think Chris and Ivan can attest to the fact that we have great trails here. Now they know they can be ridden in the snow. Now it’s your turn to find out.

I hope to see you on the trails!

Image Credit: Hanna-Barbera


Chris O'Connor said…
Thanks Jeff - great write-up...! And thanks heaps to Pacific Bicycle - a great bike, with the brakes swapped for us "backwards" Aussies - and yep, SNOW !! :-)