Good evening & good afternoon!
Since issue Nº267, quite a few people have signed up, making this their first issue. Welcome! Please do hit reply & share your feedback if you'd like to! : )
Even though summer's sunset is still over a month away, I'm rebooting the weekly aspiration of this nearly 300-issue tradition like it's a back-to-school assignment that's overdue! Expect to hear from me again next Sunday too ; )
Two months ago, I sent the last issue from a homeward-bound Deutsche Bahn ICE train after spending the weekend with my son & daughter in Basel, Switzerland. That felt like a kickoff to their annual 8-week return to Europe. We had an amazing summer full of all kinds of adventures. I'm very grateful for the memories! (Here are some in 35mm)
I've decided also to share that things took a bummer turn (for me) last month while on vacation with the whole family in Torino, Italy. I had to make a 4 am emergency room visit on July 21st. This canceled my intended multi-day cyclo tour adventure with Otto & Mira back to Amsterdam & involved a suprapubic catheter, a blood infection & a few nights in the hospital. Gnarly! Boy, am I glad Kristy was there to look out for and care for me! ❤️
The reason? Acute urinary retention, i.e., I couldn't pee due to a urethral stricture + infection. The cause? Well, xrays show narrowing from scarring in the bulbar portion of the tube from my bladder. I know I've had several solid inadvertent hits from my saddle over the years and most recently in Greece during the Hellenic Mountain Race. This just happened to come to a dramatic culmination while on holiday.
I'll spare you specifics but will say that I plan to be more open about my experience to be a resource about this topic. I've had a weak stream peeing for many years and should have addressed this much sooner. Expect an episode of The Mechanics of Joy with potentially a urologist this year. In the meantime, I'm certainly doing fine, in good spirits & will be scheduling a procedure to repair the damage in the coming months.
In other news, here are some definitely more upbeat & exciting updates since the last issue:
- While in Italy with the family, Kike & Lara interviewed Bas Rotgans on the Mechanics of Joy. You can listen to the episode here.
- Despite the doom & gloom above, Torino was sublime! We had a sunny arrival, Otto, Errol & I had a spicy ascent to the Superga Basilica & Kristy penned a wonderful recap of the trip here.
- Twotone's newest hire, Paula, joined the team!
- Last Friday, we had the 4th Edition Dox Under The Tracks. Thank you to everyone for joining & to Lemmo for providing the food and drinks!
- Kike is preparing for Badlands. I'm stoked for him & his pending adventure!
- We've got a ride with Velocio in Stockholm on August 3oth. RSVP here.
- And we're attending our 5th Bohemian Border Bash Camp also with Velocio next month. More about that below as well!
Thank you, once again, to all the new subscribers for signing up! : )
And thank you all, as always, for reading & sharing this newsletter,
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115 solo riders and 16 pairs set off to cover 1,879km and 31,690m in altitude in Kyrgyzstan at the Silk Road Mountain Race . This time the start is in Karakul, in the east of the country, and leads over 14 passes higher than 3,000m.
Martin, who has riding experience spanning 30 years, 52 countries & over 90,000 kilometers, really smashes these gear analyses. And his entire website is a tremendous resource.
Anthropologist Joost Beuving recently published a book, "Theorizing Entrepreneurship for The Future." In the book, he analyzes how entrepreneurs view the future:
"Entrepreneurial behavior is really about 'future work': everything entrepreneurs do to get a grip on the future, which of course is always uncertain. Consider, for instance, how they talk about the future, their habits to cope with uncertainty and their social practices, such as collaborations that they pursue or conflicts that arise in doing business."
I was interviewed by Richard Midson for his podcast recently, and I'm excited to share it here. An excerpt from his newsletter recaps our convo too:
Lesson 1: Authenticity Breeds Credibility – One of the most significant advantages of living and breathing the industry you promote is the credibility it brings. When you genuinely use and believe in the products or services you endorse, it becomes much easier to engage in meaningful conversations with customers and clients because you know the nuances and speak the language. they use. There are no gaps in the experience you give.
Lesson 2: Building Genuine Relationships – Jon emphasized the importance of building genuine relationships with clients, influencers, athletes, and editors. The agency goes on rides or trips with them so that they get to connect as friends, rather than in a business environment. To the agency it's not "investing the time to build connections", it's just having fun. Being part of the topic's community makes everything personal.
Lesson 3: Being Helpful, Not Just Seeking Coverage – Jon emphasised something that I am a big fan of. Don't just contact a journalist or reporter when you need something. Do it whenever you can help them. Subscribe to media outlets and feeds and interact with journalists in a personal and meaningful way all the time, not just when you have a pressing agenda. by offering valuable insights and assistance all the time, you build stronger relationships.
Lesson 4: Creative Storytelling – When you have to promote a product (bicycles) which is very similar to every other product in the niche, trying to pitch a product simply as a new product can prove hard. So Jon focuses on tying it into a larger story, such as an acquisition or a merger. This story carries the main message.
"Stephen here for Bilenky Cycle Works; after 3 years of operating through and after Covid we are figuratively and literally in debt to friends, family, current and previous workers, and the US Govt. (SBA non-forgivable EIDL loan) Everyone would like to see some payback, especially the SBA. We would love to get on an even keel and keep repairing, refurbishing and building cool bikes. One solution was to sell our least used, but the most valuable machine - the tube swager."