Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Three Business Lessons From Bike Maintenance

Ever heard of the Whole Enchilada trail in Moab, UT? It is one of Moab's best all-mountain enduro rides... A quick alpine ascent gives you access to one of the most amazingly beautiful and technical rides in the nation. Drops, berms, slickrock riding, alpine-shredding, views of the amazingly colorful Moab desert and smiles the entire way! This 3 - 5-hour ride (some people do it in two-hours, but they are missing out on the views and grandeur - why rush it brah) is an epic for sure. You're out there... But mostly, you're at the mercy of some harder riding and so is your bike! The slickrock riding in Moab is known for eating up rear derailleurs, wheels and tubes. Having a solid frame, fork and wheelset are critical for the descent into the Southern Utah desert! And if you haven't guesses, I'm speaking from the voice of experience here.

Last weekend, as my girlfriend and a good buddy of mine edged through the monster slickrock formations, I realized my cranks were wobbly. Hmm... The splines are worn down. My shock is leaking a little oil from the seals. Next up, my front fork has so much sticktion in the stanchions that I'm not sure what the purpose of even having suspension is - it ain't working! So on one of America's greatest singletrack adventures, I'm riding a busted bike. And this leads me to the point of this post: what can we learn about bike maintenance in our businesses? 
  • Preparation is everything - training for anything requires foresight and and idea about the obstacles. But isn't the miles, but the specifics. For example, I had been working on fixing the bike for about two months, but clearly what I was working on didn't solve my problem. Perhaps I was focusing on the wrong issues - my brakes, for example, were having issues. 
  • Lube often - we all need the wheels greased from time to time. But if you neglect finding supple ways, you'll be forever lost grinding it out! 
  • Know your stuff - I'm probably the worst at this... I'll admit it! And I know a lot of my friends will as well. Actually, knowing your bike parts and all the subtle changes to this gearing or that is tough. Knowing it well will help you survive in the deep back country of Colorado to the high desert of Moab! 
For those of you interested in learning more about the Whole Enchilada... Watch this video and enjoy! 

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