BOOM: The Fifth and Final Bike in the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5

12.29.2013 | 4:06 pm


Back in November 30, I introduced the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5, benefitting World Bicycle Relief

And now, here we are, a month later. And it’s been quite a month. 

Specifically, during this month, more than a thousand of you have donated, with the average amount per person donating being about five dollars more the cost of a Buffalo Bicycle ($134). Which means—in case you’re feeling a little groggy due to the holidays and are therefore not doing math especially well— that we’re really close to $140,000 raised. 

And during that time, I’ve announced four amazing bikes and an amazing trip. I’ll recap exactly what those are a little later in this post. 

But right now, I want to introduce the fifth—and final—bike in the Grand Slam: Power of 5: The Boom Carbon MTB


That is a seriously good-looking bike, designed by a small family company that is absolutely fanatical about riding power and handling. 

Hey, let’s take a closer look at that frame.


Yum. That is a gorgeous-looking bike, and you know that it’s going to ride like a dream. A very sexy carbon dream.

Or, more specifically, a very sexy carbon dream completely loaded up with top-end SRAM wheels and components and a Rock Shox fork.  


Boom Is Outrageously Awesome

It goes without saying that a small bike company like Boom that would gladly volunteer to give up a frame for this fundraiser is awesome.

But here’s the thing.

Boom isn’t just giving up this frame to help World Bicycle Relief. In fact, for every single bike Boom sells, they donate $134—the cost of a Buffalo Bike—to WBR. 

And they do it just because they love bikes and the vision WBR represents—not for PR or marketing. In fact, Katie at WBR tells me that it was a long time before WBR even knew why all these checks were coming in from this little company.

I love this kind of quiet generosity. Huge kudos to Boom for doing the right thing for the very best of reasons.

How to Donate and How You Can Win

It’s simple to donate and enter the contest for these five dream bikes and the dream cycling vacation to Italy (and yes, no matter when you donate, you’re entered for the drawing of all of the prizes). Just go to my WBR fundraiser page and make a donation. 

For every $5.00 you donate, you’ll get a chance at winning these five bikes. So, please donate in multiples of $5.00.

As a bonus, though, if you donate the cost of a WBR bike — $134 — you’ll be given an additional (you guessed it) five chances

And the really amazing thing here is — in addition to your donation possibly netting you an amazing bike or trip — your money is doubled. Which is to say, for every dollar you donate, a very generous group of individuals is matching you. 

So your donations have twice the power they normally would. Which is completely amazing.

Time is Running Out

This contest goes through the end of December. That’s Tuesday. At that point Katie Bolling at WBR will do the drawing. She’ll draw the first name, contact the winner, ask her/him which prize s/he wants, and then move on to the next name and prize. This goes on ’til all six prizes are given away.  

The key thing to note here is that the contest is almost over. It ends at the end of Tuesday. If you haven’t donated yet, you need to do that now. 

Oh, I’ve Got a Semi-Self-Interested Reason I Want You To Donate, Too

As you may know, The Hammer has kind of been destroying the field in her single speed mountain biking pursuits lately. 

For 2014, though, she’s interested in racing with a geared bike. And I’d like to support her in that endeavor. Toward that end, I have scraped together enough to buy her this:

IMG 7892

Buying that pretty much cleaned me out.

SRAM, however, has told me that if we reach the crazy-lofty $155,555 goal I semi-jokingly set for this fundraiser, they’ll build up The Hammer’s frame in much the same way they’re building up the prize-winners’ frames. An XX1 drivetrain. RISE wheels. A Truvativ Noir bar and Stylo T40 Stem. And so forth.

So, in the end, by donating you’re not just helping WBR save the world. You’re not just getting a shot at one of five bikes or a dream vacation. You’re not just getting your money doubled.

You’re also helping The Hammer crush the competition in her MTB racing this year. So thank you for that.

A Recap of What You Can Win

So let’s review the five bikes you can win in The Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5, shall we?

First, there’s the Ibis Ripley.


The Ripley is an extraordinary, innovative, and highly-sought-after MTB that is perfect for XC racing, endurance, or all-mountain. It may be the most versatile MTB ever made.

Next, there’s a Trek Madone Series 7, customized through Project One:


This is Trek’s best-of-breed road bike, and it is gorgeous, light and fast. And you can customize the look of the frame through Project One, meaning this bike is going to be beautiful in the way you want.

Third, there’s the Cannondale CAAD10


Seriously fast and light. Nice.

Fourth, Specialized will let you choose between an S-Works Tarmac…


or S-Works Roubaix


Which is the better choice? Well, I went with the Tarmac. The Hammer wants a Roubaix. Maybe you can help us break the tie.

And fifth, there’s the MTB we revealed today: the Boom.


But don’t forget, there’s the surprise prize: the cycling trip to Italy with InGamba


Honestly, I don’t envy the people whose names are drawn; it’s going to be really difficult to choose which prize to take.

No, I’m just kidding, because actually I really really envy the people whose names are drawn.

But here’s the thing: You probably won’t win. Most of you won’t. Your odds are less than 1%, really. 

But even if (when!) you don’t win, you’re still making life better for people who really need it. You’re making a different instantly, and in a huge way. And your money’s getting doubled, which is amazing. 

And after all, somebody’s (six somebodies, in fact) got to win. Right? 

So please, click here donate

Thanks, and good luck!


A Christmas Eve Present from Specialized: A $10,000 Bike and a $15,000 Donation

12.24.2013 | 9:55 am

When I went to bed last night, The Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5 was closing in on $98,000. I had every hope that sometime today we’d cross the $100,000 mark. 

So I was a little bit surprised and amazed to see this when I checked the fundraising page this morning:


Nearly $114,000. That’s a leap of $15,000. How did that happen? This press release explains:

MORGAN HILL, CA (BRAIN) — Specialized Bicycle employees decided to scale down their holiday party this year, and donate the excess party budget to two non-profit organizations.

The employees decided in a company-wide vote to opt for a modest office party instead of an off-site event. 

In a second vote, the employees chose to donate the extra budget amount to the United Way San Jose and World Bicycle Relief. Last Thursday representatives from these organizations learned that they would be receiving a $15,000 donation.

WBR and Specialized then agreed to put the WBR donation towards the Fat Cyclist’s fundraiser, given his long-time support for WBR, and that Simon Dunne, Specialized Advocacy Director, was on the trip to Zambia with Fatty in the summer of 2012. 

It’s not often that a press release chokes me up. But this one did.

And that’s not all Specialized is donating in this fundraiser. 

Win Your Choice of an S-Works Tarmac SL4 or S-Works Roubaix SL4

One of the five bikes we’re giving away in the Grand Slam for Zambia is an S-Works Specialized road bike, loaded up with the lightest, fastest selection of SRAM and ZIPP parts you can dream up.

And the cool twist for this particular bike is that you get to decide, which would you rather have: the S-Works Tarmac


 Or the S-Works Roubaix?


For me, the choice is obvious, because I voted with my own personal wallet earlier this year. I am the (very) proud owner of a Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4:


On this bike, I have been faster than I have ever been before in my life


Last summer, on this bike, I set all kinds of PRs, both on the flats and on climbs. Part of it is because I happened to be in really good shape this past summer, but part of it was that I was on a phenomenal bike.

With a SRAM RED build and some nice ZIPP wheels, you’ll be able to build this bike up so it’s both seriously aero and well under fifteen pounds.

You will be faster on this bike. I promise. It is something special. 

But What About the Roubaix?

Here’s the thing, though. While I love my Tarmac, The Hammer wants a Roubaix. Why? Because at Levi’s Gran Fondo this past year, she was able to rent one for the day.

And on this hilly, hard-riding century, she fell in love with it. Why? Well, for one thing, it’s fast. For another, it’s light. And for the third thing, it’s insanely comfortable. Chris Riekert of Specialized explained why to me in this video:

Heh. He said “Cobble Gobbler.” 

Just as a little side note, something kind of funny happened after this ride. The Hammer and I were returning the bike at NorCal Bike Sport (which had done a fantastic job of taking care of us, by the way). The Hammer was talking to one of the shop employees about how much she liked the bike, especially how comfortable the damping the frame’s gel inserts made the ride. She went on and on, saying she had to get one of these bikes.

Meanwhile, Mike Sinyard was loitering nearby, kinda sorta pretending to not be eavesdropping…while definitely listening to everything The Hammer said.

After we left, I asked if she had noticed the tall guy in the shop.

“Not really, why?” The Hammer asked.

“Oh, nothing really,” I replied. “You just totally gave a great little speech about how much you love the Roubaix in front of the CEO of Specialized.”

How Can You Win One?

The choice between a Specialized Tarmac and Roubaix will go to some lucky donor in my Grand Slam for Zambia: the Power of Five fundraiser. And getting a chance to win is easy: just go to my fundraising page and donate in some multiple of $5.00. You’ll be automatically entered in the drawing for this… and the other four dream bikes. And the dream cycling trip to Italy.

It’s not a bad set of prizes, really. And — even if you don’t win — you’re still making the world a better place by getting bicycles into the hands of students, health care volunteers, and small business people who otherwise have no way of getting around except walking. 

In other words, by donating, you are changing lives. Instantly, massively, and permanently. 

Attention, Last-Minute Christmas Shoppers

So, I think by now I’ve quite possibly revealed that I’m a fan of the Tarmac, and The Hammer loves the Roubaix. So it’ll be up to you to decide which you’d prefer.

Meanwhile, today is Christmas eve. And maybe you still have a present or two you haven’t taken care of. In which case, allow me to recommend you check out my post on how to make a donation on someone’s behalf as a gift. They’ll get a great e-card emailed to them right away, and you go from being a goat to being one of the most thoughtful gift-givers there could ever be. 

Which is not a half-bad transition to make.

Thanks for donating, and for being awesome.

And have a really merry Christmas, OK?

Surprise Grand Slam Prize: A Cycling Trip to Italy with InGamba

12.23.2013 | 7:59 am

I try to be a good person. I do. I really, really do. 

But sometimes I am overcome with jealousy.

Like, right this very second for example.

Because I am about to reveal to you that in addition to the five dream bikes being given away in the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of Five, I’ve got a little surprise up my sleeve:

NewImageAn all-expense-paid cycling trip to Italy, April 13 – 20, courtesy of InGamba.

Yeah. Really.

You’ll be riding in the Chianti region of Tuscany, an area known as one of the best places anywhere to ride a bike. Chianti also happens to be the epicenter of the food and wine world. And João Correia knows both the food and riding in that area as well as a person can.

InGambaWomensWeek 5

We’ll cover your airfare (up to $1200), and inGamba will cover your expenses while you’re there (though you should probably bring some money for tipping).


The InGamba Difference

There’s a good reason that Bicycling Magazine called the inGamba experience “The best ride on earth.” João Correia’s goal is to create moments you will never forget by sharing his favorite places, people and passions in a way that other touring companies simply can’t.

Each inGamba destination is a place he is deeply connected to: the Portugal of his youth, the Italian countryside where he lived and trained as a professional cyclist, and the immesurable beauty of northern California where he currently reside. Because of my history and relationships in these places, I’m able to craft an experience that takes you beyond the guidebooks and into the heart of a place.

Pro Style

João says, “As a pro I came to appreciate the things that were associated with that particular lifestyle; the best bikes, amazing kit, great roads and of course a full-time mechanic and soigenur to ensure that body and bike are both running smoothly. I bring these things to each and every inGamba trip, sweating even the tiniest of details to ensure that guests are treated—at least for a week—like a world-class professional. This attention to detail extends into everything we do, from the customized rain bags each guest receives upon arrival, to name decals on the top tubes, pre-programmed Garmins and homemade ride food that will be waiting for you every morning in your own musette.”


Eat, Drink, Ride

Whether you’re meeting revolutionary winemakers, enjoying a private tasting in the kitchen of a world-famous Siennese baker, pedaling alongside a visiting pro, spending the evening with an enigmatic philosopher-shoemaker or having a laugh around the long dining table at the Borgolecchi B&B, every day will bring new surprises, incredible riding, top-notch dining and, of course, great wine.


InGamba keeps trips small and they take great pride in creating the perfect mix of guests to ensure a memorable week. They’re as interested in the quality of dinner conversation as they are about the outcome of the sprint to the city limits sign. At the end of the week they want your mind to be as inspired and relaxed as your legs are tired—and they believe that the careful combination of those three sensations can lead to some of life’s greatest moments. 

InGamba: A Huge Supporter of World Bicycle Relief

Here’s something you may not know: for every person who comes on one of their trips, InGamba donates $134 — the cost of a Buffalo Bike — to World Bicycle Relief

InGamba has donated about $20,000 this year, collected from friends of InGamba, travelers and matching that InGamba does on top of that. They are aiming for $25,000 by the end of this year. 

Here’s what João has to say about why InGamba is donating this incredible trip:

Bikes change people’s lives.  For some of us it was a tool to make a living, for others a way to loose a little extra weight or simply blow off some stress.  But yet for a different group of people it’s a way to get around, that allows you to get to a job or school.  It can be that little push you need to get over the poverty line and make a difference for you family.  At inGamba we believe in bikes.  We also believe in making a difference and making sure its part of what we do.  Although our trips are about great food, wine and riding bikes our inspiration as a business is to make peoples lives better.  It can be one of our guests or it can be a young person in Africa whom we’ll never meet but along with our guests we will affect with our contribution that gives them the ability to get from point A to point B easier and therefore transform their lives.  Join the cause and make a difference.

Seriously, how could you not love a company that believes in bikes so whole-heartedly?

Let’s Recap, Shall We?

So, just to sum up, here are the prizes that are going to be given away as part of the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5

And bear in mind, that all of these bikes are absolutely loaded to the max with your pick of top-end SRAM parts. 

Look at that list again. Seriously, take a good hard look at it, and ask yourself if you have ever seen a cycling-oriented prize list that is its equal. 

Or even one that comes kind of close. 

[Hint: The answer is, “No.”]

Further, remember that even though you probably won’t win any of these prizes, your money is still going straight to World Bicycle Relief, where it’s making an instant, massive difference in people’s lives. 

Every multiple of $5 gets you a row on the magic spreadsheet from which winners are chosen. And if you donate $134 (the cost of a WBR bike), you get a bonus 5 chances. 

So please, go donate. And good luck!

How to Give Incredibly Thoughtful Gifts, and Also Maybe Win 1 of 5 Dream Bikes, Like this Sweet Cannondale Road Bike

12.20.2013 | 9:59 am

Hey, I need to tell you something, and I’m afraid it’s going to freak you out a little bit, so I apologize in advance.

Christmas is in just a few days.

Yeah. Really. 

And if I know you the way I think I know you (and I think I know you pretty darned well), you are currently steeling yourself for a weekend of ugliness: walking (or maybe driving, or quite possibly driving) from store to store, trying to find something that will suffice as a present.

And we all know how that’s going to turn out. 

I have a better idea. It’s a present that’s perfect for everyone, is easy to buy, and will definitely get to them on time, no matter where they live. 

Donate to the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5 in your friends’ and family’s behalf. 

It’s super easy, they get an e-card saying what you’ve done, and—here’s the genius part—you are still entered in the drawing and may win one of the five dream bikes that are going to be given away (more on that in a bit).

Here, let me walk you through it. First, you go to the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5 donation page (click here), and click the “Contribute Now” button.

Next, you fill out the the donation page, just like you normally would.


Don’t freak out that this page doesn’t have anything about your donation being in someone else’s name. That part comes after you complete the transaction.

Once you click the Donate button, you’re taken to a page that looks like this:


From here, you can click “Send an e-card,” which lets you write a custom message and choose the image you like. It gets emailed right away, and they get a cool e-card showing what a thoughtful and timely gift you have just given them: making the world a better place in their behalf. Like this one I just got from Katie Bolling of World Bicycle Relief:


This is what my sisters and parents are all getting for Christmas. 

And the cool thing is, it’s my name that goes into the drawing for one of the five dream bikes being given away as part of this fundraiser. (OK, as the guy who’s running this contest I’m unfortunately not eligible to win, but you get the point). 

And don’t forget: every dollar you’re donating gets matched, so feel free to tell the person you’re donating on behalf of that you actually gave them twice as much as you actually did.

Because, you know, it’s technically true. 

Win a Cannondale CAAD10

I’m very pleased to announce the third bike to be given away in the Grand Slam: Power of 5 lineup: A Cannondale CAAD10, totally loaded up with SRAM Red components and ZIPP wheels. Nice!


If you want a shot at winning this — or any of the other four dream bikes — make sure you donate!

The Story Behind The Bike

You might wonder a little bit about how this bike came into this contest. Well, it’s both a sad and also beautiful story. You see, Pam Keith, a long-standing employee of Cannondale, has become one of World Bicycle Relief greatest champion’s this past year. She lost her husband, Bill — A SRAM employee — unexpectedly in January and has gone on to create an absolute stunning legacy in his name.

Thus far she has raised over $50,000 for World Bicycle Relief and is extremely passionate and dedicated. This past May, Pam and her sister, Kim, traveled to Zambia to be on-hand for a distribution in Bill’s honor. Be sure to read the story on that. Katie at World Bicycle Relief said the following about Pam and her work:

I can honestly say that Pam gives me a great reason each day to come to work with a spirit to do my absolute best for the people we serve. Her ambition to create a lasting legacy in Bill’s name is an active testament to the meaning of love. Cannondale has really impressed me with their willingness to support Pam’s drive. We’re honored to have the support of Pam, Dave and the entire Cannondale family.

I want to add my thanks to Pam and Cannondale. I love seeing people turn tragedy into something good. 

Join Me Today in a Video Chat with the Presidents of SRAM and WBR

12.17.2013 | 10:42 am

I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m a big fan of the work World Bicycle Relief does, and am proud to support them (and to ask you endlessly for your support). And it’s also pretty obvious that many of you also think this is a pretty fantastic foundation.

But have you ever wondered about how WBR got started? And how it is that the president of World Bicycle Relief (FK Day) and the president of SRAM (Stan Day) happen to be brothers

Or how about the fact that SRAM and WBR share headquarters?

Or how about the fact that all five of the bikes in the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5 fundraiser are equipped with…SRAM parts, which happen to be donated by SRAM?

It all seems like quite a coincidence, don’t you think?

Well, I’m going to be talking with Stan and FK today at 3pm ET / 12noon PT today, and I’d love to have you join me. You can watch below, but you’ll be better off (and able to ask questions and stuff) if you head on over to watch on the Spreecast site (click here).

A Little More About SRAM and WBR

To prep you for the chat, here’s a little background about the SRAM /  WBR relationship. As WBR’s largest corporate sponsor, SRAM supports the work of World Bicycle Relief monetarily, as well as through in-kind services, advocacy, and technical expertise. Financially, they support WBR’s work through events like the SRAM pART Project.

In-kind support includes the donation of office space, product for these types of fundraisers and support services. SRAM provides promotional support by sharing WBR’s story with their customer base and sales reps. Finally, they lend design and engineering expertise to the production of Buffalo Bicycles. 

WBR Executive Director, Charles Coustan, sums it up nicely: 

“It is hard to adequately express World Bicycle Relief’s ongoing gratitude towards SRAM and their employees. As an illustration of their support, I’m reminded of an experience of mine in one of SRAM’s testing facilities…the WBR Buffalo was undergoing some engineering tests next to some SRAM equipment. To see SRAM’s commitment to both the highest performing bicycles in the world as well as what could be the most important bicycles in the world side-by-side was a visual symbol of SRAM’s ongoing commitment not only to sport but also to their dedication to a higher calling via the bicycle.” 

Please be sure to join me at 3pm ET / 12noon PT today. I’m thinking this’ll be the feel-good interview of the summer. Or winter. Or maybe the whole year. 

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