Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2 comments
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!!

At Grease Monkey Wipes we are proud to offer a "green" degreasing wipe. Our all-natural cleaning formula powers through the toughest grease and grime.

Since it is St. Patrick's Day we decided to run a one day sale of 25% off all items at our online store.

You can visit the store here.

All you have to do is put "green" in the discount area. But hurry up, the sale ends at midnight tonight.

Luck of the Irish to ya.

Expo West 2010 Recap

Over the past weekend, I headed out to Anaheim California for Natural Products Expo West, known as "the world's largest natural and organic products tradeshow." To sum it up, I nicknamed this show "The Academy Awards of Whole Foods." Every product you could expect to find at Whole Foods, or any other natural specialty store, or really even your everyday grocery store, was there.

Grease Monkey Wipes has been blessed in so many ways, especially after the Shark Tank aired. In this instance, we received an email from a most generous man in California who essentially offered to be our mentor in the grocery store and natural products industry. After numerous phone calls and emails, I finally found myself face to face with him after picking up my Expo West badge.

From there, he walked the entire trade show with me, introducing me to presidents, CEOS, sales managers, distributors, key players, etc... and taught me how the industry works. One word: Priceless!!!

One of the contacts I made was Ricky from Earthworm. First, I must recommend his products, which are earth-friendly natural cleaners. Next, I must say that this guy has serious energy and passion. He took just one product from an idea to national distribution. You can find these products all over the country (and you should!) - and it's all because of Ricky. He spent nearly an hour talking to me, teaching me the ropes, and answering my questions all while selling like a madman- awesome!

Here we are each showing off our earth-friendly products.
Here is an example of a company that I loved. I spoke with the president and national sales manager for a while, all while snacking happily on their freeze-dried fruits. (YUM!)

During the show, I was surprised that people actually recognized me. I will say it was probably our monkey logo that caught people's attention, however it was still cool that people knew about Grease Monkey Wipes.

One of those people who recognized me was Paul from Kor. Here we are standing in front of his very sleek water bottles. I spoke at length with Paul about how he formed his company and what his sales strategies look like. It was so cool to talk to another business owner about his experiences... and this was just one of many conversations I had like this.
As a cyclist, of course I know Camelbak from my cycling/running background - and it was so cool that people in that company also recognized Grease Monkey Wipes! Thanks for the new insulated bottle, guys - I appreciate it!

I spoke with so many companies, it's hard to keep track. But I'll try to remember some of my other favorites, including: Marzetti, dermaE, Miltons, Erin Baker's, Food Should Taste Good, Eternal Water, Frontera Foods, Red Leaf Water, fellow Austinites Beanitos and ThinkBaby, Kaia, Eat Cleaner, and fellow Shark Tankers Element Bars.
Overall, it was an amazing eye-opening trip. Many contacts were made. Much was learned. I am now even more confident in the success of Grease Monkey Wipes.
And... I am thankful to the kindness of a total stranger who is taking us under his wing. We will owe much of our future success to him.
Now it's time to hit the bike to work off all of the samples I got from these amazing companies! :)

Jack's First Tri

Saturday, March 6, 2010 4 comments
This was taken from the Jack & Adams blog and describes Jack's first triathlon experience...

With Triathlon season quickly approaching, many triathletes reminiscence about their first tri, while newcomers eagerly anticipate the endeavor. Here, Jack Murray, owner of Jack & Adam's Bicycles, writes about his first triathlon. (from the J&A newsletter archives, March 2008)

Almost every day customers visit our shop seeking advice on participating in their first triathlon. When I have the opportunity to help someone in this situation, I share with them the story of my first tri in hopes of helping them feel more comfortable about their endeavor.

It was the summer of 1994. The event was the Victoria Splash & Dash in Victoria, Texas. I had trained for a few weeks and was sure I was in peak condition for an easy victory. I was, after all, fresh off a 1600 meter run victory and bronze in the 3200 at the Texas High School Championship Relays. How hard could a little tri be? I thought I knew all there was to know about swimming, biking, and running. Turns out - I knew nothing!

The morning started with me loading my bike into the trunk of my mom's car and driving with her and my sister to the event one hour away. I arrived around 6 AM for an 8 AM start. This was before on-line registration, so I registered for the event that morning and picked up my packet. As people started to arrive, I noticed the differences between my rusty old mountain bike and some of their $2000 race machines. My confidence, however, was not crushed; I was still sure I could win. After racking my bike, I headed over to the pool area where everyone was warming up. As I got closer, I noticed everyone was wearing tight swimsuits and goggles. I was sure, however, that my baggy Umbro "soccer shorts" and lack of goggles was the best way to go. My plan was simple - go as fast as I could for as long as I could.

They were letting swimmers go every 5 seconds and we had to snake up and down the pool for a total of 300 meters. I patiently waited in line until 5,4,3,2,1 go, I was off. I swam as fast as I could to the other side and then back again. 50 meters down 250 to go. By 150 my arms started to hurt and my eyes were stinging from the chlorine. By 200 I was kicking off the bottom every few strokes and swimming with my eyes closed, by 250 I was just trying to get out of the water alive, and without my shorts falling off. After the swim, I was sure I was still in good position to hold my own on the bike.

I grab my bike out of transition and head out on to the 12 mile course. As I start to ride I realize I am not catching anyone. The rusty, old mountain bike that I borrowed from my high school track coach was not the stallion I thought it was. Riding around the block a few times for training was probably not the riding that all these people were doing. The fact that my bike could not shift was more trouble than I thought it would be. And looking back, my saddle was also about 5 to 7 inches to low. Towards the end of the ride I was being passed by a 10 year old girl and her mom; it was then that I started to feel my big victory slipping away. Still I was determined to blaze through transition and light up the run.

Transition to the run was probably my most memorable moment. As I speed to the transition area, volunteers are yelling at me to dismount my bike. As I go to lift my feet off the pedals, I forget that they are hooked in by cages. The combination of speed and my feet getting caught was enough to send me crashing like a bowling ball into a bike rack with about 6 bikes on it. The volunteers quickly help me up and as I throw my bike in the grass next to a picnic table (the rack was down), I remember thinking how much fun I was having. The whole day was something I had never experienced before.

It took about a mile into the run before I got my legs out of bike riding mode. I had no idea how riding a bike would effect legs on the run. As I rounded the final stretch I saw all these happy people cheering for me, eating, drinking, and just having a good time. I talked to people for about an hour. I met a guy my age that had been doing triathlons for years. I met some members of the Corpus Christi tri club and was invited to their next meeting. I signed up for their monthly newsletter. In short - I was hooked. It was nothing I thought it would be. It was fun and I discovered a whole different type of people that did not exist in my 5000 person hometown.

Through the years of collegiate running, duathlons, sprint tri's, half Ironman events, Ironman events, and working in the shop, my first tri memory will forever help me keep our sport in perspective. It is not about where you finish, what type of bike you have, what you do for a living, where you are from or where you are going. It is about having fun and that is it. You can have many goals in our sport without forgetting this key element. I am constantly reminded of this by some of the greatest in the sport like Michael Lovato and James Bonney. If you ask either of them why they have dedicated and built their lives around this sport, they will tell you the same.