Saturday, August 14, 2010

Brent Banasiewicz Victory Lap - Portland DEW Tour

Porland, OR DEW Tour - BMX Dirt Jump Finals

Brent Banasiewicz (Bana-say-wits) already had the victory on lock after landing the first ever "cash roll" in competition. A cash roll is a 180 to backflip 180 out. This is his 3rd and final run. Watch the last hit, where he does the cash roll even bigger than he did it on his first run.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day in the life...

I love my job. We get to do the most random stuff. Today Fuel TV's Thrillbillies came by to drive "half cars" around our parking lot and film for their show. I grabbed my Flip MinoHD video camera and caught a bit of the action. Double click the video to watch on YouTube, since my blog layout cuts of the edge of videos...

I'm off to Portland later this week for another stop of the DEW Tour. Portland is another city I've always wanted to visit. It's kind of a bummer I'll still be hobbling around on my peg leg, but at least this time I'll have a car...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Boom Crash

I've been doing my best to make the most of my summer. The kind folks up at Fred's Marine in Layton hooked us up with a rad wakeboarding boat:

It's a Tige (Pronounced - tye-guh) RZ2 and it rocks. I've taken it out a couple of times and there isn't much like a free $75,000 wakeboarding boat to make you love your job. The wake is killer, but where this thing really shines is wake surfing, which is something I'm probably going to be doing more of...

That's my good buddy and co-worker Cort surfing it up about a week ago, behind said wakeboarding boat. The reason that this isn't a picture of me wakesurfing is because shortly before this picture was taken I was wakeboarding and I landed funny after the most massive air you've ever seen and blew out the old knee. As soon as I hit the water I felt it go "pop" and thought "Crap, there goes my ACL."

So after some X-rays and an MRI, it turns out I was right, sorta.

I guess I got lucky and didn't actually sever my ACL, rather, it detached from the bone where it connects to the tibula. After the surgeon looked at my MRI he recommended that I not get surgery (What?!? A surgeon who doesn't want to cut?) Instead I'm locked into one of these puppies for the next 4 weeks:

That's not actually a picture of me, by the way.

Apparently my intact ACL is dangling right where it needs to be when my leg is straight, so there's a chance it will reattach itself on it's own. If that indeed ends up being the case, my knee should be as good as new and I will count myself as one of the luckiest people alive, as true ACL injuries have a tendency to be at least somewhat debilitating for the rest of your life.

Apparently an injury of my particular type is extremely rare in adults. My doctor is one of the two orthopedic specialists who handle all the injured University of Utah athletes (read: she is AWESOME) and she has never seen it in anyone older than 12.

So while this brace is extremely annoying, and keeps sliding down my leg, and is AWFUL to sleep with, I'll gladly wear it if it means a good-as-new knee sans the surgery. Here's to hoping. Next check up is August 30th.

Again thanks to Fred's Marine for hooking up the Rockwell Crew with this sick boat, even if it did ruin the rest of my summer...

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Thanks to Rockwell, I got to take a trip out to Chicago this weekend for the DEW Tour. I'd never been to Chicago before, but I'd heard a lot of good things, so I was excited. Unfortunately I was working most of the time, so I didn't have much of a chance to do many touristy things, but I was able to check a few things out.

Timmy G, our CFO played a pretty good trick on me. He told me public transit was the way to go in Chi-town and I totally fell for it, so he didn't rent me a car. I wish I had a picture of myself logging some serious mileage hauling my OGIO 9800 (great bag, by the way) though the city, but I was way too tired to even think of it. I had to bring a bunch of product to set up our booth, so the weight in addition to 90 deg + heat and maxed out humidity left me hammered after 3 days.

I will say this, public transit in Chicago is really good. If I were there just to hang out, I'd be all about it. But when you're toting the entire contents of a booth, you gotta have a car. Don't tell my boss, but there was no way I was hauling all that stuff back to my hotel, so I left probably close to $15,000 worth of watches completely unattended in my booth overnight. Luckily no one stole them. Unluckily there was a torrential rainstorm right after I left (which I got caught, and soaked, in) that got most of my shirts wet, ruining a few. I was, however, still able to sell them all the next day, minus the ruined ones of course.

All in all it was a great trip. My flights were interesting. I had the polar opposites in flight attendants on each trip. Heading out to Chicago I had a beautiful Australian flight attendant who came and sat next to me and chatted most of the way. She was amazing. If anyone knows the hot Aussie flight attendant that works for American Airlines and lives in Chicago, tell her to freaking call me.

On my way back I had a total doucher for a flight attendant. He got mad at me on two separate occasions and took his job way too seriously. Just because my bag isn't all the way under the seat in front of me doesn't mean I'm a threat to national security. I'm kind of tall. My legs have to go somewhere.

But all-in-all it was a fun trip. I definitely want to go back soon to just check out the city. Hopefully I'll make it back this fall, once it has cooled off a bit.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mt. Olympus - Salt Lake City, UT

Seriously, don't do this hike. It's brutal.

You sure? You really want to? This is masochism at it's best. To get here you take the 4500 South exit off of I-215 in Salt Lake and then head south on Wasatch Blvd about 1.5 miles until you see a sign that reads "Mt. Olympus Trailhead" on the east side of the street. That's where the fun begins.

Don't let the first mile or so of meandering pathways through meadows and rocky outcroppings fool you. This trail really bares it's teeth at the very end. You'll know you're about to be punished once you reach the small creek that runs at about the half-way mark of the ascent.

You'll spend the next couple of hours on a thin trail through dense foliage. The climb is steep and unrelenting. The hike boasts a 7 mile trip out and back. You'll climb over 4000 feet in just 3.75 miles. Maybe it was just because I was getting more and more tired, but it seems to get continually steeper as you climb.

If I haven't scared you off yet, I will say this. It is beautiful. Once you get far enough up to escape the dull roar of the freeway, the arid landscape gives way to a lush and dense forest. This summit is no joke either. From the top you can see the northern part of Utah Lake over Point of the Mountain, as well as the majority of the Great Salt Lake. This would be an amazing view at night, but I don't recommend setting out for a sunset summit, as the terrain to the peak is very steep and somewhat treacherous. A misstep in the dark would likely lead to a long and deadly fall. During the day you'll be fine, just exercise caution and remember to keep three points of contact while climbing.

I was in no shape to being doing something like this (I actually had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started) but I was still able to make it. It took me about 4 hours to summit and about 2.5 to descend. Unless you hike a lot and are in pretty decent shape, be prepared for a beating. When you feel like giving up and turning back, just keep going until you really think you can't go any further. By that point you should be close enough to the summit that you'll convince yourself you might as well finish.

I'm not going to lie, I spent the last part of the ascent telling myself I should turn around. While the decent was faster, it was no less punishing. I spent the entire time cursing myself for not turning back. In the end though, it was worth it. I got back to my car and was amazed that I was even able to do it. Hopefully I keep this up and I can look back at this blog in a few months and laugh at what a wuss I was, because I was seriously pushed to my limit on this hike.

Bring lots of water. I packed 2 liters in my CamelBak and ran out on the summit. The water I left in my car was no less than 100 degrees, but the 7-11 down 45th South was selling ice cold Gatorade two for $3. Delicious.

If you think you're up for it, I say go for it. At the very least you'll end up with some seriously sore legs and a healthy sense of accomplishment.




Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hike to Mary's Lake

I'm on a quest to experience some of Utah's grandeur. I've spend over 5 years here in this great state, but I've really only been to a few places. I found a great website cleverly called that has a pretty good list of different hikes. I looked for something that would be decently strenuous, but not too hardcore. Also I wanted something accessible. Mary's Lake was the winner. The description on the website says the trailhead is at the back of the Brighton parking lot, marked by a marquee with trail info, but after about 30 minutes circling the area in my car and using my phone's GPS, I figured out the trailhead is actually right next to the lift ticket office. I didn't see any marquee other than the resort map.

Yeah. Pretty obvious.
I didn't expect there to be as much snow as there was. A lot of the trail was like this:

But really, most of it looked like this:

Mary's lake was the first stop on this hike, about 1.5 miles (I'm guessing) from the trailhead. The trail continues on to Martha Lake and then further on to Catherine Lake, which apparently is the best of the three. Because of the amount of snow still on the ground, I only made it as far as Mary's. I actually lost the trail on the way up and just cut my way through the trees to find the lake and ended up coming in around on the back side. It would have been hard to find my way any further up.
Here's a few photos of Mary's Lake.

Mary's is actually a reservoir for Salt Lake water, so there's a man-made dam.

I did a bit of fishing, but after an hour or so without so much as a nibble, I gave it up. I'm going to go back in a couple of months when all the snow has melted off so I can make it all the way up to Catherine's.

Mary, Margaret, and Catherine Lake Hike

Recommended time of year - Late July - September
Accessibility - Very easy
Difficulty of Hike - Pretty easy, even in the snow
Length - Reported at 4 miles out and back, but I'm not sure if that's accurate
Level of Awesomeness - Mary's lake was actually pretty cool. I'd like to see Catherine's
Money - Parking is free at Brighton, no access fees
Fishing - I really have no idea if there are even any fish in the lake...
Crowd Factor - There were quite a few people at Mary's, even with the poor trail conditions. I bet it's pretty crowded once the snow is gone. I'm not sure how many people would make it all the way to Catherine's though.

My Rating (1-10) - 7 - Great day hike, especially if you only have a few hours.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Top 5

Alright, so Christmas is behind us, New Years is just around the corner. I figure it's time for a Holiday Top 5 list..

#5 - Going somewhere warm

Living in Salt Lake City is cold. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I actually love the snow, wearing jackets and beanies, and winter-time activities, but coming to San Diego for a few days and wearing shorts in December is wonderful. I'm taking a two week vacation this year.

#4 - Shopping Online

Holiday traffic, both on the roads and in the stores, freaking blows. I'm glad I jumped on the online shopping bandwagon a few years ago. No headaches, just a little planning ahead.

#3 - Drift racing

I love it when I don't have to be somewhere by a certain time and there's snow on the roads. It's the one time that my 9 year old 4Runner becomes a rice rocket. Don't be surprised to see me completely sideways on the road as I drift past Paul Walker and Vin Diesel on my way to glory.

#2 - Trust funds

Okay, so maybe I don't have one, but I kind of feel like it this week. I am doing absolutely nothing, but I'm still getting paid. This is the first time I've had a job that gives me paid time off, and I'm milking it and blowing it all while I sit around my parents house. I feel like a king.

#1 - Cookies

Christmas joy, spirit of giving, love unto your fellow man, yadda yadda yadda. That stuff is great and all, but the real spirit of Christmas is cookies. My mom just made some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that would melt your face with their deliciousness.