03 August 2011

Courage Classic Charity Ride 2011, Even Better Than 2007

Every year I ride in a three-day cycling event in the Colorado Rocky Mountains named the Courage Classic. I participate in this ride every summer because it benefits the Children's Hospital Foundation, a wonderful cause that directly benefits many kids with life-saving care. To find out more, check out the website.

In 2007, I wrote about riding the Courage Classic with my oldest daughter. That was a wonderfully proud moment for me as a parent. But this year was even better.

For months now, my youngest daughter has been talking about riding the Courage Classic family day this year. We were never sure if she would actually do it or not, but we worked up to it by practicing and kept encouraging her. Not only did she ride the same little single-geared bike that her older sister rode over the 33 mile course from Copper Mountain to Breckenridge and back, she did it a year earlier -- and she's only eight years old!!! What really drove her, I found, is that she is one year younger than her older sister when she rode it for the first time. Ah, sibling rivalry has its positive moments. All along the entire course, people cheered her on and she got the biggest thrill from it.

Not only did my eight-year-old ride for the first time, so did my wife and she did great. She's typically a runner and only likes casual bike riding, so I wasn't sure how it would go. A few days beforehand, I took her around Turquoise Lake near Leadville, CO (which is about 10,000 feet of elevation) as a training ride. She was not too excited by this choice as the last training ride for her, but she did admit that it helped her prepare and she really surprised me.

So I got to ride with both my daughters and my wife on the second day of the ride this year. A memorable day indeed!

02 August 2011

The iPhone is Not a Submarine But Apple Made My Day

This morning I got up at 5am to ride up Flagstaff Mountain with a friend. Soon after I got up I dropped my iPhone in water, totally submerging it. Great. What a wonderful start to my day. Obviously this rendered the phone completely dead. Excellent. So I rode this morning with my old iPod Shuffle, so that wasn't a big deal. But I didn't have a clock so I took my wristwatch and put it in my jersey pocket.

In my second hour of riding I pulled the watch out of my jersey pocket (pockets are on the back of a bike jersey) and I dropped it on the rode. When I circled back and picked it up, I realized that one of the pins had bent and needed to be replaced. Not a big deal really as I've had this happen many times over the years. And there's a jewelry place right near the Apple Store I typically use. Still, that's strike number two for the day. I rode the third hour just waiting for the third bad thing to happen, but it never did.

I just returned from the Apple Store and I'm glad to say that I was quite happily surprised. This phone was covered under AppleCare but it doesn't cover dropping your phone in water. Matteo at the Flatirons Crossing Apple Store informed me that Apple has a policy of leniency when it comes to your first major accident with your iPhone so he was able to basically give me a get out of jail free card and save me $200 (the cost of replacing an iPhone 3GS). What a surprise!!! I was prepared to pay the cost of replacement and be on my way. So I was very pleasantly surprised.

As Matteo was filling out the necessary forms for the replacement, we chatted a bit. He asked me if I upgraded to Mac OS X Lion yet. I explained that I had not because I was speaking a conference in Portland last week and I didn't want to chance any issues with my laptop until that was done. This led him to asking me more about speaking at conferences and what I do for a living. After explaining that I'm a software engineer at VMware, his response was, 'We all love VMware Fusion!" I agreed and explained that I use it often for testing and running other operating systems on Mac OS X. He said that folks inside Apple really prefer VMware because it's so reliable, which was nice to hear.

Before leaving, I asked Matteo to help me find the AC adapter that plugs into the end of a USB cable. I left one in my hotel room in Portland last week so I needed to replace it. Unfortunately you cannot buy just the AC adapter, you must buy a new USB cable as well. But Matteo said, 'Hold on a minute, I'll be right back.' A minute later he returned with the very AC adapter I needed and said, 'Here you go, free of charge. Because you work for a cool company that we love. And I can see that you need a change of luck today." Wow! Yet another pleasant surprise!!! I think this might be a good day after all. Thanks, Matteo!