Veital Designs, Veital, Hiking, Travel, Adventure, Embrace the Balance, Camp multitool, adventure gear, Indiana, Brown County State Park, Cycling, Bikes, Biking, Road Bikes

Man Powered Weekend- Road Vs Mountain

 

4/21/2017 - 4/23/2017

There was a time and a place when I used to blog, circa spring 2013 was my last composer to the world wide web. With the founding of Veital Designs,  Adam and I are looking to get in touch with our English side. This may be tough for two engineers. If anything, it will help us with future writings. We can only hope that in the current state, some type of entertainment comes from this post.

Sidebar: There are many different avenues in which we can steer this blog.  With so much going on it’s not fair to focus on one topic. So, as we get better at this, be on the lookout for different underlying topics. What’s new at Vetial?, Where have we been lately? Are there any insights to rad places we’ve been, that you may want to check out? And finally, a look inside Veital.

Adam and I decided that we need to have another workshop weekend. I have been looking to get into road biking. Lo and behold, Adam had a second rockship that fits me. It was an opportunity to add some more gear to my arsenal and work on the vision we want for Vetial.

 

Saturday morning, after nursing the after effects of adult sodas, we were in route to Brown County State Park, an absolutely beautiful park smack dab in the middle of the ever-flat Indiana. On today’s docket: ride to Bloomington to watch a few laps of the Little 500. While setting up camp, we both commented on the cool April spring weather, grateful that the rain had held off. Getting in the saddle for 4+ hours was not going to be fun whilst soaking wet-and cold.

With camp set up, we embarked on our journey East for my first time visit of Indiana University.  I was excited, and a little nervous for my first road ride. A road bike's frame has a different center of gravity when compared to my mountain bike. This led to a sink or swim attitude. Either get used to it, or get blown off the front by Adam, the seasoned cyclist. With the wind at our backs, we cruised into town. During our consistent cadence up and down the rolling hills we discussed what Veital means to us. A Ted talk recently resurfaced and resonated with me by Simon Sinek called: “Why great leaders inspire action.”  Upon first listening to it back in the days of coolege, I couldn’t gain an appreciation. Having listened to it a few weeks ago, that lack of appreciation about-faced. People buy because of why companies do what they do. This is exactly what we’re trying to do; be a company that’s on a mission and just so happens to sell some stuff. It’s this mindset that I believe will take us to great heights.

Based on this Ted talk, and communicating several iterations both on and off the bikes, we were able to come up with the following:

“Veital is creating a united community of rad people passionate about the outdoors. Midwest-founded, mountain-minded, we are making the most of our time outside work. To be Veital is to embrace the work-life balance: we’ve sore legs, dirty hands and sweat in our eyes. We invite you to join is.”

Simple enough? We sure hope so.

Bloomington was hopping. The rain in the forecast was false and sun peaked out as we pulled up to the race. Interestingly, IU doesn’t like you watching the race unless you pay to get in. We watched a few laps from afar and decided it was best to head out. But before we did, we wanted to stop by a local outdoor shop called JL Waters (http://www.jlwaters.com/). They have been in business since the 70s and are the epitome of an outdoor shop. We love going into stores like this because you know you’ll be getting direct knowledge from the guys and gals who have tested the products themselves. It’s an awesome opportunity for us to ask for feedback. With some good direction documented we got back in the saddle and departed for our campsite.

Ever eat a stromboli from Nick’s English Pub (https://www.nicksenglishhut.com/), sit around for a few hours, then try to bike 25 miles home? Yeah, that was me on the way back. The ride was gorgeous, only caveat was my body’s unwillingness to ride fast. Adam was a real trooper. 50+ miles for the first time on the road bike was tough for me. I did stick with it and never had to put a foot down, even as we climbed the final hills in Brown County State Park. Talk about a mental workout. Man, those hills were crushing.

With legs fried, we made dinner and discussed the agenda for tomorrow. Next on the docket: marketing material and mountain bikes. We put our best ‘Blue Steel’ faces on and took a series of awesome shots. All critical to our brand consistency. Marketing is such an interesting world. A world I never appreciated until we started Vietal Designs.

The trails at Brown County (http://www.browncountymountainbiking.com/index.html) are best in the state. It was fun and challenging ripping through the blues and blacks. Some stretches, however, proved to be right at our limits. Most of the trail called Bobcat was crazy technical switchbacks. We certainly learned by doing.

All in all it was a productive, healthy, weekend. What more could a guy like me ask for. We’re stoked for what’s next. Good things take time. Until then, we’ll keep chipping away.

We’d also like to shout out BGI (Bicycle Garage, Inc.) of Bloomington (http://bikegarage.com/) with hooking Adam up in a time of need. Right as we rolled into Bloomington, the spokes of his rear up pulled through. (not a good thing). Thankfully, the guys at BGI had a spare wheel that got us home, or we may have been stuck in a sticky situation.

PS if you’re ever in the town of Nashville, Indiana, and are looking for a cold drink and good food, check out Quaff ON Brewery (http://quaffon.com/).

PPS if you like to drink beer and consider yourself an athlete, you should check out Gelande Quaffing. No relation to the Quaff On Brewery, but man, would it be cool if they were.

https://gearjunkie.com/gelande-quaffing-championships-jackson

 

#embracethebalance | #vivaveital

-Matt 'Matty K' Kownick

Co-Founder, Veital Designs, LLC.


Veital Designs, Veital, Adventure, Winter Park Colorado, Colorado, Skiiing, Mountains, My Tiny Atlas, Travel Young

Anvil does Winter Park, CO

3/16/2017 - 3/21/2017

Although we are only a few months in I have filled, for what in years past would be, an entire year's quota for travel. I wrapped up 2016, and subsequently brought in 2017, with a trip to Tazania to visit my sister, Madi (IG: @coolbeanmadi), who has been studying and working in East Africa for just under a year. A few weeks after getting home from that trip, I hopped on a plane for a quick three day trip to Naples, FL for some late Winter sunshine therapy. While there, we stayed with a friends grandma, and although we may have brought the average age down significantly - the old folks brought the party.

That leads me to the next trip which, was very shortly thereafter the trip to Florida. The plan was to regroup with seven of my college amigos for another long weekend of skiing, snowboarding and general mountain Tom-Foolery. Unfortunately, we were not able to reunite the entire band, but we were able to find a group of four to tackle the Rockies.

The crew was rendezvousing from all over the country. We had John (IG: @theronjoberts) coming from Houston, Andrew (IG: @aschuch6) lugging camera gear all the way from Pheonix, Nathan (IG: @n8_schwenk) flying in from Knoxville, and myself from Indianapolis. The four of us had met at Purdue, all graduating between 2014-2015, and were trying our best to make a habit of this yearly trip. We had a group of eight last year in Park City, and if this participation trend continues, losing half the team each year, this is going to be a short lived tradition. Despite the decline in numbers, there was absolutely no decline in stoke for the getaway.

After having grown my hair out quite nicely over the six to eight months prior to the trip, I wanted to make a little noise upon my arrival in CO. The plan: a mullet. Flying out on a Thursday around lunch, I worked the first part of the day from home. This led perfectly into me getting the cut just before heading out to the airport, which is exactly what I did. Desean, at my local Great Clips, cut the quaff to perfection (after I pulled up several pictures to illustrate what a mullet actually was), and I left the joint feeling unstoppable. I immediately maxed the speakers in the car playing the Top Gun soundtrack and jet off to the airport. I caught my Southwest flight (because who else lets you fly a snowboard bag for free), and was on my way to Denver.

I was set to arrive a few hours before the other guys, and had scheduled a van into the mountains. The host of the Airbnb, suggested Home James (www.homejamestransportation.com) for our transportation needs, which certainly did not let us down. I sat outside the terminal on the sidewalk waiting for my ride in 75 degree weather... This was certainly not what I expected for a ski trip.

I get to the Airbnb, which I did not realize until I arrived, was in the Founder's Pointe Resort. The accommodations were very nice, we had a hot tub (which is absolutely essential) and were a short walk to the lifts. After settling dropping my gear off in the room, a bit famished, I set off into town to find food and a cold one. I hopped on the resort shuttle that met just outside of the Mountain Lodge at Fraser's Point, aka right across the road.

The shuttle driver recommended The Peak, and really did not give me much choice as he dropped me off at the front door. Feeling a bit defiant, and adventurous, I did not head his recommendation and walked to the next closest place - Randi's Irish Pub (https://randiswinterpark.com/). I was greeted by a friendly bar tender as I bellied up to the bar solo, still waiting on the amigos to arrive. I got myself a green brew, this was the day before St. Patty's, and a stew. The beer, stew and company that I was in, were superb. As I was eating I started chatting with the absolutely RAD, Maria (IG:_mfgv). Home girl had just gotten off the Appalachian Trail and was gearing up for the PCT in a month. Keep up with her and her travels via Instagram. When the dudes finally arrived, an hour or so later, we greeted each other with the typical bro hugs and catch-up pleasantries. We caught a couple more brews and ventured back to the condo... we had a couple big days ahead of us.

As I mentioned before, the weather in Winter Park was especially warm. We were seeing 50+ on the mountain, which made for very comfortable temperatures, but relatively sticky snow. That being said, the first day on the mountain was the coldest and had the best snow. They had opened the bowl at the top of the Panoramic Express lift up for the first time in over a week so, per the advice of a local, that is where we headed. We were all knocking off the rust of not having ridden in a bit and took our time hitting things too hard, at least the other guys were. I on the other hand bombed a couple runs, sent it down Forget-Me-Not into the trees, overcooked a corner, and went down hard on my left wrist. Mind you, this was before lunch, on DAY 1, I am such an idiot. The rest of the day went on as planned, sort of. I spent lunch with ski patrol, who told me definitely don’t continue to snowboard, got a wire mesh brace from them, and immediately returned to do what they said not to.

That afternoon we took the same shuttle back into Fraser to the Safeway to get groceries for dinner. We whipped up an unbelievable amount of spaghetti, wolfed it down, and then, since it was St. Patty’s, returned to our local watering hole, Randi’s. We soaked in some live music, green beer and a bit of Jameson and ventured home exhausted from the day.

Day 2 was pretty well a repeat of day 1, minus anyone getting injured. Since we had groceries we were able to pack our lunch, and with the weather being as nice as it was - caught some sun as we ate outside at Lunch Rock, mid way up the mountain.

Day 3 was more of the same, with the introduction of a lot more drone flying from Schuch. The last few years the dude has slapped together awesome recap videos for us. I typically find myself binge watching the 3:30 minute video for a decent time after each trip. Link for this year’s video is below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ztLlzfe2Ec

Day 4 meant traveling back to real life. I caught lunch and a few beers at the airport before my flight left, direct to Indy (bless up). I strategically sat myself next to the cutest girl I saw with an open seat next to her, thanks Southwest, for the flight. Maddie, from IU, was heading home from Salt Lake after some absolutely bad assery of mountain biking and skiing. Biggest mistake of the trip - not getting her number. So if there is any chance she is reading this, or anyone knows who she is GIVE HER MY NUMBER (317) 997-5157.

Overall the trip was, of course, awesome. Stoked for next year!

#embracethebalance | #vivaveital

Adam "Anvil" Taylor

Co-Founder, Veital Designs, LLC.