Help Us Kit Up Africa For The Holidays!

If you’re like us, you have a closet full of old cycling kits that you’re not using anymore – they’re probably taking up precious room in a drawer or closet somewhere. Ever think your significant other would love to reclaim that space? Or maybe you’ve embraced minimalism and are living a spartan life of less (but still, inexplicably, you’re holding onto your 4+ bikes…actually we respect that). Maybe that drawer full of old jersey’s is Fluffy The Feline’s favorite hangout – which means even on the off chance that you do actually wear something from your old kit, you’ll be laughed at for A) having cat hair all over it and B) having a cat in the first place.

Hipsters At DI

The logical step is to drop that load off at Goodwill – and that’s not a bad idea for getting stuff to folks in need, except that last time we checked there weren’t a lot of needy cyclists hanging out at DI waiting for fresh jerseys to come in while eying the rollerblades (so awkwardly tempting – like that 99 cent Will Smith CD you found). You want you’re used tech gear to get in the hands of people that will truly appreciate it. Cycling gear is expensive! Why not make sure your used gear lives a second life with peeps who are stoked on riding and will use the stuff like it was meant to be used?

Well friends, we here at Contender have the perfect solution…

Clean Out Your Cycling Closet, Bring It To Contender, Donate It To Kit Up Africa

Since it’s the season for giving and we know a lot of you need to make room for all the new garb you’re gonna rake in, we thought we’d team up with a little outfit called Kit Up Africa, an organization that delivers donated cycling kits, clothing and shoes to cyclists in Africa who love to ride just as much as we do. It’s a great way to support cyclists and racers that truly need good gear in a growing bike community half a world away! Check them out on Facebook

The Backbone Of KUA – Adam Austin

For just setting up his nonprofit this past January, Adam Austin, KUA’s founder, has already made a huge contribution of clothing. Adam is an avid cyclist with roots in and around the Los Angeles area. He’s a long time racer who decided that he could piggyback his idea of donating used gear onto the already awesome efforts of Mike’s Bikes Foundation, which, since 2007, has collected and shipped donated bikes from California and distributed them throughout Africa. It’s an impressive bit of cycling centric philanthropy for sure; one that truly makes an immediate impact.

We’re extremely proud to partner up with Adam and Kit Up Africa for the Holidays. And we’re excited to see our donations deliver indispensable, functional gear to contenders and podium dreamers, just like us, a continent away.

Kit Up Africa is a non profit organization to get used cycling kits (and clothes) to the growing cycling community in Africa

Kit Up Africa is a non profit organization to get used cycling kits (and clothes) to the growing cycling community in Africa

 So, Here’s How It Works

For the entire month of December, bring in an old jersey for donation and get 20% off a new jersey.

Bring in an old pair of bibs and get 20% new bibs.

The same goes for shoes, jackets, arm warmers, gloves, etc. – really anything you think is donation worthy and not full of holes or road rash rips.

We won’t be accepting old helmets, however.

Basically, we’re doing a donate like-for-like deal. Whatever you bring in to donate, you’ll get 20% off a matching piece. Pretty simple? We think so.

We’d also be amiss if we didn’t say that everything should probably be laundered and not freshly pulled from your race-day bag that hasn’t been opened since the RMR crit season ended. 😉

Let’s Kit Up Africa, Contender!

What an excellent way to make sure your old kits, cycling gear and cycling shoes go to folks who will not only appreciate it, but use it!

Let’s show Kit Up Africa how generous Contender Bicycles is. Like them on Facebook, look for us as one of KUA’s partners on their website and, most importantly, drop your donations off in our bin here at the shop!

And Happy Holidays!

Contender Bicycles Cyclocross Skills Clinic


Thursdays, beginning September 18, 5:30-7:30 pm, thru October 16 (5 weeks total).

Location: Sugarhouse Park, Salt Lake City. 2100 S. 1500 E.
Schedule: Meet at the NW Corner of the Park. See map on Page 2. Barrier Practice for 30-60 minutes, followed by anti-clockwise laps around the park

All-inclusive Fees for the entire 5 weeks:
• USA Cycling License Holders: $20 unlimited pass
• Non-licensed Riders $15 one time + $10 each additional day
• Registration online ONLY. You must register for your first clinic!

Fees partially cover the cost of the permits (USA Cycling and Sugarhouse Park), insurance for all riders ($1/rider/day), and the $10/day/rider one-day license fee for non-licensed riders. Do the math. No extra charges, no refunds, no profit. Licensed Riders must sign in each week, one-day license required each time for non-licensed riders.

Goals: Learn something about cyclocross technique; how to go over barriers, run up hills, and ride a skinny-tired bike off the pavement. Local ‘cross gurus will lead the clinics and distribute nuggets of wisdom. Cyclocross or Mountain Bikes are welcome.

Rules: Bikes are absolutely prohibited off-pavement anytime except during the clinic! Violation will result in us losing use of the Park. This is a promise. Do not ride on the grass except for Thursdays, during the clinic. Clinic participants are expected to police themselves.

Need more information? Email

Minimizing conflict with other park users. The time of the clinic is one of the
heaviest used times by runners, and runners use the same perimeter trail as for the
cyclocross clinic. We must minimize conflicts with runners . First, the cyclists have to
be aware of the requirement to be good citizens, second, the cyclists will give the right away to runners on the trail.

What does this mean to you, the bike rider? Don’t annoy the runners! If there is some encounter, apologize. Give them a wide berth and politely announce your presence. Don’t ride your bike around Sugarhouse Park outside the clinic times. If you see someone else doing this, explain to them the ramifications of their actions. Conflicts between cyclists and runners could cause us to permanently lose the Park.

A Very Special Staff Infection: Jeff Perry (Video)

We hate goodbyes. But they’re part of life. Things change, people move on and we get to watch them ride off into the sunset and bid them adios. It sucks, but so do flat tires. And we deal with those, get back on our bikes, and finish our ride. So I guess we’ll have to do that now too.

It turns out our very own, Jeff Perry, the man known for his love of 80’s bands, rocking shoe lace belts and who shames anyone else on the group ride when he busts out his sweet bike handling skills, is leaving in search of greener pastures to Minnesota. I was trying to think of a good Minnesota joke here and all I could think of was the Vikings. Sorry, Jeff. Since you’re leaving, I guess this will be the last time I let you down. Unlike the Vikings who will continue to do so. Hope your not a fan.

Before he leaves, we thought we’d spend some time with the man behind the myth. Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting Mr. Jeff Perry:

Is Jeff holding up his favorite cross wheels from Stan's or have we just trained him to do tricks for treats like a seal?

Is Jeff holding up his favorite cross wheels from Stan’s or have we just trained him to do tricks for treats like a seal?

Where are you from? 

I’m from Waukon, Iowa. I got here back in ’95. I came out to snowboard. I’d been boarding since I was 15 so coming out here was a dream. I had been out twice before and loved it. I fell in love with the mountains and the snow was so great. So I had this opportunity to work as a maintenance guy in Park City which meant I got to board for free. That was the first season they allowed snowboarders at P.C.

So rumor has it that you were actually a pro snowboarder at one point. Is that true? What else are you hiding?!?!

Very true. I was a pro for a little over two years. When I came to Park City, I happened to ride with a bunch of guys that were really good and I had the opportunity to turn pro. But I was pretty low totem-pole. I didn’t really compete. I just traveled a lot for free and had a lot of fun. I competed in the half-pipe and slope style. That was the era before everyone had cameras attached to everything so I never was filmed; I never had that chance.

So there’s not pictures of a twenty-something Jeff wearing the latest ’90s snowboarding fashions? 

No comment.

You ARE hiding something! So what happened? When did you start riding bikes? 

I kept getting a bunch of knee injuries which meant I had to stop riding. I didn’t get on a bike until I was 31. My first bike was a jumping bike with five inches of travel. It was awesome. But I liked to climb up -so I always made sure it was light enough to get up the mountain too. Then I got an inexpensive crossbike for commuting and really lked it. Then I got talked into racing cross. I did five races in the C flight and they made me move up.

So you’re saying you dominated? 

I had a fifth place finish, two third place, and then I kept winning. So I got bumped up. I wouldn’t call it not dominating…

How long have you been at Contender? 

I’ve been here for a year and a half. I wish it was longer. I love it. I love teaching our spin classes in the winter. My favorite is making awesome 80’s mixes to listen too during the class.

Let’s hear about some of your hobbies

My wife Briana and my daughter Charlie. I love playing with my daughter; even though she’s kind of a crazy animal right now. She’s one and a half and she’s everywhere and into everything. Her favorite thing to do right now is point to stuff and ask, “What’s that?”

I used to coach kid’s snowboarding too. A couple of my kids even went pro. I was actually the legal guardian for Bode Merrill from when he was twelve to eighteen. He needed someone to sign wavers for him to enter contests so he basically lived with me. It’s been cool to see some of my kids grow up and turn pro. I still judge snowboarding for USASA too.

Other than that, when I get a chance, I like to go on surf trips. The coolest place I’ve surfed is Lower Trestles.

Also, wine and beer, that’s a hobby, right?

It was for Betty Ford. What are your favorite things that we carry at the shop? 

My favorite bike is the Cannondale Super X disc. I like it because of the low bottom bracket- it corners like it’s on rails. Plus it’s light. It feels little, like a BMX bike.

Mr. Perry gettin' all fierce with the Cannondale Super X disc.

Mr. Perry gettin’ fierce with the Cannondale Super X disc. Jeff looks cranky because we didn’t give him a treat promised from the last photo…

 I’m down with ProBar! I love their Fuel bars. They actually taste good so they keep me fueled on my long rides.

Jeff doing his best to frighten everyone into NOT buying ProBar Fuel bars...

Whoa, Jeff, these aren’t going well. We’re not trying to scare people. Let’s get a ProBar into you and try this again. Is that a gang sign?…

...And there we go.  That's a much less frightening endorsement. All he needed was a little ProBar Fuel goodness in his belly

…And there we go. That’s a much less frightening endorsement. All he needed was a little ProBar Fuel goodness in his belly.

I also love Stan’s No Tubes Cross wheels. You can actually ride them at a lower pressure during cross races so you get better traction and a better feel for the terrain.

What else are you into that isn’t cycling and snowboarding or the fam? 

I love 80’s stuff -movies, music- love it.

What’s your favorite 80’s movie then? 

I’d say North Shore or Rad. When I was young I wanted to be Rick Kane


Do you still say ‘rad’? 

Oh hell yeah. And before cross races I listen to the Rad soundtrack.

So what’s your favorite 80’s band? 

The Cure.

Were you a goth in highschool? 

No. I listened to Public Enemy.

Anybody ever call you a loose cannon? 

Yep. Nick [Contender employee who’s profile is forthcoming] calls me a loose cannon all the time. You never know what I’m going to do next. I like anarchy. My wife agrees. But she’s a loose cannon too so we work well together.

Is that why you have shoelaces for belts? 

Nope. that’s just ’cause it’s easy -especially when I was fat. I’ve done it for ten years now.

So your wife hasn’t decided you need real belts? 

She has. I have two now. I only wear them to fancy events.

What kind of belt did you wear to Julian’s wedding? 


Anything to say about your upcoming move?

I feel like a hobbit going on an unexpected journey

Really? And the biggest difference between you and a hobbit is…? 

I have harrier feet

You are a loose cannon. But we will miss you. 

Diane’s Oceanside 70.3 Race Report

Ironman 70.3 OceansideDiane Tracy, a good friend of the shop and a 2013 Contender Club member was down in sunny Oceanside California over the weekend for the Ironman 70.3 Oceanside.  As a seasoned triathlete, we asked her to put together a brief race report on both the course of the Oceanside event as well as her new bike.  For those that do not know, Diane is riding on a modified version of a “hilly course tri bike.”  A Scott Foil 15, complete with the new Profile Design Aeria, a Sram Quarq, and of course a Di2 setup.  Quite an amazing bike.  Below is her race report that she was gracious enough to put together for us:

Oceanside is easy to get around, the registration site and athlete village were good being so close to the pier and downtown.  At this race in particular, we don’t put any gear or bags in transition the night before as is customary for many Ironman events, instead transition opens extremely early race day so athletes can drop off their gear.

Race morning: Outside air temperature was 60 degrees with no wind.  You drop off your run bag with all your running gear in Transition 2 (T2), then many people get on their bike and carry their bike and swim gear to Transition 1(T1).  T1 was well organized and the bike spaces were not too cramped, they let you spread out your gear.  The professionals go out first and there is enough time between other groups start times to watch them get out of the swim.

Swim: The ocean swim was nice in the protected bay, salt water did not bother me at all and water temperature was about 61 degrees.

Bike: The bike course was challenging as it winds through the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.  You had to pay attention for bumps, pot holes, street markers, and other issues.  Once on the base we started climbing, the pictures simply don’t do the hills justice.  The electronic shifting was great, I monitored power, cadence and gears trying to stay in my power zone.  Our attention to weight when we put the bike together paid off on the hills and during the bike I passed just under 300 people!  The bike itself was stable and fast on the long descents that follow the climbs and it absorbed lots of the road shock, so I wasn’t beat up when I started the run.   Creating a “hilly course” tri bike worked well for me, I plan to use it for the St George 70.3 and Coeur d’ Alene Ironman.

Run: The run was a little warm but the sea breeze and plenty of well stocked aid stations helped a ton. I would definitely recommend this race.

Contender’s National Champs

Resident God Father of Cyclo-cross Lou Rollins claimed the National Championship recently in Madison Wisconsin.  This is Lou’s second national title.  Lou is quite the conqueror when it comes to the dirt.

Also securing the National title in her category was Kris Walker.  She pretty much ran away with many of the Utah races and she brought the goods to the big time.   Congratulations to you both and thanks for representing Contender bicycles at Nationals.

Your National Champs Lou Rollins and Kris Walker

Take a walk on the wild side with Lou, Reed

You’re my boy Lou!

All hands on deck!

It’s the fourth quarter, bottom of the ninth, the last kilometer and we’re down. Down about 81 team points to be exact. We need our troops to bring the ruckus to wheeler on Sat. Remember no matter what category you race your points count. How can I step it up even more you ask? Race more than one race. Do the single speed race, the masters race, B race, or whatever. At the end of the day if we want to keep this title we’re going to have to earn it. See you Saturday at the farm.

The fruits of our 2010 labor

The fruits of our 2010 labor