(August 18, 2019 – written by Dave)
It’s official, we are no longer just ordinary bicycle tourists. As of today, we have entered the rarefied world of sponsored athletes. Ok, I get it, no one has ever really confused us for athletes. So, more accurately we’ve become brand ambassadors. In the near future if you see us out on the road, we’ll probably be wearing cycle kit from a small bicycle clothing company called Kitsbow.
The current CEO of Kitsbow (David) and I worked together at Intel back in the 1980s. David and I lost touch of each for a while but a few years ago we reconnected through our blog. David’s been a regular reader for some time and recently become the CEO of Kitsbow.
Take a look at the Kitsbow ambassador webpage (https://www.kitsbow.com/pages/kitsbow-ambassadors) and you’ll note that many of the ambassadors are young gun, hard-riding, big air types. We are none of these things. We are slow, aging bicycle tourists who happen to take a few long bike tours. We may not shred, but we do go on adventures, rely on quality gear and we write about it. Thankfully David saw enough in our musings to offer us a spot on his ambassador team.
Being ambassadors means we get some pretty sweet gear to try out – and eventually try wearing it out on our next trip. Kitsbow is focused on building highly engineered, high quality products (much of it made in the USA) so wearing it out may be difficult. We are waiting for some more of the cycling kit but so far the cycling jersey and shorts that Nancy received are very high quality and comfortable – we’ll try to get some pictures posted soon. The Icon shirt, made of Pendleton Wool, is the top favourite so far (consistent with many external reviews of it) and as the photo below attests, is great for non-cycling activities too! (Senior editor side note – Tillamook’s Stumptown Coffee ice cream is highly recommended!)
Another benefit of being ambassadors is that we get to pass an ambassador discount onto our friends, families and even all the readers of our blog. If you shop at www.kitsbow.com and find something you like, our ambassador code is: FriendofDaveNancy19 (it is not case sensitive). Put this code in discount code box when you order – discount seems to fall into the 20-30% range. And in case you were wondering, we don’t get paid anything if you use our code – it’s just a nice thing that Kitsbow does.
We promise to not turn our blog into a never ending “Truman Show” re-run full of Kitsbow shilling, but so far, the stuff seems to be the real deal. We’ll show up at some point on the Kitsbow ambassador page – they are redoing the page and we’ll pop up when they finish. Meanwhile, they had us fill out a profile that I’ve included below. It’s a little embarrassing really – two slow old tourists hanging with the shredders. But there you go, we are on the team and will do our best bringing up the rear of our virtual peloton. Thanks again David.
MEET THE AMBASSADORS
Hi, our names are Nancy Peterson and Dave Ertel and we are Kitsbow Ambassadors.
We hail from:
Nancy – Pendleton, Oregon
Dave – Carson City, Nevada
But we are most at home:
We currently call Sydney, Australia home
We pay our bills by:
Draining our retirement accounts, hoping to run out of breath and money at roughly the same time
We never leave home without:
Home? What’s that? We just finished riding Alaska to Argentina – home is where you pitch the tent.
Our favorite piece of Kitsbow kit is:
Nancy’s Pendleton Wool Icon shirt
Dave’s Master Link shorts
We love them because:
How can a Pendleton girl go past an Icon shirt?
First “mountain” shorts found that actually fit right.
You see this scar? I got this when I:
Nancy taking it for the team – a titanium plate inserted in her collarbone so we could start our Australia to Europe bike tour mostly on schedule!
The closest we ever came to dying was:
Dave – sliding out descending a steep corner off Calla Calla Pass in the Peruvian Andes. Pulled up with both feet down, inches from a 100 foot cliff face.
Nancy – trying to outrun an Anatolian Shepherd dog in Central Turkey, on a fully loaded touring bike. Needless to say, she made it, but it was “that” close.
The closest we’ve been to complete and profound enlightenment was:
Listening to the kangaroos doing 100 meter sprints outside our tent in the meadow we were camped in while hiking the Great North Walk outside of Sydney.
Our favorite places to ride (that we are willing to tell you about) is
Dave – 1,200 km Carretera Austral in Patagonia – stunningly remote and beautiful – go there before it is tamed.
Nancy – Peruvian Andes – how can you not love day after day of 40k climbs on a loaded touring bike? Just settle in, pedal and enjoy the views!
Our favorite secret spot is:
The Let-er-Buck room during Round-up in Pendleton. Leave with all the clothes you started with and your dignity intact – that’s the secret to surviving it!
If we ever won an Oscar, our 10-word speech would go like this:
Do we get 10 words each? No wait, that’s 11 words, oops.
Lastly, shout out to:
They worry a lot about us while we are on the road but are both very supportive. Thanks Mom Ertel and Mom Peterson!
In addition to the excitement of becoming Kitsbow brand ambassadors, we also recently had a chance to host a fellow long distance tourist. About a year ago in northern Argentina, we ran into Andy (from Leeds UK, via South Africa). He was heading north towards Bolivia after starting in Rio de Janeiro, we were heading south. Andy’s ultimate goal has always been Vancouver, Canada. On the roadside in Argentina, we traded details and offered to host him if we were still on our Oregon holiday when he passed through.
To make a long story short, Andy spent the last week with us here in Oregon. He needed an extended break to recover from a small tumble that he took at Crater Lake. Andy has a blog and tells the “tumble” story better than I – read about his latest misadventures at: https://teampieusa.wordpress.com
Andy left yesterday morning, leaving us to head back out to the mailbox to see if Kitsbow sent us any more new gear to play with. Who knew this ambassador gig would be so hard, and involve so many trips to the mailbox? No wait, hang on a second, there’s the phone… must be our agent calling. Nope, just Microsoft calling to say that my computer has been infected by a virus again…
Ah, the challenges of being sponsored athletes – haha – life is good!