What I'm doing in my 9 to 5 is Project 529
21 Apr 2014

Well folks, it’s been so long since I’ve posted here that:

A. My not-so-new laptop didn’t have my blog editor installed.
B. It took quite a few times for me to remember my user login
C. I couldn’t remember how to connect my blog editor to my blog.

Obviously, I figured it all out.

I hate that I’ve been gone from here for basically the past year, but that’s only because I love what I’ve been doing, and let me tell you, I’ve been doing a lot.

In case you are short on time, let me get to the point.

A year ago February, amidst a pretty full-time job of shooting photos for cookbooks and magazines, I decided to get back into the software game. Don’t get me wrong… I still love food photography and writing. But in the 8 years I had been away from the tech world, I found I really missed it. Yeah, I’m weird that way.

A couple of my buddies were starting a software company, Project 529 down in Portland, and I decided to join. We are all about software to for cyclists and helping people get outside and ride more. We’ve started by taking up a cause that effects over 250,000 people per year: bike theft. Did you know that every 30 seconds a bike is stolen? That’s just insane. I’m betting if you haven’t had a bike stolen, you probably know someone who has. And it probably really sucked.  

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We decided that instead of just complaining about it, we’d try to do something. First up, we’re creating a movement to urge Craigslist and eBay to require serial numbers on all used bike sales. While this won’t stop all stolen bike trafficking, we see it as a huge first step in using technology to help bike owners rather than bike thieves.

 

I try not to ask for much on this site, but I will ask for this: Please take a few minutes to go and sign our petition, and tell your friends.

 

I’m also really excited to announced that a couple of weeks ago, we released a preview of the 529 Garage website and iPhone app. Either from the app or the website, you can quickly register all the critical details of your bike, like the serial number and the make and model, as well as capture a few good-to-have photos to help make identifying your bike easier. If your bike does go missing, it’s just a few clicks to print out custom poster and get it on our hot sheet which makes it easy for people to send tips if they think they’ve seen it. Both the website and app are free, so if you have a bike, be sure to register them!

The next phase of the app is even cooler. If your bike goes missing, you can send out a notification to everyone else in your area to be on the lookout for your bike and hopefully help you catch the thief. It’s making the most of the cycling community to fight a problem that effects all of us.

We just kicked off the app down in Monterey, CA at Sea Otter Classic, a huge cycling event that draws upwards of 65,000 visitors, and riders competing in just about any event that involves human power and two wheels… there were road races, a Gran Fondo, downhill mountain biking, dual slalom, pump tracks, cyclocross and more. It was really amazing hearing everyone’s stories about their bikes and seeing them get excited about the tools we are building.


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Post Sea Otter, Cam and I took the slow route back up the coast in a camper van, stopping in a few spots to ride. It’s been months of few weekends that didn’t include 10 hour work days (except when we went to Antarctica… but that’s a whole other story!), so this was a welcome respite.

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Being a startup, it’s not exactly a steady thing, so I’ve still been doing food photography as well.

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In the last year, I finished up another indulgent cookbook of my own, Cookie Doughlicious: 50 Cookie Dough Recipes for Candies, Cakes, and More, that comes out in June, as well as shooting a fantastic new cocktail cookbook from the awesome folks at Imbibe Magazine, Cocktails for the Holidays: Festive Drinks to Celebrate the Season, and a super-cool vegan desserts cookbook from Chocolate Covered Katie (http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/). Hope you check them out when they hit shelves!


(In case you were wondering, I am an Amazon affiliate, and purchases from links in this post to Amazon may earn me a nickel or two... so thanks!).

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