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Christopher
Montana
Used to invest in startups. Now investing in saving democracy and the climate.
Recent Activity
Google has done a better job of any outfit I know at retaining a small company feeling despite massive growth in its employee ranks. The shared information, distributed decision-making, and entrepreneurial encouragement all give Googlers a stronger start-up sense than... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2018 at Chris Sacca's 'What is left?'
Christopher is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
We are all saddened to hear of the tragedy in Haiti today. While we still don't know the full extent of the damage, we can be confident that an already fierce, daily struggle to survive has taken a disastrous turn... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2010 at Chris Sacca's 'What is left?'
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Tonight, TechCrunch will celebrate the last twelve months of fearless ingenuity, dogged ambition, and above all, plain ol' good luck that underpins the stories of all the dauntingly impressive companies that have been nominated for The 2009 Crunchies. Many of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Chris Sacca's 'What is left?'
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Christopher has shared their blog Chris Sacca's 'What is left?'
Dec 17, 2009
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Five weeks ago, I finished the most difficult journey of my life. When I agreed to ride my bike across the country, as with probably too many of my commitments, I didn't spend that much time weighing the pros and cons of such an undertaking. I just knew that I adore the American landscape, the people of this country, and I always love my limits being pushed. So, I didn't hesitate. The Trek Travel folks and my friends all asked if I was physically prepared for such a task. After all, the other participants on the ride had been training for months, riding thousands of miles. The truth was, I was fat and definitely not in riding shape. I didn't even own a legitimate road bike when I sent in the release forms for the trip. Yet, I knew, and those who are close to me knew, one of my... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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How have I not been to Nashville before? I mean, a city that is all about live music, BBQ'd meats, letterpress printing, and cowboy shirts?! I feel like nothing short of a conspiracy has kept this place off my radar until now. How fortunate though that I finally am experiencing this national treasure. While I have a pretty plush perch at the Hermitage, just blocks away, I have been headfirst into the grungy honky-tonks, record shops, and western wear stores that, if you know my wardrobe, are an indulgent dream. These last 36 hours have been time off to recover from another week of intense riding. The mileage hasn't changed, but the landscape introduced a lot more climbing, and the deluge of rain didn't necessarily make it all easier. I finally got my Trek Madone 6.9 back in action this week (many thanks to John Burke at Trek Bikes, Lance... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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The last few days through Missouri were a treat, and after a ferry ride across the Mississippi, and a 7-mile blink through Kentucky, I landed tonight in Union City, Tennessee. The rolling hills of the last few rides made for challenging outings, but I appreciated the variety compared to, say, Oklahoma. With my new/old bike back under me, I have been feeling pretty aggressive and going out harder with each workout. For instance, today I broke a personal record getting 100 miles done at a 20.3/mph pace and felt great afterward. But, as many of you know, this trip isn't just about the riding itself. When I announced that I was heading out across the country, I invited you to send me jerseys from your companies and organizations and the response put a big smile on my face. I have been wearing these "kits" as they are called in cycling,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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Between me and a day off in Branson, MO were a mere 90 miles. Should have been pretty routine. However, when that morning's perusal of the Weather Channel revealed a 100% chance of rain, I knew it was going to be a sloppy haul. Thankfully, the first third of the ride, though overshadowed by looming clouds, was dry and rewarding. The Missouri tableau feels familiar to a kid who grew up on the east coast. The county roads I navigated were quaint. That said, this state has a patent on the rolling hill. The ride though only gaining 90 feet of net elevation, promised over 7,000 feet of climbing from rollercoaster apex to apex. As I settled in to a rhythm, modern meteorology fulfilled its promise and a howling tailwind rushed in a veritable torrent of cold rain. It was the kind of storm that renders the road surface so... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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I don't mean to harp on Oklahoma. Put aside the anomalous police harassment, and the people were exceptionally kind and welcoming. But, there is no denying how horrible a place it was to ride. Forget everything you ever learned in science class about prevailing wind patterns, the jet stream does not impact what is happening at ground level. So, in OK, the wind is a strong, consistent, unrelenting blast from the East. All day. On top of that, while the weather is beating you up, frankly, there isn't much to look at. No real geological features, few homes or trees, and the downtowns through which I pedaled were absolutely deserted. I mean, empty to a degree that it was creepy. Thus, today, as I crossed over the stateline into Missouri I was beyond relieved and elated. 112 miles from Bartlesville, OK to Neosho, MO couldn't have felt better. Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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This entire trip has conditioned my body for senior citizenship. I wake up between 5 and 6 am each day without an alarm, and sit down to dinner at 5:30 or 6 pm. In between, I only talk about the weather and the state of the local roads. But, this morning, before I roused myself out of bed, I was awakened as my motel was tossed by the gale force winds and driving rain outside. Great. I couldn't wait to pay aggregate penance for all of my life's sins by trudging yet another day across this crucible of a state. I donned my rain gear, slugged down some treats from the inexcusably familiar Holiday Inn Express breakfast buffet, and hit the road. Yet, undoubtedly to spite my preparation, the weather promptly took a left toward wonderful. The sun came out and the wind took a moment to catch its breath.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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After three 100+ mile riding days, I was relieved to see only 72 miles on the schedule for today. That said, no matter how long the stretch ahead, it is never easy to roll out of the hotel into the rain and wind. Alas, a two-wheeled scoot was my only option, so I clicked in and pointed East. As before, there really isn't much to say about the Oklahoman landscape. It is flat, barren, and primarily devoid of people. It can actually be spooky out there when you don't encounter any humans for a while. In any event, I was looking forward to being done with the day. I was cold, still sore from the last few days, and just ready to be off the bike. I mean, you know a man is getting desperate when he starts fantasizing about the awaiting Holiday Inn Express. Four miles from said lodging,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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It was freezing this morning in Raton, New Mexico. Both, figuratively and literally. I bundled up and broke out my winter tights and full-fingered gloves. But, it seemed nothing was enough to take the bite out of the air. Dawn broke only on the hilltops surrounding town while I shivered in the valley on the front end of a 91 mile stretch. Yet, the first 17 miles out of town brought a consistent uphill culminating in a couple miles of 7-9% grade. Normally, that is enough to warm one up. However, when that same climb is taking you over 7500 feet into 25 mph winds, fat chance. Thus, the morning was a grind and I found it hard to establish any rhythm. Nevertheless, the mesa across which I pedaled was hallmarked by a startling abundance of deer, antelope, and turkeys all of which were the impetus for frost-defying smiles. The... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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What a difference a day and a half makes. I hit the road today with the strongest, freshest legs I've felt under me while riding. After a couple miles of spinning to warm up, I soon decided to light it. Head down, I geared up and just cranked uphill for 17 miles. At one point, the road switched back on itself revealing 200-300 of elevation gain in just one pass. Gears will always fascinate me. The backside of that mountain provided one of the most exhilarating downhills of my life, darting around a truck as I awkwardly wrapped my body around the frame like those freaks on the tour. The road spilled out into a vast valley where winds gusting to 50 mph appeared reticent to let me be on my way. However, once that was clear, and after a short but steep climb, it was off to the races... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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From Pagosa Springs, I set off on the ugliest stage of the trip. The route to Taos laid out 140 miles and over 11,000 feet of climbing to a summit of 11,200 feet. One stretch in particular promised 9 miles with a grade of 7-9%. Put simply, ugh. I started out at first light and quickly discovered I was under-dressed. My legs were numb and the climb out of Pagosa was such a slog I kept checking to see if my tires were flat. By lunch at mile 45, I had finally warmed up and was ready to bring my A game. Which, is good. Because, the road demanded nothing less. The climb started strong, and as it progressed, I felt more and more capable of making it happen. So, when the summit finally appeared, I was nothing short of elated. I scarfed a sandwich, snapped a pic of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
Riding a loaner Madone 5.2. But, a replacement 6.9 frame showed up yesterday. Waiting on a new SRAM Red dérailleur. On Sep 30, 2009, at 3:42 PM, typepad@sixapart.com wrote:
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2009 on Bikes fear me. at Cross Country Ride
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The 65 miles from Durango to Pagosa Springs must be one of the most scenic routes in the country. Around each corner the foliage, topography, and wildlife unfolded with such Hallmarkian precision that I chuckled over and over thinking someone was putting me on. It reminded me of late mornings on my couch in college watching Bob Ross architect his fantastical nature paintings with his hushed voice pointing out his little friends among the trees and squirrels. Here I was riding right through his world. Another rolling recovery day, it was the perfect opportunity to relax, look up, and enjoy how lucky I am to be out here. Ultimately, we arrived in the town of Pagosa Springs, CO, famous for its natural hot springs. As I racked my bike for the night, I went down to check out these hot tubs fed directly from the earth for myself. There were... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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Waking up in Mexican Hat, I felt lethargic and had trouble getting my head in the game. I just rode 125 miles the day before and now I need to bang out another 100 on our way to Cortez, CO? I asked myself yet again what I had signed up for. I skipped the sit-down breakfast and got an early start on the road, courtesy of a peanut butter and banana sandwich. The first half of the day was through some of the most striking landscape on the planet with rock monuments looming in all directions and a cool, gentle breeze hinting at good weather ahead. But, miles are miles. And, cranking out over 100 of them can take its toll. The wind picked up just as the real climbing began and the landscape was predictably barren and offered no relief. You just had to tuck forward and keep 'em... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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During these cross-country treks, Trek includes "rolling recovery" days. Meaning, we tackle much lower mileages at slower speeds to allow our bodies to heal. Hard to express how welcome these two days were. Today, we rode a mere 44 miles from Cortez, CO to Durango, CO. The ride was quintessentially Colorado picturesque and bore the first marks of Fall on this trip. Just 8 miles in, I encountered a bald eagle perched nearby and stopped to appreciate him or her in silence. The rest of the ride was similarly dotted with deer, elk, and every imaginable variety of raptor. All this set against a fully autumnal palette. We got to Durango and checked into the Strater Hotel. Man, what a historic and lively place. The employees were all in turn of the century getup and even showed us some of the secret stashes where guns and hooch were stored during... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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After the heartbreak of my brand new bike's demise, I was hoping for an uneventful ride from Tuba City, AZ to Mexican Hat, UT. The planned route was 116 miles with 4900 feet of climbing, so the goal was just keep the rubber side down on my loaner bike and arrive safely in Mexican Hat. For most of the day, this was indeed the case. Riding through dramatic landscapes, the weather staying clear and mild. I climbed into a paceline with some moderately exerting pals, and life was good. At one point though, a rider had gone off the front. That is, he had unknowingly pedaled too hard leaving the others struggling to catch up. I reassured everyone I would sprint up to catch him. What happened next you wouldn't believe without a picture. As I stood up on my pedals and started cranking hard to sprint up to the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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Today was intended to be a relatively easy 84 miles from the Grand Canyon to Tub City, the unofficial capital of the Navajo nation. Our first international leg! The morning was brisk and, frankly, a welcome respite from the sweltering heat that has accompanied every single one of my miles since Santa Barbara. We left the South Rim at a swift spin and my body was feeling good following a day out of the saddle. Life was looking up. My bliss was soon interrupted by what was nothing short of catastrophic bike failure. While shifting gears, my rear derailleur gave up and heaved itself into my spokes cracking into a useless heap and ripping from the frame hanger. Had it stopped there, I could have waited a couple of days for some replacement parts. Unfortunately, the momentum of my pedaling hurled the derailleur, now wedged in the spokes, up and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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After a grueling ride into Grand Canyon National Park, I was ready for a day off. My body was beyond sore, my bike unforgiving, and my mind wandering. It was just starting to sink in that I have an entire month of this ahead of me still. I was lucky enough to have visited the Grand Canyon with my parents as a kid and hike down to the bottom. I returned later during law school and got to explore it again. Nevertheless, despite my familiarity with it, I am not sure I have ever seen anything as breathtaking in my life. The forms, the colors, the depth, the volume. All combine to leave me speechlessly humbled. So there I was, hobbling around the park, pausing to digest both what I saw and the commitment I made to this trip. Wow. Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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Still numb from my Lawrence of Arabia inspired traversal of the Mojave, I was late to the start of the next morning's ride. Looked like it would be another day alone in the saddle. The plan was to cover 85 miles and arrive in Kingman, AZ just over 3,000 feet higher than where I started. After a quick stretch at 35 mph downhill on the Interstate, I turned on to Historic Route 66. Wow. The pavement looked like it had last been taken care of in 1966. But, so excited to experience veritable Americana. At least, I was excited for the first .8 miles before my tire went flat. While changing it buzzards started circling and I took that as a less than optimistic sign about my chances that day. Nevertheless, I plodded ahead, thanking Mother Earth for the brief respite from the soul-draining 108 degree days by rewarding me... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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My NYC trip was uneventful, if not surreal. I mean, one afternoon I am on the receiving end of some Mojave whoop-ass, the next, I am standing at a podium high above the Meat Packing District. Happy to say the audience was pleased (their check cleared) and, without a moment to celebrate, I was back on a plane to Palm Springs. My brother Brian (aka @saccasacca of www.peteandbrian.com fame) enthusiastically greeted me at the airport late that night. Like my dad (@thekooze), Brian takes enigmatic amounts of pleasure in maps and travel logistics. As he whisked me away to Twentynine Palms, Brian not only had memorized the route, but was already starting to break it to me: tomorrow's bike ride sounded stupid. We hit Safeway, obtaining all manner of solid and liquid carbs, filling the trunk of his Subaru wagon to capacity with calories. My hope was to catch some... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2009 at Cross Country Ride
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Just climbed aboard my plane back to the desert for tomorrow's ride. No great tales to relate today. Just reveled in the relative cool of NYC and tried to come to grips with the absurdity of this trip. So, for all of you Twittering that I should include more pics from the route, here is a gratuitous self-portrait from yesterday near Joshua Tree. Missing my endorphin buzz and can't wait to get back out there. Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2009 at Cross Country Ride