The NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour and the Leatherman's Loop

Over the last few months I've been training for two events: The Leatherman's Loop Trail Run, and the NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour.  Both of them were goals for me.  First up was the Leatherman, a 10K terrain race through rivers, woods, and hillside.  Angela and I pushed through the whole race together, on a rough 90 degree April morning.  The course was awesome, and the community of runners around the yearly event was cool to be a part of.  I wish I'd gotten pictures of the race and us, but I was worried about carrying a camera.  We ended the run covered in mud and dirt, and had to throw out our shoes, but it was definitely worth it.

Just one week after knocking down the 10K came the 5 Boro Bike Tour.  The ride would end up being around 44 miles through the streets of New York hitting all 5 boros including an intense ride up the Verrazano Bridge before ending in Staten Island. The day is awesome because streets, highways, and bridges are all shut down for bikers for the day, and you get to see a ton of the city. Every 8 miles or so there are rest stops with food and water provided by the sponsors, and there's a celebration at the end.  However, by the time we (I road with 6 friends) were in the final third of the race, there was a serious downpour, and it was a pretty misserable ending riding wet and cold.  Still, it was much farther than I'd ever ridden at once, and it was a great experience.  Luckily there were tons of photographers along the way, and my friend Benn brought a camera, so there is much more documentation of the day.

I plan on doing both of these events next year - it was a great time, and I'm pumped that I was able to accomplish them both in a week.


Google Profiles Suck, But You Need One Anyway

Google Profiles have been around for a while, but they never seemed to matter. Think of them as a fairly uninspiring social network profile: they're filled with links to your other social web presences, a single picture feed, an 'about me', and a map of where you live. The profiles are linked to in Google Reader, Google My Maps, and a few other places, but they do a poor job all together of tying together your Google presence.  Why after a year and a half in development do they not promote your recent Google content?  

Look at all of the huge opportunities that aren't leveraged here: They don't publish your Google Maps restaurant reviews (think Yelp), they don't publish your Google Chat status updates (think Facebook or even Twitter), they don't publish your most recent shared Google Reader articles (think Friendfeed), and they don't publish your most recent blog comments (think Disqus).  All together, it seems like Google is sitting on hundreds of things they could do well with Google Profiles to make them actually interesting, but they haven't done any of it.

However, despite all of that, Google Profiles has recently become incredibly important, for one reason - they now show up in Google Search.  Now once someone has activated their Google Profile, they can appear in a special "Profile results" one-box (pictured above) right on the first page of the Google results.  It's really the most direct way you have of influencing your Google search exposure, which in these days is increasingly necessary.  Your web profile is becoming your forward face to the world, and it's most easily accessed through search.  Virtually any time you go for an interview, the employer is probably looking you up in Google.  With Google Profiles (and I would also strongly recommend LinkedIn) you can now direct anyone who is looking for information on you to exactly what information you want them to discover.  You can make your Google Profile a very unexciting but powerful digital resume.

What should you put in your Google Profile?  What should Google do with the Profiles in general?  Will you activate yours?  What do you think of how I've decided to use mine?