Don’t be a “Slam Clicker”

IMG00214-20100708-1448IMG00221-20100709-1421 For thirteen years, my wife Janet was a flight attendant for USAirways. She used to say that there were crew members who would go right to their rooms upon landing and close the door and lock the lock and never come out again until it was time to go back to the airport. They are known in the airline industry as “slam clickers” Slam the door shut and click the lock. What a waste. In my mind, if the company is paying you to fly somewhere, why not see what you can see? Be social and see the sights of the different cities and states. Take me for example, when I go to New England, Colorado or the Pacific Northwest, I either take my skis or my mountain bike. If I can fit it in after my work schedule, great. If not, I take a vacation day and enjoy the place with my friends who are scattered all over the country. My friend Norm says the axiom should always be to get your work done first, then play. I adhere to that for sure but if I can catch a Mud Hens game in Toledo at night, I do it. If I can get a run or a ride in, I do it. If I can get a ski day, I do it. But I get my work done first. Imagine gettting injured and not being able to perform your job after the company flies you somewhere. Not good for job security. So…………I adhere to the axiom.

Now occasionally, you run into some business associates that like to do what you do. Take the three guys above. One is a Coke guy and the other manages a large distribution center in LA. They are both avid cyclists and our supplier and customer. I have a couple of others who ski. Like my man Chris in Salt Lake. He is in the McDonalds system like I am and we take time to ski and get together. No slam clicking in Salt Lake. There are always good things to find in all cities and states. You just have to take the initiative to find them.

Take the other picture above. This is taken of me at the Laguna Wilderness Trail System which is part of the Orange County Park System. When I go to LA, I don’t miss going out here to these fabulous trails which overlook the Pacific Ocean. There are many miles of trails which have spectacular views. I take my own bike. Many people ask how I do that and I tell them that I travel with a bike box. I can disassemble my bike in minutes, pack it up, schlepp it to the airport, check it in and pick it up at the end of the line at John Wayne Airport. I have the routine down. Yes, it is a hassle but it is well worth it when you have your own bike to ride. I do the same with my skis. Yes, I could rent high performance skis but I like my own stuff and I make the effort to schlepp it. It is well worth it and for a little extra effort, you can have a memorable experience. If you want to rent a bike, that can be done at the fabulous Laguna Beach Cyclery. This shop on Thalia Street in Laguna Beach is eye candy to the max. They have everything high performance, and if you need anything, you look up Christian and tell him that the McDonalds guy sent you in. He is a very knowedgeable and friendly guy. A hell of a road racer too!!! You can start your ride right from the shop and ride Thalia Street to the top of the park system. When you are finished, make sure you stop at the Stand Natural Food Restaurant right next door. Amazing vegan food that is absolutely delicious. Smoothies, shakes, sandwiches with fresh baked breads. Amazing. I usually start my rides from the Crystal Cove State Park. You can unload your bike box, assemble your bike with lots of room around you. You pay 13 bucks to park but it goes to the preservation of the trails which is well worth it. Always check the weather. If Laguna has had storms, they close the trails because of the fragile ecosystem.

All in all, some of the best times I have had is when I eliminate the pain in the butt thinking, and just haul the gear and go for it. Work first, then some play is a great trip. I always travel with my toys if at the very least my trail running shoes because I can always find a park or a golf course near the hotel. Even if you entertain in the evening, if you can squeeze some exercise or some fun in, the beer and the food taste all the better. Don’t be a slam clicker. Enjoy life, be social, and explore. We have a great country, go see it. Thanks for reading.