Mel’s Visit to Red Rocks Canyon and Zappos HQ

Anyone who knows me personally has had a peek into the “other” side of Mel.  The side that likes wearing dresses, makeup and really high heeled shoes that I actually am incapable of walking in for more than an hour, requiring frequent shoe rest breaks during an evening.   It is a side of me that is almost 180 degrees removed from this version of myself that won the XTERRA US Cup last weekend in Vegas:

The harder core version of mel, trying to stay ahead of that dude behind me…

I believe in balance.  I like to balance the aggressive, confident, focused version of myself with a softer, more feminine and more creative side.   That side of me wears dresses, gardens, collects hundreds of bottles of great wine and cooks dinners requiring three days of preparation.  Therefore, I have had a personal relationship with already.  Zappos started as during the dot com boom in the nineties and since then has since rung up a BILLION dollars in sales while branching into outdoor gear, clothing, watches and all sorts of other cool stuff. 

The newest project at Zappos is the new website where you can focus your online shopping for the AVI-Stoltz and AVI-Bolt in a one stop shop.  Conrad and I were invited to come to a Zappos open house for their running brands, take a tour of the facilities and visit with some of the uber-cool, super young and hip staff that work there.  Thank you to all of our hosts, especially to Kelly, for your wonderful hospitality.

Ed welcoming a happy Zappos employee…


Some of my pictures are fun but to really get a feel for the corporate culture at Zappos you would have to go there to visit.  Each department had their own “theme” to welcome visitors… my favorite being the photographs taken in the fashion department.. of us!  Haha.. all while “Superstar” was playing as our theme song.  The CEO, CFO and generally big cheese department had a “monkey” theme and really looked not much different from the rest of the cubicles. 

The funky fun front desk

Honestly I have never seen happier staff.  Reasons for their happiness that I could see:

• Free food. 
• A quiet room where people can take a nap. 
• Professional development along with free leadership books (free for me too, I left with “Outliers”). 
• Fun and general wackiness everywhere with cool, young, hip workplace, coworkers and jobs.
• .An onsite career coach that helps employees set goals and attain them.



This is a Polaroid of me in the VIP throne in the career coach Vic’s office.  It led me to ask the question, did Zappos buy all the existing Polaroid film in order to cover the walls with pictures of staff in the throne with that crazy crown?  Yes, I blinked…

It was really a good time to be there.  We had a delicious dinner at Hanks the night before where I ate way too much delicious food and drank two memorable glasses of Chateau Ste Michelle “Artistry” (a red blend from Washington State to die for).  It was funny to see the enormous AVIA van parked right next to an Asics promotional setup in front of the hotel.   I would say the van stole the show! 

 I really struggled to get to the pool the next morning as we were out too late but the whole trip was great.  I stayed in Vegas through to the event from the XTERRA last Saturday.  I was in a hotel up near Red Rocks Canyon.  Ross managed to squeeze a couple of days in with me up there to go riding.  One word about Red Rocks:  spectacular!  The mountain biking was awesome, the road riding is awesome, and Vegas has a ton of gorgeous outdoor pools.  I am considering a training camp there.  How fun would that be?  Ride your heart out all day and then have a myriad of wonderful things to do at night? 

Our guides the first day riding from Blue Diamond were Heather and Dom.  Heather’s part of Escape Adventures Mountain Bike Guiding Tours and her husband Jarrod loaned Ross a sweet FSR SWorks Stumpjumper to ride.  She is a fabulous rider!  Dom is part of Sunset Racing and rocked a 29er hardtail singlespeed. 

Mel, Heather, Dom


Mel and Ross at the top before riding to the “three mile smile” downhill on Monday

The ride was not without a mishap on my part

Mel riding the First Finger Trail on the Cowboy trails Tuesday


Ross on the Fossil Trail

Doing intervals on the Scenic Loop in the Calico Hills

So now I am home until next Thursday when I pack everything up to go to the XTERRA Midwest Cup in Michigan.  Happy my heirloom tomatoes and basil are doing well… I have some ideas for a Caprese style salad I have brought home from my trip I cannot wait to put to use.

Time to replant!

Oh and one last one… I love it when my man gets in the race photography:

Ashley.. check out the CB t-shirt!

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