Posted: August 01, 2012
Colorado cool stuff: Biker armor, golf aid, wood tile, wear the partyEric Peterson
Christine Detwiler learned the hard way that high heels and Harley-Davidson motorcycles don’t always mix. "If you’re not careful, you can drag your heel across the hard-bags when you’re getting on the bike," she says.
In her case, the resulting scratch required a $350 paint job for her husband Mike’s bike. They decided to go into business with Mike’s dad Michael Detwiler Sr., and developed Motorcycle Armor, user-friendly optically clear polyurethane casements that protect a Harley’s saddlebags, fenders and fuel tanks from scratches before they happen. Four years after its debut at Sturgis in 2008, the business has grown every year, now counting 900 Harley-Davidson dealerships across the U.S. among its retailers, while also expanding into Europe and Australia. $50 to $300 retail.
Made by Motorcycle Armor LLC, Windsor, (970) 674-8007, www.motorcycle-armor.com. Available at most Harley-Davidson dealerships in Colorado.
NO SLICE GOLF TRAINING AID
Denver radio and TV personality Chris Kane slathered his driver with his daughter’s applesauce so he could see where he was hitting the ball and found it gave him a visual training aid – he could see the dimples in the sauce, post-swing – but also reduced the spin on the ball, cutting down on his slice. After one failed concoction, Kane reformulated the product last fall and it tested much better at the independent Golf Laboratories in San Diego.
"It reduces the ball’s spin axis by 67 percent on average," Kane says. "This makes for 63 percent less slices and nine more feet on your drive." But you can also use it as a training aid, he adds. "You can see where the ball hit on the club. It gives you instant feedback." $19.99 for a 2-ounce tube retail.
Made by No Slice LLC, Denver, www.noslicenow.com.
EVERITT & SCHILLING WOOD TILE
Aaron Everitt and Luke Schilling are cousins whose families have been working together in Northern Colorado for decades; each of their family businesses (Jamestown Builders and Schilling Interiors, respectively) has been around for at least 60 years. They went to a trade show last year and saw "hundreds" of faux wood tiles, says Everitt. "We thought, ‘What if we went and cut up a bunch of old barns?’" They did exactly that and launched a line of ceramic-coated tile made from reclaimed barn wood (as well as a second line made from cabinetmakers’ scrap). "You can install it exactly like tile," says Everitt. The duo has expanded its manufacturing facility after just a year in business, now employing two full-timers and selling through 45 tile shops nationwide. "We’re thrilled with how it’s gone so far." About $20 per square foot.
Made by Everitt & Schilling
Tile LLC, Fort Collins, (888) 573-5554, www.eandstile.com. Available at numerous tile shops in Colorado; contact the company for locations.
WEAR THE PARTY
Before he graduated from CU with an engineering degree in May, Alex Pasternack co-founded a glow-in-the-dark T-shirt company, Wear the Party. The gimmick? Each shirt comes with a light for the wearer to "draw" temporary glow-in-the-dark slogans and art.
"It’s been an absolute big hit the past year and a half," Pasternack says. The company made official T-shirts for SnowBall in Vail and the Summer Camp Music Festival in Chicago, employing color-changing ink for the latter. He’s also pursuing other corporate accounts looking for eye-catching promotional giveaways.
For the time being, Pasternack is focusing on the business and setting his sights on California while putting his engineering career on hold. "It’s pretty great to be graduating with this predicament," he says of his decision. About $30 retail.
Made by Wear the Party LLC, Boulder, www.weartheparty.com. Also available at numerous stores in Colorado.
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com