Season 1,

Welcome to Merchants of Dirt – MOD001

October 13, 2016
Show Notes

Welcome to the Merchants of Dirt Podcast, hosted by founder Kyle M. Bondo. his is your insider’s guide to practical recreational engineering where I teach you the art and science of building, promoting, and directing off-road races. In this episode, I introduce you to Reckoneer and, and why I started the Merchants of Dirt Podcast, then pack in 3 lessons learned after 20 years of racing, and finish it off with 3 reasons to get into off-road racing.

In This Episode
  • 1:04

    About Reckoneer

  • 3:43

    About Merchants of Dirt Podcast

  • 7:56

    Lessons Learned after 20 years of Racing

  • 13:29

    3 Reasons to get into Off-Road Racing

  • 24:14

    Now You Know

About Reckoneer

I founded Reckoneer in 2012, as a veteran owned, recreation engineering and education company. My main reason for starting Reckoneer was my frustration in how few resources there are for race promoters to learn the business of off-road racing. That also became my purpose. Reckoneer is all about teaching race promoters how to build, direct, and operate a successful off-road racing business.

Where did you come up with that name?
I created Reckoneer from the words Recreation and Engineer. Think of it in the same way Disney created Imagineers — you know, those guys who design Disneyland rides for Disney? They combined the words Imagination and Engineer to get Imagineer. The name Reckoneer was created the same way.

About Merchants of Dirt Podcast

Each Merchants of Dirt episode will explore how off-road races are built, and attempt to simplify the more difficult and confusing aspects of race strategy and direction. I have a ton of topics I want to talk about when it comes to race promotion and the business of off-road racing.

And when I say the business of off-road racing I’m talking about the sport management skills needed to promote successful mountain biking, trail running, orienteering, adventure racing, and endurance events. This is by no means an exhaustive list of sports that exist in the world of off-road sports, but it should give you a good idea on what I mean when I say off-road racing.

The Merchants of Dirt podcast will talk about the techniques that work for off-road race development. If you would like me spend some time addressing your favorite off-road sport, please reach out to me. I am @MerchantsofDirt or @Reckoneering on Twitter. If you do reach out to me, I will certainly see about giving your sport some love.

Lessons Learned after 20 years of Racing

After racing and working in the off-road racing industry for over 20 years, I have learned three (3) things:

  • Lesson #1 — I have met few race promoters that have built their races — year after year — the same way twice.
  • Lesson #2 — I have met numerous people who want to get into off-road race promotion, but don’t know where to start.
  • Lesson #3 — And, I have met too many race promoters that have gone out of business because they didn’t know how to make their racing business work.

Why is that. Simply put: There is NO SCHOOL for off-road race promotion. No one is taught how to work in this industry by anything that resembles structure. Most come into this business thinking “they’ll learn it as they go”.

Who will explain to you that there will come a time (maybe many times) that you will not have an answer, and be forced to change your plans. Who will prepare you for all the limitations, restrictions, and cancellations you will face? Who will teach you about Mr. Murphy and his law firm, Murphy, Murphy, and Murphy, and how he is always out to get you with an arsenal of gotchas and pitfalls designed to ruin all of your races.

And, if you survive all the discouragement of “not knowing what you don’t know”, there is STILL no guarantee that anyone will show up to your first race. Who will motivate you to keep going after you put a huge amount of effort put into making your first race shine, only to have 30 racers show up?

The answer, my friends, is me, that’s who!

I want to help you — whether you’re a new and veteran race promoters — not just survive this business, but succeed and thrive!

That is my goal for you.

3 Reasons to get into Off-Road Racing

The three reasons most people get into the business of off-road racing:

  • Reason #3 — To Make Some Money
  • Reason #2 — To Be My Own Boss
  • Reason #1 — To Make A Difference

Reason #3 — To Make Some Money
There is a steady rise in America’s need to go outside. According to the most recent Outdoor Recreation Economy Report, Americans spent over US$645-billion on outdoor recreation (showing recession proof growth of 5-percent between 2005-2011). That is US $645-billion — WITH A “B”!

Reason #2 — To Be My Own Boss
As an independent race promoter, you’ve most likely been lured into the industry after experiencing one too many bad races. Data shows that 4 out of 5 race promoters in the United States were once (or still are) racer’s themselves. As a trail junky yourself, that is a very good chance that you’re looking to create the off-road race that you have always dreamed of promoting. You’re not alone:

Reason #1 — To Make A Difference
An equally important reason is how the creation of your event can a positive influence for change within your community. It may only seem like one entry, and they may come in dead last. But the change that takes place in that person is epic! It takes you bringing your event into existence before the capability to touch real people can happen.

Without you, they may not find that moment. But with you, with your creation, you could be that force that gives them the new outlook on life they needed. It may be somewhat intangible, and in some ways spiritual, but I see event creation as a tool for promoting positive mental health.

And if you can change just one life for the better, isn’t that worth all the struggle?

Now You Know

I have a few things I want you to do right now:

Action #1 — Join
Go to SLASH Join and drop your email in the box so I can tell you when a new episodes has come out.

Action #2 — Feedback
Did you learn something useful? Is there something I can do to make them better? I would certainly like to hear about other race promotion pains you might have. If there is a topic you would like me to cover, I am @MerchantsofDirt or @Reckoneering on Twitter, or you can contact me through my blog at

Action #3 — Review
If you liked this episode, I would love if you would go to the Merchants of Dirt podcast page on iTunes and gives me a quick review and a 5-star rating.

Thank You for Listening!
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