For this month’s Employee Spotlight, I sat down with Michael Klieman. He leads product management (PM) for MobileIron’s unified endpoint management (UEM) platform out of our Mountain View, CA office. He also recently started a MobileIron cycling group. Let’s learn more about him!
What do you like most about working at MobileIron?
The thing I like most is that the team here is incredibly positive and collaborative. We operate in a highly competitive environment and every day we tackle complex problems for customers and the business -- having a great team is critical.
Tell me more about the MobileIron cycling group that you recently started. Do you get together for group rides?
The description of the group is, “For anyone interested in cycling to lend inspiration, share routes, schedule events, coordinate group rides, geek out on gear, and share your wisdom from the road.”
We haven’t gotten together for group rides, but we do share a bunch of pictures (you should check out the crazy bike that Dustin Rhodes built) and talk gear.
What are your plans for the group? Do you have MobileIron cycle jerseys?
The group is doing what I hoped: offering a little fun and distraction for the team. If you enjoy cycling (or are curious), join the #mi-cycling Slack channel.
I actually have a sample jersey with the new logo on it. Hopefully Santa will have something for our stockings :-)
How long have you been cycling? How did you get started? What do you like about it?
I’ve always had a bike and enjoyed riding off and on my whole life. Over the past several years, I’ve definitely ramped up my time on the bike. I love touring… being completely self-sufficient and the experience of heading out and literally going one-way. And while I’ve only occasionally been able to find the time to tour, I do make the time to go on long one-day rides. There’s nothing like the satisfaction that comes from completing something challenging.
Tell me about Cycle for the Cause that you recently took part in; what was it all about?
The Cycle for the Cause, also known as the Northeast AIDS Ride, is a 275 mile, 3-day ride from Boston to New York City. It’s the primary fundraiser of the LGBTQ Community Center in New York aimed at ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Did you train? For how long? What was your training like?
I didn’t train specifically for this ride, but I was pretty confident that I could do it. Through late May and June, I trained extensively for the California Death Ride -- arguably the hardest ride I’ve ever done. I started with a big base (almost 2000 miles Jan-May) and in the 5 weeks before the Death Ride, I did four 100+ mile rides, each with progressively greater amounts of climbing.
That got me ready for the actual event mid-July, which was 123 miles and 15,000 feet of climbing. After that soul-crushing experience, I took a well-deserved break for a couple of weeks before starting to get ready for the Cycle for the Cause event. In late August, I rode to our PM offsite in Monterey, which was a 116 mile affair, and then did one other century ride in early September. In general, it’s important to have a big base of consistent miles (something I could have used more of) combined with being comfortable doing really big rides.
What was your mindset before and after?
This is really where the story is. As soon as I arrived at the starting-line hotel in Framingham, MA the evening before the ride started, I was surrounded by hundreds of people who were clearly there for a cause. For three days and nights, I heard inspiring and heartbreaking stories of people who’ve watched as their friends, family, and community were ravaged by AIDS/HIV. They talked about the fear and hopelessness that this disease produced, the stigma and discrimination that comes right alongside infection, and the hope that’s come from the last decade’s medical advances.
My mindset before I got there was centered on riding down part of the Atlantic Coast. Once I got there, I was humbled and incredibly grateful to be part of a truly extraordinary group with a such an important purpose.
How much did you fundraise?
I raised about $3,000. Thanks to everyone at MobileIron who supported me on the ride! And the event in total raised an unbelievable $2.1 million.
What are your tips for someone doing this kind of cycling tour?
- Get a bike
- Build up your base over time -- aim for 3-4 one-hour rides (~15 miles each) per week for a few weeks.
- Add in one-two longer rides per week, working up to the point where a 40 mile ride is comfortable.
- Then start adding 5-10 miles to a ride once per week (50, 55, 60, etc.) until you can do a 75 mile ride without thinking you’re going to die. Now you’re in good shape to do some big riding ;-)
- Add in more climbing and try even longer rides every other week (make sure to give yourself some rest days).
- Always stretch and once you get over 1 hour on the bike make sure you carry Gatorade or some electrolyte replacement.
- Last but not least, try and mix in some core work.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Anyone interested in learning more about bike touring should come by anytime.