Saturday, July 11, 2009

Johnny P. and the Nebo Loop

This morning I was halfway up the climb to Payson Lakes on the Nebo Loop Rd. when all of the sudden a car pulled up beside me and the driver said "Hey how's it going...great to see Omniture out on the road," or something like that. Immediately I recognized the driver of the car to be John Pestana, the co-founder and current Board of Director of Omniture, commonly known as "Johnny P". I was wearing my Omniture cycling kit in case you're wondering how he recognized me.

I've always thought highly of Johnny P. He made himself a small fortune when Omniture went public in 2006 in one of the most successful IPOs of that year. Our stock price went from $6.50 out of the gate in June 2006 to almost $40 by the end of 2007. Despite his wealth, which sometimes ruins people, he's always had a level head and been humble and approachable, at least from my observations. Before he left Omniture as an employee to pursue other interests, I used to run into him ocasionally in the office. I remember one time he was using the copier at the same time I was and he started up a conversation and we chatted for a minute. Just a great guy.

It was no different today when I ran into him on the road. It was pretty sweet as he was driving his yellow Lamborghini Murcielago like this one:

When he pulled up next to me, I could hardly carry on a conversation with him as my heart rate was close to 160 from the climb. He said he and his buddies were driving the Nebo Loop and then he said goodbye and sped off. His buddies were following, one in a Ferrari and another in a Dodge Viper. Pretty awesome!

I hadn't climbed more than another mile and I ran into Jay Beck with a couple of his mountain bike friends that he grew up with in Goshen. I work with Jay at Omniture in the accounting department. He's a good guy.

Continuing on, I made it to the Payson Lakes. Here's a picture:

Overall, I liked the climb. At the bottom of the canyon for the first few miles there are quite a few undulations in the road, which was an added challenge having to switch from short climbs to short sections of flats/downhill. I noticed the road at the bottom was pretty beat up (especially noticeable on the descent when I wondered if this is what riding on cobblestones is like). The grade ticks up after mile 3 with the toughest sections of 7%-8% coming between miles 5 and 6 and then again between miles 7 and 10. To Payson Lakes, it's about 12 miles and 3,100 vertical ft. If I would have had more time, I would have loved to continue on the Nebo Loop Rd. and finish the climb to the summitt and drop down into Nephi, but since I rode from Lehi, that wasn't an option (next time I'll drive to Payson).

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