F.I.S.T. Camps Moving to Lincoln, NE

Above is the new home base for the workshop in Lincoln. We will be offering our first camp of the year in April. To learn more or to register, click here.

At our core – meaning the site and the community – we are bike lovers. Our top read articles each year are almost always bike related. That also means that bike fit is at the top of the list when it comes to our audience. But, on the other hand, F.I.S.T, in my opinion, had been left on the back burner due to COVID.

When I attended my last F.I.S.T workshop at Dan’s, I was greeted by a full class of attendees. Some were first-time students of F.I.S.T. Some were repeat customers that were there for the 4th or 5th time. Some of the repeat attendees were seeing if they wanted to start instructing at future workshops and some were just looking to engage with other fitters over the course of the week. We had people from all over the world in one little garage in the middle of nowhere.

It was awesome – learning from the best instructors in the world on fit fundamentals, discussions and all sorts of different theories from all the different campers.

When Dan called me last November and told me he was done hosting F.I.S.T clinics, I’m sure it wasn't an easy call for him to make. And it was a call that he took very seriously. I was the first one he talked to about it. I mean, I’m sure he probably talked to his wife and animals before me. But outside of that, I was first. To be frank, it was a call that I wasn’t expecting for another year or so. When we bought the business, F.I.S.T came with it. But, as the article opens, how do you take over something you yourself are not an expert in? It was always the understanding that Dan was able to keep F.I.S.T sort of his own thing until the time he was ready to, I guess, make this call to me.

When I got the call from Dan I started thinking: how can we change F.I.S.T without really changing it? What are the things that can’t be changed about F.I.S.T and what are the things that we can.

Here’s the list:

Things We Can’t (or Shouldn’t) Change
#1 Camp Instruction
#2 Camp Vibe
#3 Camp Value
#4 Camp Memories

Things We Can
#1 Comfort for everyone
#2 Ease of Location
#3 Real Life Lessons

Let’s get the big thing we’re changing out of the way: F.I.S.T. camps will live in Lincoln, Nebraska from here on out. The location of camp is just 12 minutes north of downtown, which provides tremendous amounts of lodging options for campers from hotels to great Airbnb/VRBO options. While we plan on having meals for all campers provided, it also allows for campers to be close enough to a restaurant or grocery store of their liking. It means campers can feel like they can take their personal time and space, if needed.

When it came to picking the new location, it was important to me that we had enough space for not only a slightly larger workshop class but more space for the classmates to function. And more space for equipment. Rolling up your sleeves is an important part of camp and we needed more space to do that. We also needed to make sure we had more options for people to pick affordable accommodations, and they needed to be closer to where camp is. I also wanted something that was more centralized to get too. Not very many places are as pretty as the Sierra Mountain range but, let’s face it: LAX sucks to get in and out of. For most past camps, LAX was the best option for flights. So campers would land in LA, deal with all the hassles of a large airport and then have to drive anywhere from 1:30 – 3 hours depending on traffic.

So why Lincoln? Two reasons: Location and Commitment.

Being more centralized in the US allows for more people to get to camp easier and faster. It also allows for people to drive instead of fly. If you are coming internationally, while Omaha’s airport isn’t LAX, it is an international airport and it’s only 50 minutes away from camp with traffic. These things make it easier not only on the wallet but also on the time commitment from campers. That drives greater value for camp, and the return on investment that we will provide attendees. We have a more controlled environment now when it comes to the camp experience. We have a larger campus with more room. We have more accommodations when it comes to food and housing. We have more roads to safely run and ride on. We also have more pools for athletes to swim. And if the weather is crappy, we have access to a massive gym with dozens of smart trainers and smart bikes.

We have a long-term agreement with Shane Peed to host F.I.S.T Camps. Shane is an adamant user and fan of our sports. He has, and continues to, invest in the space, whether through his companies and their investments in events and athletes or with his time. He loves the idea that people from all over the world can come to Lincoln to not only see what he and his companies are about but also improve themselves to be able to better serve the community of athletes they serve. Having this agreement in place not only keeps us away from hotel conference rooms but allows us to have long term roots that we can count on to be able to keep costs low and values high for campers.

For camp instruction, we are keeping the most valuable things in place – the instructors. Sadly I’m not sure if we will ever get Dan out to the new home of F.I.S.T (I hope he will come hang) but Dan is really enjoying his life these days. And to be frank over the last 3-4 years Dan really isn't the one that has been doing most of the teaching anyways. That’s why I begged Ian Murray. The only person that really understands F.I.S.T more than Dan and probably who understands where it needs to go from a tech side is Ian. He is not only a master fitter, but Ian is in my opinion a master instructor. The guy loves being in front of people teaching and he’s damn good at it too. It took me about 4 months to get Ian to take me serious enough for him to come out to visit the place I finally had to say, “it’s now or never dude.” I remember when he walked into CASA Bovina (the restaurant that will service most of the meals at future camps) He looked at me and said mostly paraphrasing “Eric, I thought you were nuts for wanting to move it here. I get it now.”

Ian is important to us for many reasons but the most important is that he keeps things easy going. He provides ample time to learn and absorb knowledge. He structures the camps in a way that makes sure we have time to get outside and get to know each other and move with one another. Ian brings instructors like Matt Hill along and others that we will be announcing as camps start to fill up. These teachers provide a great learning experience and camp vibe. Ian also understands that we can take F.I.S.T to be so much more than its current place in the marketplace.

The single most important thing anyone can do before purchasing a bike is make sure the bike will fit them. For this reason slowtwitch is doubling down on bike fit and F.I.S.T Camps are the foundation of that. If slowtwitch is going to continue to talk about bikes (which we are) and continue to help our readers make purchasing decisions that are best for the riders, we need to get F.I.S.T camps up and going again and going in a big way. The first step is to provide a place where it can not only find a centralized home but where it can start to grow again. If you have been looking at coming to a workshop, please join us this April and come see what Camp is all about. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.