Merchants of Dirt Podcast

Merchants of Dirt Podcast

The Merchants of Dirt Podcast, hosted by founder Kyle M. Bondo, 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. This includes the sports management skills needed to promote successful mountain biking, trail running, orienteering, adventure racing, and endurance events.


Listen Now to Season Two

Inside the Race Director’s Studio – MOD031
June 27, 2017
In this episode, I take you behind the scenes of the first mountain bike race in a four-race series and learn what thinking goes into preparing and directing a recent race.
Turn a No into a Yes with Relationship Building – MOD030
June 20, 2017
In this episode, I illustrate how to turn a No into Yes and get into places you’ve never raced before by using an approach that will help you form better relationships with your local trail steward organizations.
Your Growth Model Needs To Go To The Gym – MOD029
June 12, 2017
In this episode, learn how race promoters use the Always Be Racing (ABR) growth model to maintain their sales volume enough to make racing a full-time gig.
Mr. Murphy Loves Your Cut-and-Paste Waiver – MOD028
May 15, 2017
In this episode, waivers your first line of defense against personal injury lawsuits and remind you that it is your duty to avoid being negligent.
You Can’t Fix a Race You Never Start – MOD027
May 05, 2017
In this episode, you can’t fix a race you never start, so stop caring about what other people might think and go define your own race direction style.
Get Busy Crunching the Numbers with Cy Sack – MOD026
April 19, 2017
In this episode, Cy Sack from walks me through the State of Adventure Racing and shows how a little data can go long ways to making big decisions.
How Not to Suffer Registration Woes – MOD025
April 11, 2017
In this episode, I talk about what strategies you can use to improve your next events registration numbers.
Get Soggy Setting Courses with Mark Montague – MOD024
April 05, 2017
In this episode, Mark Montague and I walk step by step through his latest adventure race launch and we learn how to SPROUTE an Adventure Racing course.
Win More Customers with Strategic Messaging – MOD023
March 31, 2017
In this episode, I talk about what strategies you can use to be more consistent when you communicate with your customers.
Get Addicted to Adventure with Michelle Faucher – MOD022
March 21, 2017
In this episode, Michelle Faucher and I walk step by step through her latest adventure race launch and we learn how to Brake the Habit.
Manage the Unknown of Race Day Volunteers – MOD021
March 14, 2017
In this episode, I talk about how race day volunteers can be a key element in your race’s success but only if you can recruit, manage, and deal with them in an effective way.
It Is Time That Your Timing Was Timely – MOD020
February 28, 2017
In this episode, I talk about why having an accurate timing process starts off being essential to deciding who won or lost your race, and ends up helping you pay for future races.
Fix a Bad Race Course with a Good Design Strategy – MOD019
February 19, 2017
In this episode, I talk about how you fix a bad race course with a good design strategy that includes walking the course, testing your design, and getting feedback from real racers.
Venue is All About Location, Location, Location – MOD018
February 14, 2017
In this episode, I help you explore the beginnings of your location development strategy and the 7 venue areas that reduce customer confusion, control customer flow, and show your customers how organized you really are.
Build Better Permits with a Proposal Process – MOD017
February 7, 2017
In this episode, I teach you how to obtain the legal permission to use the venue by developing a process for getting your permits approved each and every time.
Mr. Murphy Just Wrecked Your Race Day – MOD016
January 31, 2017
In this episode, I’ll introduce you to a few race day risk mitigation strategies that include time padding, pre-race checklists, and why you always walk a venue BEFORE race day.
Mr. Murphy Finds Your Risk Planning Hilarious – MOD015
January 23, 2017
In this episode, I’ll introduce you to risk, risk management, and why you need to create your own risk mitigation strategy BEFORE bad things happen.
Mr. Murphy just took out a racer – MOD014
January 17, 2017
In this episode, we learn why you need to take emergency response planning very seriously. Especially when — not if — your efforts will directly contribute to saving a racers life, and why when it comes to Mr. Murphy, 9-1-1 will not cut it! By the way: Mr. Murphy just called… a racer just hit a tree. What you learn next could save a life.
Mr. Murphy just canceled your race – MOD013
January 10, 2017
In this episode of 2017, I’m dedicating lucky number episode #13 to my co-host, Mr. Murphy! This will be the first of 4 cautionary tales dedicated to topics Mr. Murphy wants to talk about — which means the month of January 2017 is focused entirely on the Murphy’s Law of Racing, and how we deal with topics like risk management, disaster recovery, and how to bounce back when everything goes wrong!

Listen Now to Season One

Earn race customers for life – MOD012
December 30, 2016
In this last episode of 2016, we’re going to find out why simply improving the way you treat people, your business will be rewarded with customer attendance, money, and most of all, their love.
Strategies for picking your race dates – MOD011
December 20, 2016
In this episode we’re going to talk about race date selection strategies and how your business strategy greatly impacts your race date choices, introduce Cy Sack from Adventure Race Hub in the Coffee’s for Closers segment, and talk about why focusing on newbies, greenhorns, and amateurs is a good way to bring a failing adventure race business back to life.
Using market forces to spot off-road racing spin – MOD010
December 13, 2016
In this episode, we’re going to talk about why you need to understand the reality of market forces, competition, and customers before you decide to base your whole racing business on another fad. Then we are going to test that what we’ve learned by looking at Snowshoeing and Fat Biking — two of the latest off-road sports to enter the market — and see if they have what it takes to be worth your time to promote, or are just more marketing spin.
Putting the fun back in race budget fundamentals – MOD009
December 06, 2016
In this episode, we’re going to talk a lot about money, budgets, and getting your race expense under control, I’ll introduce you to racing financials in an attempt to put the fun back into race budget fundamentals, and we’ll learn how to apply the principles of a profitable racing to your budget.
Principles of a profitable race – MOD008
November 29, 2016
In this episode, we’ll hear the interview I gave to Carey Green from Podcastification at DC Podfest last month that goes into why I started the Merchants of Dirt Podcast, how it relates to building your first race, and why building races are essential to the survival of the off-road racing industry. And I will introduce you to the principles of a profitable race where you will begin to understand why having standards will help you make better decisions, make you money, and stay in business longer than five minutes.
Race profits are evil, and other money myths – MOD007
November 22, 2016
In this episode I have a few tips about how making your race name memorable, I’m going to debunk the myths race promoters have about race profits, and we are going to introduce a new segment where we tell you about new sports management technology and tools race promoters can use to for building better races.
You start with a roadmap – MOD006
November 15, 2016
In this episode, we’re going to get into why developing systems — that is sets of repeatable processes — is essential to building successful races, how the techniques of documentation, consensus, and orchestration form the cornerstones of your race promotion business, and how to put those cornerstones into practice by building your first race promotion system — or what I like to call your ROADMAP.
Handle the politics that mess with your races – MOD005
November 08, 2016
In this episode, we’ll talk about the rant I recorded at the DC PodFest this past weekend, I’ll tell you about the new Race Promoters Group I started on Facebook, and get into how you should handle the politics that mess with your race promotion business.
Be a Race Promoter, not a race director – MOD004
October 31, 2016
In this episode, we’re going discuss why all race promoters are race directors, but not all race directors are race promoters. What does that mean? It means the answer will decide the future direction of your business.
Your first strategic vision quest – MOD003
October 25, 2016
In this episode, I am going to guide you through the creation of something every race promoter needs before they decide to go into business and how to create your strategic vision of the future!
What I Wish I Knew Before My First Race – MOD002
October 17, 2016
In this episode, I walk you through the top five (5) things I wished I had known before I built my first race and help you avoid some of the more painful trial and error lessons.
Welcome to Merchants of Dirt – MOD001
October 17, 2016
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.

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