The van signage for the 2011 FC 508

I am so excited. I got my van signage in the mail over the weekend, when I was out of town. I just picked it up in the rental office, and I couldn’t be happier. For those who don’t know, The Furnace Creek 508 uses totems rather than bib numbers for racers. I really had a tough time figuring out what kind of totem I wanted to claim as my own.

In 2009, I competed as part of Team 2xThrasher. That was the totem of my teammate, and definitely did not embody my personality. In 2010, I had registered for The 508 and been accepted under the totem of “Plow Horse.” That name came from the 2009 race, when I was the lucky soul who had to ride the Furnace Creek-Shoshone stage. For more details on that stage, you can go back through my blog and read about what it’s like to ride into 50+mph headwinds. At the low point (literally) in Badwater, one of the crew told me I was like a plow horse out there. It seemed fitting.

However, I had some health issues last year, and I had to bow out of the race. I was a race official, instead. And it was around that time that I got myself tickled. I was mulling over various totem names, and I was thinking about my own (I wanted something alliterative), when I realized I wanted something a bit more on the lighter side. I had just seen Rob Zombie in concert, and it hit me that I could easily alter the spelling of the name, and have a totem that really did speak to my personality.

The ZomBee was born!

Fast forward to 2011, and you have my approach to The 508. See, here’s my philosophy. This race is something special. And when you get to the start line, you’ll see more than one approach to it. The rules are pretty specific about what has to appear in the way of signage. However, there are few specifications as to HOW that signage should appear. I’ve seen vans with totem names spelled out in duct tape. And I’ve seen vans with low-resolution paper printouts plastered to the sides with painter’s tape. Others have shelled out the bucks for car magnets and big time graphics. I’m somewhere in the middle.

I don’t want something cheap. It just seems… disrespectful. Of the race. Of the effort. I also couldn’t afford several hundred dollars worth of car magnets. So, I opted for vinyl lettering and a couple of vinyl graphic signs, like the one pictured in the blog. I ordered a few bumper stickers, too, to give to sponsors, family, and friends. Do I need to have spiffy van graphics and signage? No. But having a little more investment in everything, not just riding a bike, serves as healthy motivation. This morning, looking at the signage, I’m thrilled. I’m one step closer to October 8th. I might die out there on the course. I might DNF. I also might surprise myself. Whatever the result, at least I’ll look good doing it! 🙂



  1. Ole Eichhorn Said:

    Hi, I’m a would-be 508 soloist too, totem “Rocky the Squirrel”, and I too rode in 2009 in the teeth of that wind. I DNFed, but I plan to finish this year 🙂

    Anyway I’ve been enjoying your blog, and would be delighted to know more about how you had signage made for your van. I’ve got a rudimentary sign from before but would love to have a cool custom one made.

    Cheers and thanks in advance…

  2. zombee508 Said:

    Hey, Ole! I look forward to seeing you at the start line in October!

    I went the DIY route through I did a couple different things. I got large text signs that say simply “ZomBee” on them. The total there came in between $50-$60. The logo pictured here was an add-on. I had a logo made for bumper stickers and such, so I uploaded it and designed it there, and just printed two: one for either side of the van. The cost there was nominal.

    It doesn’t take long to design it out, but you want to do it quickly as it takes a couple weeks to ship it to you (unless you pay the extra shipping costs).

    Oh, also. Do a google search for “buildasign promotional codes” and you can find free shipping, which is what I did. Saved a bundle that way!

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