Meet Moun10Bike@GeoXantike

deAm 30. September 2001 setzte Jon Stanley (Moun10Bike) die erste Geocoin in einem Cache aus. Heute, knapp 14 Jahre später, sind Geocoins aus dem Cacheralltag nicht mehr wegzudenken. Über 8000 unterschiedliche Designs erfreuen Cacher und Coinsammler aus der ganzen Welt.

Wuselelfe hatte die Gelegenheit, sich mit dem Schöpfer der Geocoins auf dem Giga-Event „GeoXantike“ in Xanten zu unterhalten. Den Originaltext des Interviews mit Jon Stanley findet ihr exklusiv hier. Auf dem Blog von Geocaching Baden-Württemberg könnt ihr die deutsche Übersetzung lesen. Herzlichen Dank an Wuselelfe und Moun10Bike für dieses tolle Interview und die schönen Fotos.

On the 30th of September, 2001 Jon Stanley (Moun10Bike) left the first geocoin in a cache. Today, just 14 years later, geocoins are very common and polular in the geocaching community. With more than 8000 different designs, cachers and coincollectors alike can choose out of a huge variety.

Wuselelfe had the opportunity to talk to the creator of geocoins on the Gigaevent „GeoXantike“ in Xanten. You’ll find the original text of the interview with Jon Stanley exclusively here. On the blog of Geocaching Baden-Württemberg you can read the German translation. Many thanks to Wuselelfe and Moun10Bike for this great interview and the nice photos.


Meet Moun10Bike@GeoXantike


What would be geocaching without the world of geocoins and trackables?
These colored, glittering, mostly metallic travellers which are making the treasure hunting more attractive and exciting and which have a lot of fans, called the coinaddicts?

Thanks to a wonderful idea of a geocacher, who is doing that hobby from the first hour: Jon Stanley aka Moun10Bike.


One of the first geocacher

In his opinion he is on the verge of old age, he’s celebrating half a millennium this year.
Jon is living near Seattle together with his beloved wife Shauna and his little son Jameson, „Moun10Tyke“. The household seems to be a little zoo, they have two dachshunds and three cats. He still loves mountan biking and of course geocaching, also computer, dual-sport motorcyling and just being outdoors. Since march 2009 he is working for Groundspeak as a system analyist.
Already in june 2000 Jon was hiding the first geocache of Idaho and since 2001 he is working for groundspeak as the first reviewer, because Jeremy Irish asked him for help.

The first Geocoin

To celebrate his 100th find Jon had a great idea: he wanted to leave a personal sign in a geoache and let made a little medaille with his logo, the Moun10Bike.


Date with Jon Stanley

Because I would visit the german GIGA GeoXantike at Xanten I decided to ask Jon for an interview. He was very kind and friendly and he even gave me his phonenumber to contact him during the event.
I’m really addicted with geocoins, so I was very exicted that I would meet him and I couldn’t expect to meet the „Father of the geocoin“ by himself.
Despite physical handicaps I was able to make a very special helper job at the event: I was responsible to take care oft he Lackeys during their waiting of the marching in into the Roman Arena.

While Annie, Cathy , Narendra and Jon were dressed in Romand clothes, I could speak the first time to „Moun10Bike“.
We should finish the interview on the next evening.


Since 5th of September 2000 you’re searching geocaches, soon we can celebrate 15 years Moun10Bike. Where/when did you hear from Geocaching and how did you feel when you found your first cache? When did you buy your first GPS?

I have been very interested in maps and geography since a young age, and so when receivers became cheaper and more readily available, my parents gave me one for Christmas – a Garmin GPS 40. That was in 1995. Selective Availability (SA) was still on back then, and the 40 was a single-channel receiver, so accuracy was limited. Nevertheless, I used it extensively for mapping mountain biking trails.

Because of my interest in GPS technology, I was an avid reader of the newsgroup for satellite navigation, sci.geo.satellite-nav. There was a lot of buzz starting in early 2000 about the upcoming removal of SA, and when that moment finally arrived, a man named Dave Ulmer posted the idea of being able to hide a container in the woods and now being reasonably able to direct someone to it using coordinates. A couple of days later he did just that, and geocaching was born. The idea captivated me, and so I waited a few weeks for the snow to melt near our family cabin, then I headed up to the top of a nearby mountain and planted my own cache. That was June 17, 2000.

It was a few months later that a cache popped up close enough to my home in Seattle for me to easily get to it. We were in the midst of shipping a product at work that summer, but immediately after the post-release ship party, I headed off to find that cache. That was September 25, 2000, and the hiders of that first cache that I found ended up being my future bosses – Jeremy Irish and Bryan Roth!


Do you still seek geocaches, perhaps now with your family?

Yes, I am still a very avid geocacher! I have slowed down a little bit with family duties, but try to get out every day. My wife is not interested in the activity, and my son is only somewhat interested, but I can make him come with me.

What was your motivation/idea to design a Geocoin?

I was getting close to my 100th find in 2001 and wanted to come up with a signature item that was unique. While attending Washington State’s first-ever event that summer, a fellow cacher mentioned the idea of military challenge coins. I thought that the cost would be prohibitive, but when I researched it online, I found that they could be produced for a reasonable amount. Furthermore, coins were durable, customizable, and easy to carry. I found a place on the Internet that would mint my designs and I ran with it!

Could you explain please how exactly was the process of the production? (Did you make sketches, who made the artwork, did you contact the factory by yourself or was somebody helping you)

I wish I had known more about what was possible with coins back then – the minter I chose was not very knowlegeable – so that first design was very plain. I took the logo and altered it to work better on a round object (this was before the existing logo usage rules that prohibit alteration of the logo) and then used my own Moun10Bike logo on the front. To keep costs down, I only used color on the logo side.

It’s one thing to design a coin, but another to make the business with Groundspeak. Please tell me about contacting the HQ, how did it work with the tracking-number, icon, listing etc. . How was the process to establish geocoins for all? How could you convince Jeremy Irish for geocoins?

That was actually all very serendipidous. I had come to know the founders of Groundspeak through my early activity in the game and my geographical proximity to them, then later through donating software to them to help get the business started. When I started planning my outing to get my 100th find, Jeremy expressed a willingness to join me, so we headed out together that day. He was just in the process of introducing Travel Bugs on the site and asked if I would like to track my geocoins as well. I of course jumped at the chance! He set up my first few coins for tracking and gave them their own unique icon. Later on, the system was expanded as more people became interested in having their own personal coin. Initially all other personal coins used the same icon, but then the system was enhanced to allow users to submit their own custom icons.


What happened after you put your first coin into a cache?

The coin stayed in that cache for just 3 days (which was pretty quick for back then) before being picked up. It was then placed in a couple of different caches by a couple of different cachers before being picked up by the people who still hold on to it to today.

How many of your coins are still travelling?

Technically, none – they have all been picked up and added to someone’s collection. While most are now collecting dust in drawers around the world, I would say that there are somewhere around 100 that are activly taken to events and logged.

How many coins did you mint meanwhile?

I have minted a total of 1300 Moun10Bike Geocoins at this point (plus 300 Moun10Bike Coinaments).

I could read that you’ re also a famous coin collector. How many coins do you own in your collection?

I was really into collecting up until around 2007. I then became a little disheartened at how commercial coins were becoming, and how little the coins being produced had anything to do with geocaching. I stopped actively collecting at that point and only collected personal coins that I received in trade from other cachers that I have met along the way.

What is your favorite coin?

I have a soft spot in my heart for many of the old coins that I have good memories of. Other than that, I can’t say I honestly have a favorite.

Do you still buy new Geocoins? Is there a coin which is a „must have“ on your seeking-list?

I will buy coins that commemorate an event I am attending, but otherwise mostly avoid purchasing them.

Every coiner has a big dream: to receive a Moun10Bike coin ;-). Is it still possible to receive/trade a coin with you?

Absolutely! That’s still a very important aspect of geocoins for me. However, I only trade for other personal coins (no group coins, event coins, regional coins, etc.) – it’s important to me that each coin I collect tells a story about the person that I met and received it from.

When you give a coin to a person you always keep the listing (is that true? ). Why?

That is an artifact of the way the coins started out – trackables that were intended to travel. Just like Travel Bugs are activated by their owners, so too I activated my coins. It was only later when coins began to become collectible that people took them with the intention of keeping them, but I stuck with my original pattern of always activating them after sending them out. It’s too late to stop doing that now.

Will you make a new/next Moun10Bike? It seems, September should be a good date for that ;-).

I see that logic. However, I always wait until I run out of my previous version (or get close to running out) before I start working on my next iteration.

May I say „congrats“ that you visit your first GIGA at Xanten. Have you ever been in Germany? Do you often visit Megas?

I have been fortunate enough to visit Germany several times in the past, the most recent being in 2007 when I came over for a „conference“ with some fellow reviewers. I get to a couple of Megas every year (not to mention the Block Party!).

Why did you choose GeoXantike for your visit?

I am attending Project GeoXantike as part of Groundspeak’s Product Team. We will be running some user feedback sessions that we call „Guerilla Games.“ They are designed to get insight from our users as to how they would prioritize possible features of some upcoming projects are planning. The German geocaching community is very important to us and we wanted to make sure that it was represented, so we picked one major German event, one major US event, and the Groundspeak Block Party as scenarios for running these games. This Giga was the one we chose!


How do you like the GIGA at Xanten?

It was phanomenal. When I’m talking to people about what makes a good geocache I think you need to have a qualitativ container fort he location and most importantly a nice location. This event was like that for events. It was a wonderful put-together event on a top phanomenal location like this Archilogical Park at Xanten, in which you want to come even if there wasn’t an event. And this event is so well done on top of it’s the best event ever I’ve been to. I enjoy even to see anything, enjoey to be with the people, to see everything and have a chance to visit the geoacher from other countries, it was wonderful. How well considered everything. They are events exspecially for children. I have my head of for these organizers, they did a great job. It is even better oragnized like our Block-Party. I’ve seen that there were a lot of helper, they are all geoachers. I like that and that’s wonderful.

Thank you for the interview, Jon

My pleasure!


A dream came true

At the end of the interview I was allowed to hold the first Moun10Bike Geocoin in my own hands. More than 100 people could take a look at it this weekend.


Finally the great moment arrived: Jon traded with me my personal Peace Turtle Geocoin and gave me a small case, covered with black velvet and a golden mountainbiker on it. With a quickly beating heart and trembling hands I opened it slowly: my own Moun10Bike Coin – a dream came true.

~ Wuselelfe ~


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