Here's a little story for you to set a "back drop" to my arrival at Masi...
On September 11th of this year (what is with that date now?), while riding home from a friend's party on my bike in the wee hours of the morning, I was struck by a car in a hit and run accident (yes, I was using a headlight and tail light at the time). The driver of the car ran a red light while I was in the middle of the intersection, snapping the frame in half. As you can see from the picture, it was not a pretty sight. For those of you with an eye for gore, yes, that is my blood all over the frame. I was so very lucky that I was wearing a good helmet and that I was simply coasting through the intersection. Had I been going any faster I would have been directly in front of the car, rather than getting "clipped" and would have likely been killed. Since I am married and have two children, this little "blessing" is something I am thankful for each day.
Yes, I had been drinking. I had stopped drinking around midnight before climbing back onto my bike at 3:00 in the morning, thinking that I was more than sober enough to ride home. To this day, I believe I was sober enough, but my judgment to leave was still not the best decision and I really should have just stayed at my friend's house. My rationale for riding home: I didn't want my wife to worry when she woke up and I wasn't home. Instead, she woke up to find me bleeding like crazy from the huge cut in my chin and the multiple scrapes all over. I was fortunate enough to not break any bones and to not have any truly serious injuries. 7 stitches in the chin and several scars, but I am otherwise ok. My back still has lingering effects from the crash, but I am able to ride without pain- well, from the crash anyway.
The accident took place on a Sunday morning. I had my interview with Haro Bicycles, parent company of Masi, the following Friday afternoon and had a job offer later that day. I went to the interview completely covered in scabs, bandages and hardly able to talk from the injuries to my jaw and neck. Still, I suppose they figured that if I was willing to get back onto a bike after such an accident, I must be really dedicated and passionate (and just a little crazy). Both are important ingredients to having a job in the bike industry.
None of this is brought up to make light of the circumstances surrounding the incident. I really could have made some better choices, like drinking less and leaving earlier or just crashing on the couch instead of on my bike. I bring this up to point out how lucky I feel to be alive and have the job that I have. Haro looked past the scabs and bandages and saw somebody very passionate about bicycles and the sport. It is that passion that I hope will allow me to turn Masi Bicycles into a powerhouse premium road bike brand again. This is the challenge of a lifetime for me and I am very thankful to have been given this opportunity and will not squander it.
Don't drink and ride!