Here it is after 9:00 PM and I'm still wrestling with thoughts related to work. My wife is reading a book and the kids are off to bed, so what else am I going to do with a brain still running?
Now that the National Sales Meeting of a couple weeks ago is behind me, I can start to focus on the next big appointments; ExpoCycle in Montreal Canada in mid September and then it is off to Las Vegas for Interbike just a week after I return from Canada. The "silly season" is drawing near very, very quickly. I've said many times before though, that I actually enjoy this time of year immensely. For one, I get to see people that I only see during show season, I get to look at other really cool products, I get to geek-out completely and gawk at my own cycling heroes walking around like normal people and I get to talk about my bikes. Sure, I have to contend with casinos full of cigarette smoke, walking for endless miles, standing for endless hours, back pain from toting way too much crap around all the time (I am not a light packer) and I have to go through the Liver Olympics with all the free drinks that flow around (remember my previous warnings about drinking with Canadians). It's all worth it though.
I'll be stressed out beyond all comprehension this year, since this particular line of bikes is my first one with the company. It was far from a solo effort to get these bikes done and the catalogs ready; my direct boss (the Senior Product Manager) Mike Varley, the graphic artist Sean Hargraves, our QC Manager- who helps to make sure we can bolt this to that- Wayne Doran, our Supply Chain Manager Jim Maher (who orders all the stuff to make stuff into stuff), our Marketing Manager Jill Hamilton- who helps us remember what we're doing and is just plain smart and then even the higher up mucky-mucks like our President Jim Ford and Vice President Joe Hawk all played important roles. There were others too, but these poor souls are the ones who have had to deal with me the most. They are the ones who had to listen to me say "you know what would be really cool"... about a billion times. But when we get to Vegas, I'm the puppet on the end of the strings dancing around in the booth talking about how great the bikes are and why. I get to be the goober who is "responsible" for the bikes and gets to answer questions about why a tire was chosen or saddle wasn't chosen... I get to be "Complaint Boy"! I also get to be considered the genius when people like the bikes and think they are really gorgeous (and I really hope that you will), so it ain't all bad- not by a long shot.
To borrow from my wife for a moment; "so here's the thing"... it really is a cool job. I really am enjoying myself. I really do love the bikes I get to call my own and try to sell to all of you. I know I'm lucky to have this job, no matter how much I will want to shoot myself in the coming weeks.