Friday, September 09, 2005

The Vuelta, bikes and more stuff.

Now that I'm not at my desk where I have to answer emails, the phone, run around getting ready for ExpoCycle and Interbike, I can finally take a little time to just ramble a bit.

So here goes;

This has been a very funky Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain in regular speak). Roberto Heras has been an unlucky son of a gun this year and this Vuelta is not going easy on him. The crash yesterday looked like it could end his shot and win number four. I really think that Denis Menchov would be a very worthy champion, but I have always like Heras. He just seems like a genuinely decent person. Not a lot of brash talking or chest pounding. He just lets his little legs do the talking. It's been so busy that I haven't been able to offer commentary on a regular basis, but this has been an interesting and odd Vuelta. The crashes just keep coming, like the Tour de France. In recent years, the Vuelta has been the more "rational" of the Grand Tours. Offering exciting, shorter stages and not too many weird finishes that cause crashes. This year seems to be more nervous. It is probably due to the new Pro Tour and it's pressure on teams. Look at how exciting the Giro was this year. Now the Vuelta is offering up it's own spicy paella of excitement for us to sample. Ay carumba!

I can't believe that I will be in Canada on Wednesday. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I was hanging out with the guys from Norco (our distributor in Canada) at our National Sales Meeting discussing the possibility of going to ExpoCycle... but that was in July. Interbike is right on the heels of that- I leave for Vegas less than a week after returning from Canada. While I'm in Canada, the Milan trade show will be happening. Some might think I'm crazy, but I opted not to go to Milan so I could go to Canada instead. Norco is doing a great job with the bikes in the Haro family of brands (Haro, Masi, Del Sol, Premium Products) and I figured supporting their efforts to bring Masi into Canada was more important to me than going to Milan to find inspiration for my own brand (since I have inspiration coming out of my ears... it's gross, actually). So, if you are planning to attend the ExpoCycle show in Montreal, please come by the Norco booth and step into the Masi booth they will have set up and I will be helping them man. I'd love to have a chance to show you my bikes.

Sunday is a time trial. The same time trial series I have been doing part of all year. I am hoping, especially now that I have all that new TT dork gear, that I can get a new PR and maybe even get on the podium. However, I think that is going to be very hard. Looking at the preregistration, we've got a former world champion, state and national champions and some generally damned fast guys in this race... and then me. Plus, the race is sold out and I have to go stand around and see if there are any no-shows so I can get a race number. Maybe I'm racing, maybe I'm not. Won't know until they sell me a number or tell me to go away. I went for a short pseudo TT ride today to keep the legs loose and ready for that position. My left hamstring has been bugging me a bit, so I've been trying to stretch it out and keep riding the TT bike to be ready for the effort Sunday. The legs felt pretty good today and have been feeling much better, overall, than they were feeling the past 2-3 weeks. If I can get a good solid rhythm going Sunday and not go out too hard, I should do well- for me anyway.

All of the talk about the stress of getting through show season is very real. It really is very difficult and there are still many small loose ends to be tied together before Vegas. However, I would be wrong to not point out just how much I love doing what I do and going to the shows. I hate getting to the shows and then all the getting back from the shows, but I love being at the shows. It's where I get the chance to shine and show off the bikes and my passion for them. I love my bikes. I really do. I thoroughly enjoy telling people why, too. Plus, I get to see other cool bikes and people who I have tons of respect for. Scot Nicol, the founder and re-founder (finder?) of Ibis Bicycles will be back at Interbike this year. Scot's got cool shtuff brewing again and I am curious to know what it is. Scot is among the coolest, smartest and funniest people to ever be a part of the bike industry so I am happy to have him back in the fold. Then there is all that new SRAM stuff (SRAM, SRAM, SRAM)... but I won't bore you with that again. I want to go say thanks to my friends at Shimano and also see what is happening with Campagnolo (the wheels look really great). FSA, Dedacciai, Easton, Ritchey... all great stuff I want to go look at and thank for their support of my bikes. Speaking of Ritchey- I have been told to expect a surprise visit from Tom himself. Tom Ritchey. Tom Freakin' Ritchey! I don't know if I will be able to contain my hero worship or not. Probably not though. I know myself.

Ok, I think I am going to have myself a beer (there's carbs in beer so it's ok) and get ready for a good night's rest.


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