Monday, October 31, 2005

Did you miss me?

Things were busy enough today that I didn't get the time to post anything. I apologize for the lack of "real" content and hope you'll give me a day or two to catch up.

The bike swapmeat at the San Diego Velodrome is this weekend, which means we'll be spending a lot of time this week getting together all the crap... er... I mean wonderful bargains we'll be taking to dump... er... I mean sell at a wonderful bargain. So if you're in San Diego this weekend, come see us for some cool stuff (or a bunch of non-drive side crank arms and freestyle pegs).

More later, I promise.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Controversy? (Alternate title; Lance who?)

Apparently there is a new Lance Armstrong controversy brewing. Well, it's actually already done brewing and is ready to drink up.

Now, it isn't that I find it terribly "newsworthy", but I have to confess that it has caught my attention. ASO, the group behind the Tour de France, pretty glaringly snubbed Big Tex at the unveiling of the 2006 Tour route. I'm not saying that they are openly slapping him around, because I don't know if they have the courage, but they aren't playing nice.

Since that unveiling and all of the consequent fallout with Johan Bruyneel's response and Lance's response, a lot of chatter has been taking place. Some people saying that Lance made the Tour what it is now and others saying that the Tour is what made Lance into Lance.

So, in true Masiguy form, here's my take on it all;
1st- Who cares about the fact that they aren't being nice to Lance? Don't get me wrong because I do believe he deserves more respect. Hey, he's won 7 more Tours than I have... and 2 more than the 4 guys with the next most wins. Here's the thing though- ASO has never liked Lance as a winner of the Tour and never even really cared for LeMond and his 3 wins. To an extent, Europe has not really ever cared for American winners of their sporting events. Honestly, if a French team learned to play basesball (I know I'm speaking fairy tale talk now) and then came over and won the World Series, we probably wouldn't like them either.
2nd- Lance didn't make the Tour and the Tour didn't make Lance. They made each other. Before Lance showed up, the Tour was still the biggest sporting event in the world, with the exception of the World Cup (soccer). Lance and his very compelling story of recovery from cancer helped to make the Tour bigger and gain the American audience, which then helped to foster a larger global audience. However, if Lance had "only" won the Vuelta a Espana (that's the Tour of Spain for all you uncivilized Americans), the American audience wouldn't have been as big because the Tour is the Tour. Now, you start adding into the cancer story a few more wins and a few more wins and you've got something you can sell. On top of all of that, you throw in an arch nemesis named Jan Ullrich and you've got yourself something truly spectacular. Big Tex versus Der Kaiser... Hollywood couldn't have scripted a better story (which is why rumors abound about a Lance movie in the making). Then, just when things are almost at true fever pitch, you get Lance leaving his wife Kristin and then shacking up with a popular music personality like Sheryl Crow. Dear Budha! It doesn't get much better than that. So, neither of them made the other, but rather they both became larger by virtue of their relationship. A love-hate relationship at that.

In the end, there are two truths to remember; A) Lance is likely to be the only rider who will go on to win 7 Tours and 2) the Tour de France is the greatest spectacle in all of cycling, if not all of sport.

The 2006 edition of the Tour will captivate the imagination of the cycling public, just as it always does. There will be plenty of bickering about whether or not the winner is deserving of the title, just like always. Honestly, I think the only remaining question has to be what will the retirementof Lance mean to the business of cycling? I have my theories of course, but I'm gonna hold off on any predictions for the moment... so stay tuned.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Happy Birthday son.

Not that my son ever reads this blog, since, well... I'm a dork... but today is his 13th birthday.

My son is now 13. 13. 13! He's currently addicted to basketball, so bicycles are not his gig right now- although he does of course have a Haro freestyle bike. D'uh...

Andrew, my son, did take to track racing like a fish to water. A couple of years ago he asked if he could ride the track with me after he had come to some of my races. I got him into the track classes and after his very first class, he begged to do that evening's race. He begged the instructor and race promoter, but they said "no" since he had only done the one class. However, after completing the week of classes, he was racing with me the very next week. I've never seen anybody take to a fixed gear bike so quickly. Obviously his handling skills were not that full, but he had no fear of being in a paceline or riding in a group. The Junior field that first night was small, as most of them are, but he fought it out for the win every time with kids older and bigger. He won one race and was 2nd and 3rd in a couple others in the omnium. To say I was proud would be a gross understatement. I did a lot of "that's my son" stuff that night.

I'm still awfully proud of him. Now that he's 13, I'm sort of an embarrassment. He's discovered girls and friends and hanging out, so spending time riding a bike with me isn't his first choice of things to do. Maybe one day he'll be excited to get back on a bike and go to the track with me again. I'd like that a lot.

Anyway, not that he'll be reading this, but...

Happy 13th Birthday son. I love ya' and I'm very proud of the young man you are becoming.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

A picture is worth a couple words...

This picture was harder to take than one might imagine. How often do you take a picture of your own foot?

I kind of like the crappy, artsy sort of quality to it though. Maybe I should convert it black and white?

Negative came out even cooler. Don't you think?

The guys at SockGuy make wonderful socks and they are really cool too. They do a good job at keeping me in the appropriate socks. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I wore a non-SockGuy sock. Thanks fellas!

More polls coming soon so you can help further shape the future of the brand. By the way, SOFA is beating OFSOOS' ass in the current poll. Dangit!


Wednesday, October 26, 2005


You folks don't miss anything. I swear...

I saw the photo after I posted it and thought to myself, "gee, I wonder if anybody will see that frame in the edge of the picture?" Oy!

It's something so special and top secret that I can't really talk about it yet. Here's what I can tell you though; steel, very VERY limited production, so desirable you'll need a shower after you see the whole thing and totally collectible.

Fine, I'll tell you more. It's a preproduction sample of the super limited classic reproduction frame I have hinted about previously. This is a reproduction of the original Volumetrica 3V steel frame. It uses the original internal steel lugs and oversized steel tubing. I just regret that the sample at my desk is only a 53cm...

More details to follow soon, like cost and delivery time. Just be ready to order as soon as you read the news because these babies are going to sell out almost instantaneously... trust me on this one.

The CD; oh, I'll bring it man... just you wait and see. Alpenrose is gonna' catch fire after I light the afterburners...


Picture from Vegas...

This photo just cracks me up! I can't tell if it looks like I'm telling a fishing story or if I'm geting ready to attack the guys I'm talking to.

I admit it, I get a little worked up when I talk about the bikes. If you were there and spoke to me during the show, then you know what I mean. For those of you who weren't there... now you know what it looks like.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New toy...

It's good to have friends. You know who you are, Dan.

Now I have bars for my track TT bike... if I can muster up the guts to actually start doing Kilo and/or Pursuit. I'm torn between the two, since I hate both. I hate them because they really, really hurt and I'm not terribly good at either. Kilo, my best time ever is a 1:08, or roughly 10 seconds off of the World Record. Might as well be a couple light years. I've never even done a competitive Pursuit. I've done a few as training, but that's it. I figure, if I can do a 40K TT on the road, then I should be able to finish a 4K Pursuit on the track.

The darned things just look fast sitting still. They ain't light, but for the track they should be perfect. Since they are aluminum, they should also be stiff enough to hold up to a hard Kilo or Pursuit start. Maybe now they won't have to time me with a sun dial. With these and my Aero Goober Helmet, maybe I can ride a competitive Kilo finally.

I just have to remember what my old coach used to yell at me on my start lap; "BREATHE!" It's amazing how simple that sounds and yet how often people hold their breath on their start laps. In fact, right now, I'm getting dizzy just thinking about it.



Monday, October 24, 2005

Now I have to wash my bike.

I did it; I rode in the rain today. It's kind of hard to call it real rain though. If you stand still, you can barely tell there is any wet in the air at all, but if you are moving your lenses get wet and your clothing gets damp. I finished my ride and my socks were still dry, but the front of my jersey was soaked. The only thing that made it feel like rain was the fact that the bike was wet and covered in road grime when I was done. Fortunately, I was riding in my Canari wool jersey so I was nice and warm... and I didn't smell like a wet sheep when I was done either because it is that new-fangled wool stuff. Umm... wool...

After missing out on riding over the weekend, thanks to the rain, I just couldn't take it and got out on the bike for a little spin to loosen up the legs a little. My left hamstring, and occasionally my right, has been trying to cramp on me when I am sitting at my desk. The muscle just feels really tight, so I need to do more stretching at night. I'll be giving it a good stretch this evening.

After getting run over last year, I have finally begun to see a chiropractor to get my back and neck fixed and I can really feel the difference already. I had one adjustment after the accident, probably only 1-2 weeks after, and then nothing for more than a year. Needless to say, my back and neck have been a mess. I'm beginning to be able to stand up straight without fear of losing consciousness from the searing pain. I consider that progress.

Ok, gotta get back to the multiple projects at hand. Hopefully tomorrow will be the beginning of dryer times, though the weather report seems to have a lot of those little rain drop symbols on it...


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Fair weather rider...

I admit it; at this point in my life, I don't like leaving the house to start a ride in the rain. I am more than content to ride in the rain, if it starts raining while I am riding. Leaving the house in the rain, knowing for a fact that I will be wet, cold and miserable is just not that appetizing to me anymore. Maybe it's just old age getting the better of me, maybe it's just laziness or maybe a dim glimmer of common sense (though I find that unlikely).

As you may have guessed by the whining, it's raining again today... just like it was yesterday. So far that means no ride again. If the sun were to come out and dry things off, then maybe I would have the chance to sneak out for a little leg loosener.

Work is full of projects right now. Many good things going on, but a lot of things at the same time. It's good to be busy. It's good to have projects. Heck, it's good to have a job (especially one I love). The bikes drew a lot of attention in Las Vegas and Montreal, so there is a lot of follow-up work to do now. I hope this doesn't sound like complaining, because I'm not. If anything, aside from the tiredness, I'm very excited about things. There are a lot of new challenges and things to do. All of this is good and exciting. It feels like the momentum is growing in the brand's favor and like we are on the edge of "something big". It should prove to be a very exhilarating ride...


Saturday, October 22, 2005

New poll up.

Ok all of you potential team riders wanting to be a member of the clan of "super friends". It is time to speak now or forever shut up.

What do you want to be? An OFSOOS or a SOFA? I came up with OFSOOS on my own, late at night, after several Newcastle Brown Ales and while wallowing in self-loathing. SOFA was submitted by a friend of mine who works for the dark overlords at Shimano. He doesn't drink and I doubt he wallows in self-loathing, so I don't know where his divine inspiration came from, though given the suggestion's name, I have a feeling a TV remote might have been involved.

Let the voting begin.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Thank you Jim Ford.

It is unlikely that many of you will know who Jim Ford is, but that is only because he is not like me and does not stand in front of his brand/s and make a lot of noise. His track record and accomplinshments in the bike industry, especially with the Haro family of brands, speaks volumes though.

Jim Ford has been with Haro Bicycles for the past 24 years. That alone is an amazing feat in the bike industry. In this industry, where people frequently jump from company to company to find the better offer, 24 years is sort of like the "dog years" analogy. One year in the bike industry is like seven in any other.

For most of that time, Jim has served as the President of the company and has ushered Haro through phenomenal growth in both sales and stature. Haro had been seen as a premier freestyle and BMX brand when he came to the company to work with the founder, Bob Haro. After Bob left and the ownership of the brand changed, Jim stewarded the brand through tremendous growth and brought people to the company who would help him oversee the growth. The brain trust of people who have walked through the doors of the building is pretty impressive (my self included of course- he did hire me after all).

Haro always had a great reputation and was respected, but Jim helped to lead the company into the position of being THE freestyle/BMX brand in the US and took it to other countries as well. Jim is the first person to tell you that it was not an individual accomplishment and that he was made to look good by the people he was surrounded by (not that he has been sharing his paycheck with me), but he does get the credit for facilitating this growth and these accomplishments. Jim was the guy who brought on professional riders like Dave Mirra and Ryan Nyquist. Both of these riders have helped to catapult Haro into the leader's position in the market.

It was also Jim who had the vision to spread the company wings to include mountain bikes and eventually to purchase Masi Bicycles as well. Now the family includes Haro BMX, Haro ATB, Del Sol cruisers, Premium Products BMX parts and accessories and Masi road bikes. He's had a very good eye for the brand image and how to protect it while growing overall sales in the company. Like all companies in the bike industry, Haro saw ups and downs in sales and growth, but the vision always remained the same and the brand always maintained a strong position in a dwindling market. Good leadership will do that.

Why do I say all of these great things about my boss? Well, my review is due and I'm hoping to get an office with a window, but more importantly because Jim is leaving us to try his magic touch on something else. After 24 years with the company, he's taken Haro to places nobody ever would have forseen. He's ready for a chance to try something new, something different, something that will test him again. Although we all hate to see him leave, we also all wish him the best. My only regret is that I only had the time to work with him for a year, as I am sure I would have learned a lot more from him over time. I only wish now that I knew how to play golf so I could pick his brain on the course.

Though I can not officially speak for all of the folks at Haro, I can speak for all of us at Masi... since it is only me... Jim, you will be greatly missed by us. We all wish you the best and sincerely hope you'll swing by the office for a lunchtime ride from time to time.

Here's to you Boss!


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Stinky? (Alternate title; Lucky 7)

Well, last night was a success, as far as the fishing went. I, of course, forgot to take my camera so we have no photographic proof. You'll just have to take my word for it...

Seven is a great number, especially when you are talking about how many fish I caught! I haven't been in the water in at least 6 months, so I was rusty with my fly casting but I got the job done. Today my right shoulder and wrist hurt from all the casting. Hey, it was worth it to get into some great fishing though.

The Spotted/ Barred Bay Bass were plenty active, although I was the only one of the three of us who caught a fish.

This is what we were catching. They put up a great fight on a fly rod, even with the overkill 10 weight rod I was using. The bulk of the fish I caught were in the 12-14" range, although two of them were easily the smallest fish I have ever caught on a fly. Both were probably in the 5 1/2- 6" range. I pulled one right out of the water setting the hook. They sure are pretty fish though.

That is one fish-spit covered fly! You can barely see the eyes, but half the paint is worn off, then the "hair" is just beat to heck and wrapped around the shank of the hook. It is one ugly fly now, but it's getting tied on again as soon as I step back in the water.

During the night I got to have that cigar I was dreaming about for the past few days; a real Cuban Montecristo. Man, that was one delicious smoke. It was so good, I had a second cigar... and I am paying for it today with a cigar hangover. I felt like I had half a lung on my ride today...

My very good friend Spot, a former pro-team bike mechanic and Wheelsmith wheel builder, is now a fly fishing guide for Andy Montana's in Coronado. He's the one guilty of getting me into fly fishing in the first place. The two of us giggled like school girls, as always, with each hooked fish. What a blast! We also had a few Sierra Nevada Pale Ales while we were out and since they support pro racing, I feel even better about drinking their beer. It was so much fun and the fishing was so good, I didn't get home this morning until 2:00AM. I'm plain old tired today, but it was worth it.


(New polls coming soon.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

One way or another, I'm gonna stink tonight...

It's fishing night tonight. Fishing and cigars. Fishing, cigars and Scotch. It is very likely I'll come home smelly tonight- hopefully from catching a lot of fish. I'll take the camera and see if we can get some pic's of the evening's catch. "Fish on!"

Team OFSOOS is still in the works, so stay tuned for more details. I am looking forward to seeing a few team jersey designs and will share them with all of you. I hope I don't have to point out that the design will be fun and cool. It should hopefully go without saying by now.

Spoke with one of the magazines this morning about the SRAM road stuff. Looking for my thoughts on the products since I was so vocal in my desire to see the stuff in the first place. Sounds like my impressions are pretty much the same as what other PM's (Product Managers, not Prime Ministers) are saying. Should make for an interesting product year as we move closer to 2007. One of the interesting questions raised was do you jump on the SRAM wagon on the first year of the product for the novelty and newness or do you wait until the second year and make sure the "bugs are worked out"? I'm completely on the fence with that one. Pretty much everybody knows I liked the stuff, but a couple of minutes on the trainer with the prototypes is a heck of a lot different from spending quality time with the product on an actual bike you ride all the time. How will it break in? How will it wear? How easy is set-up going to be? How serviceable will it be? Those are questions you just can't answer without beating the crap out of the components on a bike... but I'm intrigued. Besides, I have no clue what the pricing will be like for the gear, so who knows if it will be price competitive enough to win spec from PM's. AND... what pro teams will be riding the group? All good questions...

Ok, back to the real work at hand. Bummer...


Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Just have to send a little thanks to Ted (you know who you are...) for the great gift.

I don't know whether I should pull the cork and chug the bottle down or hold on to it. Either way, I'm very greatful for the gift.

Spoke to a good friend, who does marketing/PR for some other bike companies (wink, wink... nudge, nudge), this morning. She had some very complimentary things to say about the perceived progress the Masi brand is making these days. I was flattered and touched by the generous compliments.

So today I find myself in the position of thanking people again. Honestly, each compliment I receive is very much appreciated and gives me the motivation to keep trying to make this brand continue growing into the bigger and better brand I believe it can be.

So once more; thanks.

Tomorrow night is a wonderful boy's night out for me; a night of good Scotch, good cigars and night-time saltwater flyfishing. I haven't stepped into my waders and gotten into the water in months, too many months, so I am very eagerly anticipating some good fishing. I'll try to remember my camera and get some pictures of the fun and frivolity.

Back to work now... too much to do still...


Another little tidbit of press...

Daily Peloton had a nice, albeit tiny, mention and photo of Masi during the demo part of Interbike. (Scroll down about halfway down the page...)

I know it is a very small little blurb, but every inch of column helps the cause.


Monday, October 17, 2005

I almost forgot...

Check out this link...

I can't decide if it is really cool... or really stupid. You decide for your self. One thing is for sure; I can't ride like that.


(10/18/05- The link does actually work. However, it is for a movie that takes a few minutes to download. Click the link, then go get another cup of coffee. By the time you have your cream and sugar stirred in, the moive might be done downloading. Be patient... it's worth the wait.)

Rainy day duldrums.

What a pathetic beast I am today; it's raining today, so I didn't ride at lunch. Instead, I went with a few co-workers and had a nice sushi lunch. Lunch was delicious, so I am not complaining. Still, bummed that I wimped-out so easily.

Saturday was great. My friend's birthday ride was awesome. I have never spent any time riding in the city of Los Angeles and have to admit that I had a much better time than I thought I would. The ride we went on was great and had lots of, dare I say it, really cool climbing. I know, I know, I know- I'm a self-professed non-climber and I had a great time climbing. The first long climb was about 2 miles long, with much of it being recently graded/ chewed up, so it was mostly broken asphalt and bumpy dirt road. This climb wound up from the center of the city to a very nice residential area that overlooks the city. I love bumpy, dirt road climbs like that. Lots of turns. The street was covered overhead by tree limbs and was just a nice, narrow, twisty road (Nichols?).

(This is Jim at the top of the climb as we waited for the rest of the group.)

Then we climbed the famous Mulholland Drive for another great view of the city below. Honestly, I was naive to the fact that LA can be a nice place. I've never been a fan of LA (please don't send me hate mail Los Angelinos), but the riding was really great.

One of the guys I tried following for much of the ride is Roger Rilling. Roger rode professionally for teams like Colavita and Sierra Nevada. He's making a return to professional racing with the birth of a new US pro team that he is forming (more news to follow... I hope).In the mean time, he's also coaching other riders. So if you are looking for a coach, give him a look. His website is still under construction, so keep checking in. If you really need to reach him, he can be found... ask me how.

(Rolling back to Jim's place to clean up for a post ride lunch.)

The only bad thing about LA, on this trip... traffic. Like that's a news flash, I know.

I know, traffic is nothing new in LA, or San Diego now, but it was traffic for about 50 miles! Argh... and I didn't even have any cold beer waiting at home. Double argh!

Jim; Happy birthday buddy and thanks for the ride.


(Oh yeah... this old guy won the "final sprint" as we headed back into downtown. Made the ride that much more fun...)

Friday, October 14, 2005

It's Friday!

Well, the dialog from a few days ago about the bike industry and gas prices has produced a lot of great points of discussion. If you haven't seen the comments, go take a look.

One comment in particular that caught my attention comes from James Thomas (check out his blog too, by the way- good commentary there too);
I agree with you to a point. Yes, I like commuting because it is “free” riding time that I would otherwise have to spend in a car. I personally would much rather be on my bike than cooped up in a car even if they were giving gas away. I also agree that most Americans are a bit lazy and are not likely to change their driving habits long term until gas prices get a lot higher than they are now. Still, I think the bicycle industry is at least partially to blame for not doing enough to get average people on bikes. Most companies are happy to market their flagship road and mountain bikes as expensive high performance toys. As the owner of several expensive bikes, I have no problem with that. The problem is that all of the less expensive bikes are styled to look like trickle down versions of the racers. People may buy them, but they don’t necessarily ride them once the newness wears off. Anything that varies from the racing bike inspired model is considered to be “uncool”. As trivial as it seems, the coolness factor can make or break any product released in this country no matter whether it serves its purpose well or not. For example, since scooters have already been mentioned, look at the popularity of the new retro styled Vespas. Many people are happy to ride one of those down to the corner Starbucks. They are also probably willing to park it close to the outdoor seating for everyone to see. The same people wouldn’t be caught dead on an old Japanese moped that serves the same purpose. Though they are essentially the same product, Vespas are considered cool and mopeds are not. If any of the big American bike companies were willing to get their marketing muscle behind some cool transportation oriented designs, I believe they would find a steadily growing group of young, progressive users. Nobody can instantly get average Americans of all ages to ride for transportation (and as others already pointed out, our cities are not geared for it), but it certainly seems like the industry should be looking to expand its market base by opening the public’s eyes to transportation cycling.

There are a lot of good points in there, as well as in other comments left in that particular post. Obviously, I am happy to see so much dialog taking place about this because I love this stupid industry, probably too much, and I look forward to seeing more people on bikes, for life, and a healthier industry. Keep the feedback coming...

So this weekend is my best friend's birthday and I am making the drive to Los Angeles, where he lives, tonight so I can go on a birthday ride with him. Since he has a lot of riding friends up in LA, they are all going on a nice long birthday ride and I'm gonna drag my fat, tired, outta shape butt up all those hills with them. It won't be pretty, but it's his birthday and I owe him a ride in his neck of the woods since he rides down here with me regularly.

I hope all of you have great rides too...


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Once more into the breach... GO SRAM!

So now VeloNews has the info out on the SRAM shifters. I guess it is officially ok to talk about the shifters and how they work now... phwew!

It's been killing me to not say anything... really. So now that everybody knows how the shifter works I can say that I was thoroughly impressed by the smoothness and subtle crispness of the shifting. The best I can describe it is like this; the shift has an audible and tactile "click" like a Campy shifter, but has the shifting smoothness of the Shimano shifters. It's really cool, I think.

During the presentation of the parts, they showed us a little example of the internals of the shifter, so you can see how the "leap-frog" gearing works internally. It was pretty darned cool and I forgot to ask the engineers just how many nights over empty boxes of pizza and empty cases of beer it took to get the design right. It is a pretty cool concept and really makes you think "how the heck did they do that?"

The other parts are cool too. Cranks look good. Derailleurs look good too. However, that polished brake caliper is decidedly one of the highlights to me. That brake caliper is awfully pretty and looks like it should be good and stiff too. We are all pretty well aware of just how good the SRAM chains and cassettes have been over the years, so that stuff should all work as well as it always has.

What does all of this mean? Well, I think it means that Shimano and Campagnolo will have some real competition soon. Mavic always meant well with its offerings, but they always came up a bit short. I liked what they tried to do, it just didn't quite work out. Suntour never even got to be a player in the marketplace, outside of track components, after about 1986. I loved their stuff too (Superbe Pro... yummy), but they too were a victim of responding too slowly. Now SRAM is coming out with a product that just might work and work well enough to get some use and spec. As I have said all along, I still love the products from Shimano and Campy, but they can both use a little shaking up since they have only been chasing each other the past several years. A reason to try even harder is always a good thing. What will happen to new product evolution? Hard to say right now, but I bet that things are about to get interesting... quick.


The gag order/ press embargo is lifted... GO SRAM!

Ok, here it is!

The SRAM cat is out of the bag... at least as far as Australia is concerned.

I'll have more commentary later, but read the article. It's a good one.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

False hope.

There has been a lot of talk in the bike industry for some time now that the rising gas prices we all see are going to get people out of their cars and onto bikes...

Sorry, but that is a pipe dream friends. Gas prices aren't going to do it, not for long anyway. There may be a small up-tick in sales of bikes in a few markets, but it isn't going to be sustained growth. Maybe, just maybe, a little growth for some folks and then it will stop. Plus, this gas-fearing consumer is only going to buy a bike and the most minimal of accessories and then never be seen again- for the most part. These folks, as much as we want to pretend, are not going to become "cyclists".

Most of the people who will make the jump from car to bike will end up going back to their cars after a short while and once gas prices level off again. Am I the only person who remembers the gas crisis of the 70's? The industry thought it was going to grow in numbers never before seen and that it would remain healthy forever... ummm... didn't exactly work out the way we all hoped.

The bulk of the US population is, let's be honest here, a bit lazy. Getting all hot and sweaty (or cold and wet) on the way to work/ the store/ the bar/ McDonald's/ home just doesn't appeal to a lot of folks.

As an industry, if we really want to get people on bikes and keep them there, we have to do a better job of selling them on the fun and on the healthy lifestyle. Don't just scare them with the old "gas is too expensive" story, give them a reason to get out of the car with their families and out onto the streets and/or trails. Fear alone is not enough of a motivator. Besides, when gas prices go back down after the winter (which they likely will), the fear motivator will be gone.

I don't know, maybe I am the only one who sees things this way. I want so much more for this industry and for cycling as a sport and lifestyle. Being relegated to the false hope provided by trying to scare the crap out of people about gas prices just seems like a huge waste of time and a total cop-out. I had a beautiful lunch-time ride today and just felt completely reminded of why I fell in love with riding a bike over 20 years ago and why I can't seem to stop. Riding a bike is fun to me. I love the feeling I get when I am on a bike, whether poking around or sitting in a pack during a race. Gas prices are not a reason for me to ride a bike.

Maybe I just need to try decaf and lighten up...


Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Ok, it is looking like Team OFSOOS is likely to happen. Working on details, so stay tuned.

My first thoughts are this; membership "fee" would get you in the club and one jersey. Additional items of clothing would be available at a discount. Non-members would be able to buy the clothing, but it would be at full price. Hence, a benefit to membership. Another benefit would be avoiding the unattached fees at any races. I'm thinking that a semi-retro styled jersey and bib shorts would be cool. Something with a simple panel design on the chest and then a cool matching bib short. I'd like to work something out with Masi retailers to be able to possibly even work out team deals on bikes/ frames, though that is not a given by any stretch of the imagination. Plus, you don't have to have a Masi to be on the team... it's a "one love" sort of gig.

I'll work out the details and let you know what develops.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Well, I guess I should have been more specific.

I always said I wanted my picture in VeloNews, but I guess I should have been more specific during my flights of fantasy.

Yep, that's me racing at the track. The photo is by Sean Hargraves who shot the images for the Masi catalog, did the graphics and did the catalog. He did a fine job of making me look fast, which is funny considering the phot was taken during the pre-race warm-ups.

So go to the VeloNews website and vote for the picture as the best in this week's gallery.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Beer me!

A nice full weekend without being at a tradeshow or having to otherwise work at all. Lovely!

I didn't get on my bike or even pull on any spandex all weekend either. I won't go so far as to say I didn't think about bikes or talk about bikes, I am a total bike geek after all, but my weekend was largely bike-less and spent entirely with my wife. What a nice couple of days...

Ok, back to bike geek-dom...
Well, it sounds like a few folks might be interested in team OFSOOS (even skinny, fast or young folks can join). As for the race requirement, one race a year is pretty easy to pull off and can be accomplished on the cheap with a track race... self-serving as that may be. I don't know about a wool jersey for the team, though I am looking into a wool Masi retro jersey that will blow your minds (more later). I haven't really considered other "sponsors" for the team, outside of Masi of course, but if you know somebody at Krispy Kreme looking to spend some money on cycling, I'm all ears (and stomach). No- you don't have to ride a Masi to be on the team, although it automatically makes you cooler. Gordon- yeah, that was probably me you saw. That was the route I took on Friday. Fat is certainly a relative term, I understand. I'm the fattest I've ever been, though I am also not cutting back on the foods or beers I like so much. Hey, if I can remain competitive on the track and in a few TT's without training or using a healthy diet, then I'm content. I have to confess though that I am considering a diet (just less crap) and actually training this winter. Getting so tantalizingly close to going to Elite Nationals on the track this year has given me a little impetus to actually do a little more this winter.

Anyway, team OFSOOS (or OFSO2S?) would be a lot of fun, I think. Chapter clubs all over the US, just like the Chevrolet/LA Sheriffs team of the 90's. Honestly, keep the ideas and suggestions flowing my way. This could be the beginning of something very fun and cool.

Ok, time to toss Breaking Away in the DVD player, make some popcorn and open another Newcastle Brown Ale.


Friday, October 07, 2005

Join the club.

Ok, I've been toying with the idea of starting a club that anybody can join. I'm even thinking of registering with the USCF so people can even race under the club name on their licenses and maybe even do special team clothing.

Team OFSOOS (Old, Fat, Slow, Out Of Shape). Obviously this is intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek because I hope to actually win a few races this coming year, but the idea is fun. No egos. No jerks/ jerkettes. Even the young guns can join, you just have to live with the "old" moniker.

Seriously, I've tossed this idea around in my head for a few years now and might just do it if the interest is there. Let me know if you're interested...


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Spare moment for random thoughts.

Vegas was great for not only invigorating myself due to the products I sell being received well, but also by products other people sell that I find interesting. It's easy for me to say that there are a lot of people out there doing some great products that continue to catch my eye.

Obviously, I think Ritchey makes great products or I wouldn't put them on any of the bikes, but there are a lot of products they have that I can't spec that are just awesome. I like the Ritchey wheels and have had a lot of luck with them, though I know not everybody else has. Hey, at 210 pounds I like anything that holds up to my riding style. Plus the WCS Protocol wheels are pretty light too... added bonus. However, one of my favorite Ritchey products... I almost hate to say... the BreakAway bikes. They now do a titanium version that was so beautiful I was afraid to touch it- but I did.

The new Ibis bikes are really cool looking too. I know some Ibis purists will be bummed that the brand isn't built around steel bikes, but change can be a very good thing. Best of all, as I have mentioned before, Scot Nicol is back with the company and is adding his usual sense of humor and personality back to the brand. They'll do well... mark my words.

Canari, my former employers, have done a great job with their line and have added some really kick-ass new wool jerseys as well as expanded the line altogether. The custom program is amazing and you should give them a look if you are doing team/ company clothing. The stuff is great.

There's folks making fixed gear hubs and cogs, Level Components, that just rock! The cog bolts to the hub, rather than screwing on and getting held on with a lockring. The design might take some people some time to accept, but it made great sense to me as soon as I saw it. Check'em out because they are really cool hubs and cogs.

Enervit continues to be my favorite fuel source. That stuff is the best performance food I have found. The GT tablets are the best thing I have ever found to fight off muscle cramps when riding. Got cramps? Get GT tablets.

There's lots of other stuff, but I'm gonna go eat my dinner now...


Post show flow...

Wow, it takes days and days to get back to some sense of "normal" after a trade show, but two shows practically back to back is an even more daunting task. My cubicle still looks like something exploded in it, but I am getting closer to finding the original surface of the desk and emails and voice mails are getting answered. The continued positive feedback keeps coming and I continue to be flattered and humbled by the compliments- thank you very much.

I'm still fighting off the cold that I got before leaving for Vegas, but am beginning to get better- I think. My head feels much better, but now I have the constant little cough that just keeps hanging on. I am feeling better enough to ride again at least.

The weather here in SoCal is really darned hot right now, blowing hot dusty wind in your face whatever direction you go. The legs feel like lead and argue with me every time I even try to mash on the pedals. I still keep trying though... gotta get those lunchtime rides in, no matter what.

Once again, thanks for all of the great comments, compliments and feedback. I truly do appreciate it. I will spend some time thinking about how I am going to freshen up the look of the blog space and hopefully update things with a nice new look (and working links). More pictures of new bikes will follow in the coming days as well.

As always, thanks for reading.


Linkage issues...

It was just brought to my attention that there are a few links that have stopped working for some reason. I am working to repair them, so please excuse any massive failures that ensue. Given my technical ineptitude, it is possible that some really weird things could happen while I am trying to repair the links. If so, I apologize now for any mayhem that might (will) occur.


Cultural diversity;

I just recently witnessed a phenomenal dance performance by a dance group led by Ola Nolaasnme. If you are in the Portland area, I highly recommend this charming rendition of Swan Lake meets Sid and Nancy. Poignant, moving, elegant.

You will be amazed... lots of surprises.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Woo-hoo! A little press is a good thing...

Wow, what a nice little review of the new carbon on the website. Not a bad way to get things kickstarted.

Thanks to Matt Phillips for stopping by the booth and giving the bike a little review love.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Can you feel the love here?

Chuck and Stephanie Cowan of Behind Bars in Minneapolis have a beautiful little girl, Daisy Marie, who is already getting indoctrinated into the clan of Masi fans.

Mom and Dad must be very proud... I know I am.

That's one great picture!


Monday, October 03, 2005

Taliah Lempert show updates...

I have mentioned Taliah Lempert's wonderful bicycle paintings here before, but I just received an email from her with an update about her show dates. If you are anywhere near these shows, I highly recomeend you check out her truly amazing paintings. They are well worth it.


I have a few things coming up…

The Bicycle Film Festival is hitting San Francisco,
October 5-8th,
There’s a lot of great films (really worth checking out, if you’re in SF)
and a group show I have some pieces in.
Check Point opens Thursday, October 6th, 7-12
At Red Ink Gallery, 1035 Market, Between 6th and 7th.

On October 7th there’s an opening reception for another group show,
Passion & Wheels, it’s at Olin Hall Galleries, 221 College Lane, Salem VA
There’s an opening reception Friday, October 7th, 7-9

Also on October 7th, the show Art or Something Like It
will visit my studio, it’s on at 10:30 PM on CUNY TV, channel 75 in NYC.

The Dumbo Art Under the Bridge Festival is happening October 14-16
It’s a great arts event with tons of stuff going on.
I’ll be showing paintings at Recycle a Bicycle at 55 Washington Street,
There’s an opening party Friday October 14th, 6-9,
I’ll be there all weekend, please stop by!


The small print is to avoid the formatting problems I had the first time I posted this show information...

Eek! What just happened to my blog?

Well, I swear I haven't started making any changes to the blog yet, but the formatting has just gone all wonky for no reason. If you have any ideas on how to fix it, I am all electronic ears...


Wow, thanks!

Getting back into my desk was a little hard, given the amount of crap waiting to be addressed and falling out of my tiny little cubicle.

I just wanted to take a quick moment (since I am staring at 3 weeks worth of work that needs to be started after a week in Canada, a week away from my desk getting ready for Vegas and then a week actually in Vegas) and say thank you to a bunch of folks who have been very, very kind and generous to me.

I don't know who you are "anonymous", but I truly appreciate your comment a few posts below. I am flattered that you would call me the future of the industry. That really means a lot to a bike-nerd like me. I didn't actually set up my trade show booth, since I was in the desert setting up for dirt/ road demo at Bootleg Canyon. I did however tear it down and pack it into the crate. 5 days of being the Masiguy was as much fun as it was work. Really. It should be no surprise that I love my job and am passionate about the bikes and I think I am pretty lucky to get to do what I do- though I might have phrased that a little differently during the drive home.

Donna Tocci has been exceptionally kind in her words as well and I just have to let all of you know what a smart and insightful person she is. She deserves way, way, way more credit than she has received in the past. The fact that she has said the nice things about this blog that she has is a huge, huge compliment to me. If you could all have a conversation with her, you'd understand why.

There are others, many others, who have been very kind in their support. Believe me when I say that the people I get to work with and deal with are what helps to make this the best job I have ever had. I will continue to do what I have been doing on this blog and I hope that you will all continue to read along as I go. Things are really very exciting right now and I honestly believe some very big things are on the horizon. There will be lots of news to share soon, as well as more pictures, so I hope you will continue to visit. Over the next few weeks and months, I will also be making some updates to the site, so I apologize now if things get a little messy.

Thank you to all of the "fans", friends and supporters. You all help to make this project a success.

(So much for the "quick moment"... I'm a man of few words... I admit it.)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Home again!

I'm finally home after a long day yesterday of tearing down and packing up the booth and then driving home to San Diego from Vegas in the big 25' trailer. The day was not without drama though, as we got to the Haro booths (Haro/Premium, Del Sol, Masi) and found that somebody came during the night and cut the cable lock holding the bikes in a pen and took off with 6 of the newest and most expensive mountain bikes in the Haro line. These are pre-production one-offs with prototype parts and non heat treated frames. I would say I pity the fools who stole them, but once they ride off a curb and the frames snap in half, the God of instant karma will give them a nice smack-down for us. Afterwards, during our endless drive home, my co-pilot Wayne Doran mentions a big white puff of smoke a few miles up the road and mentions something about it not looking good. In my usual sarcasm I say, "that'll ruin your drive home from Vegas"... only to pass our team truck and trailer a few miles up the road with a blown tire on the trailer. We all stopped to check on the guys and make sure all was ok before continuing on South to San Diego. I got home just after 8:30 PM, in time to see the kids and tuck them in to bed. Best of all, I slept in my own bed, in my own groove and slept peacefully until morning.

Interbike 2005 was, in my opinion and in relation to my brand, a huge success. I can't even begin to tell you how many people complimented the line of bikes. Retailers and fellow exhibitors were very complimentary and the members of the media who came by were very approving as well. As I mentioned after the show in Canada, I was headed to Vegas with a lot of positive energy and momentum, but I had no clue just how well things would actually go. I can not tell you how excited and relieved I am now. Things look really good for the future of the brand in the very near term and the long term outlook is constantly improving as well.

Another really cool thing to happen at the show, for me personally, was the responses I got to this blog. The compliments were very, very flattering and the number of people who simply walked up and said, "hey, you're that Masiguy, Masi guy" was pretty amazing. I mean, using the Statcounter software I can see how many people visit the blog, but I had no clue just how big this thing has become. The pseudo-celebrity is astounding to me. The SRAM guys were regular visitors to the booth, though I never had the chance to speak with them because I was always so busy. It is an Interbike tradition to walk the floor and check out your competition. I got one chance to run out and see a few friends and partners that I wanted to thank for their support, but I didn't actually look at much. However, there were lots of folks from other bike companies who were regularly coming around to check out the bikes and watch the traffic flow in the Masi booth. My goodness, some people might think they were getting nervous or something...

I had the chance to speak with a few members of the industry who I hold in very high regard and was thrilled to get some perspective from them as well. One such conversation was with Donna Tocci from Kryptonite. We had a wonderful conversation on the morning of the last day, before the show started (and for about 30 minutes after it started). Donna was exceptionally kind in her analysis of what I have done with this blog and with my marketing in total. She's a smart, smart cookie, so her words of praise mean quite a bit to a dork like me. Tim Grahl of Blue Collar Mountain Biking stopped by the booth and we had a chance to speak for awhile. Tim runs a great blog and was great to speak to. He's one of the more well-known bloggers out there and it was great to speak and share thoughts, as well as geek-out on all the bikes and people. My good friend and fellow blogger Jonathan Maus from Just Riding Along stopped in for a chat as well, though not nearly long enough since I was so busy I couldn't speak for long. Jon is another great guy who has some great insights and thoughts about the bike industry. I certainly hope you read his blog, if you don't already. Chris DiStefano, a good friend and former Shimano mouthpiece was there working for Interbike and I had the chance to speak with him a few times between Dirt Demo and the show. Chris is now out of the industry, professionally speaking, but his heart is still very much into cycling. It's always great to spend some time talking to people like that. Chris Lesser, one of the writers for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRaIN) stopped by to talk for awhile... and tell me he was getting on a plane to LIVE in the Caribbean... that very day! Chris is a darned good writer and is a very smart guy on top of that, so I wish him the very best of luck with his move and new role as a freelance journalist. I am sure we haven't seen the last of him.

More celebrity sightings...
Marla Streb; I used to train with her a bit when she was living in San Diego and racing for Marin. Talk about a cool woman... she's one of the coolest. I caught her walking by and stopped her to give her a couple of Masi espresso cups (more on that to follow). She was pretty stoked too.
Fast Freddy Rodriguez; I've never ridden with Freddy, but have always liked the guy. So when I saw him stopped by the booth talking to George Hincapie (another cool guy), I ran out of the booth to give him a couple of espresso cups too. Freddy has his own brand of coffee and is known as a coffee freak, so he was pretty smily about getting the cups. I stopped him and said, "Freddy- a little something for your coffee." He had a pretty genuine smile.
Mary McConneloug; Mary rides for the Kenda/Seven mountain bike team and is the new cross country champion. Haro is very related to Kenda and so Mary is part of the family to me. Mary is way beyond cool. She's one of the very best cross country racers out there and is very kind, humble and has a great sense of humor. I congratulated her on her new national title, wished her another great cyclo-cross campaign and handed her a couple of espresso cups. She was totally happy with her gift and smiled her famous smile of approval.

Finally, after several tries, I also got to meet and speak to one of my all-time heroes; Tom Ritchey. What an amazingly cool guy. I had a great conversation with him and then pulled my camera out of my pocket and asked, "Tom, can I be a huge bike geek and ask to get a picture with you?" After a second, Tom shrugged and said, "sure, why not?" We stepped over to an un-crowded corner of the booth and shot a picture... I was stupified!

I hope you'll forgive the fact that my eyes are closed and that the picture is blurry. The intense lighting in the building really messed with my camera and the pictures I took inside all came out like this. Still, I got my picture with Tom! We talked about bikes, cool bikes (like Masi and Ritchey bikes) and then he had to leave to another appointment.

There were many other folks I talked to or met and the names will come to me later. Also, there were many friends that I saw who I didn't get the chance to speak to or see after show hours. To all of you, I apologize that I couldn't get enough time to hangout and catch up with you. Next year I will do a better job of budgeting my time and not get as caught up in meetings and such. Interesting note- the show ended each day at 6:00 PM, yet I was in my booth talking to customers until 7:00 the first two days.

All in all, I officially proclaim that Interbike 2005 was a big success and that I am happier than I thought I could be. Soon, the 2006 website will be built and the whole world will get to see the new bikes that we worked so very darned hard to create. I hope that you will be as impressed as I am with them.