Saturday, January 28, 2006

What's happenin'?

It's hit and miss with the posting these days, here at Masiguy World Headquarters. There's just too few hours in the day to stay on top of everything and try to take over the bike world.

For those of you who are anxiously waiting to see the new 2006 (and beyond) Masi website, let me assuage your fears. We will have a new and vastly improved website soon. Since I'm not the one who is actually building the site, I can not tell you the exact date it will be complete. It'll be sooner than last year's site (the current one), but it won't be ready today or even tomorrow. Soon my friends, soon. So stop nagging me already! Jeesh! (It'll be worth the wait, I promise.)

The A&F/ Inferno team sure is looking pretty sweet. The kit looks pretty cool and distinctive, so they should stand out on the podium. The team bikes came together really well too. The feedback from the riders, after their first team training camp, has been pretty good. So far they appear to like the bikes quite a bit... I would say "I told you so"... but I'm too grown up for that. I can't wait to see some race pics and see the guys tearing it up all over the place.

The biggest news going right now, for me, is that it looks very much like I am going to be heading to Australia to assist our new distributor with the launch of Masi down under. To say that I am excited is obviously an understatement. Not only am I happy to be launching the brand in a new country, but I am excited to be working with such a great company. I have many contacts in Australia these days and look forward to possibly running into a few folks while in the country. On top of it all, right now it looks like I'll be there during the Commonwealth Games and might just get a chance to see some world class racing up close and personal... AND there are rumors of getting onto the Dunc Gray velodrome. (Do you see what I mean about being lucky to have the job I have and why I love it so much?)

We are working really hard to complete our graphics and colors for the next range of products. As I've mentioned in previous posts, this is sometimes a loud and contentious process. This year is a lot better than previous years- for a multitude of reasons- but it is still one of those nailbiting experiences. It is an exerceise in professionalism for me. I have to put my own personal bias aside and try to work with our creative group to come up with bikes that will appeal to the broadest range of potential consumers. As our Big Cheese Joe Hawk frequently states; "come up with bikes that will offend the least amount of people." That takes some work. I mean, left to my own devices we would have an entire line of bikes with simple, clean, classic retro-inspired panel graphics on all the bikes. Some people would love that, like me, but I have a feeling that we would be in the minority. A little modernization can be a good thing. It is hard for me to drop my own bias sometimes, but I have to think of the total picture of the brand and the goal of selling more bikes. If I were personally welding the bikes myself and only selling a few bikes a year, I could maybe get away with the 100% retro thing, but I have to keep the big picture in view at all times; I'm getting paid to steward the brand to greater growth and distribution. That means increasing sales in a very competitive market. That requires a very broad appeal and not a narrow focus.

Our next ad for ROAD magazine has been completed and will be in the April issue. So far, our first ad was pretty popular.

(Suitable for use as a desktop or wallpaper.)
ROAD has been getting some nice growth and is gaining a bit of popularity. If you haven't seen the magazine before, pick it up and give it a thumb through. It's done in a very large format, like VeloNews, but with thick glossy pages and lots of photographs. If you like road bikes, it's worth peeking into.

My riding has been all over the map, similar to my posting here. I get a few good rides in and then I miss a few and then I ride again... and then I miss some rides... it's a difficult pattern. Oddly enough though, my legs are starting to feel reasonably good- especially after the thrashing I got in Texas. Next weekend is the first crit of the year in San Diego. I am torn between doing the race and watching from the sidelines. The course has always been pretty darned good to me. I've podiumed there a few times, including a solo win where I lapped the field all alone (best day on a bike I've ever had). Needless to say, I have a soft spot for the course. It finishes with a big ring power climb... which suits my sprinting style perfectly. I feel like I have some good turn of speed right now, but my endurance is really horrible. The race is only 45 minutes, but it is also a 30+ and not a 35+... which means it will be as fast or faster than the Pro race. Umm... I don't feel that strong. If I can hang in for the final 500 meters of the race, I have as good a chance as any other sprinter in the race at that point. The problem is getting to that point... and it's a BIG problem. The course doesn't really leave you anywhere to hide or recover because it is usually a very fast race.

I'm really hoping to do some race reporting this year too. Similar to last year, just lending my perspective to existing coverage and commentary. My Tour de France coverage last year proved to be very popular and I got a lot of emails asking me what it was like to be in the race caravan; people thought I was actually covering the race live from France. Cool. So we'll see what happens this year. With the travel schedule I am likely to have, it might prove to be difficult... but we'll see.

I'm done rambling now. Sorry for the less frequent posting these days. The good news is that Masi is doing well and a lot of things are going on that are keeping me overly occupied. That's a good thing and will hopefully mean that I get to keep this kick ass job a little longer.

Tim

8 comments:

Philip Gomes said...

Australia huh? Dunc Grey? That means Sydney, which means you're not allowed to leave before we have a couple of cleansing ales at my local pub.

Grimm said...

Sweet bike! Very happy for you Tim.
Bye the way the bike you gave me is so much better than my Trek Madone 5.2.

This winter is going to slow bring on the races.

Thanks a Mill!

Grimm

Skibby said...

I've picked up a couple of issues of Road, it's a good mag, I've seen your ads also, nice bike!

Paterfamilias said...

I like the ad!

Have fun in the land of OZ!

Jeff Kerkove said...

Good ad! Has a very "high class" flavor to it.

George said...

Do you pay Masi to work there or do they pay you?

Just kidding, I'm sure you put in a boatload of hours, really appreciate the blog:-)

iruntheteam said...

From all of us at A&F/Inferno; Thanks for the "sweet kit" comment. Verge did an amazing job with our uniforms.
Anyhow, I wanted to comment on the bikes: WE ARE ALL WAY MORE THAN HAPPY OR SATISFIED with our Masi Gran Criteriums. We abused those babies for 5 straight days - dirt roads, gravel roads, tank tracks, smooth roads, not so smooth roads, sun, rain, even a creek crossing (yes, we rode threw it . . . thank you Spinergy and Kenda) - they [Masis] were bullet proof!
In fact, the bikes are light, VERY stiff and perhaps the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. The feedback from the guys was unanimous.
Thanks Tim and Masi! Now we CANNOT WAIT for the carbons. You know the address, Tim!
And, for those enjoying the blog on Mark Hekman - you ain't seen nothin' yet!

- CT

Donna Tocci said...

AUSTRALIA?! One word. JEALOUS!!!