This has been a very draining and tough week, but one that has also been very good.
On Thursday of this week, all of my sample bikes for the coming line of bikes arrived. All of them... but they came as frames and parts... and not all of the parts. We have to get all of the bikes built, confirm they are correct, photograph them and then turn those photographs into a catalog... and this all needs to be done in the next few days. Thanks to the help of some coworkers, all of the bikes managed to get built and the images for the catalog were being shot by our graphic team this weekend. I've written all the catalog copy and now we just have to put all the pieces together and create a catalog- hopefully the best one you've ever seen from us (which I am very confident it will be).
Part of the comedy of this situation is that I was responsible for building the bulk of the bikes, with some help of course (thanks Wayne, Jim and Kevin), because I am a really terrible mechanic. I can work on bikes and build them, road bikes that is (don't even ask me to set up a shock or a disk brake), I am just not a very good mechanic and I take forever. I've made this confession here before, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody then that it took me a very long time to build the bikes. I managed not to cut off any fingers or break any parts, but it was touch and go the entire time I had a wrench in my hands.
This line is the first that I was given a lot of freedom to develop and I worked very closely with our Senior Product Development Manager and our new in-house graphic wizard Rick Ortiz. Rick and I spent a lot of time working really hard to come up with bikes that look as good as they ride. It would be impossible to claim that they are the best looking bikes in the entire world (well, actually, it's easy to say but hard to prove... yet), but I am very proud of these bikes and Rick should be as well (and he is). When all you know of a bike is a frame drawing, a computer image of the graphics and a list of parts, it's very exciting to get your hands on a real product. As those boxes opened and the frames were carefully removed from the packaging, I admit that I had a moment of nervousness. However, that all vanished when the frames looked so freakin' gorgeous! Rick and I learned a lot through this process and the two of us will have a much better idea of what we are doing next time, so things are only going to get better and better. It's awesome to work with somebody who understands what I am trying to do and who has great artistic vision. Thanks Rick! Now we just have to rely on the God of Photography, our Creative Director Pete Demos, to shoot his usual amazing images.
Maybe, if you're really, really good, I'll leak a few sneak peaks of the sample bikes. I'm not promising anything, but maybe a little teaser or two...