I'm tired. Really tired. I should be in bed, but my head is killing me with the same headache I've had all dang day. Coffee didn't chase it away, nor did handfuls of aspirin and Tylenol. I am beginning to think it is just from the change in weather between Montreal and San Diego. Anyway, my head still hurts and I am going to bed after this, but I had a lot of random bits floating around...
1) Smithers had a great post recently about the men and women of this country who are in the military and serving in harm's way in Iraq, Afganistan and other places around the world. I won't pretend that I always agree with Smithers and I try like all heck to avoid politicising this blog, but during my travels back and forth between home and Canada, I had the chance to witness many of these fine men and women. I'm not crazy about this war we are in and wasn't crazy about the first Gulf War either, but I have never strayed from my support of the folks who serve in our military. They are all braver than I could ever hope to be and deserve to be praised for the work they have to do. I don't want to get any further into the topic than that, but I want to make sure that any service person who happens to find this site has my unending support and thanks- we are all better because of you.
2) Reed Pike is the Marketing Manager of one of my competitors, Raleigh/DBR. Reed wrote an incredible editorial in the most recent issue of ROAD magazine (October 2006). It was written in response to the doping scandals of the Tour- apparently before the news about Floyd- and it is a fantastic piece about the enduring love for the sport of cycling that he has and maintains in the face of the recent bad news in cycling. Reed does a great job and I hope that you'll take a few minutes to sit and read it if you can get you hands on a copy of the magazine.
3) The Canadian tradeshow was awesome! It was even better than the show last year and I thought that was pretty spectacular. If the feedback from the Canadian retailers is an accurate barometer of the coming year, Masi will be doing very well. I am so very pumped up after such a great show and the response to all of the bikes was incredible. Overall I'd say things went well and that the retailers liked what they saw. Should make for a good year... especially for the Speciale Fixed. FYI- Go to your retailer and beg them to order yours now before they are all sold out for the year... seriously.
4) Speaking of Montreal... the shooting that took place yesterday in Montreal happened just about two or three blocks from my hotel and is on the route that I took on my ride up Mont Royal the day before and just a couple hours before the shooting. The college is just around the corner from the hotel and is on the way to the mountain. I was walking on the street telling my wife about my morning when the police went driving by in squad cars filled with heavily armed officers. These were the first responders. A short while later I was having lunch and all of the TV's were on the news (though in French) and people were stopping on the street to peer into the windows. I was piecing it together with my crappy high school French when they showed the college and a map and I was a little shocked to say the least. These things are such an abnormality in Canada, which is why the people of the city were so stunned. Montreal is rapidly becoming one of my favorite cities and it really saddened me to see this news. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who were touched by this tragedy.
4) I'm beginning to feel a little tattoo jinxed; when in Ireland, I scheduled an appointment to get a new tattoo and then the guy didn't show up the next day after I stood in the rain waiting for nearly an hour. While in Montreal, I saw a cool looking tattoo parlor while I was on my ride after the last day of the tradeshow. I went back that evening, but they were closing for the night- I ask you, what kind of tattoo parlor closes at 8:00PM? The guy then told me that they only work by appointment, normally, and that I had to have artwork ready to go. He said that they might be able to squeeze me in the next morning, if I had my artwork ready to go- they didn't do "stock" tattoos and didn't have any artwork for me to look at and choose from. Now, I have a few people working on artwork for me, but I really just wanted to get something that would be my special Montreal tattoo. Needless to say, I was a bit bummed out and decided to just go for a ride in the morning and skipped going back.
5) I need a new digital camera. The trip to Ireland killed my camera. Somehow, packed away in my luggage (thanks to the security in London that prevented me from being able to carry my camera on the plane), my camera was killed by the airlines. Thanks to this, the pictures I tried to take in Montreal really didn't come out;
I don't normally look like I'm melting- even if it is raining. This is supposed to be a pretty picture of me on a bridge overlooking the river... but...
So you won't be getting any great photos from the show this year. Sorry.
6) Lawrence Barber, the International Sales Manager for Haro Bicycles (and Masi) left the company last Friday to pursue a different carreer in the electronics industry. Lawrence had been with the company for about 12 years and his departure will be felt for a long time, not the least by me. Over the nearly two years that we worked together, Lawrence became a good friend and I really wish him well. Lawrence and I worked closely together to try to grow the international sales of Masi. He'll be missed- especially when I need change to buy a soda.