Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sin City, here I come!

Well, at the crack of dawn tomorrow, I'll be loading up and heading off to Lost Wages. Hopefully I can manage to keep my wallet either in my pocket or in my hotel room as much as possible.

Festivities begin with two days of demo out at Bootleg Canyon. Then it is off to the neon city for three days of inside exhibition. I love the two days at Dirt Demo and am really looking forward to getting the responses to those first few rides people have on the new SoulVille, Caffe Racer Doppio, 3VC Ultegra and the Gran Criterium... I'm obviously hoping for good things. I know I was grinning when I rode each of those bikes, so I am hoping to see a lot more smiles in the next few days.

The indoor "tradeshow" is the part that is the most routine, if you will. It's the regular "tradeshow" that we all know and love. However, over the past few years (though it's been developing for longer) the show has begun to lose some of its soul. It's become more of a time to shake hands with existing customers, most of whom have already seen the products and have orders for them, rather than an unveiling of anything new. Plus, with folks like Trek and Specialized both doing private shows for their retailers months ago and opting to have a very minimal presence at the show, things have just felt a bit "flat". However, there is something about this year that just feels different...

For one, my new catalog was just delivered yesterday. Normally it is out a couple months prior to the show and the dealers have had a chance to look it over and place their orders before seeing the product in person in Vegas. This year though, they get their catalog when they see the product for the first time (aside from the ones who read this blog or have been visited by a sales rep). To me, that is exciting. I live for this stuff! I live and breathe this product 24/7, so this is a big week coming up for me. Plus, this year, we get to watch as Las Vegas hosts the final of the US Crit series (currently lead by Mark Hekman of MY A&F/ Pro Development Team). AND... there will be an Industry Cup race that same night. My plans had been to do the race, but having not touched a bike in more than two weeks (and a very steep entry fee), it ain't looking so likely. BUT... I will definitely be there to watch the A&F boys lay the hurt to the field in the series finale and then stand there screaming for them when they collect the numerous prizes they are destined for. Needless to say, I'll be beaming like a proud papa when MY boys stand on that podium. It'll be a great night, indeed.

On top of that, something very intangible feels different about this year. Maybe it is because we (Masi/ Haro) are doing something radically different for our booths this year. Maybe it is the new "energy" in the company itself and maybe it is just an underlying current of change and optimism that seems to be bubbling around the biz. Regardless, I can honestly say that I haven't felt this excited about the actual "show" in many years. Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Looking forward to finding Rich Kelly from Interbike Times and going for a pre-show stroll around the exhibit hall and geeking out over cool shtuff. I can't wait to see what is new and who is coming out with the next must-have item/s (aside from me)... and now I hear that SRAM is buying Zipp and now has the wheel segment of their world domination in place. I get to be a judge in a video contest and I will hopefully get out of the booth long enough to be in a live podcast/ videocast of the Spokesmen. AND... I might even find a way to say something intelligent to Eddy Merckx for a change... rather than just staring slack-jawed at him as he signs my poster (though that is still very unlikely). I'm hoping that I get a chance to hang out with Bob Roll for a few minutes again this year- last year was simply a riot. He's the same dude in person as he is on TV... trust me. AND... I hope to actually get out each day I can and go for a ride. It's harder to ride once we get into the city, but the first days in the desert are great riding around Lake Mead. It's become a ritual for me and I hope to do it again this year and ride down to the Hoover Dam and look at the breathtaking views- though with my current state of being out of shape, riding back up the long climb will be even more "breathtaking".

So, Vegas- here I come! Brace yourself because I'm gonna be ready to have a good time with all my friends!

Today, in the midst of all my packing and nervous energy, I stopped long enough to get out and go for a short one hour ride around the town (San Diego). I have not ridden a bike in more than two weeks and have probably only ridden about 5-6 times in total over the past month or so. Needless to say, an hour felt pretty long but was well worth the sweat.

Today was a beautiful stormy day. This morning, the rain was coming down sideways and in buckets with very gusty winds as a Pacific storm blew through. I had to go in to the office this morning for a moment and at times, the rain was so hard that I could barely see past my hood! It doesn't happen here often and it didn't last long, but we do actually get rain from time to time in our semi-arid desert. The best part about a rain here is that the sky is freakishly clear and blue afterwards. It was, though cooler and windy, a gorgeous day today.

A view of our little commercial fishing fleet harbor.

The wind was pretty heavy, so the water on the bay was pretty choppy.

The San Diego skyline, as seen from the fishing fleet harbor...

I don't know if these are crab or lobster traps, but the entire pier was covered in them.

It felt great to get out, even if it hurt more than it should have.

So, if you're going to be in Vegas for the show, I hope you'll stop by the booth and say hello or at least come out to demo a sweet new bike (even if it isn't mine).

As always, I will try to snap as many pictures as I can and I will try to blog as often as I can find the strength to. Don't be upset if this space goes quiet for a few days... I'll be back with more great stuff. (Plus I still have some great pictures from Eurobike left too!)



Donna T. said...

See you Tuesday among all the crates and boxes and such as the booths all go up! It is a pretty exciting time, isn't it?! :)

Donna T. said...

Oh yea...Bob Roll...Kryptonite booth...Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 10-11a with free coffee...I know you'll be busy, but if you get a minute or two, c'mon by I know Bob will enjoy seeing you again, too.

IB Rich said...

Tim, great to see you today at the OutDoor Demo setup. Sorry about the, um, minor(?) confusion about the booth today. We'll have to plan that pre-show drooling stroll. I usually do Friday, myself.
Still holding that XL 3v for me for the Tour of Lake Mead Tuesday morning? Can't wait to finally ride a Masi.
I'll see you on Monday at Demo. Rest up, it's a long week...

Anonymous said...

Hecky is in 2nd. This happened after he could not race Thater due to injury. He should be 3rd overall and the team should win the team comp, U25 and laps led (Hek). Word.