Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the Katie Cat!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Go listen!

The Spokesmen episode #25 was recorded yesterday in the morning and was posted last night. It's a good one, so go give it a listen. It's the best audio quality we've had yet and no dropped people... it's a good one.

Speaking of "listening"- ever listen to your iPod and hear a song that you'd forgotten you placed on it, or even forgotten that you own? During my trainer ride this evening, as I was hammering away, one of my all-time favorite songs played in my ears: The Smiths, How Soon Is Now. That song has given me chills for over 20 years now. Made the end of my workout just a little better...

What's your song?


Monday, October 29, 2007

Calling all Podcasters;

I've been a member of The Spokesmen podcast(which we recorded this morning and should be up for a listen soon) for a while now and I've been a guest on a number of other podcasts, but I really want to do my own podcast as well (as I've been whining about for months/ years).

I've finally gotten an ok headset with mic that records pretty clearly now. On top of that, I've finally gotten Audacity to work- though I am still learning how to use it, so I'm not exactly proficient with it yet.

Anyway, I'm placing an info request to all of you who are so much more tech savvy than me; how do I combine this new headset and working Audacity into a simple audio podcast of my own? I am looking for the best free software/ podcast host to do this with. I pride myself on using free systems (since this is all out of my own "pocket", if you will).

Please let me know what has worked for you and what systems I should be trying. Keep in mind, Mac Fiends, that I am using a simpleton PC laptop.

So speak slowly and use small words...


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend wrap up...

So the weekend is now coming to an end. Dang. At least I rode and spent some time with family. That's good. I'll actually be at home with my daughter tomorrow because her school is still closed, due to the fires- the schools are still concerned about the air quality. It's much better now, but I'm never going to argue with them over worrying about the safety of kids.

So today I got out for another 2.5hr ride... but this time I rode with gears!

My legs are totally smoked from all the fixed gear workouts I've been doing. All the sprint intervals have just blown me to shreds. I mean, I haven't been racing this year, so I haven't been putting in any actual workouts much this year. It's amazing how much difference I can feel in my legs after just 3-4 weeks of focused effort. Besides, in just two weeks I'll be in Taichung, Taiwan before heading to Tokyo, Japan. I always leave thinking that I'll at least get into the fitness closet at the hotel and work up a sweat... but the long days/ nights and jetlag always seem to find a way to keep me rooted in bed until it is time to get up and head out for the real work. So right now I see all this hard work as a base of fitness to fall back to when I return from overseas. Hopefully.

Anyway, I got a nice 40-45 miles in, but my legs were filled with sand and/ or lead. I can't remember the last time I started a ride feeling so sore and lethargic. It took me at least an hour before my legs began to loosen up and feel "ok". It's probably a sign that I need to back off a little and let my legs recover and let the muscles heal and get stronger. The good news is that I felt better and stronger as the ride went on. Near the end, I was drafting cars in traffic at 45+ mph and feeling pretty good- nothing turns your legs into spinning machines quite like riding a fixed gear. It wasn't until I nearly plowed into the back of the Escalade I was happily drafting and motorpacing behind that I realized that I was flying along in my 53x19! Riding the past week in a 46x16 has gotten my legs a lot faster already!

nice ride"... and I even meant it. So Ricky Racer just kinda snorts and shoots me this sideways glance of total disapproval- I'm in no team kit, I'm "only" riding on a mostly unmarked carbon prototype bike with SRAM Rival (not Force or RED) and I'm clearly going too slow to be a serious cyclist. So I just kind of thought to myself, "dude, you're the kind of ass that gives the rest of us roadies a bad name". I shrug it off since I have nothing to prove to this dork, but the more I think about it, the more he has me pissed off on my blissful Sunday ride. Now I'm getting a little torqued up and the more I see him fading away up the climb, the more I want to chase him down. So... boys always being boys... I chase him down at a mellow, but serious pace. As I pass him, I politely smile and say, "have a nice ride" and roll on up the climb. A few moments later, Captain Happy comes flying by me out of the saddle in his 53x11... without a word, but with strain showing on his face. Now I'm just giggling to myself because I know I'm now going to be enjoying being a thorn in his side for the rest of the hill. I settle in behind him, spinning myHere's the best part of this story: as you can see from the picture above, I rode in "stealth mode" in a plain black wool jersey and plain black bib shorts... I was feeling casual. So I'm plodding along on the long-ish climb, just riding slow tempo to spare my legs, when this guy from one of the local hotshot shop teams comes flying by on his custom yellow Madone with full Dura Ace and Bontrager deep section carbon wheels. As he comes by, I wave to him and say, "have a 39x15 as he begins to sway from side to side with his knees jerking through each pedal stroke with his monster gear. A few moments later I decide to finish this thing off... so I go to my 53x17 and stomp away... smiling as I pass him I say, "enjoy the rest of your ride... and thanks for the draft". I admit, I had to dig WAY deep at that point to maintain my pace, but as I looked back between my legs with my head down, I could see him suddenly sitting upright and riding in his 39x23... beaten and broken.

Now, I don't frequently give in to my ego very often, but I did today. Why today? Because the guy was being an ass because he thought he knew better and knew he was better than me based on a look. I very infrequently cave in like that and I'm not saying that I'm proud of how I reacted, but I am proud that I shelled the guy. I'm a big fan of waving to other cyclists and smiling at them and extending a welcome to the club. We all need to do this if we hope to have more people join in our fun. Otherwise we continue to look like elitist pricks with an attitude. On the same climb, at the beginning, I passed a guy on his dual suspension MTB on the bike path. At first, as I saw him in front of me, I thought he had a terrible case of pedal induced bobbing going on, but as I got closer to him, I could hear him singing to the song on his iPod and could see that he was simply bouncing to the music! When I passed and offered my "have a nice day", he shot back a huge (though startled) smile as he gave me a big thumbs up and kept bouncing away to the beat. That, my friends, is having a good time on your bike. That is what we should ALL be aspiring to.


Yesterday was my nephew Nolen's 4th birthday party. All the family got together and since his birthday is so close to Halloween, costumes were worn by most of the kids... including The Princess...
Katie Cat!

Nolen is a big fan of the Transformers and the party was Transformer themed.

My younger nephew, Jack, was a little devil...

... the cutest little devil ever.

It made for a pretty good weekend. How about yours?


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Getting better...

The weather has been cooperating and now the fires are beginning to lose the battle against the firefighters. Thanks to increased humidity, calm winds, firefighting aircraft and a little luck, things are getting better.

The sunset on Thursday was still a bit spooky...

... but the sunset Friday was a lot more like normal.

Once again, I got out for a ride Friday night on the Fixed. It felt great to get out again and spin the legs, even though they were feeling pretty beat from a solid week of hard riding. It's been a while since I've done sprint workouts... and my legs can tell.

This morning I got out on the local group ride. Well, I went TO the group ride and then found my good buddy, Andrew Lee- he's the owner of one of my favorite little bike shops- Adams Avenue Bicycles.

(File photo)

Andrew and I peeled off and rode at our own pace, which was just fine with me since I was on the Fixed and the group would have blown my legs to shreds today. It was good to get out and have a great time hanging out with a friend I don't get to see enough of. Since we were riding at our own pace, we got to be conversational and just be two bike nerds talking about bikes and the business. It was fun.

Conveniently for me (and my poor groin), I will be in Tokyo the night of the Adams Avenue Anniversary party- this will be the fourth one and the first one I've missed. I'll be thinking of them all having a blast while I'm in Tokyo (having a blast).

In the end, not a bad day.


Thursday, October 25, 2007


Today, the winds mellowed quite a bit and the air crews were able to attack the raging fires. Things improved dramatically and many people were able to return to their homes, or at least assess the damage and begin planning to rebuild. The last news I got, the fires near Jill Hamilton's home were backing away and were getting some small level of containment. By the time I got home tonight, the skies were not as thick with smoke and the air didn't smell like a campfire. I might even sleep with the windows open tonight to get some "fresh" air. Still, the fire danger is very high and things are nowhere near being over, but we're making progress and that's really all I ask. Thanks have to be given again to the amazing work being done by all of the firefighters in the region right now- their efforts have been greater than herculean... heroic doesn't even begin to cover it.

Today, I had the good fortune of having lunch with Rich Kelly from Interbike. Rich lives pretty close to the Masi/ Haro offices and due to the fires, has been at home this week and not commuting to the offices for Interbike's staff. Rich is a great guy and we've had many great conversations about cycling and bicycles over the past couple years. He's also becoming more and more of a "new media" geek like me, so we talked about that today as well. It's always great to get the chance to ramble on and on, the way I do, with somebody who is equally passionate about cycling. We had a great lunch and greater conversation. Thanks again for lunch Rich- I thoroughly enjoyed the company and conversation.

Again, like I have the past few nights, I got out on the Fixed and got another little leg workout. For as much as I love all the bikes I have, I have to confess that my Fixed is my current favorite. It might have something to do with the fact I only got to do one track race again this year and so my legs are simply enjoying that sensation of constant spinning. Maybe, I dunno what it is, but I have been having a super time. The 46x16 gear and 167.5 crankarms are a blast to spin. I did the same loop as last night, with another 3 quick laps around Shelter Island. I've been doing a few hard sprints on the course, getting the legs up to speed and blowing out the cylinders. It'd be pretty sweet to actually come out of this winter with something that resembles fitness and leg speed. In recent years, I've returned to the old (bad) habit of simply pushing big gears all winter long to develop power. Add in the gym and you have a scenario where I have a ton of power, but no leg speed to get the gear up to speed anymore. I'm trying to once again strike that delicate balance of having both... so we'll see if a winter of fixed gear riding on a smaller-than-usual-for-me gear does the job. It can't hurt anyway...

Lastly, I've recently rediscovered my love for Anchor Steam. I came across some recently, after not having seen any for what seems years. I have to say, I didn't remember it tasting quite this good and I am sure glad I "found" it again. It gets the Masiguy Seal of Approval- with two healthy thumbs up!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A break from fire news.

Yes, the fires are still burning and things are still terrifying, but I personally need a break from the fire news. It has consumed my life for the past several days and the emotional fatigue is setting in. The last I heard, Jill Hamilton was doing fine and watching things closely in case things changed. Another of our own, Pete Skoda and his wife, were evacuated earlier in the week as well from their home in Rancho Bernardo. They got the news today that they could return and that they were lucky enough to have a place to return to. It's still a very precarious and tenuous situation for many thousands and thousands of people. Still, I need a break from the terror of the fires...

After I got home through the smoky drive, I quickly lycra'd up and headed out for a ride on my Speciale Fixed again. I rode down through the downtown area and then headed off to Harbor Island, which is on the San Diego Bay. I rode multiple laps of the "island" (it's a peninsula, if anything) as if I were in a crit or Scratch race on the track. It felt good to push myself a little, even in the bad air, and push the pedals with some force and work up one hell of a sweat. I finished in the dark and it wasn't until I got home that I realized I'd lost my taillight and had been riding in the dark with only the reflective strip on the back of my seat bag to make me visible. Still, it felt good to come home physically exhausted after a good hard ride on the Fixed (currently my favorite ride).

One of the very best parts of the day? Receiving this;

Hey Tim!

I thought you’d get a kick out of our Fall wall display, featuring our Masi Speciale Fixed!


It's enough to make a Brand Manager's heart skip a beat! So if you are in Tucson, Arizona and want to see a beautiful display that incorporates a Masi (or if you just wanna buy a bike from some cool people), go to Sabino Cycles on 7045 E. Tanque Verde. If you tell'em that the Masiguy sent you, they might toss you out... but you can try it and see what happens. And when you do, make sure you ask for Cindy... HI CINDY! (I'm pretty sure she likes flowers, so maybe you should take her some...)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More fire news...

I really don't know what else to talk about at the moment. All of my thoughts are pretty much devoted to the fire situation right now. On a personal note, our very own MTB Brand Manager- the Bike Biz Babe, Jill Hamilton- is not out of harm's way just yet, as her home is very near a few of the fires. She's safe for now, but our collective thoughts and prayers are with her. Hang in there Velvet Hammer (you'll have to ask her what that means).

I rode my bike after leaving work a couple hours early again today. I got out on the Speciale Fixed, just because the stress is making me a little neurotic and my bike/s has always been my salvation. So I rode around downtown for a little more than an hour. The air quality is "ok" at the moment, as we're out of the direct wind zone of the smoke, but my eyes were watering by the time I got home and the front of the frame and the seatpost were both speckled with pieces of ash. The air near downtown smells a little different, but it's nothing like the air near the office. Put it this way- I worked inside all day and my eyes were burning and the smoke smell was heavier INSIDE the office than it is OUTSIDE at home.

This was the view of the pseudo sunrise on the way in this morning... kind of hard to actually see the sun.

This is the same stretch of road I pictured yesterday, just before the office. Yesterday there was at least some blue sky... not so much today. The fire nearest our office is now 100% contained, so the smoke is coming from that closest fire and all of the others funneling through the valleys.

This is the view of the coast from the road leading to the office- normally you have a clear view of the ocean. Not today.

To the right of this picture, on the hilltop, is our office. Crystal clear skies... not this morning.

This was the view of the sun at 3:00PM- scary. The eerie red glow is just simply surreal. The "sound" outside is also kind of muffled- if you've been in a fire area before, then you know what I mean. I noticed this same thing fighting forest fires in Alabama- when you get out of the sound of the blaze, it is very quiet. Scary quiet.

These two are pictures of the Del Mar Fairgrounds (off to the right and in the distance). This is one of the big evacuation areas. Many residents of Del Mar were forced from the multi-million dollar homes. The fairgrounds are also housing thousands of displaced animals- largely horses, since there are several thoroughbred farms and training grounds in the area- many of which have since burned.

The most poignantly painful images of the day for me were seeing people driving away from the various fire areas with their belonging in their cars. I saw trucks pulling horse trailers. Trucks loaded with furnishings. Kids with stuffed animals. I nearly lost it as I passed a woman driving in the fast lane, very slowly, clearly in shock and crying, with her dog crammed into the front seat and tons of other items in the rest of the car. I couldn't bring myself to get pictures of these scenes, it just felt far too exploitive. I wanted to pull up to them and say something... but what? What do you say to somebody who may have just lost every single belonging in their lives, with the exception of what they were able to grab in a hurry?

I have a very love-hate relationship with Southern California- it costs too damned much, there's too damned many people, development is killing the beauty, the freeways are insane any time of day now... but still I have grown to love this stupid place. I still think of Alabama as "home", but I've lived here longer than I did there. As the events of the past few days have unfolded, I admit that I've found myself choked up from time to time. It's hard to see this happen to so many people- more than 260,000 acres have burned, more than 1,750 homes have been lost, more than 100 businesses destroyed and more than 500,000 people have been told to evacuate their homes.

If that doesn't somehow "move" you...


Monday, October 22, 2007

Bike worship...

I was going through some link information in my stats and found this really great blog in India that lists Masiguy in their list of outbound links... which I think is really darned cool.

Check out this really cool post about bike worship too- very cool concept.

Thanks to the folks at Bums On The Saddle!


Daily Drive- the fire edition;

The fires in Southern California are raging, pretty much unabated. The San Diego County area, where I live and where the company is located, is the number one fire priority in the state right now. Already, more than 250,000 residents have been forced to evacuate their homes. At least 8 wild fires are raging right now- all of them with 0% containment. Luckily, my family and I are safe, but many other people are not as lucky. In fact, I have an aunt and uncle who have been evacuated and do not yet know the fate of their home. In 2003, they got lucky and did not lose their home during the horrible fires we had that year. Obviously, we're hoping they get lucky again.

This was the view driving up the to the offices this morning- the fires were just off to the right of us, a little southeast of our building. The drive on the freeway this morning, like my drive yesterday after my ride, was equally eerie.

The winds have been blowing with gusts up to 75mph out of the deserts- Santa Ana winds. Very hot and dry, which has been blowing the fires around with devastating speed.

This was my view driving home today- can't even see the ocean and the lagoon has an eerie red glow, due to the sun filtering through the heavy clouds of smoke.

The view of the freeway wasn't much better.

We left a little after 2:00 today because the power went out. Possibly not a very good sign. We'll see if we go in tomorrow. The plan is to watch the news and play it by ear until we know more about the evacuations and the direction the fires are heading.

Thousands of firefighting teams and their equipment are on the way to help with the efforts. Hopefully, they will be in time to save homes and lives that are now in danger. For those who are not in the SoCal region who wish to help with the efforts here and possibly improve the situation for the many thousands now displaced, contributions can now be made through the San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Feelin' cross...

What's the easiest way to tell that the Masiguy has been on a bike other than his road or track bike...
... just look for the blood.

Yep, I took the cross bike out today. I was lucky enough to get my Mom and step-Dad to watch the Princess long enough for me to get out for a nice ride on one of my favorite local trails- the north side of Lake Hodges. For those who do not know the area, it is a great trail that has elements of not-so-technical trails blended with medium-technical trails... which means that for me they are SUPER technical trails... especially on the cross bike. However, these are some of my favorite trails, just because they hold lots of memories of epic rides- both good and bad.

I've always loved the trails around Lake Hodges, so they seemed like the perfect place to take the cross bike out for a bit of punishing. I figure, if I'm gonna try to do a cross race (or two) this year, I might as well ride the cross bike a few times first. My poor CXR has been in disrepair for some time now, since I had to strip some parts off of it to keep Ryan Rish of the A&F Pro Development team racing... that's how much I love those guys. I finally pieced my bike back together and am planning to basically overhaul the thing completely with my Dura Ace group... (I know, I'm totally spoiled).

(Before Chad from A&F or the Squirrel freaks out- I wanted to give some love to my friends up north... and I need to do some bike laundry...)

The trails around the lake are not all that technical if you have any kind of skills in the dirt... which means that I am totally in over my head every time I ride there. I am 100% comfortable on my track bike riding elbow to elbow at very high speed, banging into another rider in a Keirin, but if you put me on the dirt I turn into a total freak and ride my brakes non-stop and panic at every turn. However, despite my lack of skills, I thoroughly enjoy riding in the dirt and find it a great way to remind myself why I love to ride bikes... because it's a lot of fun.

I went out hoping I wouldn't crash at all, but figured I'd go down a few times... but only did it once. So I was pretty happy overall. I mean, the section I crashed on, I've never cleared- even with dual suspension and I almost made it today. I grabbed, as always, just a little too much brake and washed the front wheel out. The crash was at pretty slow speed, so I really just fell over. I was going to get a picture of the raspberry on my butt... but that requires showing a little more of my ass than I am comfortable with and I don't want to lose my PG-13 rating and go straight to NC-17. We're close and all... but not THAT close.

Honestly, I cleared way more than I ever have on a mountain bike and totally surprised myself at how my handling skills have improved- all that time on my Haro Mary SS has totally paid off. I am by no means an expert in the dirt, but I am getting far better. The spot where I crashed today is the opposite direction of the same spot I crashed in '97 when I tore the PCL in my right knee. So to walk away dirty, a little bloody and with a bruise on my ass seems like an upgrade.
Some of the sections of trail are so tranquil and pretty.There aren't many places that I get to ride that are like this. Most of the few trails I know are totally open, desert-style trails. Getting to ride, for any distance, under a canopy of trees and along the edge of a "creek" is pretty special... even if I'm bleeding. (And, for the record, all those red leaves are poison oak... which I managed to stay out of.)

The trusty steed...
... which I probably should have taken a picture of when it was still clean. I have to point out a couple things- A) the Ksyrium SL wheels (though a little older) held up beautifully to my weight (205lbs) and hard riding and stayed completely true and 2) the ProLogo Nago saddle that I rode for the first time today is one of the most comfortable saddles I've ever ridden. ProLogo is the high-end division of Velo saddles and they have really stepped up their game and produced some great products. I have the Scratch saddle on my carbon bike with Record parts and I have been very happy with the performance of the saddle. The Scratch is the same saddle ridden by both Petacchi and Zabel on Milram... so I'm in good company. Velo produces all of our other Masi-branded saddles, just like 9/10 of the world-wide cycling industry and they make phenomenal products. On top of it all, Stella (the owner and driving force behind Velo) is one of the best people I have met in this business.

The bike rode flawlessly today, even though I worked on it recently. I was super happy that I was able to ride many sections of the trail that I am familiar with walking. It was cool to clear stuff that I have previously been unable to on full-suspension bikes.

Sadly, this is fire season in SoCal. On the drive up and back, I had to drive through a very thick area of smoke from one of the recent wild fires. This is the time of year when this part of California is exceedingly dry and the winds are very high... a very bad combination.

At least one life has been lost and several have been injured by this round of fires. The fine men and women who fight these fires are true heroes around these parts. The fires of 2003 stole many lives and many homes. Without the bravery of these fine folks, the situation would have been much, much worse. So, let me say THANK YOU to the firefighters who place their lives on the line to save other lives and property during these terrible fires.

In the end, even with the smoke and the crash, it was a great day for a ride and I had a great time banging off the rocks and trees today.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Yeah, that's right

Today has been one of those beautiful and warm SoCal autumn days- 72 degrees and sunny... though we did get a little morning fog from the bay that kept the air a cooler 68. Burrrrr......

Since it is mid-October, Katie did spend a little time decorating her Halloween punkin'.

She's already asked if we can make pumpkin pie out of it (thought you'd wanna know, Donna).

Once done with the punkin', we headed off to the beach to hunt in the water's edge for sand dollars- one of our shared favorite past times.

The hunting wasn't so great, so we only found a few broken ones. But the weather was great and the beach beauty was happy as could be in her natural element.

Afterwards, on the way to the car, we stopped and she spent a little time being 6 years old.

It was a good day.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's that time of year again...

It's that time of year again for me...

... time to sit on the trainer in the dark, in the driveway, freaking out the neighbors.

With all the work that needs to get done at work, it's hard to actually ride at lunch anymore. On top of that, even when I do get to ride, I know I have a lot of travel coming up and I will lose my bike time. So, like a desperate squirrel storing nuts for the winter, I'm packing in all the T.I.T.S I can get (Time In The Saddle... you perverts...).

What really freaks the neighbors out, aside from the fact that I'm spinning my ass off and going nowhere- complete with rivers of sweat pouring off of me- is when I do ILT (Isolated Leg Training... pedaling with one leg) workouts. They look weird, I know, but they are SO good for your neglected hip flexor muscles.

If the belt on my rollers wasn't busted, I'd be rolling on those instead- which really scares the neighbors for some reason. I really need that replacement belt though because there is no better workout than riding the rollers on a fixed gear/ track bike.

And a solid 45 minutes to an hour on the trainer, at high intensity, is quite the workout too...

... as you can see from the picture. For this time of year, with the schedule I have, it's a better workout than I care to admit- stupid fluid resistance unit kicks my butt!

The good news is that I'm down to 205 pounds, from 215. Hopefully that will start going back up as the muscle replaces the fat. I'm still hoping to do a few cross races this year, even though I can't run across the street without my knees swelling, so I don't know how I'm gonna survive a cross race. I want to come out of this winter with a decent level of base fitness so I can hit the early season crits with form next year. It's a pipe dream... but it's good to have dreams.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hi there, fellow bike brands!

Just happened to look at some of my blog stats and saw visitors from around the bike industry, so just wanted to say "howdy" to the folks at Trek and Pacific Cycle. I also wanted to say hello to the folks at Princeton Tech- they're blogging too! (Great talking to you in Vegas.)

Welcome to the party, fellow industry brothers/ sisters!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Still breathing, if only slightly...

I know, I know, I know... I said I'd be trying harder to be a better blogger. Well... I AM trying... I'm just not succeeding. On top of being exceptionally busy, my laptop has been limping along, thanks to the fact that I almost never delete any email files. So my Outlook file has been dead for the past few days, but thanks to the IT magic of George Nunez (our IT demi-God), I'm up and running again. I am convinced that I am singlehandedly moving George into a higher tax bracket.

I'm hoping that I'm actually back now... hoping.

Anyway, on to the stuff.

Here's where I will be November 15th until the 19th...I plan to sense bodily all that I can while in Tokyo and am sincerely looking forward to attending the show. Japan has always been a place of great interest to me and the Japanese cycling market is totally different than the US or European ones, so this will be a great learning experience. Plus, I'm fairly sure that I'm huge in Japan.

Before getting to Tokyo, I'll be in Taiwan (specifically Taichung) for another week. While there, hopefully I'll get to see the production of the SoulVille bikes. It's always a rush to see your own bikes flowing down the assembly line- especially when it is the bike you have the greatest amount of demand for.

Spring '08 bikes are getting wrapped up now. Colors have been selected and now the "sexing up" with graphics and component color choices is underway. I feel pretty confident you're going to be as excited about the Spring bikes as you have been so far for the Fall bikes. Now I have to push to get sample bikes in time to shoot the next catalog... which is coming sooner, rather than later.

At least I can try to catch up on my sleep during my flight to Taiwan. Unless I'm nervously awake, trying to make sure we come up with more cool bikes.

I guess we'll find out soon enough...


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yes, I'm still alive.

I know it's been a while since I've posted and the posts have been a little "light"... but it's still amazingly busy after Interbike. You may remember that I've talked for the past few years about working towards getting away from model years with our products. Well, we've done that, but we've also decided to go to two product releases a year as well. That means that the Fall '07 products you see in the new catalog (which you can download from the current company website) are not even on the ground yet and I am wrapping up design of the Spring '08 products. In fact, my esteemed colleague and Product Manager (Wayne- "Fuzzy"- Doran) is headed to Taiwan next week to work out a bunch of product details. Shortly afterwards, in early November, I'll be headed to Taiwan again and then on to Tokyo for the Japanese version of Interbike- called Cycle Mode. So, I think maybe, just maybe you can see why the posting has been light and why I'm slowly, but certainly, losing my mind. (Not that I'm complaining because I still feel like a lucky bastard to have this job... just in case the bosses are reading...)

Anyway, there has been plenty to talk about over this gap in my posting and I really don't even know where to begin. I never really finished posting about the Eurobike show and the products there, I didn't really talk about all the Initerbike stuff, I've skipped over lots of the cool things that have been going on with people, places and things... and the ongoing saga that is professional bike racing. BUT... I will do my best to get back on track and back to covering it all.

I have recently been riding my Speciale Fixed a lot and have been enjoying it immensely. I had been riding it for the past several months set up very close to my Kilo position, so that I could do the occasional Kilo workout on my lunch rides (thinking I was going to be racing a lot more than I did this year... once). I recently rebuilt it with a more traditional track/ road set up;

It's set up with a bunch of parts I've been holding on to for a while-
  • SunTour Superbe Pro track cranks (167.5mm length) and NOS Superbe Pro bottom bracket- NJS stamped!
  • Sugino Mighty Comp 46t chainring and Campagnolo 16t cog.
  • TTT Mod Dazzan alloy track sprint bars- a whopping 39cm wide too!
  • Deda Zero stem.
  • Old Lorica bar tape that was on my first track bike from 1992/93- complete with all the scuffs from crashes.
The saddle is a sample, with a couple colors wrong, of what we will be using for the new artwork on our Masi-branded saddles. The "Masi" lettering is not going to be yellow, as it is shown, nor is the Masi "M". However, the rest is pretty close- though the off-center Masi headbadge artwork will be black. The cool thing is that the saddle sample is of our low-end saddle... but it rides really, really well. With some nice Ti rails, this thing would be on a few more of my bikes. With the shape, curved at the rear, it kinda reminds me of an old San Marco Concor (my second most favorite saddle ever- behind the Arione).All in all, it feels really good to be riding my bikes again. All the travel has made it very difficult to keep any kind of rhythm and I'm sure to lose it again with the travel on the horizon. Still, I'm enjoying each revolution of the cranks I am able to get.

I've also been spending a lot of time on my SoulVille. Yep, I'm cruising around in mega style on a 20" SoulVille from our demo fleet from Vegas. It's a pre-production bike, so the fender rubs the tire in the rear, the fork axle-to-crown height is short and the virtual top tube length is too short so I get toe overlap on the fender. Still, even though it is a little small for me, it is a dream to ride. Once the final version is done, it'll danged-near perfect. You folks will LOVE this bike when it finally arrives- most likely in late December or early January. I'm actually going to be playing around with this bike quite a bit. I'm planning to load it with a rack and baskets.. more on that later... and will be testing the platform for a true utility bike. More to follow on that, so stay tuned. I'll also have photos soon too. I may remove the fenders and do some other mods, so it won't likely look like the catalog bike... at all.

Ok, time to get ready for my nephew's christening. It's raining here today, so like a true SoCal resident, I'm not out riding. Hey, it only rains twice a year here... so why bother?

(Let's see if the BSNYC comes by to rip my bike apart... go easy- I'm delicate.)