I've remained in, and struggled to remain in, the bike industry for about 26 years now. I love bikes, I love racing bikes, I love talking about bikes, I love the sport of cycling and I even love the business of bikes. But the main thing that has kept me in the business all these years has overwhelmingly been the people.
As a Brand Manager for a bike manufacturer I work with my product manager together with a lot of different vendors. With a line the size Masi has become and will grow to be, we work with a lot of different suppliers. Some big and some small. Over the past nearly 4 years, I've had the chance to work with and get to know a lot of different people. Some of these people I have been lucky enough to develop really great relationships with outside of our respective companies.
One of these people is Daniel Limburg. I've known Daniel pretty much since joining Masi (Haro) and it didn't take long for our goofy senses of humor to mesh. It's safe to say that we get along pretty well. It never hurt the relationship that Daniel has been my "sales guy" at Shimano. That means that he is morally and professionally obligated to buy the sushi. And buy sushi he has!
Daniel has been a huge help and benefit to us at Masi and Haro. He has always been honest with us about all Shimano-related issues and has always been very easy to work with. If things will be delayed or a cost increase is coming- Daniel has always been very forthright in providing that information. Basically, Daniel rocks. Sure, Shimano will find a person to fulfill Daniel's responsibilities... but he'll never be replaced.
The thing with the bike industry is that sometimes people within the industry get noticed by those outside the industry and then move on to new challenges professionally. Daniel is one of those people. It is with great sadness that I will be forced to say goodbye to Daniel as a colleague in the industry. He'll be moving on to a new industry and new challenges. The plus is that he will have much less travel, a much shorter commute and far more time to be with his wife and 3 children.
Daniel is a man of faith and great family values. One of our very first conversations we ever had we talked about family, kids and life... in great depth and sincerity. I know him as a man of great character and impeccable principles. He's just a darned good guy... and I'm gonna miss working with him (and the free sushi).
I'll be keeping in touch with him though... calling him, emailing him, reading his blog.... so he isn't getting away completely. Still, the bike industry is going to feel a little different without him. I just know it.
So, Daniel, I wish you, Jenny, Megan, Connor and Mallory the very best. May this new phase of your life prove to be enriching on all levels.
And always remember your brother from another mother. Sushi will be on me next time.