Friday, October 31, 2008

Welcome to Taipei!

Made it to Taiwan without too much trouble. My leg seems to be doing just fine- meaning no signs of new clots... which is a very good thing. I wore my Skins compression tights again, which really do seem to work. I have been using them for all of my flights since the crash and I can say that I do feel like my legs are fresher when I arrive. I admit, I've worn lycra (or other cycling gear) for the past 26 years of my life... and yet wearing the tights (under another pair of pants) just feels "funny"... I have nicknamed them my Mantyhose. I never could quite get comfortable on my flights, as it seemed that either my leg/ foot or ass was always uncomfortable. I had good enough seats that I was able to get into multiple positions to try and remedy the situation, but it never quite worked. However, after taking 3 Tylenol PM... I did eventually drift (collapse) into a nap.

Meeting for lunch with the woman I am coordinating with to do the Masi brand launch here in Taiwan. The after lunch, we are likely going to meet with the fashion designed who is providing the clothes for the event- which is exciting. After the launch tomorrow, I am going to be doing a full-on media blitz, I am told, introducing the line to the Taiwan retailers and consumers both... and I'm both excited and nervous st the same time. My Mandarin is pretty non-existent, so I am very lucky to be working with a great translator.

Here's a few shots of Taipei so far...


After checking in to the hotel, I went for a little walk- around midnight local time- to stretch the legs and get the blood moving. 20 hours worth of flights can leave you a little crooked.


This is one of the larger intersections near the hotel. The lighted wall is pretty cool, as the image keeps moving and changing. There are several smaller sculptures near it that are hard to see here. Many of the intersections around Taipei are like this, with cool art placements.


If you were ever wondering what Mickey's ride of choice is... it's a fixed gear. I knew that mouse had class!


This is from this morning; beautiful waterfall and koi pond downstairs from a large hotel. It is next to a nice restaurant with seats right at the water level. It's one of the many little natural spots sprinkled throughout the city.

Here's the world famous Taipei 101- which is was the world's tallest building before the Burj Dubai completed it's antenna structure this past September. As you can see, the top of the antenna structure of the 101 is obscured in a cloud... as it often is.

Ok, gotta get ready for that lunch, so I will see you all later...

Tim

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Travelin' man...

Sitting at the gate in San Francicso waiting for the next leg of my flight to Tokyo and a short layover before reaching Taipei Taiwan.





Left for the airport at 7:00 this morning and will be getting into Taipei 24 hrs later at 10:00PM Taipei time, 7:00AM San Diego time.





My plane is at the gate and getting stocked with supplies for the trans-Pacific flight.

I am looking forward to this trip for many reasons, but the "getting there" part is never fun. With the injury to the leg and the residual issues with the blood clots, it's pretty uncomfortable. Still, it's great once I get there!

Obviously, blogging might take a hit for a while, but I'll be back... I promise.

Tim

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NEW SHIMANO PRODUCT UPDATES!

Don't ask me because I can't tell you.

It was cool- really cool.

Enough said.

Time to pack and get some sleep before I leave in a few hours for Taiwan and Japan.

Tim

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some stuff and whatnot

I won't go into details of today other than to say; I've had better days.

Tomorrow is going to be better though, without a doubt. Why? Because I am gong to be at Shimano HQ getting the lowdown on what's coming in the next year... the stuff they didn't even whisper about at Interbike. Yeah... the really cool sh@%. What's even better is that not only do I get to see my friends there and then touch and feel the newest of the new, but I also get to go for a ride on the parts! I get to ride a bike as part of "doing my job". Sadly, it won't be a Masi, but I'm sure I'll get over it long enough to enjoy being on a bike ride. Any bike ride is better than no bike ride. And the icing on this joy-filled cake? Sushi. Ah yes, the joys of spending time with Shimano- sushi for lunch! My old friend Daniel Limburg is no longer working for Shimano, having left the industry to pursue a different career, but his "replacement" (which there never really will be) is a great guy- Tyler Meyers. Tyler is new to Shimano, but no stranger to the biz and seems fit for the job. If nothing else he possesses the two main ingredients to a successful Shimano OE Sales contact; 1) a great sense of humour and B) a Shimano credit card! WOO-HOO!

If you're as big a bike dork as I am, and I know many of you are, then you are familiar with New Belgium Brewing and their bicycle friendliness... hell, they have a beer called Fat Tire Ale! And... they have a damned cool website! You should go check it out and play around... man I wish I had that kind of budget! They are in the midst of something they call The New Belgium Brewing Urban Assault Ride. Which brings me to this... scroll down a bit and tell me what you see? That's right; one of the coolest beer brands on the planet is riding around spreading beer-flavored love aboard a Masi SoulVille! Baby... that's damned cool! AND... New Belgium and I are like family; I was photographed on the first day of Outdoor Demo with one of the cuter members of the New Belgium family for the Show Daily that is printed each day by BRaIN. So, if you're 21 or older and into beer, I hope you'll give New Belgium a little look-see.

Thursday is the day I leave for Taiwan and then Japan. I haven't finished unpacking and doing laundry from the East coast demo event last week and I am already heading back out the door. The good news from the week is that I am healing very well. The knee is doing great and if the slight soreness I have around the knee is still bothering me around January/ February, the doc will do arthroscopic surgery on the knee and clean it out- if needed. So... I'm hoping it isn't needed, of course. But it's still good news. The arm is slowly coming along, regaining the last few degrees of extension and the thumbnail is growing back as well. All in all... I'm getting there. Even the blood is doing better and is stabilized with the thinners. I should be off of the thinners by the end of the year as well.

Ok, I gotta get to bed here before the long day tomorrow shows up bright and early. See you all later!

Tim

Sunday, October 26, 2008

East Coast Fun-n-Frivolity

I posted a long post with many pictures over on the company website yesterday, so go look over there for more pictures and commentary... but here's a little sumthin fer ya as well...

Looking too awake on a red-eye flight to the East- we left San Diego after 10:00PM.
Me and Eastern Regional Sales Honch, James- "BB58/ DSO"- Ayres.
James pretending he doesn't like having a camera pointed at him when he's trying to sleep.
MTB/ Adult Brand Manager Jill Hamilton trying to ignore my camera pointing... after this picture was taken, she threatened to have me beaten and dumped in a field somewhere... that's why she's cool. Our hero for the trip and event, Shannon Traglia (spelling). Shannon is a former pro BMX racer who is now driving our BMX truck and trailer to races and wrenching on bikes. Thanks to him, we didn't have to drive the demo trailer ourselves!He turned out to be a very valuable part of the demo for us- thanks Shannon!

This was part of the music pavillion at Roger Williams Park, where the demo event was held... very, very cool.


Chris DiStefano- "the other Chris"- of Chris King, pretending to know how to inflate a tire. Once the tire pressure got over 20PSI, it was greater than his weight and he had to stand on the handle to pump... I saw it myself.

It's like they knew I was coming or something... I was honored... truly.

The fountain in de Pasquale Square, right in front of our hotel. Very nice indeed.


The Fall colors were unreal. The trees looked like they were on fire, they were so brightly colored.
James Ayres eating a doughnut as big as his head!

CD talking about the doughnut as big as James' head.

This little pavillion on the water was beautiful. As the sun was setting it became spectacular.


This was part of the little Japanese Tea Garden they have at the park. Very pretty and very serene.

I have to wait until after the end of the year before I can get any more ink- gotta get off the massive doses of blood thinners first. But they had tattoo studios all over the place!


I never could decide which one I wanted more- the fresh ravioli or the vintage Vespa. I love Vespas... LOVE them.

Even though he was raised in the DC area, you'd never know James had ever experienced cold before. However, he did sleep with the window open and the AC on at night...


Jill doing some prototype testing at demo. New race bike platform... feels prety stable...

James needed a little nap after a couple days of actual... I mean, hard work. Poor little guy was all tuckered out.

And that's it for the demo... more pictures to follow later, I promise.

Tim

Beautiful Sunday

Took the Masisaughter to the beach today...



It was a beautiful SoCal October day!



And the sand dollars were plentiful!

Tim

-- Post From My iPhone

Breakfast

Sunday with Masidaughter...



... good times...

Tim
-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, October 24, 2008

Home again!

Home again and with my daughter, so things are pretty good right now. However, I really did love my time in New England. The colors and the people (and the food) were incredible. I got tons of pictures as always and will have them to share soon... so stay tuned.

Now, however, my body is telling me that it is past midnight (New England time)... so I'm headed to bed.

Good night my friends- more to come very soon.

Tim

More driving

Driving from Portsmouth NH to Portland ME to visit one of the biggest Masi dealers I'm New England- Back Bay Bicycles.




This trip has been great. Met with some great shops and had a great time at Demo.

Next week: Taipei and then on to Tokyo... ah yes, travel season indeed!

Tim

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Demo rocks!

Dirt Demo East has been great so far- weather has been has been great... but tomorrow is supposed to bring rain and colder weather. Many bikes were ridden today and many people came back with big smiles- which make me love my job even more.

Tomorrow is the last day of demo and then we hit the road for dealer visits. New England has been wonderful and I'm glad we came to the event.

I have been taking lots of picture- as always-and will be posting lots of them soon.

Time for bed... So I'll see you later.

Tim


-- Post From My iPhone

FYI

I love Providence!



Tim
-- Post From My iPhone

Demo begins

It's chilly but beautiful here in Providence!



Tim

-- Post From My iPhone

Demo begins

It's chilly but beautiful here in Providence!



Tim

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, October 20, 2008

Welcome to Roger Williams Park

It's "ok" here...





Tim
-- Post From My iPhone

Weary traveler

Meet our Eastern regioanal sales manager- James Ayres...




He's tired.
Tim -- Post From My iPhone

On the way to Providence

Sitting at the gate in Dulles for my flight to Providence and Eastcoast Demo... See you soon!

Tim


-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

At long last!

The totally new and reworked Masi Bicycles website is now live and functioning!

A few minor tweaks are left to do, but it's up and running now!

You can't even imagine how radically different this process has been from the past and what this new site represents in terms of the brand's continued growth and evolution.

The site is very blog driven, but I'll still be posting here all the time- if anything, this all forces me to blog a bit more. So... you now have even more of me to love- or hate, your choice.

Please check it out and let us know what you think . As I said some tweaks are left to be made, but there are some really sweet changes already there for your enjoyment.

Thank you for your patience as we've gone through this process. It means a lot. Sincerely.

Tim

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Grilled salmon

It's time to eat!




Tim

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, October 13, 2008

Contests

Just a reminder; there is a contest on for October... details here.

Also, since I'm in such a giving mood... there will be an even cooler and bigger contest in the month of November. The lucky winner will win a new Masi bicycle! Oh yeah... you read that right; a new, complete bike. I'll have more details on November 1st- though I'll be in Taiwan at that time, so the announcement might show up at a weird time. That said- stay tuned.

Ok- the cold meds have kicked in, so I am going to bed to rest- I leave for Rhode Island and the Outdoor Demo East on Sunday night, so I need the rest.

Tim

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Once more into the breach...

Trying once again to resurrect the old industry blog... so go check it out...

Tim

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Introducing a new blog in the blogosphere.

I have this friend in Canada and his name is Sean Howard. Sean is, well... kinda different. Ok, very different. However, we share something really cool- a love for bikes. It doesn't hurt that he loves the SoulVille (as he should).

Sean and another cycling kindred spirit have started a new cycling blog that is pretty darned cool- and funny. The premise? Well... riding bikes is fun, being a non-cyclist can be entertaining and enough beer can convince you that you are a great cyclist. Or something like that.

Anyway... short story long, please go check out their new blog and give them some encouragement to keep going... and tell'em I sent ya!

Tim

Beautiful day

So nice to be out!



Tim

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bike nerds

In my element...



Tim
-- Post From My iPhone

The cool stuff

My buddy Sky has a cool bike shop...


... With this kind of thing.

Makes a bike nerd happy.

Tim
-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bring it!

The past two days have seen marathon meetings (nearly 7 hrs yesterday and another 3-4 today). The meetings gave birth, in a big way, to the next, next line of Masi bikes. The bikes we just showed in Vegas haven't even arrived yet, but we have to wrap up out designs for the next year NOW to be able to get them to YOU at the right time next year. I swear, it seems like the development process gets crazier every year, but I am already very proud of the bikes we sat down and created. There will be more than a few surprises- trust me on this one- but you waon't see them for another year... and I'm not saying a thing until next year. BUT I will say this; we make the sexiest looking bikes around! I will proudly stack these bikes up against any other brand out there. They're going to be that good. I'm already proud of the bikes that haven't even arrived yet, but I've been living with them for several months now... and I've moved on.

I've said it once and I'm saying it again; we make great bikes and I love my job!

Tim

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Awesome video!

This video played at the Hutchinson tire booth all during Interbike. It was shot by Steve Boehmke and it just simply kicks ass! Give yourself 4:00 minutes and watch it. It's really great.

Tim

Update/ Correction; just heard from Steve Boehmke- the video is actually shot by Daniel Leeb. On top of it, the "final-final" version is eve nbetter than the version in this link... so I'll be updating it as soon as I get it. Stay tuned. (This is SO exciting!)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Virtual Tradeshow- Interbike 2008- Part Three

Tonight's Virtual Tradeshow will wrap up the series and will highlight two of the most exciting categories of bikes (Steel and 3VC carbon), as well as the new framesets on offer.

So let us begin...

Steel Series:

Our steel bikes are our biggest selling category of bikes and we are extremely proud of them. I've been yammering about steel bikes for decades, literally, and I still believe in their incredible ride character. Sure, as a race dork, I like my super light carbon or scandium bikes too... but steel is and always will be my favorite frame material. We've put together one helluva line of steel bikes for you and I am confident you're gonna like these bikes!


Speciale Fixed- this is our best selling model and with good reason. It is such a joy to ride and it looks gorgeous. Sure, I'm biased, but I spend way more time on this bike than any of the other bikes I am blessed to get to ride (I AM spoiled). The new Metallic Yellow is the "wild" color, compared to the beautiful "mild" Shamrock Green second color option. Double butted steel frame with lugged steel fork, sealed bearing track hubs (flip/flop rear) and a geometry that is comfortable on the road and capable of being ridden on the track as well. The geometry is biased more towards road than track, allowing for less toe overlap when riding on the rough city streets. Overall though, for the money, this is one great bike.


Speciale Fixed LTD- What else can you say about this bike other than "WOW"? The same frame as the Speciale Fixed, but with a lot of upgraded and purdied-up parts on it; the Weinmann rims, the painted chain, the Sugino cranks and chainring with red ano' chainring bolts, the red spoke nipples, the red ano' seat collar and headset spacers, the Deda Velocista steel sprint bars, the MKS pedals and steel toeclips with leather toes... it's a phenomenal bike. And we haven't talked about the finish of the frame! The frame is an unpainted Nekkid (yes, that's the finish name) that is amazing to look at. Since it is unpainted, you get to see the raw steel and all of the character of the tubing, as well as the welds and the bronze at the braze-ons and rear dropouts. It's truly striking.

Speciale Commuter- another of our best selling bikes. The Commuter is another SS/Fixed bike, but with the addition of a rear derailleur hanger, shifter bosses and braze-ons for racks and fenders. It is ready to build up with anything you want and can handle the demands of some light touring or just dirt/ gravel road exploration. It's a sweet rig! The second color option is the Orange Creme color we released last Spring.


Speciale Randonneur- building directly off the platform of the Commuter frame, the Randonneur is designed to be a fully capable touring bike or totally tricked out commuting/ city bike. And, yes, before anybody else points it out- the saddle is too high on this bike. I know, I know, I know... That said, it's still a really beautiful bike. The MKS pedals and toeclips, the Dia-Compe bar end shifters and brake calipers and the included fenders create one mighty nice looking bike for the money. And, yes, it rides really, really well.


Speciale CX- what a sexy bike! Dang! The CX continues to be a very strong bike for us. The geometry is not as aggressive as the CXR and the BB is not as high, but it is still totally capable of getting out in the muck and mire of a cross race. It's also equally happy to be used as an all around city bike, winter foul weather road bike, or a sturdy light touring bike. It's everything you want and nothing you don't! (Sorry... I just had to use that line...)


Speciale (105)- here is a simple, classic, elegant road bike... just made sexier! It's a reasonably rational 105 component spec' with some very nice riding Ritchey wheels and Ritchey bar and stem. It's cool enough there, but when you throw in the over all look of the bike with the white tires, white cable housings and that insanely beautiful Ruby Red metallic paint... it's just too beautiful for normal comprehension. I routinely had to wipe the slobber off the bike during the show. Maybe we'll spec it with a bib next year...

Carbon Series:

Our carbon 3VC bikes kick ass. Don't just take my word for it, ask the riders of the Inferno Pro Cycling team (now Kenda Pro Cycling). They love their 3VC bikes and have been pulling off the wins aboard them. They're great riding frames- this, coming from a guy who is not a huge carbon junky. These frames have excellent stiffness in the rear stays, head tube and bottom bracket area. The curved stays produce an excellent feeling ride that hugs the ground and still manages to eat up road vibrations. Yes... the best of both worlds; "stiff yet compliant"...


3VC 105- the new Ruby Red paint on this carbon bike is unreal. The metallic paint on the carbon has so much depth and luster to it. It is almost 3D when you get it in the sunlight. The 105 parts package is an excellent blend of performance and affordability- it might just be the perfect first true race bike for the aspiring racer out there. Keep in mind that we use the same frame on all models, so the 105 version is the same as the frame ridden by the pros... there's no different carbon used, no heavier resins, no corner cutting... just the same exact frame that our professional riders are lucky enough to ride. You'll also notice that the bike pictured on the bottom here is a new 48cm size that we are bringing in for the 105 model only, for the time being. Like the rest of the Bellissima series, it uses narrower bars and a zero-offset seatpost.


3VC Ultegra SL- this is another one of those bikes that is just amazing. Let's face it, unless you're a pro rider or just have to have the best high end components, the performance of the new Ultegra SL parts is more than adequate. These parts are so close to being Dura Ace level, it'd be hard for me to personally tell the difference in a blind test... it's that good. Add in the amazing Chromium metallic paint that really compliments the Ice Grey finish of the parts and you have a stunning looking bike, but we kick it up a notch (BAM!) with the unreal good looks of the Ritchey Wet Black finish WCS bar, stem and seatpost. There will be Pro Tour riders next year riding on bikes that won't look this good... I promise.


3VC Dura Ace- built up with the all new Dura Ace 7900 component group and some of the sweetest aftermarket friendly parts, this is the racer's dream come true. If you're a Shimano fan, then this is the bike for you! The new Ritchey Wet White stem is a wonderful touch to complete the overall look of the bike as well. It's spec'ed ready to race and turn heads on your favorite group ride.


3VC Team Issue Red- here's the baddest of badass bikes! Full SRAM Red group, Zipp 404 wheels, Ritchey WCS carbon bar, stem and seatpost, Arione saddle and one of the sexiest frames in the industry... what else could you possibly want? If you insist on the very best without compromise, this is the bike you have been lookig for. It's a no-holds-barred badass and is more than happy to make your friends suffer like pigs on your next ride.

Framesets:

We have been slowly building back up the number and types of framesets that we offer. We offer both the CXR and 3VC Team Issue as framesets, as well as complete bikes. And we have the following two additional models available as well... because we believe in options- not limits! (Man, my Marketing mumbo-jumbo is flowing tonight!)



Coltello- this is a full-on race frameset with a very aggressive track geometry and very high bottom bracket for riding the steepest tracks in the world. So fast in fact, current UCI track World Champion Hayden Godfrey (Omnium) races on a Coltello. The uber stiff aluminum frame is all business when it comes to delivering your power to the rear wheel and converting it to speed. I love the way this thing feels. It is amazing. It just kicks ass... plain and simple. The handling is perfect- I like to describe a good track bike as being one that you really steer with your ass and not your arms. By simply shifting your weight on the saddle, you can direct the bike up or down the track and use small amounts of body english to maneuver through the field.

Speciale Sprint- here's the steel version of the Coltello. Simply put- this is the track frame for riders who prefer steel but who don't want to compromise performance. It's the exact same geometry as the Coltello, but built with Reynolds 631 tubing. The night of my horrific crash on the track, I was riding a pre-production sample of this frameset. I can sincerely tell you that up until I nailed the railing and the lights went out, this was one of the best riding experiences I've had. And for good measure, the top tube has a small dent in it, but the frame is still totally straight. NICE! And for all you fixie purists looking to buy a Nagasawa, Reminton or Panasonic retired keirin frame... we've got something a little more affordable and certainly just as cool.

So there you have it! This 3rd and final installment of Virtual Tradeshow completes the line presentation for the upcoming product range. We feel pretty damned proud of our bikes and I'm sure you'll understand why...

Tim