I know I've been a terrible blogger as of late. Heck, I've been pretty bad about Twitter and Facebook too... and don't even get me started on the marketing blog or the podcast. Needless to say, my Social skills in the whole Social Media realm have been getting rusty lately. Chalk it up to being super-stressed with work and life. Wish I could say I've just been riding too much to blog... but I haven't even been on my bike in about a month. All that weight I lost is being found... dammit.
Well, anyway, I owe you all many thanks for sticking around this silly little stopping point in the blogosphere. I hope to eventually get back into the swing of things and get some content flowing around here again. For now, let's finish the whole Korea /Taiwan/ Japan adventure... shall we?
The Korean show was really awesome. Sanghoon Yoon, who owns/operates our distributor there Kisong International is a fantastic guy and his partner Jay is also very cool. I really enjoyed being in Seoul and really do hope to visit there again... especially when it isn't so cold! It began to snow as I was leaving- the wind was blowing the snow sideways and about 30mph. I'm looking forward to seeing nice things happen in the Korean market! It was pretty exciting to give 3 magazine and 1 television interview during the one day I was at the show- felt like a really good introduction of the brand to the market.
The booth; nothing other than Masi and Brev M parts! No way I can complain about that.
Sanghoon and I sitting for one of the magazine interviews- under the watchful eye of Faliero Masi. No pressure... no, not at all.
Could this stack of tubes be your next Masi? If you're lucky, they just might be...
In the jig to test mitering of tubes to make sure the stay is mitered properly for the seat tube to be welded to it.
A couple old dropouts used for checking tolerances. They never get ugly to me.
If you're in Korea and looking for a Speciale Premio frameset... be patient, they're on the way!
A rooftop view of Taichung- my home away from home and where I met my wife. Needless to say, I like Taichung a lot.
This "graffiti" was on a wall near my in-law's home in Taipei. Such a cool, random thing.
Once in Tokyo- actually Asakusa- I headed to the temple, like I always do. This year though, the main temple was being restored. Still, it didn't stop me from walking up and saying prayers.
I love this temple. I'm not a Buddhist, I'm more of a religious omnivore- I take and hold onto all the tidbits of religions that feel right to me. Visiting churches and temples of all kinds fills me with great peace and happiness.
The "other" reason for my visit to Tokyo was the annual CyleMode consumer show and the booth was jumping all three days of the show.
The new Brev M parts line was making a nice intro as well in Japan- lots of very savvy riders in Tokyo, arguably the savviest- so it was good to see the consumers hanging around the parts and checking them out. One of the very sexiest bike parts I've seen in a very long time- high flange Suzue 10spd road hub. I must've slobbered over that hub for a good 10 minutes. I kept walking back to it too... I'm a nerd.
Vittoria has reproduced some of their classic road shoes and these red ones with hard racing soles were so sexy I nearly walked away with them... but they were far too small for my size 12 feet... dammit!
Rin Project makes some of the very coolest stuff you can possibly imagine! Oh man... I've been slobbering over their product since the show last year. This year I got to meet one of the coolest cats around, Koichiro Nakamura, whose business card calls him the company Communicator... I love that title. Koichiro is a super cool dude and I thoroughly dug hanging out in his booth for a bit slobbering over the cool stuff they make. The hairnet helmet with snap on visor is on my Must Have list... in case anybody is shopping for me. The knickers are sweet too... too many cool things. Check out their stuff- no US distribution yet, as they are taking their growth slowly and cautiously, but they make some incredible products. Trust me...
We all know how much I love Keirin racing, but I still haven't had the pleasure of getting to a race while in Japan. But I walked up on this display and what I thought was going to be a Keirin discussion of some kind, but all I got to watch was some excellent race footage of the 2009 season. I was on edge watching the racing and really itched to be on my bike in the thick of the action!
Many a Keirin rider in Japan and around the world owes this man a huge thank you- this is Toshiyuki Ogino. Ogino-san is the President of MKS- the son of the company founder- and runs the company with immense pride. It was an honor to meet the man behind the brand- a brand we are SUPER proud to be able to spec on our bikes, even if only on a few bikes. MKS pedals are some of the finest around and there are only a few companies who have the ability to use the famous NJS stamp on their products.
Dessert one night after an incredible dinner- my fantastic hosts never miss a detail- ever! The great people at Kozaki are fantastic to work with and I am extremely proud to have them as our distributor for Japan.
Dinner the last night in Tokyo was at a very prestigious teppanyaki grill... and I think my taste buds died and went to heaven. The Kobe beef was so incredibly succulent and tasty... surreal. The company was also fantastic, making the meal that much more enjoyable.
The train ride to the airport was quiet and smooth- as all train rides in Japan are. If Japan does not have the best subway/ train system in the world, then it has to be among the finest.
I spend a ton of time traveling with this job. The travel has taken me around the world to countries I only ever dreamed I'd see and experience. Korea was all new for me and it is now a country I hope I am lucky enough to return to. Japan is a country I have now visited for the past three years and I am in love with the country and the people. I hope to be lucky enough to return for a bit longer and get out of Tokyo to see more of the land and people... and I would LOVE to have a bike with me! Taiwan is truly my second home now and is the place where I met my wife and now have family and a home. I am very proud of the fact that our bikes are made in Taiwan and I always enjoy my time in Taiwan, no matter where I go. Sometimes I get whiny about the travel, especially when it is during the periods of the year where I am traveling nearly every other week. But, truth be told, aside from the whacked out sleep patterns, the lack of riding, the time away from loved ones at home, I do really enjoy traveling for a living. I dreamed of being a paid cyclist traveling the world because of a bicycle... the dream has turned out a bit differently than I originally thought, but it is no less rewarding.