Wednesday, February 25, 2009



- Post From My iPhone


Chicago at 4:00am is very quiet... Just in case you were curious...

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Travelin' man...

Hopping on a redeye flight tonight for Columbus, Ohio with a short layover in Chicago for a couple hours. Once in Columbus, I'll be joining forces with my friend Stefano Lumbaca of Kenda Tires. Since Kenda is the title sponsor of the pro team we also sponsor, Kenda Pro Cycling p/b Spinergy, Stefano and I will be making the drive from Columbus to Greenville, South Carolina for the team's training camp and media launch. Oh yes... I will have my bike with me!

I'll also be traveling with some cameras, my iPhone and an HD video camera, so there will hopefully be plenty of great images and interviews coming from the camp... as well as possible footage of me way off the back on the team training rides. WAY off the back. (Thank God the bikes look so good from behind.)

So, I might be a little invisible for a few days, since I don't know what the internet situation will be like in Greenville... but I do know that we will be staying at George Hincapie's resort/ residential community, so it can't exactly be all bad.

Stay tuned for updates and news along the way. Should be pretty good!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Voices of cycling

Tonight, thanks to my good friend Kathleen King, was something of a banner night for me. After the finish of the Tour of California, I ended up going to a small reception for several of the folks involved with the event from Amgen, AEG and others. I'm still thoroughly a bike nerd, through and through, so getting to stand around with some of the folks there was pretty awesome.

The highlight though, without a doubt, was getting to meet the voices of cycling on TV- Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. When I was a struggling racer, dreaming of fame and glory, Phil's voice would echo in my imagination as I crossed fictional finish lines on my training rides. I never got to hear Phil say anything about me motoring along like an F1 motor car, or listen to him and Paul argue over what stages I had won in the Tour or where they happened. But meeting them both is still none the less cool. It's hard for most American cycling fans to imagine any other voices in cycling.

However, if you are actually attending a major event, the voice you are most likely to hear is not Paul or Phil, but actually Dave Towle.

Dave Towle is arguably "the American voice of cycling"- especially if you're actually at an event. Dave's voice and style of commentating have become legendary and iconic. I finally got to meet Dave this evening and I was floored by his humble character and kindness. Dave professed right away to being a regular reader of this blog and then went on to quote many things about it- from my accident, to my weight, my love of Breaking Away and the little Masidaughter. Dave even went so far as to introduce me to his wife as the writer of one of the most important blogs in cycling (huh?). Coming from Dave Towle, it's pretty damned flattering to me. We talked about Breaking Away, American Flyers and my trips to Taiwan. Needless to say, coming from a man I have a lot of respect for... I was grinning from ear to ear.

As I was leaving the reception and saying good bye to a few people, Dave and I shook hands again and he leaned over with a grin and said something along the lines of "it wouldn't offend me if you mentioned me on the blog". (Then I told him I had already mentioned meeting him on Twitter- which he thought was cool.)

So Dave, if you come back around to read this, it was an honor and a pleasure to meet you. I was and remain sincerely flattered by your comments and support. Now- if you are announcing at any of the races where our pro riders from Kenda Pro Cycling are racing, make sure you tell them that Masiguy wants them to win! Travel safe and I hope to run into you again soon.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Going to the Tour of California!

Thanks to the kindness of the folks at the City of Escondido, I will be at the finish line of the Tour of California tomorrow. Masi is donating a Speciale Fixed LTD to the city to raffle off to help raise funds for the new skatepark they are building. In exchange, they are letting us hang out in their tent at the expo area and display a couple bikes. It should be a lot of fun actually.

So, if you're at the event, please swing by and say hello. I'll be the tall Masidork standing in the booth. You never know who might just swing by the booth either...


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A little more love...

Nearly a month ago, I got a totally unexpected package in the mail with the following;Since it is hard to read here;
Hey Tim,

Here is a little extra motivation for losing that "winter weight", an XL T-shirt.

When you lose that 20lbs, we'll send you a large JERSEY.

Keep up the fight (because we are in the same battle).

Thanks for all that you do,


Well, I'm not quite to that 20lb mark- though as of tonight, after another good roller workout, I am down to 209.2lbs- I am losing weight and feeling fitter and stronger all the time. Not actually feeling FIT or STRONG yet, but closer to each all the time.

I've still got a bit of work to do, but the finish line is a helluva lot closer now than it was a month ago. Just about 5lbs left to reach my pre-crash weight of 205... though nowhere near the same fitness level.

Bryan and the guys at Renaissance Bicycles run a pretty sweet operation taking "vintage" frames and marrying them to modern components to create neo-classical rides. They've got a few sweet beauties worthy of your slobber... so go get your bib and then check out their site. Better yet, stop in the shop and say howdy.

Thanks again Bryan and Renaissance!


Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm officially nuts...

FYI: Riding a fixed gear in the rain on rollers with alloy drums requires slightly more attention than riding on the road in dry weather... I'm just saying.

The rain broke long enough to allow the sun out to dry off the driveway, so with the Masidaughter distracted with a movie, I skipped off down the stairs in my cycling gear with my bike and rollers. About 15- 20 minutes later, the rain starts as a very slight drizzle. Since my legs actually felt great, I decided to press on in case the rain stopped. A few minutes further into the riding and the rain got harder and harder, making the aluminum drums a little slippery and giving my neighbors even more reason to call me a crackpot. One neighbor drove home and pulled in to her parking space while giving me the universal "what the hell is wrong with you" look. Directly across the street from my parking space is a small dentist's office. As I looked up past the dripping brim of my cycling cap, I could see what looked like the entire office staff staring out the window at "that crazy guy across the street on his bike in the rain!"

To add insult to injury, I ended up getting a flat rear tire- which is why I ultimately ended my ride after a little more than 30 minutes, because I had no intention of stopping. Apparently I didn't find all the shards of glass from the case of beer I dropped on the stairs last night as I was bringing in the groceries (I lost 4 brave soldiers in that episode). Riding a fixed gear, in the rain, on the rollers is bad enough... but adding a flat tire to the mix made giving up on the ride a little easier.

If the rain stops long enough later tonight, I'll try again. For now, I'll just settle for being the guy in the neighborhood who gets all the weird stares for being such a lunatic.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's good to not feel bad

Since getting back on the bike after returning from Taiwan and the suffering I did during the epic ride there, I have only missed a few days of being on my bike. Even if modest, I've been logging miles as often as I can. Add to that, the fact that I have a few health issues to deal with and I've been more motivated to ride than I have been for a long time. And the icing on the motivation cake is that I sincerely feel like I owe it to all of you who have supported me so much since the crash to get back on the bike (and stay there this time) and race again. Yes, selfishly I want to race for ME too... but I feel like I owe it to so many other people to get back on the bike and ride again.

At one point in December, I was up to a whopping 225+ lbs- that is after dropping from 205 the night of my crash to 184 when they released me from the hospital the second time. As of today, after my ride on the rollers, I am back down to a more reasonable (and healthy) 208.4. I'm not back in race shape yet, but I'm a helluva lot closer than I was in December!

Here are the weight numbers since 2/7;
2/7- 210
2/8- 212
2/9- 211
2/10- 211
2/11- 212
2/12- 212
2/13- 210.4
2/14- 210.8
2/15- 209.6/ 208.4 (before my roller workout/ after my roller workout)

I know I won't be winning any mountaintop finishes, but I'm feeling a heck of a lot better at that weight than I was at 225.

I've been eating better and riding a lot more, as well as taking my cholesterol meds, so I am looking forward to seeing what the blood test results look like in April. I've also returned to the gym... well, once, for the first time since my crash. I went to the YMCA yesterday for the first post-accident workout and it didn't feel as bad as I feared it would. My right knee was a little sore last night after the workout and I was a little spooked by that, since that is the knee that had the double fracture and has/ had a micro tear in the lateral meniscus. BUT... the soreness was almost entirely gone this morning and my ride on the rollers this afternoon was pain-free. Today, on the rollers, I pushed a little harder too- I did my rock-n-roll sprint interval workout on my fixed gear on the rollers. The point is to sprint as hard as you can during each full-on guitar solo/ riff that happens in each song. I have my Shuffle packed with LOTS of great songs for this type of workout and was pretty much flogging myself for awhile there. I had one block of White Zombie, Rage Against the Machine, Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters. But in the end, it was a great workout and I was dripping with sweat by the time I was done... and it felt great!

I still think I want to try and do some kind of weight loss/ get-in-shape support group type of thing, but I have to find the time to focus long enough to get it going... but stay tuned.

Again, I feel compelled to thank all of you who have been so supportive during my recovery from the crash (and before then too). Without your help and support, I know I wouldn't be as strong and on the road to recovery as I am now. Thank you, from deep within me.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Music you need to have for riding your rollers...

If you're like me and you ride your rollers at night in your driveway, on a fixed gear, with your iPod headphones jammed deep into your skull (and freaking out your neighbors), then I recommend some of the following for truly good workout... (excellent video as well as song)

You can thank me later... when you are winning races.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I didn't get the chance to ride yesterday or last night because of the rain, which was a bummer because my legs felt really great- though I could feel a touch of tendinitis building in my left knee and the rest was welcome.

Tonight, after my daughter went to sleep, I slipped into some spandex and headed down the stairs and out to the driveway with my rollers under one arm and my Speciale Fixed in the other. Riding rollers is not exactly what I like to do when I want to ride, but it better than not riding at all... and riding rollers on my fixed gear is all the better. There is a certain Zen that comes from riding rollers when you find that sweet spot in your pedal stroke where you can accelerate or decelerate with total smoothness and fluidity and the back of the pedal stroke feels as smooth as the front/ bottom. In a one hour ride on the rollers- which is nearly all I can stand before losing my mind... even on my fixed- that sweet spot in the pedal stroke seems to show up about 30- 45min into the workout. From there, reaching the end of the hour (or slightly more) seems to be very easy and painless. It is during these moments that I go back to my teenage daydreams of becoming the first American Merckx...

Needless to say, I didn't reach that dream... but at least I can ride a bike the same color!


Monday, February 09, 2009

Time off

I know it's only 9:00PM, but I'm taking the rest of the night off! I came back to the office today to the usual mountain of mail and boxes at my desk. FYI- Never leave your desk for more than a day/ weekend if you can avoid it. However, at the bottom of the mountain was a box from Shimano. The box was the perfect size to fit most, if not all, of a new Shimano 7900 Dura Ace group... but that wasn't it.

Instead, my good friend Tyler at Shimano sent me a copy of the incredible Cor Vos cycling photography book, Emotions. This book is filled with some of the most incredible cycling images ever. For as familiar as most English-speaking cycling fans are with the work of Graham Watson, there are very few who recognize the name Cor Vos. And that's a pity.

I'm only a few pages into the book so far and I am absolutely riveted by the images of bicycle racing beginning in the late 1960's. My love of cycling began in 1982 and the images in the book bring back memories of old magazines and photos taped to the walls and ceiling of my bedroom.

So even though I'm only a few hours into the second shift, I'm taking the rest of the night off to spend some quality time with some incredible cyclilng images... I hope you won't mind.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Manager's Camp 2009

This last week I was in Boulder City, NV for the Manager's Camp put on by our friends at Sun & Ski Sports. Just like last year, we went to Boulder City to educate the store managers and key personnel on the Masi (and Haro) lines and to get the chance to answer questions and go for some rides! This year, unlike last year, the weather was much more accommodating- relatively warm, beautiful blue skies and only one day with heavy winds. Last year it was freezing cold and very windy, so this was a welcome change!

Jill Hamilton during her presentation of the Haro MTB line.

The demo truck and trailer- time to set up before the riders show up.

And there they are! Picking over the fleet of Haro and Masi bikes, plus the offerings from Marin, Scott and Look.

My ride group on the first day at the lookout over the dam, from the Arizona side.

Riding back from the dam and back to the demo area. Notice the smiling face of Michael Beach of the San Antonio store; super nice guy with a ton of enthusiasm for the Masi brand... and the happy owner of a 3VC Ultegra, I might add!

Just like last year, we had a day of indoor presentations and then we moved outside for some bike riding. The terrain in Boulder City, around Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, is pretty hilly with some great views around the lake and dam. It's a beautiful place to ride a bike, even with all the road work going on as you head to and from the dam. There is a bike path that goes along the lake and back to Boulder City that is nearly completed and is an incredible ride. The terrain of the path varies from gentle rollers, easy flat sections and leg-busting steep climbs- it's got a little bit of everything.

Our first ride was just minutes before sunset on Monday evening after driving 6+ hours to get to Boulder City... but we just HAD to ride!

Jill and James cruising along the really great bike path in the dessert- it's just a ribbon of asphalt that winds through the dessert and is a real blast to ride.

The view of the Hoover Dam from the Arizona lookout. Such an impressive piece of man made architecture.

Jill and James on our "epic" ride Wednesday morning on the bike path along the lake.

FYI- They have poo.

All in all, it was a great trip and we were happy to be asked again to participate in the event. I always enjoy getting to spend valuable time with our customers... and the best times are when riding bikes!

(more pics to come)


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Masi Love

Got this from my good friend Tim Grahl;

Hey Tim,

Thought I'd share the attached picture with you...

I'm sure you've heard of Shonny Vanlandingham of the Luna mountain bike team. Well she has her own coffee farm and is selling her first batch of coffee from Wahine Farms ( and I bought some. So of course I had to try my first shot of Wahine espresso in my mini Masi mug I got from you a couple years ago :)

Hope you're doing well!


Makes my heart happy...

(PS- more posts and pictures coming soon.)