Sunday, March 29, 2009
I got up and got dressed at a leisurely pace and slurped my coffee in calm as I got my daughter ready for school. Once I drove her to school, I came home and took a shower and shaved the legs for the first time in 2 weeks (they were getting gross). After that, I hopped into my spandex and headed out for my first ride in 2 weeks. I got out on my fixed gear and cruised around the bay area for a little more than hour- after being off the bike for 2 weeks, spinning the fixed sure felt like a helluva work out! Still, it was a beautiful morning and it was great to spin and ride in the sun. I felt like I had done nothing but eat for the 2 weeks I was away... and my riding reflected that... ugh. But I loved every painful pedal stroke.
I got back home and showered a second time so I could head to the school to see my daughter's "play"- the PE Circus. It was essentially a series of short "skits" by the kids of things they have been doing in their PE class. Needless to say, it was pretty darned cute and had me in stitches from giggling with the other parents. Masidaughter was paired with her very best friend and they were too cute.
After the PE Circus, we hopped in the car and headed out to see Monsters vs Aliens in 3D... WOW! It was so well done- tons of good adult gags to laugh at, plenty of great 3D tricks, lots of good kid jokes... it was a very well done movie I highly recommend it. Masidaughter called it 'the best movie ever", though I wouldn't go quite that- it was still very good.
All in all, Friday was precisely the kind of day I wanted and needed. The rest of the weekend has been pretty good too- we went to the beach yesterday and today she had a playdate with another one of her classmates and I went for a 2hr ride. Not a bad weekend at all.
I hope your weekend was great too. Here's to a smooth week ahead!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Today, I am taking the day off so I can get back to my life here. I need to clean my apartment, open the mail, finish paying bills and hopefully go for a short ride to get back in the swing of things. While gone, I put back on 6 of the pounds I'd lost before leaving. I'm now back up to 210, but I'm confident it'll drop back off pretty quickly once I get back to riding and eating better. The best thing about taking the day off is that I get to go to a "play" at my daughter's school- this will be the first one I have been to in probably two years. Sad fact... but I'm looking to reverse that trend. I sometimes miss out on the small beauties of parenthood because of my work schedule, the travel and the fact that I am too much of a workaholic. Fortunately, my daughter doesn't yet see that I miss too many of these school functions... and I hope to stop missing too many of them. So today is largely dedicated to her and that makes me happy.
You can see many of the pictures I took while in Taiwan on my Facebook page in my Mobile Uploads and Taipei 2009 galleries. I have a bunch more photos to load to Facebook too, so the Taipei 2009 gallery is going to keep growing. The show itself was a great success and the following two days of factory and vendor visits were also very productive. I love the trips to Taiwan because it always feels like so much gets accomplished while there, as well as the time I get to spend with my girlfriend.
Last night, in another jetlagged haze, I recorded the 10th episode of the Masiguy Podcast... finally. It's another one of my trademarked ramblings. One of these days I'll get better organized and actually have a plan or script to follow when I record one of these things. For those of you who have been trying to download the podcast from iTunes, it IS actually on there now. I have no idea why it took so long to get it worked out, but you can now download my rambling nonsense onto your iPod and take me with you... frightening, I know. This most recent "show" is about 33 minutes long, so the suffering is relatively brief.
Unlike me, I forgot another little recent hallmark; March 4th was the 4th anniversary of this blog. It's been an amazing journey over the past 4 years, to say the least. So much of my life has been lived out on this blog and my life has changed because of it- good and bad. The best thing about the blog has been the community of people I have grown to know and love. Sincerely- it is a blessing in my life to have the friends that I do and to have met so many fantastic people via this blog and the other Social Media outlets that have become a part of my life since beginning this project 4 years ago. I can not thank you enough for being a part of my life and for being interested in the things I have published here. My life has benefitted from this experience and I hope to continue posting and sharing for at least another 4 years!
Alright, it's time to get going on chores so that I can have a little time to ride today as well.
Thank you and I'll be back soon.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Here are a few pics from the show- hope you like'em.
Outside the new Nangang exhibition hall. The bike show last year was the first ever event in the new building. The surrounding area is much more developed now as well. Very cool building
A nice line-up of Masi Mini-Velo bikes. These were developed with the close relationship with both our Japanese and Taiwanese distributors. I personally believe they could find a happy home in the US as well- they really are fun to ride and fit in with the emerging commuter market in the US and elsewhere. We've been working on a fixed gear version as well... which I WILL be getting a sample of for myself!
Remember Mitsue? She's the Masi spokesmodel for Taiwan. She's also a very lovely young woman and incredibly sweet. Needless to say, she drew a bit of attention to the bikes and the booth when she was there.
The wonderful Stella Yu- owner of Velo. She's easily one of the most important people in the Taiwan bike industry and is also an incredibly generous and gracious woman. She's one of the vendors I sincerely have a lot of respect and appreciation for. I arrived in Taiwan early so that I could attend her annual pre-show party. Stella is a fantastically shrewd and successful business woman and I have immense respect for her and what she has done with her company in such a male dominated industry. I always learn a little something from her.
A view of the presentation from the back of the room. The presentation and live entertainment are always a big part of the dinner party.
I would love to have this wonderful old La Pavoni espresso maker!
Some cool items on display on the shelves at my favorite coffee shop here in Taichung. The walls are covered with cool artwork/ photos and the place is just a wonderfully cool and hip spot to hang out and enjoy an afternoon.
The famous Taipei 101 on my way out of Taipei after the show- it's an amazing structural marvel and a true testament to the strength and power of the Taiwanese people. It's a jewel on the island and a source of pride... for good reason.
More pictures can be found on my Facebook page in my Taipei 2009 gallery... if you're in the mood for more.
That's it for now... more to follow.
Thanks again for all the birthday wishes as well. It was a great day and I am thankful for all the friends I have.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Snapped a couple pics that are worth sharing (full album is on my Facebook page);
Today has been all about the lazy. Slept in late and then went with my girlfriend to the gym- I watched her swim laps while I sat in the sun. I should've been in the weight room- I know- but I was enjoying the sun and the fact that I did not have to be anywhere today. It's rare for me to have a "day off" when I am here in Taiwan, so I've been enjoying this little luxury. Afterward, we went to lunch and had noodles and soup and vegetables and other great traditional foods. Now, sitting in the coffee shop getting my caffeine, I'm beginning to reawaken and feel less off kilter. My hope is that this extra day will give me a little more time to be adjusted to the time difference by Tuesday when the actual show begins. I really hate being in my meetings falling asleep because I'm totally wiped out from the jetlag. This day of relaxation will hopefully help to curb that some. Plus, it's great to just be able to relax and enjoy a day with my girlfriend.
The trip began as a total stress-fest. I got up in the morning with time to pack and relax, hoping to keep the stress to a minimum. I got to the airport and had to weigh my bags prior to going to check in and one of the two was over the allowed fifty pounds... and United now charges $200 for any bag over the limit! CRAP! So, I pulled seven pounds of stuff out of my big bag and put it in the already-full small bag. Thank Gawd the zipper held! So, after that little stress, I checked in and they put me on a flight that was going to leave almost an hour earlier for San Francisco because there were lots of weather delays in SF, thanks to heavy fog. Well, that "earlier" flight ended up leaving an hour after my originally scheduled flight! But the original flight left San Diego after my flight out of SF, so it was the right move. But after running to get to the gate for the early flight and then sitting, and sitting, and sitting... I was very worried about making my flight out of SF and/ or the possibility the flight would leave SF late and then I would miss my connecting flight in Tokyo to Taipei! In the end, my flight to SF landed with enough time for me to grab a little lunch- since I hadn't eaten dinner the night before or breakfast that morning- and then had to wait at my gate for only 10 minutes before boarding for an on-time departure to Tokyo. We got to Tokyo with enough time for me to have sushi at the excellent sushi bar there in Narita airport- the tuna was UNREAL. The flight from Tokyo to Taipei was a little delayed in arrival due to strong winds, but we landed fine and my bags both arrived with me... so it was all good! I must say though, the turbulence on the flights was the worst I have experienced in a very long time. Their were a few moments when you could tell some of the passengers were getting a bit tense. I'm not usually effected by it, but it was enough to make even me a little green a couple times.
Once I landed in Taipei and got my bags, I was met by my lovely girlfriend and we took the bus to Taichung- where she lives- and then it was time to sleep since it was 2:00AM local time. Sleeping in until nearly 10:00 felt like such a luxury. Lazily enjoying the day like this is something I rarely get to do- here or at home- so it's been very enjoyable. It's a very beautiful day in Taichung today. The only thing missing is a bike ride... but I'm going to work on keeping a bike here permanently so I can ride when I want to. I'll just keep a small supply of clothes, a helmet and shoes here and then I'll be able to ride when I come here without the hassle of dragging all those things with me each time.
Alright, time to get back to my coffee and my girlfriend. The jazz is kicking in and it's time to do a little reading and writing.
More posts to come during the show- promise.
Tim (in Taichung)
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
What is your favorite sized gear to ride on your fixie on the street? Personally, I spend the bulk of my time on a 46x16... how about you? Leave your answer in the comments.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Here are few jams from the Shuffle tonight;
(Love the Muppets!)
So now you have some ammo for your next roller session too!
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Tonight's musical salvation came in the form of the following;
And this (no embed allowed... boo...)
Time for a beer and then bed!
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Don't worry, it's not one of my bikes, though I know the owner. I'll forgo calling him out on this... which proves that I'm getting kinder in my old age.
All I will say is that it's a good thing his girlfriend is so cool...
That stated, I have friends at Swobo... friends with privileges- but not the kind of privileges that might make you all tingly. My friend Stevil Knevil shared a tidbit of newsdom with me today that I am sharing because I love you all so much and because the folks at Swobo are rad... trust me on this...
The Bay Area clothing/ bicycle manufacturer known only as Swobo (the meaning of which is whatever you want it to be) has pulled the keystone out of a proverbial landslide of goods and have cut prices up to five hundred trillion percent.
Jerseys, Merino wool casual wear, technical riding shorts, scarf and hat combos that would make Harry Potter go M.C. Hammer with envy and much more all can be found in our Yard Sale;
Hells yeah, and we'll see you there.
So I recommend you check this here deal out, most rickety-tick, before all the goodies are gone away.
You can thank me later.
(No... I get nothing from Swobo for this little news bulletin. I just happen to dig them and there duds. So there.)
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
The Kenda Pro Cycling (KPC) training camp was awesome! The weather didn't exactly cooperate, but that didn't stop the camp from being both productive and fun. Many of the guys on the team I have met before over the past 3 previous seasons, but there are a lot of other new faces too. Watching these guys ride together and get to know each other was pretty cool and exciting. All the ingredients are there for the team to succeed in races of all types this year. I think a lot of folks are going to be surprised when the pinstripes and flames of KPC step on the podium of the larger races in the country this season. I won't be surprised... but some other folks might be.
Tomorrow is a medium sized big day for me- I'll elaborate and hopefully have pictures tomorrow. Until then... just keep guessing.
Since my eyelids are slamming shut on me, I guess it is time for bed. So until the next time...
Sunday, March 01, 2009
The drive went through some truly beautiful country and I was shocked to not see any snow at all. However, I did see numerous icicles hanging off of rock faces along the roads where the water was seeping through the rocky hillsides. Otherwise, the drive was pleasantly uneventful and we managed to not get lost along the way.
Camp was based in a beautiful part of Greenville's downtown area and we stayed at the Westin Poinsett, which is a wonderful hotel. When we arrived, the hotel was practically over run by the team riders, the staff, sponsors and a fleet of bikes being assembled and riders being fitted by Tom Coleman and his Wobblenaught staff. It looked a high end bike shop had exploded in the hotel as people scurried to get riders equipped with bikes and all the other sponsor products. It was pretty cool to see the riders being fitted, bikes being built and a season's worth of gear being handed out... it was like bike nerd Christmas come true.
Morning came very early after such a long previous day and it came pretty cold. It was cold and grey, but we got out and rode to the Hincapie Sportswear headquarters for a visit with Rich Hincapie and then some team photos.
After the team photos, we headed out for a nice little bike ride which felt great to my legs after all that travel the day before. My legs were dead, but getting them moving felt awesome and it was a lot of fun to get out and ride with the team.
We're about to board the plane, so I have to go for now... but maybe I'll post more pics from Chicago during my layover if I can get the wifi working.