I just back home last night, after nearly a week in the desert around Lake Mead, in Boulder City Nevada. Once again, I was there as part of a group with Jill Hamilton (Haro MTB/ Lifestyle Brand Manager) and James- "Monkey"- Ayres (Eastern Regional Sales Manager). Together, we were in Boulder City to speak to the bike department managers of one of our largest retail partners, Sun & Ski Sports. We also did two days of demo rides on various bikes. It should be noted that on one of the slides of my presentation, where I was thanking them for our partnership, I inadvertently spelled the name of the company as "Sun & SKIN"... amazing the difference in meaning one little letter can cause. After our time spent with "Sun & Skin", we did a few more retail shop visits with some Haro/ Masi bike shops in the Las Vegas/ Henderson area to complete the retail interaction experience!
During the time we were there, we also had a few chances to get out for some great bike rides as well...
Monday was spent driving, so there was no riding.
James almost always falls asleep as soon as the car starts moving- he's meditating on how to make Masi an even bigger success... or checking his eyelids for holes.
In all the years I've made the drive to Las Vegas, I've never seen this much snow in the desert- this was at about 4,000' elevation. Pretty surreal to see snow this low... with cactus all over the place.
Tuesday morning, James and I got out for a ride down to the Hoover Dam and up the other side to the Arizona viewpoint.
Overlooking the Hoover Dam/ Colorado River- always an amazing view that just never gets old to me.
In all the years I've been riding in this area, it's the first time I've actually seen big horn sheep. These two females were nibbling away just below the Arizona overlook. Two males were up on the ridge above. They seemed totally unimpressed by the modern, mechanical world that rolled around them. Pretty cool.
James looked a little happier to be finishing the ride after all the climbing we had to do coming back from the dam. Not sure of the amount of climbing we did on that ride, but it's a pretty fair amount!
Tuesday afternoon the S & S guys came out for the 1st day of demo rides and that evening we did our brand presentations... where I made my simple typo that I will never get to live down... I'm pretty sure.
The guys getting their demo rides ready- the Speciale CX was a popular bike of choice, as were the 3VC 105 bikes.
Jill, during her presentation- she did an awesome job and was a very tough act to follow.
Wednesday, I got to ride with a few of the S & S guys on a nice 20 mile out and back loop. The wind stayed mellow, so it wasn't a total death march... even though the last few miles were all up hill.
Thursday was our big dealer visit day, but that morning we got out for a nice ride in the Boulder City area on their fantastic 31 mile bike path. Jill won the studdette of the day award for riding the last half of the ride without a functioning front shifter. She muscled her way up some pretty good hills in her big ring before allowing me to finally release the shift cable so she could ride in the small ring the rest of the ride.
Jill and James after an incredible section of bike path that had some amazing, rolling, twisty climbs. Such fun!
After our ride, we headed out to three excellent bike shops in the Henderson/ Las Vegas area;
JT's Bicycles has a few great Masi bikes and the guys there were all very nice. Tell'em the Masiguy sent you in when you go in to buy your first/ next Masi!
Bike World is an "old school" bike shop- in all the good ways. It may not be the most glamorous looking, high polished shop, but after 40 years in business they've built a loyal following by providing good service to their customers. The poster above was on my wall for many years- Francesco Moser was a great hero of mine when I was a starry-eyed teenager dreaming of racing in Europe.
Our last shop of the day was Bike Shop in Henderson. Though they have no Masi in stock at the moment, they have had some in the past and may be bringing them in again- so go talk to Terry and the guys about getting more of them in the store! I fell in love with the Land Shark in the above photo. Land Shark was one of those brands I always lusted after and respected when I was racing in the late 80's/ early 90's. The paintjobs were always among the nicest around, at the time. Land Shark remains one of the most beautiful bike brands I know of- equally as impressive as those by Dario Pegoretti.
Friday morning I got out for one last ride to the dam before we hopped in the truck for the long 6+hr drive back to San Diego. It was a cool, grey morning, but the ride was still great... except for the gnarly headwind I had coming back up the nearly 10 miles of climbs back to the hotel!
The gorgeous twisties that lead into Arizona after you cross the dam.
The view from the top, from the Arizona side.
After a shower and a cup of bad, hotel coffee...
These very impressive bronze statues are a part of a memorial to all the men who died during the construction of the Hoover Dam- we should never forget that great civil projects often come with an unspoken price; there are 96 officially listed deaths from the construction of the dam, though many believe that number to be significantly greater.
All in all, it was a great week spent with some great people... and I got to do some pretty good riding as well!