Sunday, January 30, 2011

End of one journey and the beginning of another.

The news is out, thanks to the time difference between here and the UK...

And it is true; I am moving on from Masi and joining ASI (Fuji, Breezer, SE Racing, Kestrel, Terry Precision, & Oval Concepts). I'll be the Lifestyle/ Transportation Category Manager, dealing with bikes from Fuji, Breezer, SE Racing and a few Terry Precision models. The new role will be something of a hybrid of what I have been doing for the past 6.5yrs, blended with more of a traditional Product Manager position. I'll be chasing spec- all around the globe- and working to more directly create the best possible bikes I can for the company, as well as helping to strengthen the voice of the various brands under the ASI umbrella. It's obviously a very big change in my world and one that was not taken without tons of deliberation.

Masi has been my home, my job, my love, my passion and my obsession for the past several years- and even since my childhood in many ways. Leaving the company and my friends there was not entirely unlike the gut wrenching pain and emotional chaos of my divorces. I can not thank the great friends I have still at Masi/ Haro for all of their support and encouragement over the years as we rebuilt a once great brand that had gone quiet over the years. Masi was a much smaller and relatively dormant brand when I was given the opportunity to become the steward of the brand in October of 2004. Since that time, though still a smaller brand, Masi has grown from 8 models and domestic-only distribution to a brand with over 30 models and distribution in nearly a dozen countries... and it continues to grow.

I have been blessed to work with and meet many people who I will be friends with for the rest of my life. I have been to several countries around the world and have been able to ride a bike in many of them- seeing and feeling why the bicycle is the ultimate invention. The job has brought me more joy and happiness than any one post here can possibly detail- it would take me days, if not weeks, to write it. Suffice it to say- it's been an incredible damn ride.

Like most rides though, this one has come to an end- a joyous one at that. My recent trip to Texas to meet with and clinic folks at Sun & Ski in Houston was a very bittersweet one; knowing it was my last trip as "the Masiguy" and not saying anything about the changes coming was very hard for me- the folks at Sun & Ski have become friends over the years I have been working with them. The consumers who have purchased Masi bikes from them are special to me as well. Needless to say, I had some very conflicted and powerful emotions during the trip. But, I also knew that something incredible lay just over the horizon.

The move to ASI represents many changes and challenges that I can not wait to attack with the same passion that helped me to drive and pursue the changes that helped make Masi so much more successful. I am still a race nerd and am very enthusiastic about the sport, but I've grown increasingly passionate about transportation/ commuting bikes over the years and have a strong desire to find ways to make bicycles a bigger part of people's every day lives. As I look at the world that my children will inherit, I see a greater need to get people on bikes more often- either for the environment or for their health. This new role will give me the chance to find ways to make that happen- either through the product or through the advocacy efforts of the company. ASI is one of the most active companies in the industry when it comes to cycling advocacy

I've built something of a reputation in the world of Social Media and alternative marketing strategies, and I plan to do the same with ASI. I'll have the chance to work with some incredibly talented people to help get the word out about all of the various things the brands in the company are doing. I am very excited to work with some incredible people at ASI- from the marketing team, to the product team, to the brand team... I'm going to be getting to work with some amazing people... again.

This new position gives me the luxury of working from home, when I am not in Asia or other parts of the country and world. I'll be on the road quite a lot, especially for the first year or so, but having the chance to see more of my family when I am home means a lot to me. It isn't to say that it won't have it challenges and difficulties, but it's something I feel that I am professionally ready to tackle as I grow and learn.

I'm so thankful for this opportunity- just as I was 6.5yrs ago when I was given the chance to pilot Masi. Masi will always remain a love of mine and the bikes of the past few years will always be "my babies". I am so very proud of the things we did there and I sincerely wish them the very best success in the years ahead. I'll be more than a casual observer... for the rest of my career in the industry.

But now a new chapter begins and I am every bit as excited and nervous as I was on my first day working for Masi- flying to Las Vegas for the Interbike tradeshow, reading catalogs and learning all that I could before hitting the show floor as the new Brand Manager. ASI is my new home and I am excited to get started. With that in mind, I will no longer be posting here... though I have hardly posted here in the past year anyway! I will now begin posting to Two Wheels and Half a Brain and I promise to make every effort I can to keep it alive as much as possible. It's a work in progress still, so forgive the growing pains as I finish building the new blog... it might get hectic and messy, but I'll eventually find something I like and stick with it. I hope.

I can't post this without thanking the thousands and thousands of people who have shared in my life and my world since I created this space more than 5 years ago. YOU have no idea how much you mean to me. I promise that I would be a different person without you all. And not as happy. All of you have impacted my life in many different and wonderful ways- I am so very thankful for your friendship, support and encouragement. I can never repay you enough. But I'll try by continuing to be who I am and to love what I do and share it all with you.

It's not good-bye, it's just a different venue. Same bike geek, new bike channel.

Thank you- from the bottom of my heart.


Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm divorcing 2010 and starting a fling with 2011!

2010 was looking a little worn out and bedraggled. Starting to show her age- a little junk in the trunk. A few too many grey hairs. Things a little lower than they once were.

But then 2011 came along and flashed a wicked smile. She's younger, true, but she's also smart, funny, compassionate... and HOT! Oh man, she's got an as... I mean, great personality. I think she's the one- I see a real future with her, one with great promise. I know we've only just met, but I just have a feeling about her... one that just escapes words.


Kidding aside, I wish all of you a fantastic new year that is filled with nothing that you don't want and all that you do. As for me, I plan to keep trying to be the best father and husband I can and try to grow and improve. Maybe fewer mistakes, but not if they come at the expense of learning, growing and gaining new experiences that make me a more complete person.

This past year has been one of many wonderful blessings, like the birth of my second daughter- Lily, and many other big and small things. This poor blog has been neglected, among other projects I've begun or tried to resurrect, but I am hopeful that 2011 will give me the clarity to focus better on the things that have thus far evaded my grasp.

I am blessed to have the people in my life that I do- from friends and family, to acquaintances, to colleagues, to the myriad of professional contacts and associates, to the athletes I work with... to each and every person who happens to stop by here from time to time to see what the hell I've been up to. Thank you all. Sincerely and from the bottom of my heart- I am blessed. Believe me, when things start to add up or burden me and make me search for happiness, I am always brought back to the myriad people in my life. So thanks. I am better because of you.

Here's to hoping that 2011 is a better year for us all- across the globe. It's a Piscean dream to pray for world peace and an end to hunger and strife, but dammit I can't help it. To all of you across the globe- Happy New Year 2011.

Thank you,


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So... where did I leave off?

Is it really almost 2011? I mean... 2011?! Jeesh...

The year is wrapping up far too fast and this poor, neglected blog has all but withered out of existence recently. Again, my defense- and I feel it's a good one- is that the conversation is still going on, but largely on my Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the Tumblr picture blog. I love this blog and whatever it is in the process of evolving into, but I have become to the more immediate gratification of near-instant dialog on Twitter and Facebook... as much as it limits my excessively wordy nature (whether that is bad is in the eye of the beholder).

Since the last update in mid-November, I've been running around all over the place of course... duh. Thanksgiving came and went in a turkey fueled blur of fun and family. Lily was unimpressed by the whole experience, but she's still too young to eat anything good... she'll be ready next year. Katie spent more time playing with my nephew Jack than she did eating, which is likely a good thing. The two of them had a blast.

The end of November and first few days of December were spent in New York and Pennsylvania, traveling with my sales rep- Keith Murphy. In the span of just a few days, we saw a whole bunch of bike shops and made some great progress with Masi all the way from Buffalo, NY to Pittsburgh, PA. I'm very excited by the progress we've been making this year- new shops are coming on board all the time and existing shops are trying more products; the Masi Global Domination is in full effect!

The weather, as of late, has been crappy- "cold" and raining- so I have been staying off the bike in an attempt to continue getting healthier. The cough is getting a lot better, though not gone, and the inhaler seems to be helping a little. All in all, I am exercising patience more than my body... but I am holding on to the belief that I will be back in full stride soon enough and the race season ahead will still be full of wins.

The family is doing great; Ann is healthy, though she is hands-down the healthiest person I've ever known. She's still swimming nearly every single day and is now within a couple pounds of her pre-pregnancy weight... which means she weighs nothing again. Katie, aka Masidaughter 1.0 is kicking ass! She is SUCH an amazing child- doing well in school, acting in a Junior Theater play- Alice in Wonderland. She and I still, among other things, share a great of love music together. I hope that I can say that in 10 more years because right now, it really makes me happy to have music in common with her. Lily has several teeth now and is healthy as a tiny, pudgy, pink ox. She scared the hell out of us with a cough that we took her to the doctor about- due to the cough I've had for so long. Turns out that the cough was garden variety and she had a bad ear infection instead... and now she's just fine! Even Masiboy, step-son from previous marriage has made a few cameo visits. He's IN COLLEGE now and working... and is still an excellent young man. I don't see him or hear from him nearly enough for my liking, but it's always great when I do- and it makes me proud to see him each time. All in all, family is the highlight of my existence.

Work is a constant blur. Those of you who have been a reader here for long (my apologies again) will remember those days a few years ago when I would blog "today/ this week was really busy!" Well, now it is more of an exception when things are slow. The brand is doing really well and the 2011 bikes are making a lot of noise for a small, humble brand. The new carbon bikes are in and shipping fast! It is amazing to me to see how well they are doing- amazing only because I had the pleasure and terror of being deeply involved in the design of the frames. When you're shelling out money for molds, you can find yourself losing sleep worrying about geometry or top tube lengths or any number of things. When the products show up, looking like a million bucks and riding like a dream, it is a HUGE relief and release. This past weekend I finally got to ride one of the newly finished bikes that will be in the demo fleet. This was my first ride on the completed product in my size and the suspense had been killing me. It is no exaggeration to say that I was a little (lot) nervous when I first clipped in and rolled away... but that nervousness was quickly replaced with total joy. Let me just say one thing; we got it right. The bike handles perfectly, the bottom bracket stiffness is amazing, the vertical compliance of the seat stays gives it great seated comfort and the oversize headset gives the front end tons of stiffness as well. As much as anything can ever live up to its marketing hype, these bikes surpass my expectations... a lot. Needless to say, I'm super proud of the work we did to create the Evoluzione bikes.

But it isn't all about the carbon bikes this year either- though they are getting some awesome reviews. The new steel bikes are kicking butt too, especially the new CXSS steel single speed cross bike. The bikes are already sold out on my size, so I can't even get one for myself and they are selling out fast in other sizes too. A single speed cross bike isn't for everybody, I know, but man is it a fun bike to ride... especially with "Monster Cross" 700x45 tires!

So the product side of things is really doing great, even with the challenges we face in the marketplace as a smaller brand. New aluminum bikes, lots of great fixies... man, there's a lot of great products.

Again, I'm gonna try to get back to this thing more often... though I know I've said that a few times already and have not followed through all that well. Don't be surprised by continued gaps, but it's more to do with having a new baby than it is a lack of love for you... promise. That said, do stop by and say hello on Twitter and Facebook. I'm there WAY more often than I should be, chasing conversations around the world.

If I don't make it back in time, have a Merry Chrismahanakwanza!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Ok, ok, ok...

I know- I really stink at updating this thing. Damned Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr have made it too easy for me to not post here while still having lots of other simultaneous conversations. Well... that and having a new 7 month old daughter and working a lot and currently being very sick.

Yep... sick. Turns out that I now have what is most likely Whooping Cough (aka Pertussis). Just got the diagnosis last Friday. Fortunately, Lily had a pediatrician visit on Monday and has a clean bill of health. So, my doc has me on antibiotics as well as gave me a vaccination (which still hurts) for whooping cough and another for the seasonal flu. Also turns out, that either from the illness or from other causes, I now appear to also have exercise induced asthma and now have to use an Albuterol inhaler! I'm still getting used to using the inhaler- sorta- and learning how to ride again. The first time I rode after using it- Saturday- I felt pretty dizzy and lightheaded on the bike for the first few miles. I've gotten a little better and try not to use it right before I ride, which seems to help, but I'm still coughing A LOT when I ride and having coughing bouts where I nearly pass out because I can't breathe. Which is fun... lemme tell ya...

And, as if all that wasn't enough fun for one bike nerd to deal with, my bloodwork came back today and my cholesterol is too high again (which I knew) and I am now going back onto the medications to keep it in check. Given my family's history of high blood pressure and cholesterol- and death from heart attacks- it's in my best interest to take the medications... especially since I am too lazy and too stubborn to really watch my diet.

The week after Thanksgiving, I'm back on the road- off to the Philly/ Pittsburgh/ Albany/ Buffalo area for about 4 days of travel with my sales rep out there. I'm actually looking forward to seeing some winter weather- since I get to leave and come back to SoCal- and visiting shops in an area I haven't been in for years.

When I'm not in my deathbed, I've been trying to ride as much as my body will allow... which isn't much. It really sucks because I've been itching to have a good winter of training and came out of the race season with some good fitness (for me)... and now it's all on "pause" while I try to recover from this respiratory issue.

Very soon, I'm gonna be working on another video project for work covering the new Evoluzione carbon bikes we're doing. The bikes are amazing and the video project will be a basic educational piece highlighting why they are so great- and it should also be a bit of fun, among all the stress... if I can get well enough to be able to be on camera talking without coughing until unconsciousness!

Family is doing great; Ann is healthy and adjusting to life in the US. She is likely going to head to Taiwan with Lily and my mother soon- maybe not until January/ February and probably stay for a month or two visiting family. We're also looking at renting her condo in Taichung- we don't want to sell it and we're even torn on renting, since we both stay there when we're in Taiwan. Katie, Masidaughter 1.0, is an amazing child too. I am just so thrilled to be her father. She impresses and amazes me all the time. She's so smart and just a great child. Her older brother is now 18 and in college... and it just blows me away. I love that young man and am very proud of who he is becoming. I haven't had much time with him since the divorce, so each time I get to see him and talk to him is wonderful. He's a great boy... man... and I'm very proud of him.

I promise I'm gonna keep coming back to this thing... even if very infrequently. I thank each and every person who continues to come by here. Maybe I'll eventually get back into a rhythm... maybe.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Moab is hot, dry, dusty and rad!

Three different week long events in the past month... I am totally fried! The good news is that this last trip to Moab was really great. The Outerbike event- more of a recap to follow- was great, but very slow. However, it allowed for some great bike riding in the Utah canyonlands, which is something I'd never had the chance to do before.

Here are a few pics from the trip... I'll have more to share later...

Sunset at Arches National Park... amazing...

Morning ride before the day's work at Outerbike began...

One happy bike nerd riding Moab's world famous Slickrock Trail... way, WAY cool!

After 15-16 miles of nearly non-stop climbing, I felt a bit like a dead horse myself!

More to come soon... most likely...


Monday, September 27, 2010

Where did I leave off?

Ok, so I went to Montreal and came home for three days before leaving for Vegas and returned Saturday evening, just to leave again tomorrow (Tuesday) for Moab, UT and Outerbike!

Needless to say, I haven't been home much lately and feel a little like a stranger around my family... but I'm getting a little better at packing.

Montreal was awesome. Interbike (Vegas- for the last time) was amazing. We're hoping that Outerbike will be a success too.

Things have continued to be beyond busy, so please pardon the delays between posts- I am going to continue to keep trying to commit time to this blog, especially once I get back from Moab next week. Lots and lots of cool things to talk about.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Interbike is here!

Sitting in the finally bearable nighttime desert air after 6+ hrs or
driving and then getting demo booth partially done.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


This may sound the wrong way, but life is driving me these days-
rather than me doing the driving.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

No, I'm still not dead...

If you're one of the 3 readers who still come by to see where the hell I've gone, I just want to let you know that I an mot dead. Maybe you don't follow me on Twitter or you haven't friended me on Facebook, or maybe not seen the new-ish Tumblr blog... if so, I want to reassure you that I am alive and well. Not only that, so are Ann, Katie and Lily.Work is nuts, travel is about to kick off BIG TIME this coming Friday with trips to Montreal (Expocycle), then Vegas Interbike) and then Utah (Outerbike)... meaning I live out of a suitcase for 3/4's of September.

At the moment, I'm fighting off what I hope is the tail end of a nasty cold/ moderate flu. Ann has been making me tradition Taiwanese ginger tea to help me gain my strength back. I've only missed one day of riding- though I've got so much junk in my chest that my breathing is terrible and I am unable to operate with much power. Still, I've got the best form I've had in years and don't want to see it all vanish into thin air, so I've been trying to make sure I ride a little at least.

That form has been paying off lately with some recent great results on the track- well, certainly great for me and especially when considering the extent of my injuries 2yrs ago. Our track here has a great weekly race series every Tuesday night- the TNR Series as we call it. It's a great series of races and it's my home track... and the track that nearly killed me... but I love it. In recent weeks, during the series of "championship" events for the series, I managed to get 2nd place in the B's Points Race and even won the B's Keirin championship (with 2 straight wins). Still my proudest moment came in getting 2rd overall in the San Diego Cup Challenge Match Sprint. This was the first sprint I've done in several years- at least 4- and the first "tournament" of sprints in close to 10! I won my first two sprints after qualifying 7th and then went on to get 2nd in the semifinal and 3rd in the final. All things considered, I am most proud of that series of performances- even though Keirin is my favorite event of all. As a former, dedicated elite level sprinter, feeling a little closer to being "home" means a lot to this old guy and these old legs. I may never get back to competing at the elite level again, but at least I might have a shot of truly becoming competitive within the masters category... maybe.

So, in closing, I'm not dead, the family is great, things are spastic but very exciting with the Masi line this year and I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of friends on the road during all this upcoming travel. I can't promise I'll be back to regular daily posting here, but I promise I am going to make a real effort to be back a lot more often.

Oh yeah, and if you've been waiting for me to finish the Tour de France coverage so that you can know who won the race... it wasn't Lance.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010 Tour de France- Stage 7 report; Chapeau Chavanel!

Stage 7 today ended similarly to Stage 2, with Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) taking the win and moving into the Yellow jersey after taking a gutsy solo win. Chavanel has bounced back from a terrible crash at this year's Liege-Bastogne-Liege to take two stage wins and the Yellow jersey twice in one Tour. French cycling fans must surely be naming their young boys Sylvain for the remainder of this year at least.

The stage was billed as something of a transition stage into the mountains. The 6 categorized climbs were all relatively "safe" on their own, but with the combination of the last 3 climbs each being category 2 climbs, life was going to be difficult.
Unlike stage 2, Chavanel did not spend the entire day out on his own, but executed a perfectly timed attack to chase down a break that had been out all day. His teammate and Mountains leader Jerome Pineau was in that break and solidified his lead in the Polka Dot jersey. Even though the stage was supposed to be "easy", for a mountain stage, several riders were put into trouble as their legs (or injuries) couldn't handle the intensity of the final climb speeds. In the end, Fabian Cancellara succumbed to the pressure and finished 14+min behind Chavanel. He now switches back to his main role at the Tour of support rider for his team leader Andy Schleck.

Chavanel's victory put him back in Yellow, but it is likely to be another short stay in the golden tunic, as the real Alps are looming ahead and the real race contenders are sharpening their teeth for the battle ahead. After riding smartly today, pre-race semi-favorite Cadel Evans moved into 2nd on GC and is certainly the best placed of the true contenders for the overall. Surprisingly, Garmin's Ryder Hesjedal now sits in 3rd- and looked good on the climbs today... possibly another "Wiggins" in the making? With Schleck in 4th, Vino' in 5th and Contador in 6th, the GC is starting to really take shape. Lance is now up to 14th after looking supremely comfortable today, even when nearly completely alone towards the end. Wiggins sits in 11th, right behind Menchov (Rabobank) and just ahead of Kreuziger (Liguiqas). It's an interesting looking group...

It simply must be noted that Footon-Servetto rider Rafael Valls, a first year pro riding for the mostly forgettable Spanish team, fought bravely by himself to try to catch Chavanel and came within 57 seconds at the finish to grab 2nd and some great exposure for the team. Created from the ashes of the disgraced Saunier-Duval team of doper Riccardo Ricco, this humble team of unlikely riders came to the Tour as gigantic question marks. Valls just missed the win and true vindication for the team, but his effort was valiant and classy.

Tomorrow's Stage 8 promises to bring a lot of pain to the legs of anybody who has not quite recovered from their injuries of previous stages or from the efforts of today. 5 rated climbs, with two of them "only" being category 4 climbs, means that the hurt will last a long time. The final climb of the day- Morzine-Avoriaz- is a category 1 and 23km long, starting after 175km of racing... and the day before the first rest day of the race. Breakaways will certainly be going away constantly, but it is likely going to be the first real fisticuffs between the GC heavyweights. Astana, Saxo and RadioShack will likely all send attacks up the road to force the other GC rival's teams to chase. It was clear today that some of the GC support riders were holding back today, resting for stage 8... so the fireworks are likely to be impressive.

I expect to see Chavanel out of the jersey by the end of the day again... but who will take it from him? The final climb is one that could actually work well for Evans, since it is neither terribly long or terribly steep. It isn't really suited to the explosive nature of either Contador or Schleck, so they might not have much of a chance to get away. In the end... it's likely to be a good day for cycling fans.