Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Interbike 2006; Expo day two, etc

The last episode left off with the Day One of the Expo. Logically, we should now be moving to Day Two. However, many of you already know that I am not a logical man. Passionate, yes... logical... another story.

One of the highlights of Day One, which I didn't cover last time, was that it was also the day that the New York Times ran an article about corporate bloggers. The article happened to feature a brief part of a conversation I had with the writer (Matt Villano), which was also accompanied by a photograph of me on my bike (taken by Sandy Huffaker Jr). Needless to say, I was honored beyond all belief to be included in the article. I am a lowly bike industry hack with a blog and somehow I managed to get into the Times. As a writer, I have always wanted to be in the NY Times, so this is much bigger to me than many folks can possibly comprehend. (Best part of all? Even my son read it and thinks I'm cool now.) When I started this project, I never dreamed it would get this kind of attention. Not for one second. That said, I'd keep doing this even if nobody but us bike nerds were reading it. Seriously, I owe the success of this blog to all of you who read it and keep coming back to it and encouraging my efforts. I'm going to stop getting too mushy here, but you folks are a great audience and I thank you all for giving me the chance to talk about my job, my life, my loves and everything else in between.

Ok, back to the show stuff...

Day Two;
The second day of the show was very much like the first day of the show- very, very busy. If it weren't for my good friend and team director/ teammate, I would not have eaten for the entire show. He was kind enough to bring me food and make sure that I had stuff to drink, etc. Thank you Squirrel!

Seriously, even with the increased assistance of our sales reps and inside sales folks, I was freakishly busy. I've been scratching my head since the show trying to determine whether it was all just irrational exuberance, maybe people just being nice because they like/ pity me or that the bikes are really that good. Seriously, it was amazing how little objection I got to the bikes and how many positive comments everything got. It was amazing.

Outside of that, there isn't much to report that was different from Day One. It was just a crazy hectic time.

The highlight of Day Two though came in the form of the Bike Blogger Meet-up at the Mist bar in Treasure Island.

(That's the Squirrel on the left.)
(Guitar Ted on the left, Squirrel in the middle, Tim Grahl to the right and then I lose the names...)

What an incredible, small gathering of very passionate people. Donna Tocci was there, Guitar Ted, Tim Grahl, Graham from Go-Clipless, Michael from Mountain Bike AZ, Rich and Chip from Interbike Times, Michael Franken for Cyclelicious and others who I met but didn't remember their names (sorry guys, really). Talk about a passionate group of people! G-Ted, Graham and I, along with Tim Grahl, were in and out of many different and wonderful discussions about blogging and the overall health of the bike world. It was pretty amazing. Even Donna came away pretty impressed... she's just a slighly reluctant blogger, though a great one. Anyway, it was a lot of fun. I felt horrible about missing this gathering last year, so I really wanted to make it this year and I am really glad that I did. Next year will be bigger and better- I'm sure of that. It was great meeting all of you and having the chance to share in such passionate and thoughtful discussion. I came away even more energized than before (if you can believe that).

The show also got me in touch again with friends who I do not get to see nearly enough and retailers who always make me smile when I see them. There are too many names to remember, so I'll mention just a few- Jason at Panther City Bicyles, David from Tsunami Cycles, Will Mahler at Ed's Bike & Ski, Dan at Bicycle Bananas, Chris DiStefano at Chris King (who brought Mr King along with him too), Daniel at Shimano, Brian Asch who sells everything you need in the Bay Area, Stephen Keller who sells almost everything you need in the Southeast/ Atlantic seaboard, my friends from SockGuy (even though I can see them any time I want since they are just a few miles away), my former employers and friends at Canari Cyclewear (also around the corner from the office) and tons of other folks. Sorry if I left you off this list... my brain is pretty much fried.
(The A&F guys; Matt Olson, Mark Hekman, me and Chad Thompson.)

I've said it before and I'll end up repeating it again sooner or later, but I'm lucky to work in such an industry. The people in this business make it so much better than it would be otherwise. The bike industry isn't about getting rich, but about being rich in ways that keep your soul happy.

Now I'm tired again. You'll have to wait for another installment tomorrow. You'll make it... I know you can.



Donna Tocci said...

I'm just calling you "New York Times" Jackson from now on. Seriously, all kidding aside, that article was a fantastic thing for both you and Masi, as a brand. Bravo! They couldn't have picked anyone better in the industry.

The photos of the blogger get-together remind me that you were behind a couch and, possibly, in a plant while taking some of them. No, folks, not falling down from libations, just totally excited to get a shot of the great energy that was in that room. NYT Jackson truly is as passionate about blogging and this industry as he professes here. Really - the arms do flail.

I'm hoping it wasn't one of those flailing arms that, somehow, hurt poor Mark. What's up with the cast? That doesn't look like fun.

Looking forward to the next report!

Anonymous said...

Ohh sh** look at Hek all haircutted and shaven. What a pimp. I know Chad was the strip club king over the week as well. Maybe next year I'll get invited to this lil party. Might have to gro the fro again!

MunkieFast said...

"maybe people just being nice because they like/ pity me or that the bikes are really that good" I would say it is the latter. The bikes looked super good. Nice work!!