Sunday, August 26, 2007

Auf wiedersehen.

Tomorrow morning, before the sun comes up, I'll be at the airport leaving for Germany and Eurobike. This will be my first trip to Germany, so it is also my first time at Eurobike. As a bike nerd, I am pretty excited. I'm really looking forward to seeing all of the big Euro brands and all of the smaller ones I've not yet discovered. Needless to say, I'm taking my camera and will do my best to get some cool pics to share with you all.

So, in light of the fact that I will be gone, the posting might be down for a while. I will try to post from Germany, but it always proves harder than I expect when I am traveling. Still... I'll give it a shot.

Ok, it's off to bed now. I have to be up before 4:00AM to get to the airport and checked in. It's gonna be a long day...


Saturday, August 25, 2007

THIS is what I'm talking about!

Sometimes you receive emails that simply make your day... like this excerpt from my good friend David Parrett, over at Thomson;

First, Christian is in Belgium until September 10th with USA Cycling at that house they have, racing. Obviously I am beyond words with happiness and pride for him. He has worked really hard this year, and has earned this trip. Pat yourself on the back, you have been part of it. Apparently he smoked some mountain Time Trial at National Camp in Colorado Springs last week.

I mean... damn! It don't get much better than that at all... I don't care who you are. Dave's son Christian is riding on a Masi Gran Criterium- that's the extent of my involvement, the rest is great genes and tons of desire. He's been lighting the Southeast on fire and rode the Tour L'Abitibi for a second time this summer. The kid is a total motor! And Dave is a great guy and a very proud dad, as you can tell.

Christian; here's to you! Just know you have fans all over the place... especially at Masi!


I guess you like it...

Wow, I guess it is fair to say that new the Speciale SoulVille and Speciale Commuter are proving to be "hits". I mean, the SoulVille has been getting press all over the place- all over the world actually. I found blogs in Turkey and Hong Kong talking about the SoulVille and the Commute by Bike blog has seen some good discussion about the Commuter (as has Cycle-licious). Sure makes a Brand Manager happy... believe me. This is the stuff I live for!

There has been a lot of good dialog going on about these bikes and so I thought I'd pose a few questions and see what you all (y'all) think;

1) Is there enough interest in bringing that Masi leather saddle in as an aftermarket item? It'd sell for somewhere between $75-100 probably, unless I bought insane numbers of them. Would you buy one for that kind of money?

2) Should the Masi fenders be brought in too? They will have a laser etched Masi headbadge on the front and rear ends. Not sure yet of the price, but would they be worth bringing in for sale?

3) I'm already planning more versions of the SoulVille. Wayne (my product manager) and I are already working up different ideas, but what do YOU think the next version should be? 3 or 4 speed? 10 speed? Drop bar or flat/ curved bar? Frameset? Racing frameset- I admit I really want to do this personally- Reynolds 631 or 853 tubing and race geometry. But what fork? The same steel fork or a lightweight carbon fork? A fixie version?

4) Bringing back the Speciale steel road bike with carbon fork and 105/ Ultegra drivetrain. Do we keep it as it was in 2006, with 105/ Ultegra or do we go higher market? Do we even bring back the Speciale Carbon frameset or bike? That Speciale Carbon was the best riding bike I've ridden in 25 years of racing... but that Dedacciai tubing is darned expensive stuff... are you going to buy it? If so, is it a complete bike or just a frameset?

I know I had more... but I'm tired and my brain is turning to mush. So I'll be posting more questions in the near future. Maybe it's time for more Polls to be created for your enjoyment.

(Germany/ Eurobike just two days away.)


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Out of the bag...

Good news travels fast... so now that the bag is open and the cat is running around, might as well make the big announcement;

Say hello to the Speciale SoulVille!

Ain't she a beauty?! (The answer is "yes", of course...)

Double butted chromoly steel with steel fork with lugged crown.

Alloy fenders- very minimal to keep the lines nice and clean. This sample doesn't have it, but we got these with the Masi head badge artwork laser etched on the fenders.

And the custom Masi embossed leather saddle is an awfully yummy touch! I mean... how can you argue with this thing? Oh yeah... you can't!

Though it's really hard to see in this bad photo I took, the grips are fo-real natural cork.

I know... you're already getting sweaty palms and beginning to get dizzy- it's pretty common.

Here are the other pertinent details to get you all hot and bothered;
Internal 8spd rear hub with Revo shifter
Coaster brake (for doing cool skids!)
Simple arc bar
Ritchey adjustable stem
Rack and fenders mount
Cool leather saddle with springs
Super sweet steel tubing and steel fork

It's gonna retail for a little over $800 and is worth every penny- it's just a beauty...

AND it comes in two colors!

Here's the deal- it's designed to be a great all around city bike. Perfect for cruising around town, one hand on the bars, sipping your favorite cup of coffee, wind in your hair and a smile on your face. This bike isn't about "fast"- it's about "fun"... lots of fun.

Ok, discuss amongst yourselves...

Tim (Oh yeah... and this is mine too.)

How to tell I rode my mountain bike...


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Guilt by association...

I almost feel bad for my fellow judges... but not too bad!

I've been meaning to post this news for quite a while, but I've been a tad busy and I'm terribly disorganized these days (stop it). I will be a video contest judge with the likes of Phil Liggett, Bob Roll and my fellow members of the Spokesmen Podcast (David Bernstein- the Fredcast, Carlton Reid- BikeBiz, QuickreleaseTV, Tim Grahl- Crooked Cog and Donna Tocci- Kryptonite). Yep, me with my frequently flailing arms in the same booth as arms-a-flailin' Bob Roll and the voice of cycling himself... Phil Liggett. I'm so beyond unworthy of this, it's amazing. BUT... I'm still gonna do it! The judging will be done at Interbike, so it should be a pretty fun gig.

Here are the details- the contest is sponsored by Shimano and New Belgium Brewing- the folks behind Fat Tire Ale. The rules are here... so go read them and then start filming. Who knows, maybe your video will be the one we like the most. Wouldn't that be pretty cool?

Seriously, I ain't that cool, so I consider this pretty danged exciting for a bike dork like me.


Monday, August 20, 2007

More Sales Meeting stuff...

Sales Meeting is still done and I am still glad... though it still took me about an hour to type up all the notes that I took during the meeting. At least now I have some good feedback on the bikes and validation of ideas for further development.

The meeting began with a recap of the previous year and an address from our esteemed Boss Man; Joe Hank... I mean HAWK. What you can't see in the picture is the flip flops he's wearing- they were his dress flip flops at least and not the ones with the bottle opener in the sole.

I get a lot of love from folks at work...

... and they're always happy to see my camera come out of the bag.

This is our MTB Brand Manager, Jill Hamilton, and that's a monkey she's spanking.

This is Dave Law, who was recently promoted to Inside Sales Supervisor. The kid is a great artist, as well as a musician and a pretty darned good salesperson too. We might keep him... if he gets that face-thing fixed.

And this is James Ayres, one of our two Regional Sales Managers. He's only been with the company a short while, but he's already proving to be a pretty good asset... despite the silly looks.

This is Brennan Scully, who used to be in our Warranty Services, but he's now in Sales as an Inside Sales Rep. If you ever meet him, like at Interbike this year- ask him how he got the scab on his forehead...

Ok, that's tonight's update. More to come, including a few product pictures even... because I love you.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

National Sales Meeting DONE!

OHMYGAWD! Sales Meeting is done! Yippee!

I'm glad for two reasons; 1) all the stress of getting ready for the meeting is now over and I can get back to other big issues (like getting ready to leave for Eurobike in Germany and getting my catalog finished) and B) now our sales force has seen all of the new products and all of the changes to the product... and they are STOKED! I am so very happy about how the sales meeting went. I am floored. The excitement was strong all over the place and the new offering of products got a very strong reception. Obviously, as a product guy, that means lots and lots to me and validates all the work that I and the folks who help me with these bikes (Wayne Doran, Pat Crosby, Rick Ortiz, Pete Demos... and others) have put into these things. I'm always pretty excited about the bikes, but this year is special- for a lot of reasons. We've had a pretty extensive "changing of the guard" and these bikes reflect that change... and I'm very excited.

I'll have lots more to talk about very soon, especially about the products... so stay tuned... but right now, I'm simply wiped out and need a little sleep!

I'm planning to do a little bit of a personnel profile for you all. Being around all of the very dynamic people of Haro over the past few days, I was reminded that I get to work with a lot of cool people and almost nobody knows who they are (plus we have a bunch of new faces)... so I'm gonna change that! Stay tuned... and beware!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Not as late tonight...

Today I got to leave work at 7:00PM and got home just in time to tuck my daughter in to bed and read her a short book. So it ain't all bad... plus I just made myself a nice, cool Pina Colada (yeah, I know it's foofy... but it's also tasty and it's hotter-n-hell here right now).

Today, thanks to Jim and Susan and the entire crew at CyclArt, I got all of my last remaining samples of new products... and damn do they look great! I am supper excited about the bikes and I am confident you will all be pretty impressed too. A big thanks has to go to the fine folks who did a lot of work at Masi/ Haro to help make this happen; Wayne Doran (my Product Manager), Rick Ortiz (my graphic artist who created the look of the new bikes), Pat Crosby (who is the MTB Product Manager) and Brian Hayman (who has recently moved into a new sales roll with Haro, but has been an employee with the company for many years). It's a huge effort to get bikes into the world, from concept to artwork to parts spec and final product... it's a big effort. Needless to say, it's a very stressful and wonderful experience when the first bikes show up... and I'm pretty fried at the moment. The new stuff makes it all worth the headache and long hours.

Yesterday, I took a short break from work and left the office long enough to take part in a blog related talk show. One of my BBF's- Best Blogging Friends- Toby Bloomberg has a show on Blog Talk Radio and I got to be a guest, along with Donna Lyons-Miller. The topic was Leveraging Social Media to Support Niche Consumer Brands. It was a great conversation, so go give it a listen! Thanks again to Toby for being kind enough to invite me and to Donna for suffering through my usual ramblings.

Ok, I gotta finish my laundry before the sales meeting starts on Friday. Tomorrow is final prep and set up, so it's gonna be another very long day. I'll try to get a few more spy pics for you though... so be patient.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another late night...

Still at work and will be for hours...

... for the record, I hate PowerPoint and Excel with the white hot intensity of a thousand burning suns!


Update- As Al points out... I'm a whiner. The two benefits to working late/ after hours; 1) no phones ringing and no emergencies and B) I get to drink a beer at my desk while I try to dislodge some creativity.

Thanks for the reminder Al!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Spreading the News...

I've been meaning to post these two flyers for a while now, but I've been so busy (and totally disorganized) that I keep forgetting.

Anyway, Jax is a huge retailer here in SoCal. They sell no Masi, but I have a very good friend there- her name is Heidi- and we got to become friends when I was working for Canari Cyclewear (and she was the clothing buyer). Jax does do business with my parent company (Haro), so I do have some legitimate reason to plug them (and because I like them).

So, Jax is sponsoring a couple different cool things that deserve to be mentioned;

Even if you're a dude, Dorothy Wong can likely kick your ass on a cyclocross bike- I know she can kick mine. Both of these events are cool and worth considering if you are anywhere near Jax. So get your arse over there... or else!

(Tell Heidi I sent you.)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Getting closer...

Thursday night I remained at work until 11:40PM... yes, nearly midnight. Our Graphic Art Director and El Presidente were there until around 4:00AM, so I got off lucky. The good news is that I managed to get a whole lot done, even though our computer server was down for relocation, which meant I had no internet or email. Now that I think about it- that's probably why I actually got some work done. I wrote a whole lot of copy- something like 10 pages worth of copy. THEN... the main reason I stayed late in the first place, I worked mano y mano with my Masi Graphic Guru, Rick Ortiz. You folks are gonna be WAY happy with the new graphic look of a few models- it's a totally new look and new direction for these models that I believe is going to really grab some attention. I don't wanna give away more than that for right now... but it's really cool stuff.

The National Sales Meeting is next week and I have a ton of preparation to work on still. I'm nowhere near done yet and have a ton of work to do to be ready. Stress? Nah... I'll just be shot if I don't get it all done on time. No big.

Since you've been good kids, I'll share another cool picture of new product... but only because you've been good...

(Photo Demos... again...)


And, for more eye candy and a fun read, go see "The Babe"... the Bike Biz Babe, that is. Check out her new ride... it's sweet!

Ok, back to work now.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What a day...

Today was one of those 12 hour days that just seemed to drag on forever. 8:00AM to 8:00PM in the office...

... and I'm really tired. I know, I know, I know... a) I'm doing what I love, 2) tons of people work long days too. I know. I'm a whiner.

In the end, it should be worth it. The new (newerest?) bikes are going to be sweet! Lots of cool new stuff happening with the products. Today, one of my many complicated tasks, I delivered 7 frames and forks to local bike painting gurus CyclArt (thank you Jim and Susan!). They are going to paint my pre-production samples so I can have them in time for our National Sales Meeting and for Interbike. Without their help, it might not be possible to pull of what I'm trying to pull off... not that I can tell you yet.

(Photo- Pete Demos; you can see this one since I've already shown it to you anyway.)

So, yeah... I'm cooked. Very, very cooked. AND... I still have a ton of work to do before the Sales Meeting and Interbike... and I have a week in Germany in the middle of the two. Yeah! (I know, I'm whining again...)


Monday, August 06, 2007

Yeah, I'm still here...

So the whole #1 thing was short lived, as I knew it would be. Technorati finally "fixed the glitch" and now I'm back to being about as big as a freckle on a gnat's ass. I'm now back to being ranked number 18, 285... but who's counting?

Things at Masi Global World Domination Headquarters are in full-blown warp factor 9 mode right now. Our National Sales Meeting is on our heels now... like just two weeks away. This means I have to get my act together, both figuratively and literally. Lots and lots of work goes into this meeting and it really does set the tone for the remainder of the year heading into the tradeshows and then into the rest of the year. It's kind of a big deal... ok, it's a huge deal. So, there's no pressure at all... nope, not even a little. CRAP!

The good news is that there are so many exciting and cool things to talk about this year that my usual excitement and passion is going to easily get kicked up a notch or two without even trying. I know that for as long as I've been blogging here, I've been saying that the new products coming out are going to be great... but those words feel like such an understatement now. Seriously folks, I've never been more excited (and even a little scared) about any other project I've worked on with a company. The new bikes, the new looks and new product categories are going to really impress. I know that I am way beyond the usual level of excited and anxious. I am confident though, that it will show in the products that all of you will get to see more of in the coming weeks and months.

It's an exciting time to be a Masi fan. My product manager that I work with, Waynebow- AKA Wayne Doran, and I have been busting some serious butt to make these new bikes happen. We've even enlisted the help of Pat "What's that Smell" Crosby for some frame drawing assistance. Pat works with Jill Hamilton, our MTB Brand Manager over on the Haro side of the building. All of this points to the massive amount of teamwork needed to make a bike line happen.

So with all that is cooking right now, well more like boiling, the posting here may get a little spotty again. Fear not, I will be back. Then I have to leave for Germany and Eurobike at the end of the month. Then I have to get ready for Interbike in Vegas at the end of September. Then I think I may be headed back to Taiwan. Then... a nap... I hope.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

I'm #1!

I'm relatively sure it is some sort of error with Technorati's software or some algorithmic glitch... but as of today, I'm #1!

Thanks to the help of my good friend Valeria Maltoni and the heads up from one of my other Age of Conversation co-authors, Roger Anderson, I was able to do a screen capture to preserve this brief and historic moment for posterity.

Actually, this is proof positive of the power of blogs and the blogosphere, all because of the Age of Conversation book that I was lucky enough to be a part of. The book is doing very well and the dialog surrounding it has created quite a firestorm for all of us authors.

Again, if you haven't already, go get yourself a copy of the book... you won't regret it.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

I (heart) Minneapolis-St. Paul

The news of the bridge collapse in the Minneapolis area yesterday really sent a shiver up my spine. I've only been in the cities twice, for a few days each time, several years ago when my sister graduated from high school and later college at St. Cloud State. Thing is, I'm pretty positive I've been on that bridge. Spooky.

However, the biggest scare came in knowing that I have friends in the Twin Cities area. I'm lucky enough to have met some great bloggers in the area and developed some great friendships. Then there's Chuck and his wife Steph and daughter Daisy from Behind Bars. Minneapolis is a wonderful place and I have a serious soft spot for the city and the people.

That said, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. I hope everybody is safe and accounted for. I sure hope all of you are well- sincerely.

My Minneapolis-St.Paul friends;
Andy (can't find your blog)
Smithers (Chris Smith)
Super Rookie
(There are others who I can't quite remember right now.)

Not long ago, these fine folks also lost one of their dear friends, Eric Lappegard- the Vegan Ninja, from complications stemming from a terrible car accident. Eric was a talented guy who penned a great comic and who will be missed by those who knew and loved him. If you can, please consider giving a little to help Eric's family (info on his website).

Kinda seems like the city has been having a bad few weeks, so I am sending my warmest wishes and I hope you will too.



Eye candy to get you slobbering...No details- you get to stew in your own juices for awhile.