Friday, August 29, 2008

Masi in Bicycling Magazine!


BUY this issue!

The new Masi ad- I really love how this came together; a feel good ad, as opposed to the typical race win ad. They did just win, with World Track Omnium Champion, Hayden Godfrey.

SoulVille gets a great review! Hot damn! The SoulVille was our 2nd best selling bike this past fiscal year... maybe now it will move up to #1?


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The fun never stops...

Sitting here in the near-dark trying to select new colors for bikes that will get color updates in the Spring of next year and also trying to get my head around exactly what new models will be introduced in Spring as well. You folks haven't even seen the new Fall bikes and I'm already on my way to Spring and Fall of next year.

For the record; the tiny paint samples in the color books are hard enough to look at in good lighting and in the crappy lighting of my apartment are nearly impossible. Spring bikes might have a few color surprises... to say the least!


Monday, August 25, 2008

A little more from Vancouver.

More from Vancouver...

The first night in Vancouver- technically the hotel was in Coquitlam- from my hotel window. The picture does it no justice.

MTB/ Adult Brand Manager, Jill Hamilton, presenting to the Norco sales armada.

My brother-in-arms at Norco, Paul Burnett; Paul is the poor stiff who gets to deal with me at Norco and who got to drag me all over the place.

This is the Gastown area of downtown Vancouver- love the brick street and the funky wedge builing; just to the left of the picture is the really cool restaurant where I had beers and snacks with Amy, Tania and Mia from Momentum Magazine.

From the outside looking in- looking into downtown from the water's edge.

Vancouver's famous Steam Clock in Gastown. It mights been a better picture if wasn't raining on my lens at the time...

I laughed so hard I nearly peed when I saw this sign in a very nice Vancouver neighborhood. Even Canadian grffiti is better than ours!

Ok... more later... again.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's summer...

It's summer and it's hot, so we spent the day at mom's by the pool.

It was a good day.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vancouver pics

Here's a couple shots of Vancouver. I'll have more later; the internet here at the airport is terribly slow.

Getting started on our ride around town- Kits Beach

A Masi fan and his customized machine at Ride On (he's also an employee at the shop- I've just forgotten his name because I'm an idiot... but we had a great moment of big-guy solidarity).

Sitting on the Sky Train traveling from downtown Vancouver back to the hotel in the rain.

More later- promise.


Heading home...

Packing up the bike into the case and heading down to check out of the hotel. It's been a great trip and I'll have pictures and stories to post soon. I arrive in San Diego close to midnight, so don't expect a post until some time tomorrow.

Thanks to all the kind folks at Norco and the ladies (Amy, Mia, Tania) of Momentum Magazine (and their CIC). I look forward to getting back up to Vancouver sooner, rather than later. Thanks too, to all the retailers who gave us their time during our visits in their shops. I sincerely appreciate the support of the Masi brand and the great feedback.

Ok, gotta finish packing- bye!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Howdy from Vancouver!

Made it to Vancouver without any problems. My legs held up fine to the flight- thanks in part to the compression tights from Skins. I actually had more difficulty with my right foot feeling restless and somewhat sore. I don't have a good explanation for it, but I'm sure it's related to the injury, etc.

The sales meeting went well yesterday and my presentation of the Masi line went fine also. The Norco sales force is now Masif-fied and re-indoctrinated. We all held hands and sang campfire songs afterwards... well, maybe not... but we coulda. My brand counterparts Jill Hamilton (MTB) and Tony D (BMX) both presented before I did and then had to bolt out the door for their flights home. I stayed (obviously) and had an excellent meal with a few of the Norco folks.

Today is the day to go visit retailers. My Masi/ Haro product manager for Norco, Paul Burnett, and I will be riding bikes through the city to visit 4-6 retailers today. I SOOOOO wish I could do that all the time for dealer visits. Later, when we're done, I'll be joinging up with Mia Kohout and the posse from Momentum Magazine.

Ok, I gotta run. Time to get ready to leave for my Vancouver bike adventures! I promise I'll get some pictures and maybe even some video.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vancouver, here I come!

The weekend was filled with some great time with my daughter. Well, today was filled with some great time with my daughter. Tomorrow is Sunday and I'll be flying to Vancouver.

It's nearly 11:30 at night and I just finished my laundry so now I get to start packing my clothes as well as my bike. I'm taking my Speciale Fixed with me so I can ride on Tuesday to visit retailers in Vancouver and take in the city. There is no better way to experience a new place than by bike!

Thanks to my blood clots, I have to be careful when I travel. Due to that, I contacted Jon Graff at Skins and got some incredible sports compression gear. I've got a new set of the compression tights and a compression top as well. Hopefully it means I get to Vancouver a bit more rested and without new blood clots. If they work as well as I hope and hear that they do, I will be using them for all of my international travel especially.

Now it's time to get back to work and get my packing done. I'll be in touch from Vancouver, if possible and I will definitely have my camera/s with me at all times!

Good night.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday leads to Saturday leads to Sunday leads to Canada...

This week, like many of the recent ones before it, was busy and hectic and nutty. The highlight was having my daughter with me for the week- though that sorta goes without saying.

I did manage to ride my trainer 3 times this week and I feel pretty good about that. The muscles seem to be fine in my legs and my right knee is almost totally pain-free. The right shoulder and arm are both giving me a few issues- the arm still doesn't straighten fully and the tricep muscle is terribly weak. The shoulder might have a rotator cuff issue, so I am watching it closely. But all told, I am able to ride well enough- though I feel incredibly rusty. I rode my rollers one night this week, on my fixed, and the small drums were kicking my butt!

This week was filled with all kinds of surprises as well. I spoke to a few different magazines and have also been contacted about potentially supplying bikes for a movie that is going to be filmed soon- no details I can share yet, but I will when I can... of course.

We're getting really close to that time of year when things really do just explode in a frenzy of activity and travel. Sunday morning I jump on a plane for Vancouver Canada and will return late Wednesday night. I'll be in Vancouver to support our Canadian distributor (NORCO) during their national sales meeting. We (the folks from Haro/ Masi) present on Monday. On Tuesday, I'll be traveling to see a handful of retailers in the Vancouver area... and I'll riding my bike between shops with Paul Burnett from NORCO, as he handles the Haro/ Masi bikes there. I am sincerely looking forward to it. I'll also be visiting with Mia and the women at Momentum Magazine on Tuesday evening. I'm looking forward to this trip for many reasons, but mostly because it means getting back to the life that has been put on "pause" for the past 3.5 months.

The new Fall '08/'09 catalog looks so damed good! I just love the thing. Of course, after printing it, the mistakes were found. I have a short bit of copy for each model and the copy for last year's Gran Corsa ended up in the space for this year's Alare. The other mistakes are all very small and hardly noticeable... but I know they are there. Still, the final product is the best catalog we've done for the brand and I'm very proud of it and look forward to your response to it.

Ok... I'm getting cross-eyed now, so I'm gonna go to sleep. Vancouver is coming up fast.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More prototypes

I have eluded to this bike in various places and to different people for a few months now. Today we received the first pre-production sample of this new model. We still have some development to do on this and it IS NOT (currently) intended for the US market; this is a special custom bike produced solely for our Japanese distributor.

Meet the Mini-Velo.

Mini-Velo is a "huge" category in Japan and some other Asian markets. The bikes are smaller, which works with a population of smaller riders. But it is also very popular with commuters because the bikes are much easier to carry on to buses or trains and easier to take into an office or apartment. In Japan especially, space is very limited, so compactness is very important.

Mini-Velo bikes also happen to be a very fun bike to ride. It's almost nutty how much fun they are. See, I was opposed to the concept of Mini-Velo bikes when I was first approached on the idea. But last November I traveled to Tokyo for the Cycle-Mode consumer show (and I will be there again this November- as well as twice in Taiwan) and I saw tons of the bikes everywhere I went. Thing is, it wasn't just "cheap bikes" by low-end brands. My favorite was probably the Gios models, but Bianchi had some good ones too. So after seeing these bikes and seeing the response the consumers/ riders/ owners of these bikes had, my opinion began to shift. We've been working on this project since last November and are getting close to being done.

The funny thing is, I have a feeling that the Mini-Velo bikes would actually have a pretty strong following here in the US. With gas prices so high and space on public transit getting smaller each day, Mini-Velo makes more sense all the time.

So keep your eyes peeled... because you never know what you might see.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I can feel that.

I needed a little therapy tonight, so I hopped on the Speciale Fixed again and rode my rollers in the driveway. It felt better than riding my turbo trainer, but I had forgotten how much resistance you get from small drum rollers. It only took a few songs on the iPod for my legs to start complaining and for me to start shifting around on the saddle trying to get comfortable. Again, my right arm was feeling tired and sore nearly instantly. Once again my I find myself humbled by my injuries and the road to recovery. Still, I am so fortunate to be able to feel this way- I am literally lucky to be alive, after all.

It seems pretty amazing in some regards that just a little over 3 months ago I was laying in a hospital bed hooked up to a morphine drip, wearing a cervical collar and wondering if I'd ever ride again at all.



Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting back to it.

This past weekend was spent mostly cleaning and doing chores around the Masiguy Casita (that's Spanish for "little house"- I don't know the word for "tiny apartment"). Saturday was exciting because of the revelation of the SoulVille showing up in the Audi A4 commercial being aired during the primetime coverage of the Olympics. Sunday was spent doing more of the cleaning but also at a BBQ at my folks' place. As I was getting ready to go to thBBQ and to go pick up my daughter for the week, I removed the Band-Aid I had on the thumb to protect the nail and removed the nail as well! After regaining my senses and managing not to barf, I cleaned up the finger and got my shower.


The nail; free of the thumb itself.

The thumbs; minus a nail.

It's far from pretty, but it's still attached!

Tonight, after a long day, I got out on the stationary trainer for my first trainer ride since the crash on 4/29. It was very humbling. I rode for maybe 40- 45 minutes on my Speciale Fixed with a 46x16 gear, which is normally a pretty easy gear for me... but it felt like an actual workout. It also took my forever to get into "the mood" to ride. I don't like riding a trainer t begin with, but riding it at far below good fitness just sucked... but I sucked it up and enjoyed myself regardless. Towards the end, I began to enjoy myself more and feel less like I didn't know how to pedal anymore. It was a very humbling experience to feel like I was starting from such a low level- which I basically am. My right arm tires out almost as soon as I start riding; I am still unable to fully extend it and the strength is really gone from it. The triceps have lost almost all strength and with the arm unable to straighten, they are really getting a workout. Towards the end of the "workout", I switched back and forth to do ILT (Isolated Leg Training) work. My right leg has been dominant for as long as I can remember... until now. My right hip burned out very quickly and my left just kept chugging along, by comparison. After 3 sets with each leg, both hip flexor muscles were cooked and I was done. I also seem to have an undiagnosed wrist injury and a possible rotator cuff injury as well- both the wrist and shoulder were very sore and weak during the workout. Needless to say, the ride was far from perfect... but I did just grin and bare it. I'm just glad to be riding again; the night of the crash, I weighed a solid and fit 205lbs. After leaving the hospital for the second time, I was down to 184lbs. As of this morning, I am now back up to 211lbs! For the math averse- that's 27lbs! Oy... not good. So as of this morning, I am riding as much as I can force myself to do and I'm going on a diet.

Leaving Sunday for Vancouver. Will be in town to present at the Norco National Sales Meeting and then I'll be heading out to meet some Masi dealers in the area- best of all; we're doing the shop visits by bike! While there, I'll also be meeting with Mia and the lovely "Momentum Girls" from Momentum Magazine. All in all, it should be a great time and a great rehearsal for my trip to Montreal and then Interbike (both in September).

Needless to say... it's still a very busy time and the rest is far off in the distance. That said, it's still good to be back... and I'm enjoying the fatigue.

And now it is time for sleep.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Masi in the Olympics

We made it to the Olympics!

See it here.

Way cool!

Just a little bit before the end, as the house is turning past the dog and the fireplace, under the stairs sits a beautiful Gloss Black SoulVille! I knew nothing of the ad, which means that they purchased the bike themselves; that is SOFA KING cool! I am floored and elated!

Hope your Olympic Saturday is as good as mine!

PS- the info came to me via my SoCal sales rep Jim Herney and the link came via my dear friend Tara Whittle- thanks to you both!

Friday, August 08, 2008

More Friday Silliness...

Lemme just say that this has been one helluva week... a total mixed bag.

I was going to talk about my doctor visit yesterday, but the sad news about Joe Schraff kinda made my good news seem a little out of place in the universe. However, yesterday was my appointment with my orthopedic surgeon to go over the results of the MRI of my right knee. As it turns out, I have been given a total go ahead! I have a small tear in the lateral meniscus, but it insignificant enough to not require surgery. I crashed in '96 or '97 during a night ride, when I was working for NiteRider, and tore my right PCL. There is still a bit of play in the knee from that, but it didn't show up in the MRI... so it's pretty good. All in all, the knee looks great and I am going to begin some official physical therapy. My right arm and thumb are both rehabbing well also. I am, however, going to be wearing a brace on my right arm at night that is designed to straighten the arm a bit more as I sleep. I have very little pain in the arm, but I am still unable to fully straighten it and the muscle strength is nearly gone. When I ride, the right arm gets tired and becomes weak almost immediately. So I will need to begin doing some very light weightlifting to strengthen the arm muscles again. The thumb- though ugly- is healing really well and the new "nail" is growing in and shoving the old, severed nail off. It looks gross, but it works and I have feeling in it so I am making an effort not to complain.

As silly as it may seem, since I have begun riding a little (about every other day), I also shaved my legs this week for the first time in 3+ months. I have no races on the horizon, but I needed to shave my legs- it's our badge, our secret handshake, our "wassup"... and it feels really great to have them back. In the past 26 years, there's only been 4 periods of time where I haven't shaved my legs; the first year and a half out of high school because I had hurt my knees and ankles running track and field, after I hurt my back and tore the PCL in '96/97, when my daughter was born 7 years ago and then just after the crash. I identify with the shaved legs much more than I do the furry ones and I am very happy to have them back. Another silly and trivial thing is that I have my earrings back in as well; after the crash, they had to pull them out for me (since I was unable to stay conscious) when I was having all the MRI's and CT scans in the hospital. But since I had my last MRI a few weeks ago, I got some new earrings and put them in this week. It's a meaningless thing... except it is another step towards regaining my self and sense of identity in this world. Small things really do mean a lot some times.

Now for the silliness;

On 08/08/08, this might just be one of the proudest moments of my life. Yep- I've got 666 messages in my inbox. That's actually down from the nearly 800 I had at one point...

This is the doodling of our Inside Sales Supervisor- Dave Law. He has a pad of recycled office papers that he keeps his notes on during the day and doodles on while on the phone. He also draws some of the illustrations for the various brands at Haro, as well as did the artwork for my Koi fish tattoo. To say the boy has talent is an understatement. I might take this concept and turn it into a fun Masi T-shirt in the future... you just never know.

This weekend will have a few bike rides in it, though they may just be grocery runs and short errands... but I'll be pedaling instead of driving as much as I possibly can. I might even get to the gym and start that weightlifting regime. But mostly I have lots of neglected chores to catch up on... now that I physically can vacuum, I am going to vacuum. I'm a bit of a pack rat (shut up) and I need to do tons of cleaning before I leave for Vancouver on the 17th... and begin the "silly season" of travel and tradeshows. If I don't clean now, I won't get the chance again until around February! I know it's not exactly glamorous... but it's life- and I'm happy to be getting mine back!

I hope you all have great weekends too. I'll get pictures as I can, I promise.


TGIF- Rock On!

Seems like Friday has shown up a little late this week, so let's get this party started!



Thursday, August 07, 2008

In memory of Joe Schraff

I received a comment to the blog on an older post tonight from my good friend Daniel Limburg. Unfortunately, Daniel was delivering very bad news;
"Sadly, Joe passed away this Monday at 1am. Joe was an amazing person, always had a smile, he was never afraid to help someone out on the bike, and he never complained! The cycling world will miss you!"
Yes, Joe will be missed by many people. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but knowing the people who cared about him- he will clearly be missed by many.

My thoughts and prayers are with Joe and all of his family and friends. May God be with you all during this time of sorrow. I will pray that the memories of good times far out weigh the memories of the not-so-good.

Joe- may all your rides now have tailwinds and long downhills. God speed.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Plugging along

Yes, as I normally say when I've missed a few days of posting here; "I've been incredibly busy with..."

There has been a lot of follow up after our National Sales Meeting a few weeks ago. I'm heading to Vancouver, BC on the 17th and return on the 20th (or 21st), for the NORCO (our fantastic distributor) Sales Meeting. In September, I travel back to Montreal for the Canadian equivalent of Interbike, BTAC/ Expo Cycle. Then a few weeks later, it'll be time for Interbike. So there is a lot going on that has a lot of details and a very short time to complete... hence my sporadic posting as of late.

The good news is that I am officially back on the bike and riding a little, but as much as I can handle. Last Friday was my first ride in nearly 4 months, then I did my grocery shopping via my SoulVille on Sunday, then rode my Speciale Fixed on Tuesday night and did a ride at lunch today! 4 rides in the past 6 days! Nothing in the way of mileage or intensity... but it's a lot for this banged up body. Slowly, but certainly, I feel like I am getting some small bits of my lilfe back.

The ride on the Speciale Fixed was a trip! My legs have a lot of relearning to do and the 46x16 gearing felt just barely small enough to get around town on. Today's lunch ride felt really weird though, just because I had so little strength and the loop I rode is one that I would normally use for my recovery days. Today though, it was my own little Spring Classic- we have almost no flat areas to ride near work, so you have rolling hills in every direction you ride. I was stubbornly pigheaded and refused to allow myself to ride in my 39x23 granny gear and would grit my teeth or stand up on the pedals and crest each little rise in my 19t or 21t cog... because I was trying to prove the point to myself. The point was made and I rode without any real pain. My right arm still doesn't straighten completely, so I have a lot of muscle weakness there and the arm fatigues very, very quickly... but I made it. I also have noticed that after 3+ months off the bike, even my favorite saddles seem to hurt my ass!

See- I've got my helmet on! (Thanks Chris!)

Umm, yeah, I know it's a lame shot... but it's all I got using my camera instead of my video camera.

I'll be back again- I promise... but it's back to work now...


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Weekends are made for riding bikes...

So this weekend Masidaughter and I had a great time together. I spent time working with her on riding her bike- she's got a bike that is actually now too small for her, so I'll need to get cracking there. But I pulled the training wheels off, along with the pedals, and had her using it like a push bike- it's a great way to get a feel for the balance of the bike. She gave it a good try, but it didn't click on the first try today. We'll try again the next weekend she is with me- she said she wants to... and that's promising.

Masidaughter wasn't the only one to get go on a bike ride though... I got a little pedaling action going too!

I hope your weekend brought you as many smiles as mine did.


Friday, August 01, 2008