Saturday, November 29, 2008

Her best friend's wedding

Today is my girlfriend's best friend's wedding here in Taipei- it's been really cool to learn the traditions here...

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Famous dumplings

Eating in a famous Taipei dumpling house... amazingly yummy!

-- Post From My iPhone

Happy Thanksgiving from Tokyo!

It's half a day ahead here in Tokyo and very early AM there in the US, but happy Thanksgiving just the same!

(Wow... I do look tired!)

Will be boarding my third and final flight in just a few minutes. Taiwan is just another 4hr flight away!


-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lunch was yum

A little sushi in San Francisco... just a little practice.

-- Post From My iPhone

It's like dejavu...

It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I was here in the San Diego airport sitting on the floor with my laptop and waiting to board a plane for Taiwan... probably because it was!

And here I am again. Another two weeks in Taiwan waits for me. The local news media was making quite a big deal about the holiday travel situation and the need to be at the airport early due to the huge crowds of people traveling. The warnings were to be at the airport 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours early for international flights. I got here two hours early and was feeling a little nervous in the cab that I would be cutting it close. Got to the airport and the car traffic looked slightly heavier, though not crazy... although every local news station had their satellite trucks out and news reporters with mics in hand trying to talk to travelers... especially the ones kissing "good bye" and/ or crying.

I stepped in to the terminal and walked straight up to the check-in counter with my bags and then cruised straight on through security without having to even stop. Then I walked straight to the gate! FYI- travel this morning in San Diego is light!

So as Thanksgiving day approaches, I want to say thank you to all of you who continue to come by here and check in from time to time. I sincerely thank you for the support and kindness you have given me over the years- but especially this very trying year. I wish you and all of your friends, family and loved ones the very best this holiday. I am thankful for many little blessings this year. Last November was not an easy one for me personally, but a lot has changed in my life and I am thankful for the people in my life. Thank you for being a part of that.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Masi in the Huffington Post

This article by Waylon Lewis first showed up in the online publication Elephant Journal, but has also now popped up in the Huffington Post! HuffPo is one of the premiere online news publications, so getting a mention there is pretty cool.

So if you didn't check it out before, give it a read now! As I mentioned in my post over on the Company Website, it isn't all perfect and glowing, but I'll take it!

Thanks Waylon, thanks Elephant Journal and thanks Huffington Post!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Slow road to recovery: milestones

In many ways it feels like my recovery from the crash in April has been taking far too long and in other ways it has been moving very fast. I know that April 29th was not that long ago, when considering the number and severity of injuries. Though it has been almost 7 months since the crash, I am still a very fortunate person to be as recovered as I am. My standard answer to the "so, how are you doing these days" question is this; I'm well enough to be able to complain about not getting to ride as much as I would like to. In the past 2 months, I have ridden so few times I could count the number of rides on one hand and maybe a couple fingers of the second hand. Needless to say, I'm not in great shape these days. That 184lb low I reached in May after my second stay in the hospital due to the blood clots, is now LONG gone... and I now "hover" around 220.

During the recovery, I have focused on little milestones- you know, things like first day without the neck brace, first day walking without crutches, first ride, first flight, etc. Today marks another first and one of the more important ones for me; the first day of not having to wear a band-aid on my right thumb. If you don't recall, the end of my thumb was severed off in the crash and had to be reattached with a metal pin sticking out of the tip of the thumb to help the two pieces of bone mesh back together. The thumb was cut in two right through the nail, so it cut the nail and I lost most of the nail and had a fleshy red and bloody mess that I had to cover to keep from bleeding all over everything all the time. Due to the blood thinners I have to take because of the clots in my right leg, my blood is thinner than water it seems and I bleed if I even think about using my right hand. I can't tell you the number of band-aids I've used or the number of shirts I've bled all over. I peeled my band-aid off in the hotel shower in Taipei earlier this month to wash off the wound area like I have done every day since losing the nail. Somehow though, I bumped the thumb and I began bleeding... and bleeding... and bleeding... and bleeding... to the point that it looked like a crime scene. Getting ready to go to dinner one night there, I tried to button up my shirt and bled all over the white shirt as I fumbled with the buttons. In Japan, I had a similar shower experience and bled all over the place there too. The constant bleeding has been a major annoyance and just another of those little (messy) reminders of not being totally recovered.

Today though, I was able to go the day without a band-aid and without bleeding. The nail has finally grown back over 100% of the nail bed area and covered all of the flesh that was always bleeding whenever I bumped the thumb. It may sound a bit dramatic- considering all the other much more serious injuries I had- but not having to wear the band-aid and not bleeding all the time is a BIG deal to me! The thumb still isn't pretty and looks "different" from the left thumb... but it is still attached and the nail is growing out and the old part of the severed nail will soon be gone as well.
I know it doesn't look healed and the shape is different, but I'm beginning to really like this thumb... you might say it's growing on me. (Sorry... I just had to.) The last remaining bit of the original nail is almost grown out to the point I can begin trimming it off. It isn't there yet, but it is getting closer. It may not be much, but it's mine.

(PS- Thank you again for all of the support and caring that you have shown to me. As we approach Thanksgiving this year, I am filled with many things to be thankful for and your kind support is one of the biggest- I promise.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Now and again I get really cool emails about press releases or other newsworthy bits of information. This is one of them...


OUTLIER Tailored Performance Clothing for Cycling in the City.

New York City - Wednesday November 19, 2008 WWW.OUTLIER.CC

OUTLIER is about classically tailored garments made with the best technical fabrics around. Clothing that works from both bike to boardroom.

Outlier's aim is to make clothing for a world where bikes are the best mode of transit through public spaces. Designed for the maximum in versatility, both socially and technologically, Outlier clothing looks great no matter where you are in the day, riding to work, meeting with clients, or out on the town. Clothes you can buy based on their classic styling and construction, and appreciate their performance with a cool discernment. Outlier's strives to create future classics, clothing that works as well a century down the road as it will tomorrow.

Aimed at the urban dweller that has a slightly different world view than the rest. They ride their bicycles to work because of the way it makes them feel, refreshed yet exhilarated. They ride to work because it is the best way to navigate the city, with complete freedom. This audience is well-educated, opinionated and have a keen sense of style that others often look to.

Two years ago, Abe and Tyler began to search for a solution to a basic problem; how to ride their bikes to work and show up looking crisp, fresh and clean. The stresses of cycling wore out their jeans. On days when they needed to dress up for clients, they either suffered the train or performed awkward superman maneuvers in bathrooms to change. Rain of course was a persistent problem too.

Not knowing each other at the time, they both independently started to tackle the same issues, convinced there was a better way. It wasn't until an insightful barista at their local coffee shop, Gimme Coffee, put two and two together and connected the pair. It was at that point Outlier was born. Tailored performance clothing for cycling in the city.


For more press information please contact:

Tyler Clemens

OUTLIER Tailored Performance

+1 917.400.3458

55 Washington St. #659

Brooklyn NY 11201

This is cool stuff- dig around their website and look at the slick bike friendly duds and the excellent messenger video as well... it's cool stuff... Masiguy Approved!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

If in Tokyo...

If you are in the Tokyo area- whether you live there or are visiting- you have to get to the new ultra hip bar; the Kinfolk speakeasy... the pictures really say it all.

I wish I would've learned about this place before I left Tokyo because I would've made a little pilgrimage over there to soak it all in.

I got an email from John Buellens, one of the folks behind/ on top/ around the bar and it turns out that they are fans of what we're doing with Masi! Pardon my French... but how rad is that?

So the next time I'm in Tokyo, you can bet I'll be paying them a visit. They've got the urban fixed gear culture on point!


Monday, November 17, 2008

More pictures from Japan, Tokyo Cycle-Mode

More pictures and a little commentary from my recent trip to Tokyo;

Yep, that bottom shelf has a complete and unused Campy 50th group in it... I was slobbering on myself when I saw it last year in this same shop (that now carries Masi)- Friend Bike Shop.

This was possibly my favorite bike sighting in Tokyo. I saw it last year, riding by me before I could get my camera out. This year I caught it in repose. I LOVE utility bikes. I love what Surly and Kona have done with their long wheelbase cargo bikes, but this is really cool with the sidecar. I would love to do a cool cargo bike with Masi... so you never know what you might see in the future.

This is so cool! I love the cool motorcycles and scooters they have running the steets of Japan. This old Suzuki was just too cool to walk by without getting a photo- I love the modern rettro lines of it.

This thing... Batman's water ferry. I mean... it's really cool.

Rin Project- some of the coolest of Japanese urban uber hip design. Dig the modern hairnet helmets! I need to get in touch with these guys and get a hook up!

Tomoni is another of the really, really cool urban gear brands. The bags, etc, were incredible. Really amazing stuff... and I just had to refrain myself from buying one of everything.

Here is the same chef at teppenyaki that we had last year; it was an honor to sit as his grill again. AND... it was exceptionally delicious again! I was actually lucky enough to eat at the same great sushi restaurant, the same great teppenyaki grill and the same great tempura restaurant; yes, I am way beyond a little spoiled.

I really, REALLY want both of these helmets. They are so cool- total carbon fiber shell for lightweight and strength. I've always been a fan of the OGK helmets and these were spectacular. They had a full line of road helmets that were also really great. But these two are on my short list of "must have" helmets for track races. Now I need to befriend somebody at OGK!

That's it for tonight. I have tons more, but my eyes are crossing and I need to get some sleep. More to follow... promise.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Paging Sam Miller

If you know Sam Miller... or are Sam Miller... shoot me an email; tjackson (at) MasiBikes (dot) com.



Great Sunday!

Had a great day with the Masidaughter. Felt good to ride for the first time in nearly 3 weeks.

And then we ate!

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Doing good

Sometimes it seems like life is full of tragedy and sadness. It isn't, but it can sometimes feel that way. Thing is, even when it is brimming with things that aren't so "nice", good things can be made of the not-so-good.

I recently got news of a very sad death that happened back in March of this year;

Heartbreak is setting in for family and friends of the bicyclist killed by a hit and run driver. Roy Sekreta, 43, had set a goal of biking 4,000 miles this year. He was on his way home from work Monday night when a 25-year-old man slammed into him on Comanche at Vassar. That driver orginally fled the scene and returned 30 minutes later. Police said he admitted to hitting Sekreta. Sekreta was married and worked as a design engineer for a local solar panel company. Police will present their investigation to the district attorney╩╝s office. The D.A. will decide wither to
charge the driver with a crime.
I never met Roy, but I knew his bike well- we shipped it as a special order to a great shop of ours- Bicycle South Windsor in South Windsor, CT. Sadly, the bike arrived to the customer with a dent in the frame, so I had to strip a bike and send the frame to replace the dented one. Afterwards, Roy sent a letter (or email) thanking us for the replacement because he loved the way the bike rode and was just so bummed when he got it and it was dented... he wanted a perfect bike and we supported that. So, it isn't like I "knew" him, but I do still feel like I "met" him. His loss is terrible.

In the words of Pete, the owner of Bicycle South Windsor;

No one could descend like Roy. We grew up when Tomac was king, and I swear he rides just like him. He also rode with Hincappie, and a mutual friend of theirs visited him just this year for a ride together. Roy was the perfect mellow-man and respectful rider.

For anybody who feels the desire to do something to honor this man, please donate to either of the charities that have been set up in his honor or by request of the family;

UNM Foundation Inc. (University of New Mexico, Dept. of Civil Engineering)
Roy Sekreta Endowment
700 Lomas Blvd. N. E. Two Woodward Center Albuquerque, NM 87102

Bike Albuquerque (BikeABQ)
P.O. Box 4119 Albuquerque, NM, 87196-4119

Tragedy like this has struck far too many times in recent years, but sometimes these tragedies bring greater awareness to others. Hopefully Roy's too-soon passing can inspire others and remind us all to continue to be safe and to be thankful for life.

Now, the blogoshpere is full of many fantastic and wonderful people. Many people who read this blog may be familiar with the Fat Cyclist blog and it's writer/ creator, Elden- aka Fatty. Many may not, yet, know of Fat Cyclist and the great blog and community he has built around it and his wife Susan, who is battling cancer- and we all know she will win! Anyway, Elden has begun a challenge... one that I am joining.

We're going to beat a couple records in the LiveStrong Challenge on our way to helping Susan beat cancer;
1) We're going to have more team members than Team Dell, who had over 260 last year.
2) We're going to raise more money than Team Toi, who raised over $350,000... by raising $1,000,000!

We can do this!

I met Elden for the first time at Interbike this year, as he and I were on the same panel of speakers during one of the seminars that took place at the show. Elden is a great guy with a great blog and a wonderful wife who certainly deserves our support. So let's do this!

Read Elden's blog for the details and then, on or after December 1st, join me in joining him and beginning to raise the money to set the record for the challenge!

Cancer has touched my life in many ways over the years. I won't go into all the details, but it is something that has been a big part of my life and is something that I deeply wish to see beaten. If we all work together, we can help to find a cure for cancer- or at least a better understanding of it that can ultimately lead to a cure.

Susan- we're here for you (and ALL who live with cancer) and we're going to be setting tempo at the front so you won't have to do the work alone.


Friday, November 14, 2008

It's pajama day

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Taipei + Tokyo = Taipokyo?

This is gonna be like Mr Toad's Wild Ride, so hang on kiddies! Here are a bunch of photos and comments in no particular order. I would do something prettier with a better written post and all that... but the jetlag is kicking my arse and I am fading into sleep rapidly!

A Taiwanese sports magazine with "Peepee" sitting large... pretty cool!

A little practice before the brand presentation/ "fashion show" at the Taipei launch. Look at all the folks standing outside watching- it was pretty cool feeling like we were somehow "important".

This is the bike parking sign at the site of the launch- Frog Cafe. I got one of their t-shirts because I loved the logo with the bike rider made from the frog face logo. I just love clean, simple and clever design.

Brand launch banners and somebody special... enough to make a fella smile...

I loved this really cool sketch of riders "at the rail" for a track race. Saw this in a bike shop I visited in Taipei. Oh yeah, they had Masi too... but this was really cool too.

Well... that's not very nice, now is it? "Pop art" stuff like this abounds in Asia. This was a sticker on the sidewalk in a small market are of Taipei.

A temple dragon keeping evil spirits away. This one was on a very small temple in a quiet neighborhood of Taipei... but was still many hundreds of years old.

This is a daytime "wives market", as it was described to me, in Taipei near a train station.

Taipei 101 at night with a fireworks display going on. Something about the building is simply impossible to ignore.

A good luck bouquet given to the Masi distributor in Taiwan for the launch. These traditional flower arrangements always blow me away. One of the many things I truly love about the local culture.

Paper lanterns lining the main entry way to the very impressive Buddhist temple in Asakusa, the area of Tokyo that I have stayed in for the past two years. The place is unreal in its beauty and power.

The view out of the window of my hotel in Asakusa, overlooking the temple in the background.

Riding the train from Narita airport to Asakusa. The trains in Japan are all clean and run on time and are very precise and predictable... simple enough for a simpleton like me to use well.

A beautiful cafe I had lunch in, in Taipei, at a really cool movie theatre. It is a truly wonderful spot in the heart of a very large metropolis.

Way cool sculpture on the street in a quiet Taipei neighborhood. Really cool and very lifelike.

The entryway to the Asakusa temple on my first morning in Japan. My morning ritual was to get up and walk to the temple either before or after my breakfast. It's just one of those places that calms your entire being. No wonder it is SO popular with the people of Japan.

If you're gonna drink a lot of Asahi Super Dry, don't drink and drive- ride a panda instead.

I found it pretty hard to walk in the dark and take a self-portrait without using the flash (to avoid blinding myself)... I look like I'm worried about a Buddhist Ninja attack or something.

This temple spire is insane! In the dark here, you can barely see the "antenna" on top. The whole thing is really, really cool.

The temple itself- it's several hundred years old and was once the seat of power in Japan. Now it is one of the most important temples in Japan. The crowd of tourists at the temple on a weekend morning is unreal. Thousands of people there... all day long.

More Taipokyo pictures to come- promise. Also, I need to get the voting going for the October contest that I never wrapped up... so I can announce and begin the new December contest! So stay tuned...