Sunday, May 31, 2009

Week off

I'm leaving in a little bit for LA for a flight to Taiwan tomorrow. I'll likely be offline enitrely for the next week...

... but I'll be back.


She's 8!

I can hardly believe she's 8 now...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Minneapolis- in pictures

Here's a bunch of various, random pictures from Minneapolis. Since "a picture tells a thousand words"... it saves me from doing too much typing!

Spencer Haugh of the LGR team ripping through turn 4 at the NSC velodrome.

Me... in my glowing orb of bike geekness...

Track boards are amazing. The track looks and sounds beautiful!

The fish eye lens gives the image a bit more curve... but it isn't far from reality.

Me and Chuck from Behind Bars hanging with the LGR team after a night of racing at NSC- pretty danged cool!

Me staring out over the track on opening night at the NSC velodrome. It was killing me not be out there racing too!

The Behind Bars crew- Chuck (owner), Josh and Dan- the mighty wrenches!

What an amazing structure!

I love these mics! There's a reason why they are the mic of choice of SO many bands over the years.

I'm told that I make an excellent tripod- far better tripod than model...

Such a cool building! The "texture" of the building was awesome.

Pete Demos getting his photo on! The lovely Katrina was a great sport during the shoot too.

Stasiu's is apparently famous for this urinal... which is a pretty danged cool urinal.

I love this Grain Belt sign! Such an iconic symbol of Minneapolis.

That Nova looked like it hadn't moved in YEARS!

The building has now been converted to awesome lofts! How cool is that?!

I love this mural! Very cool.

Decked out and ready for a day of hauling things around and looking really pretty!

Pete getting the line of bikes before we rolled out- the Speciale LTD at the end belonged to a customer who just happened to roll up and place his bike in the line- it was pretty cool!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

My week in Minneapolis- Part One

Did I mention that I went to Minneapolis? Well... I did! I don't even know where to begin other than at the beginning. So lemme start things off...

I was up late Sunday night doing laundry and getting the bike packed safely into the travel case. I was up at 4:00AM so that I could finish packing and ended up taking a lot longer than I wanted to- because I'm a "light traveler" (those who know and work with me are surely rolling their eyes at that). After getting into the taxi and getting to the airport, it was the usual frustration of checking in with the bike case- it seems that I am charged a different price each and every time and that nobody ever knows how to go through the process. Pete, our Creative Director- aka "Sticker Boy"- was already at the gate and sending me text messages every 3.5 seconds... which by the way causes all kinds of problems when you are going through security screening and your phone is going off constantly through the x-ray. I could see the latex gloves going on to hands and could sense an imminent cavity search in my future. Thankfully, the screener could understand the concept of "smart ass coworker".

Our flights to Minneapolis went smoothly and without incident, even carrying the two heavy camera bags that Pete had. It didn't take too long to get our bags once we arrived and after a little confusion, we found our way to the car rental to get our minivan. It should be noted at this point that Pete and I both are confessed directional idiots- neither of us is Magellan. Even though I had directions to the hotel, as provided by the hotel, we also used the GPS on Pete's iPhone as I drove. It should also be noted that Pete is about as a big a Mac iGeek as you can possibly be... I'm just sayin'... but we did make it to the hotel without any problems.

The hotel was in the warehouse district of downtown Minneapolis. After getting settled in and getting my bike built, we waited for Chuck from Behind Bars Bicycle Shop , Nathan Freeman (the videographer/ model/ cool dude) and Spencer Haugh (model/ cool dude/ LGR rider/ guide/ scout) to show up for our first night time location recon' ride. After the guys showed up, we cruised the city looking for a few locations to shoot and even got a few good impromptu sessions in while simply cruising around. It wasn't on our original agenda to get any production work done on Monday night, but it turned out to be a very good night of shooting. After we got done with the shoots and recon, we headed back to the hotel. Pete and I were both still very excited about the city and the evening's first productive shots, so we hopped back on the bikes and took off for some more riding around the area and didn't end up getting back in until about 4:00AM!

One of the many gorgeous night time views of the city- I just wish I could have gotten better pictures in the dark.

Chuck serving as marker to set focal point for Pete. He was pretty good at it too!

Bike in the dark... so artsy and... dark.

Another poor attempt at an artsy pic- the brick texture was just too cool to skip, but I really should leave the picture taking to Pete.

The famous wall of money at Cuzzy's.

Pete getting his photo. It was cool to get a few good shoots in the bag on the first night- it was totally unexpected.

Another one of the many beautiful views of downtown on our first night.

I was smiling on this first ride... but the backpack on my back later became my enemy! All that photo equipment gets WAY heavy and uncomfortable!

Crossing the bridge at night, heading back into downtown. The view was spectacular.

One of the many iconic images of Minneapolis. It is impossible to not admire and appreciate the cool signage and symbols of the city's historic past.

Part Two- the first day of shooting... More to come!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Minneapolis was amazing!

Well, still not home yet thanks to delays leaving Minneapolis due to
bad weather in Denver causing major issues. Had to stay overnight in
Denver for new flight home today. Sitting at the gate waiting for
flight another hour and a half. iPhone is keeping me connected to the
outside world.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Making the magic happen

Getting some good images...

Monday, May 18, 2009


Almost ready to board the plane to Minneapolis. Beautiful day here in

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Minneapolis; prepare

Got through the weekend with a ride on the rollers Saturday night and nice little ride in the dessert heat today (I thought I was gonna melt... or burst into flames). Ran some errands this evening and am now doing laundry and packing up my Speciale Fixed for the week in Minneapolis.

Hope to be in downtown Minneapolis by 5:00PM tomorrow, so I'm pretty stoked. Might gimme enough time to get to the hotel and get the bike put together so I can go for a little spin in the city.

Looks like the photo shoot is gonna come together nicely with a bunch of people volunteering to help make it a great week- again, I thank you.

Gotta get back to laundry, packing and getting the bike into the case. 4:30AM is gonna be here sooner than I would like!


Friday, May 15, 2009

It's been "one of those weeks"...

This week has been punctuated with lots of highs and lows. There have been some really great things to happen this week and there were things that I just won't even go into here. Like lots of people, I had "one of those weeks". I certainly don't own the market on bad weeks, that's for sure, and I've had much worse... but it's still been a very draining week, just the same.

The good news is that I still have my daughter with me through the weekend and that is always something that works to improve my outlook on things. We'll likely spend a little time at the beach and maybe even at my mom's pool. We'll hopefully get in another bike ride too. Regardless, I plan to soak in as much time with the Masidaughter as I can.

Monday morning- bright and early- I leave for Minneapolis for the week. I'll be joined by Pete Demos, our Creative Director, and we'll be working on photo and video projects. I'm really looking forward to the week- both for the creative aspects of it and for the fun of being in Minneapolis. I haven't been to Minneapolis since my sister graduated from St. Cloud State, just north of Minneapolis, about 10 years ago. I'm even happier that I'll be traveling with my Speciale Fixed so that I can ride while I am there! I am stoked to get to finally ride in the city- I've wanted to for years. AND... I get to hang out with friends and have fun while at the same time doing my job. Not a bad gig.

So here's to YOU having a great weekend. I am going to make the most out of mine.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Masi news...

In case you didn't happen to see the really cool news yet, go here for the details!

Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked about it.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Calling all Minneapolis Masi owners!

Next week, May 18th to 22nd, I'll be in Minneapolis with our Creative Director- Pete Demos- working on photo and video projects for our next catalog and other marketing needs. If you're a Masi owner and you're in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area and would like to possibly be in the catalog or other photos used for the website, ads and other marketing areas let us know. Shoot me an email (address located in my blog profile info) or leave a comment here.

It doesn't matter what era Masi you have or what model- we're looking to simply add as much Masi love to the catalog and other areas as we possibly can.

We'd love to see you and your Masi if you're around during that time... so mark your calendar!

(Updated; Oh yeah- I need cool locating ideas as well, so email them to me if you have any good suggestions. Better yet- if you can email simple photos, that would be even more awesomer!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To Masi

It isn't even Father's Day today...

... and my daughter gave me a present!


It's Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day, of course. Mother's Day is one of those "holidays" largely generated by the greeting card/ consumerism machine, but we all have mothers...

I'm lucky to have an exceptional mother. I don't talk about her here very often, but she's a fantastic woman who has given me many things throughout my life- most importantly her love and support. She's been there through the highs and lows, as well as the breaks and bleeds... and stitches... and tetanus shots... etc.

When I was unable to take care of myself after my crash and my girlfriend had returned to Taiwan, it was my mom who once again took care of me as I recovered. She's changed more bandages, applied more medicated cremes, given more prescriptions, driven to more doctor visits and even given more shots than any mother should ever have to.

My mother gave my sister and I all the things we needed to grow up to become adults. We sometimes didn't get all the things we wanted, but we always had what we needed. She worked hard to make sure that my sister and I were able to get an education and sacrificed a lot for us. Thanks to her, both my sister and I made it to adulthood and parenthood.

Mom- thank you for always being there, even when it was not a comfortable thing for you... especially when it meant I was bleeding all over the inside of your car or needed another expensive trip to the ER. Your love and support have always meant more to me than anything I can say or do will ever be able to properly illustrate. Thank you!

It would be impossible for me to talk about Mother's Day without at least a brief mention of my ex-wife as well. My ex is a wonderful mother and the kids are lucky to have her as their mother. Things obviously did not "work out" for our marriage, but I am very happy to share in parenting with her. We still talk and laugh as we share our separate experiences of parenthood. It's a great thing to be able to work with her to raise the kids- even if from two different locations. Thank you, Meg.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there- your thankless work is not totally unrecognized. Maybe you only get one day per year where you don't have to run the house and do all the work, but we're all lucky every day of the year to have you here.


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spokesmen Podcast- #38

Yeah! We did it! Spokesmen podcast show #38 is ready for your listening pleasure. It was a great show this morning- we had a lot of fun and got some laughs in as well as covered good topics... so go give it a listen!


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Saturday, May 02, 2009

It's great to ride...

It's been so great to get some miles in recently. My daughter is with her mother for a little camping trip, so I've had the past few days "free" to ride. I had a nice ride at home after work on Thursday and then on Friday I was feeling good so I rode hard at lunch and then did another hard ride from the office after work. Today I did one of the smaller but faster local group rides and had a good time. My legs were very tired from the double day on Friday, so it took a long time for them to warm up and they were missing a little bit of the snap- especially on the one challenging climb for the ride. After things regrouped a bit, I got my legs back- more or less- and settled into the group.

The last portion of the ride culminates in a series of easy rollers that set up the final sprint. It's a sprint that I know like the back of my hand and have a history of doing well in- it just suits my style of sprinting. The group stayed relatively intact and then about a mile or so from the sprint, a small group broke things up and I chased onto the group and sat on as best I could- which was not all that easy. Things came slightly back together just before the sprint and I found myself taking a pull in a spot I didn't want to, so I took a short pull and worked my way back into the shelter of the pack. It was right about then that the first attacks in the sprint happened and I had to back out of the group and move from the right side of the road and out to the left into the sprinting group. It took some effort, but I made it in and then launched my sprint. Things looked really good and I thought I had it for sure- and I think I would've- until my chain dropped off to the outside of the big ring as I was trying to get my 11t wound up. Sadly, that is why SRAM is now making a new, stiffer version of the big ring used on the Red group. I have the new ring to test out, but have lazily not installed it yet.

Still, even with the slight mechanical, I had a great ride and was really pleased that I was able to recover from the hard efforts earlier and have the legs to sprint well. I'm still just inching my way back to being stronger, but each little step like this sure feels good. Hopefully I'll have better sprinting legs at the track on Tuesday night. Would be nice to finish one of the races with a "podium" or a win.

Tomorrow is hopefully gonna be a nice long day of 100+ miles and further building of base fitness and endurance. The legs are super tired right now, but after a rest I hope they recover. Had a nice big meal of pasta with chicken sausage for dinner, so hopefully I'll have enough carbs and proteins to endure the day tomorrow.

Hope you are having your own epic weekend- with or without your bike.