Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009


It has been at least 2 years since I've stood in the water and done some fly fishing. Tonight, taking advantage of my temporary bachelor status, I headed out to the San Diego Bay to get some saltwater fly fishing action.

The first spot proved totally unproductive so I headed towards a regularly good spot and then the hits started coming and I had a string of four fish on four casts. Once that spot stopped producing, I moved a little further down the beach and ended up with another four fish before finally calling it a night when my back and shoulder began to complain.

In the end, a night of 8 quality fish- all of which were released for another night of fun- was a very nice return to the water. The water had a slight wind chop on it when I first arrived but the wind eventually subsided and the glass returned to the water's surface and I was swallowed up the tranquility.

It's nice to be sitting here typing with some soreness in my right shoulder from a worn out arm from all the casting. It was a nice night for sure!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Today is Thanksgiving here in the US, which means it is time for the cliched and time honored ritual of making lists or emotional statements of all the things we are thankful for- or at least should be.

Why fight against tradition...

Like I am every day, I am thankful for my wife and daughter and their good health. Both of them enrich me more than I can express. I won't wax too poetic here- this time- but I would be nothing without the two women in my life.

I am thankful for the relationship I have with my ex-wife as well- she is a great mother and a valuable partner in raising our daughter.

I am thankful for the health of those around me who I cherish and love so much. Our health is such a blessing and is easy to ignore until it's pushed back in our faces.

I am thankful for my own health again! I get a little frustrated and cranky lately because I have ridden so little the past 3 months due to work, travel, silly injuries and sickness... but to do so is a gift. I was staggeringly close to death just a little over a year and a half ago and today I am well enough to complain about not having the time to ride as often as I would like. When I was lying in a hospital bed, unable to move well and wearing a cervical collar for my broken neck, I swore I'd never take my health for granted again- I think that's part of why I get so frustrated when I can't ride... it feels like breaking a promise.

I am thankful to have a job that I am very passionate about and really love doing. Sure, like all jobs everywhere, there are days when I roll out of bed grudgingly because I'd rather sleep or because the weather is just far too beautiful to be inside staring at a computer. BUT... my entire reason to go to the office is to work on creating ways to help others enjoy the simple joys of riding a bike. In the end, I have nothing to complain about. I design bicycles- not guns. Hallelujah.

I am thankful that I have made so many friends over the past few years via the connections that have occurred due to the simple act of communicating through this silly thing we call the Internet. I have so many friends across the globe- most of whom I've never met and might never meet, yet they are no less real as friends than any other friend I have here in San Diego. Sincerely- I am thankful for having "met" each and every one of you over the nearly 5 years I have been writing this blog. You guys/ gals are the gravy on my potatoes today and always.

I am thankful to have the family I do. Like all families, mine is not perfect, but I am thankful that my family is mine. I have seen other families up close and seen how bad tings can be- I am blessed to have the nurturing and supportive family that I do. They have watched my life take all the twists and turns of a GP race course, they have helped me when in need- or in the hospital, and they have laughed and cried with me along the way. I don't tell them often enough, like most people, but I love them all very deeply.

Now, in just a few minutes, I'm gonna be thankful that the seams on my bib shorts and jersey are strong enough to contain my doughy ass as I go for a nice little ride so that I can have a tiny smidge of an excuse to eat several pounds of turkey, potatoes, stuffing and a few gallons of gravy.

Enjoy your day of thanks as well- no matter how you do it or when.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where has the time gone?

Has it really been 12 days since I've written a blog post? Really? Holy crap...

I wish I could say there was any other reason than just the generic "I've been busy". I haven't been riding at all- between the back injury and being sick, I haven't touched a bike in weeks. Hopefully this week will break that cycle... I hope. The reality is that I've just been so slammed with work that by the time I am home from work, I have barely got the mental power to do the Twittering that I do. I have to admit that Twitter has been killing my blogging- the simple 140 character pseudo haiku has proven to be very effective at eating my motivation to blog. Frankly though, that bothers me and I want to regain my blogging power... promise I'm working on it.

Things have been super busy with the development of the 2011 bike line. Yeah- I know, it isn't even 2010 yet. I know... that's part of why I'm so dizzy! Our spec and design cycle gets increasingly shorter year after year. It's a freaking miracle I know what year it is now... 2020, right? We've already got all of our bike colors, names and models selected and are in the process of wrapping up key design elements, as well as spec. Spec is always the big issue and we'll be finishing the loose bits while in Taiwan in a little more than a week. Which brings up...

... I leave for Taiwan and Japan the first week of December. I'll be in Taiwan for Taichung Bike Week, which is the mini un-tradeshow for OEM market. It's the last big chance to see the newest of new products or finalize spec selections, etc before putting the product range to bed. We'll be there sniffing out the best stuff available, as well as getting preliminary views of the latest goodies coming from the big players in the component world. It's pretty exciting for a professional spoke sniffer like myself. The best part of the Taiwan trip for me is getting to sleep in my own bed, in my wife's condo she owns... which just happens to be a block away from where all the show meetings take place! AND... she'll be in Taiwan at the same time! She'll be there primarily to visit family, but at least I'll see here there when I am there. That's a very cool thing.

After Taiwan, I will be returning to Tokyo for the Cycle Mode consumer show for the 3rd year. I love Tokyo and the Cycle Mode show. Japan is simply amazing and our distributor there- Kozaki- is a fantastic host and I am always stupendously happy there. The show is great, the Japanese consumers are great to talk to... and I eat my way through Tokyo like Godzilla on a rampage! I swear... Tokyo may be my favorite place on the planet for food... I love it! I hope this year to finally make it over the uber hip, keirin themed bar- Kinfolk- while I am in the city too. I've never been able to get there in the past, but I'm going to try to get there this year and finally meet up with the very cool folks behind the place. I have no idea if there is any keirin racing going on the time of year in Tokyo, but if there is, I am going to make an effort to get to it. I'm also on a quest to get my hands on anything keirin related... so I'll be hunting!

As of Friday of last week, I might be also adding a little "detour" on the front of this trip; may be headed to Seoul, South Korea for a couple days to see the Seoul Bike Show- which is the Korean equivalent of the Japanese Cycle Mode shows. Our new distributor there will be debuting Masi (and Brev M), so I may be there to assist them in the public launch of the brand there. In the end it means a 3rd country in my 2 week trip, but I am excited by the possibility of seeing Korea and having the chance to help our new distributor there- Kisong International.

As always, as much as I can while I am traveling, I will be doing my best to post to the blog. However, in light of the fact I am often super busy while on the road, I don't get much time for blogging so it's a good idea to keep your eyes on my Twitter and Facebook for short notes and frequent images.

Here's to a great Thanksgiving week- I'll be back in less than 12 days this time, I promise.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is it me, or is the world spinning?

Busy? Yep!

For the first couple years of this blog, which will be 5yrs old in March, I used to infrequently remark, "wow, today/ this week was really busy!" Over time that began to slowly migrate to "wow, this has been a busy month!" Now... "busy" is the new status quo and "I'm losing my mind" has become the new change of pace.

This weekend and last night, I had the pleasure of finally meeting some "old" friends face to face and making some new friends at various tweetups in town as the PRSA09 conference was in town. I got to finally meet my friend Kellye Crane, new friend Lauren Vargas and old new friend Steve Woodruff. I got to make new friends like Kami Huyse, Jacob Sloan and Fran Stephenson- among all the others whose names I have forgotten and business cards I have yet to rediscover. All of these folks are very smart people deeply involved in public relations and/ or social media. We all know I'm an SM geek, but I have a strong respect for PR professionals as well- a lot of what I do with marketing and branding shares very similar traits with PR. I was lucky enough to get to join these folks at various get-togethers during the week after the conferences. It should go without saying that I had a fantastic time and I am very happy I got to share some conversations and laughs with some folks I have a lot of respect for.

Tomorrow will hopefully be the day I get back on the bike for the first time in more than a week since hurting my back. The muscle is still pissed off with me, but it seems to be getting better... and I am growing too impatient to wait any longer. It's gonna be one of those agonizing recovery rides where everything feels wrong and I feel like I should just take up golf... but you have to start somewhere. I've been hoping for months that this winter will be the winter where I actually get back into the routine of steady training- even when traveling- so I really am anxious to get back on the bike and even into the gym. I'll try to report on how things go tomorrow...

So many cool little things going on right now and hopefully I'll be able to report on them very soon. There's some exciting things going on- I promise.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Being hurt stinks... big time.

So last week we had our uber top secret mega important Product Summit where we continued to refine our products into industry annihilating dream machines. The increased development and new projects and direction for the brand is going to cripple the competition and leave YOU gasping for air as you throw wads of money at your local retailer begging them for a new Masi. You know me- I've never even once exaggerated in even the tiniest little bit... not once, not ever. (You've been warned...)

The only "glitch" to the week is that in a totally inane and seemingly innocuous way, I pulled a muscle or strained something in my back that has left me completely unable to ride since Tuesday and in moments of searing pain. As I was putting my backpack on my left shoulder- which has my laptop in it and is relatively heavy- the strap slipped off the shoulder and fell to the ground. In my attempt to catch the pack and save the computer from hitting the ground, I twisted awkwardly and the weight of the bag caused the injury somehow. I did manage to save the bag from hitting the ground, but my back has paid the price. I've been walking like an old man or Frankenstein ever since. Today is the first day that sitting down or standing up doesn't result in a serious groan of pain. For the record; getting stupid injuries because you're a dork (and getting old) really, really sucks. The "silver lining" is that my cold seems to have gone away finally... now if I could only ride a bike...

This weekend is the start of the PRSA 09 conference here in San Diego. Though I am not attending the conference, it has brought a convergence of many of the really, really smart folks I "know" through Social Media (and if you have been reading this blog for very long, you know I'm as passionate about SM as I am about bikes). Last night after the conference, I went to one of the tweetups and had the chance to finally put a face to the @. I don't get too many chances to attend any of these kinds of functions from here in San Diego- usually because I'm quite simply working or traveling- so it's always a bit of a thrill when I get to meet people I only know digitally and even more exciting when I meet new smart people. So, even in my sore old man condition, I had a blast getting to talk to some great folks last night like Lauren Vargas, Kami Huyse, Fran Stephenson and Jacob Sloan. The conference goes until Tuesday so I'm going to get the chance to meet a few more of my friends this week and I'm very happy about that (bad back or not)! For all the rest of you attending PRSA09 who I have not yet met- welcome to San Diego! I look forward to meeting you over the next couple days.