Well, here we are again with another blog post. I really should be doing this way more often. Just sayin’. Plus I like it…it’s fun.
OK, cue one of the following tunes…Back in The Saddle (Areosmith), Back in Black (AC/DC) or Back in The USSR (The Beatles)…I’m sure there are more songs with this theme, I just can’t think of any at the moment.
Ok, so…. am back! Rockin’ out with my…well…not really. Nothing’s hanging out that I’m aware of. But I am back, back in the good ol’ bike business. That’s right, back in the industry doing what I love with a product that I love and with people that love it as much as I do. And you know what, like-mindedness is a beautiful thing. It’s powerful. And these people that are in this wonderful, relatively small, low paying industry with me are some of the best people I have ever had the privilege of meeting or working with. I have forged lifelong friendships from my stint in the bike biz the last time around. And I seriously treasure these friendships.
Real quick…speaking of friendships, this whole thing, this whole change in my life, came to fruition through one of these amazing friends from the biz, Chad Battistone. He’s got this magical vibe about him…I’m not kidding, I won’t get into it but I am dead fucking serious…it’s real! I’ll tell you, I could write a whole post about him. And I very well may…yes people, he is that special.
See? Love that guy.
Anywhoozle, after I had asked him almost a year earlier to keep his eyes peeled for an opportunity for me, he told me that one had finally caught his attention. So, after I talked to him about some of the details, and said I would be really interested, he arranged a meeting over the phone with me and the founder of the company I work for now. It all worked out the way I needed it to to make the leap. It couldn’t have had better timing either. You see, not to be dramatic, but I was dying in a small, family owned, out of touch, well paying, company truck and gas card havin’, completely dead-end and shitty job. I was there for 4 ½ years…with the last 1 ½ being so unbearably brutal. I mean I have literally never worked for a company as ass backwards and poorly managed as this company. It was this that made me start looking to get back in to the bike business a little over a year ago. This and the fact that it is hard (for me at least) to get up in the morning and work at a passionless job 9-11 hours a day just to earn a good paycheck every week. I couldn’t stand it. I had just turned 50 there was this overwhelming feeling of just wasting away. Wasting my precious time doing something that really meant nothing to anyone… except the 88 year old owner of the company who is making all of the money. Well that just doesn’t work for me anymore. There was very little self-worth for me during this time. I was miserable. I know, I know…boo hoo. It was seriously bad though.
But I changed it because: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” –Albert Einstein
And also because: “No such thing as spare time. No such thing as free time. No such thing as down time. All you got is lifetime. Go.” – Henry Rollins
I just couldn’t do it anymore.
Ok, let’s be done with that.
Sea Otter Classic 2016!!
The 15th of April was my first full-time day at the new gig and the second day, out of five, of the event. For those that don’t know it’s kinda the kick off of the mountain bike racing season. And it is held in and around The Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey Bay in California. It’s a site to behold.
Here are a few shots. As you can see, which these pictures really don’t do it justice, it was awesome. My level of excitement rolling into the show was at the same level as a 9 year old little girl driving across a few states in a multi-day road trip only to arrive, finally at Disneyland for the first time. Yeah, I was that excited. Seriously.
It was pretty amazing. It was nice to see so many familiar faces. It just feels like home. I know I am beating a dead horse here…but I feel so grateful to be back.
Ok, so I went with my best friend that is to say, I went with my wife Maria, who is also from the bicycle industry. We had such an unbelievably great time. The weather was beautiful, perfect really. Kinda bordering warm to hot and a little windy come afternoon time, but over all very pleasant. Plus beers happened through out every day we were there. Some bought, some given to us by the many vendors offering them up. Sierra Nevada seemed to be the most drunk by the wife and I. But it’s just kind of a thing you do at a bicycle industry event. We got that goin’ for us…which is nice. And the swag at a bicycle industry event is top fuckin’ notch…like stainless pint cups…thanks People For Bikes…..*CHEERS*
Like I said, I got to see a lot of familiar faces and shake a shit-ton of hands. Here is a picture of two guys that were an integral part of mountain bike’s founding fathers. My friend Charlie Kelly (left) and Joe Breeze (right). They, among a few others, changed everything when it came to riding bicycles off paved roads and in the mountains in the late ’70’s. Serious Mavericks these hand full of guys and gals were.
Maria took part in a twenty mile non-competitive mountain bike ride on Saturday while I was talking to folks at the event. She rode her ’94 Barracuda. Here is the spot where she started at 7:30am. She was excited!
Here is a shot of her ‘Cuda. Yeah, it’s steel and fully rigid….and yeah, she loves this bicycle. I mean loves. She won’t even talk to me about upgrading…when it comes to my wife she is a retro-grouch. Well…really, it’s more along the lines of: “if it works, why replace it” and “run what ya brung” Did I mention it was a 20 mile mountain bike ride? On this? Yeah she’s pretty fucking hard core.
I’ve got it set up with mid/late ’90’s Shimano XT 8speed. I still love the feel of those Parallel Push “V” Brakes. They really were a stellar set o’ brakes. Hell, there was a time that was racing downhill with a set of these brakes. Nice.
All in all it was such a great way to kick off my entry back into the bike industry. It was a real success as far as making connections for work too. As far as taking pictures of all the new and exciting bike stuff…there really wasn’t a whole lot to get really excited about. A bit of a re-hash…but I am sure you know my feelings on “new” technology. Plus I was busy working.
That’s it. Not really reporting on the show. There will be no reviews of the latest greatest. I just wanted to take the opportunity to get a bit personal and share how unbelievably happy, elated and stoked I am to be back where I belong.
People, it’s where I belong.
It. Is. Awesome.
If you can, try get where you belong, I highly recommend it.
See ya next time.
Go ride your bicycle.