Is it really almost 2011? I mean... 2011?! Jeesh...
The year is wrapping up far too fast and this poor, neglected blog has all but withered out of existence recently. Again, my defense- and I feel it's a good one- is that the conversation is still going on, but largely on my Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the Tumblr picture blog. I love this blog and whatever it is in the process of evolving into, but I have become to the more immediate gratification of near-instant dialog on Twitter and Facebook... as much as it limits my excessively wordy nature (whether that is bad is in the eye of the beholder).
Since the last update in mid-November, I've been running around all over the place of course... duh. Thanksgiving came and went in a turkey fueled blur of fun and family. Lily was unimpressed by the whole experience, but she's still too young to eat anything good... she'll be ready next year. Katie spent more time playing with my nephew Jack than she did eating, which is likely a good thing. The two of them had a blast.
The end of November and first few days of December were spent in New York and Pennsylvania, traveling with my sales rep- Keith Murphy. In the span of just a few days, we saw a whole bunch of bike shops and made some great progress with Masi all the way from Buffalo, NY to Pittsburgh, PA. I'm very excited by the progress we've been making this year- new shops are coming on board all the time and existing shops are trying more products; the Masi Global Domination is in full effect!
The weather, as of late, has been crappy- "cold" and raining- so I have been staying off the bike in an attempt to continue getting healthier. The cough is getting a lot better, though not gone, and the inhaler seems to be helping a little. All in all, I am exercising patience more than my body... but I am holding on to the belief that I will be back in full stride soon enough and the race season ahead will still be full of wins.
The family is doing great; Ann is healthy, though she is hands-down the healthiest person I've ever known. She's still swimming nearly every single day and is now within a couple pounds of her pre-pregnancy weight... which means she weighs nothing again. Katie, aka Masidaughter 1.0 is kicking ass! She is SUCH an amazing child- doing well in school, acting in a Junior Theater play- Alice in Wonderland. She and I still, among other things, share a great of love music together. I hope that I can say that in 10 more years because right now, it really makes me happy to have music in common with her. Lily has several teeth now and is healthy as a tiny, pudgy, pink ox. She scared the hell out of us with a cough that we took her to the doctor about- due to the cough I've had for so long. Turns out that the cough was garden variety and she had a bad ear infection instead... and now she's just fine! Even Masiboy, step-son from previous marriage has made a few cameo visits. He's IN COLLEGE now and working... and is still an excellent young man. I don't see him or hear from him nearly enough for my liking, but it's always great when I do- and it makes me proud to see him each time. All in all, family is the highlight of my existence.
Work is a constant blur. Those of you who have been a reader here for long (my apologies again) will remember those days a few years ago when I would blog "today/ this week was really busy!" Well, now it is more of an exception when things are slow. The brand is doing really well and the 2011 bikes are making a lot of noise for a small, humble brand. The new carbon bikes are in and shipping fast! It is amazing to me to see how well they are doing- amazing only because I had the pleasure and terror of being deeply involved in the design of the frames. When you're shelling out money for molds, you can find yourself losing sleep worrying about geometry or top tube lengths or any number of things. When the products show up, looking like a million bucks and riding like a dream, it is a HUGE relief and release. This past weekend I finally got to ride one of the newly finished bikes that will be in the demo fleet. This was my first ride on the completed product in my size and the suspense had been killing me. It is no exaggeration to say that I was a little (lot) nervous when I first clipped in and rolled away... but that nervousness was quickly replaced with total joy. Let me just say one thing; we got it right. The bike handles perfectly, the bottom bracket stiffness is amazing, the vertical compliance of the seat stays gives it great seated comfort and the oversize headset gives the front end tons of stiffness as well. As much as anything can ever live up to its marketing hype, these bikes surpass my expectations... a lot. Needless to say, I'm super proud of the work we did to create the Evoluzione bikes.
But it isn't all about the carbon bikes this year either- though they are getting some awesome reviews. The new steel bikes are kicking butt too, especially the new CXSS steel single speed cross bike. The bikes are already sold out on my size, so I can't even get one for myself and they are selling out fast in other sizes too. A single speed cross bike isn't for everybody, I know, but man is it a fun bike to ride... especially with "Monster Cross" 700x45 tires!
So the product side of things is really doing great, even with the challenges we face in the marketplace as a smaller brand. New aluminum bikes, lots of great fixies... man, there's a lot of great products.
Again, I'm gonna try to get back to this thing more often... though I know I've said that a few times already and have not followed through all that well. Don't be surprised by continued gaps, but it's more to do with having a new baby than it is a lack of love for you... promise. That said, do stop by and say hello on Twitter and Facebook. I'm there WAY more often than I should be, chasing conversations around the world.
If I don't make it back in time, have a Merry Chrismahanakwanza!