Friday, June 27, 2008

State of the Union.

No matter how much I acknowledge the fact that I need to pack for my trip the day before and get a reasonable amount of sleep, I fall short on achieving said task.

Saturday night was spent dotting eyes and crossing tees for my first National Sales Meeting in Cali. This meeting would introduce me to my new world as a sales rep for the oldest bicycle company in North America. I would also review the 2009 line of bicycles, discuss changes that should be made to the line, sneak in a ride and formulate an agenda for increasing sales in 2009. Back to the departure of said trip.

Time flew by put-zing around and before I knew it I still needed to throw a fresh shave on my legs, arms and head. Ugh! There really is no quick way to shave 40 inches worth of legs. Maybe I should ask Gabriel Reese how she does it? Anyway. Shave, pack, hit the pillow at 12:30am with the alarm set for...3:00am. Hmm sounds like a quick nap to me.


Here is what 2 hours of sleep looks like. Not pretty by any means. On a whim I stuffed a beanie in my backpack guessing the air condition would be cranked on the flight. Mixed with my lack of sleep, I would have been cold. I knocked of 2 hours of sleep in the flight. Amazing when your 6'4". It's hard to get comfortable in your seat but I was super tired.

I was lucky to have a seat too. My departing plane was downsized and they were bumping people off the flight. I used Orbitz to book the flight and request an isle seat for my long legs. Orbitz is cool too as I have it set up to text me flight updates, boarding gates, security time waiting all to my iPhone.



My son is turning 6 years old in 2 months. This was the first time that he cried the night before I had to leave for a trip. To ease his stress, I offered to take Han Solo along and take random pix of him along my journey. Maybe it will work? Han is enjoying a cold one in the photo above.

This was a National Sales Meeting. And what a good way to kick it off by having a group ride with the blokes. Bikes were distributed amongst everyone. I got a T-Cube that was a size smaller than what I ride...61cm with Rival grouppo.



I kept an open mind on the smaller bike as we rolled away. The reach was about 10mm shorter than what I ride currently. For that day this was a good thing. The wind was ripping and I rode in the drops a good bit to stay aero. While in this position, my changes on this bike would be such for Crits, swap the 120mm for a 130mm, swap the bar for a 42 c-c and that's about it.

The SRAM Rival group on the other hand...took some getting used to. I roll with Campy now and while the Rival hoods and levers felt great, the rear, low gear shifts seemed too hard to initiate. Also if you shift low to high on the front and don't hit the high ring, relax the shifter lever and try to move it further onto the high ring, the derail will dump back down onto the low ring. Just a habit you get riding with Campy or Shimano I guess.



Rider in the left side of the frame and my roommate for the week, Laurence. Pacific NW rep Dave. The three of us are all 63cm riders, nice to be around some tall cyclists for once.

We rode out to Coyote Hills Regional Park. Nice views but severe swap arses smell from the gray water.



Up the road is Kevin and Dave. They are part of the new sales crew that the company has acquired. So far everyone seems to be real solid and I'm excited to be sitting down tomorrow to see the 2009 bikes.



Here is a sneaky peaky of Bianchis 2009 boy racer bike. Remember the Giro of 2005/2006 and the killer value and performance it provided? Well here is the 2009 version (not called the Giro)graced in full carbon and 4 colors to boot. I love red! This bike will impress the dealers that stock it and rock it. The pricing will make this a Specialized Tarmac killer. Monocoque frame construction, lugged rear.



Sexy and functional. This rear shot of the D2 TT whip is the frame that Barloworld is supporting. In fact the boys will be in the celeste until 2010. Heck ya!

Steel will be back for 2009 with 3 models of standard fare and a fourth one dressed in Campy stink, chrome lugged, and Made In Italy. Consider it brought-en! In the steel line up the Pista will have an optional flat bar set up...flat bar Pista. Flat bar San Jose.

More and new Cross Terrain models, later to be revealed ;-)



Han Solo and the D2 Carbon Cross frame. S9 Matta in the foreground. Boron frameset against the wall. Carbon Cross? Yes the scandium/carbon frame combo is being halted and replaced for a full carbon rig.



This is the reason that I have put on 7 lbs since joining the rep world. Calories? Lots of them. This cookie was about 6 inches in diameter and good to the last bite. Oh yea dinner was good too that night.

The meetings went well. I'm really excited with the sales crew. Excited about the new bikes for 2009. My excitement grows from the retailer level because of being an ex-retailer of Bianchis. The bikes sold well for me and with the new paint jobs, expanded models in the sub 1000 dollar level, this coming Interbike promises to be a good one.



This photo is a perfect example of sweet ending to a good trip. Leg room! I booked an exit seat. Kind of like first class, only smellier.
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s.b.
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