Wednesday, February 27, 2008
But, here are a few things I've picked up at the show...
- Dealers here like our armoured cable more than I expected. I don't remember much of a fuss about it at all last year. Good deal!
- I'm getting an education on the size of the sidewalks - or lack thereof - in English villages.
- Jet lag is getting to all of us from the US. That should be no surprise.
- Apparently, I sleep through earthquakes. Didn't register with me at all...it was one of the few times I was asleep last night.
And...best of all, I got to see some friends, again, today. Chipps was back for Day 2 and Mike Davis of Bikemagic.com came to visit. And, of course, my fellow Spokesman, Carlton Reid stopped by for a bit of an exclusive....had I known he was going to do a funky video, I would have brushed up on my mambo...or salsa...or whatever I'd need with this fun music. Check it out.
That's it from here today. Didn't sleep much last night so I'm a little pooped. Off to bed. Yes, I know it is only 8:30p - but I'm trying to fend off the cold/flu that has, apparently, ripped through our office, including Don, who is here with me. Yikes!
Neil McDaidAfter 20 years sometimes the best thing to do is take some time off - walk the dog more, go to more rallies and relax like never before.
Thank you for 2 decades of passion, Neil! Whatever your next adventure, we all wish you the best.
Is the tea on?
Madison puts on a fantastic show under the tents at their warehouse. Yesterday was the start of the show with dealers from all over like Barry from Firth Cycles and dealers from Oxford, Bristol and loads of other places. It was also press day where I got to see some of my friends in the UK media like Chipps and some of the guys from Future Publishing. It was great fun for me because this show is less hectic than Eurobike or Interbike so I got to spend some quality time catching up with them. I really enjoy that.
Off to get ready for Day 2 where I'll get to see fellow Spokesman Carlton Reid today! I'm very excited about that. Maybe it will even be sunny again today. Yes, it was sunny yesterday! Really. I'm not kidding.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Nicole married her long-time boyfriend, Gregg Roesch recently on the beach in Key West. How cool is that? Marriage must agree with her because we saw her last weekend at the powersports show and she was beaming from ear to ear all weekend.
Congrats to Nicole, Gregg and the pooches! We all wish you a lifetime of happiness and laughter.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Oh no....after a little reading this morning I find that he was left off the roster because he and two others "were not approved entry because of a possible open doping investigation." Excuse me? Because they might be investigated again. Ok, I've had enough. Finally. I'm done. I love the fact that Cipo is back. I truly love the sport and if Tyler is racing somewhere that I can get to, I'll go and support him 100%, but as for the rest of it, I'm done.
From Michael Ball, team owner of Rock Racing about this whole thing..."This is not a decision governed by the agreement. There is no open investigation. AEG is acting irrationally to the detriment of the sport."
Let me preface all of this with I want clean cycling. Very clean. I have no issues with logical, legal methods to getting cycling clean.
I wrote about this last month when I was appalled at the new regulations at the Tour of California. According to the ToC organizers we do not live in the United States where you are innocent until proven guilty. According to the ToC organizers, they are dictators and decide who should be able to race and who shouldn't. Not the governing bodies of sport, but them. That is just WRONG! Can I make that any more clear? Yes, ok, disclaimer again, I consider Tyler a friend. However, I can make the same argument here for Santiago Botero and Oscar Sevilla who were also banned from this "event" without ever having met them.
This Operation Puerto "investigation" has reared its ugly head conveniently before a major tour more times than I care to count. After the tour is over, it goes away. They have some "evidence", but nothing they have been able to prove for YEARS now people. If it's there, then go after those riders. Please. Do. If it isn't, let's get this gone and move on. YEARS have gone by with this now. When does this one "investigation" end? Or will it loom for Tours for YEARS more to come?
So, they might open the investigation again...and they MIGHT find someone guilty of doping. MAYBE. But, it has been YEARS and the folks they are talking about in Cali haven't been charged with anything. Now, a lot of you say "yet" at the end of that sentance. And, you may very well be right, but the fact of the matter is that WE DO NOT KNOW. So...why shouldn't they race? Seriously.
Yea, ok, go ahead and tell me that Tyler has been banned before and that it "proves" he "probably" had something to do with Operation Puerto. Again, United States here people. Don't forget that. Tyler did his time, just like David Millar. Tyler is cleared to race by the governing body. Tyler is still cleared to race by the governing body. So are Oscar and Santiago. Who is the ToC to say differently? Because they "MIGHT" have "something" to do with a years old investigation? Really? Well, any one of those guys in that field "might" have an infraction at some point in their career - even this year. But nobody knows....just like we don't know if any of those guys kicked out of the ToC, before it even started, will. Their name is on a list. There might be some evidence that is years old, maybe, but not proven. Yet, they can't race. That is WRONG.
And then there is the whole Astana mess with the Tour de France. Yea, that works for me, too...
I'm done. Done. Give me family cycling. Give me riding with my friends. Give me kids cycling. Give me rides for charities. Do not expect me to get behind pro cycling until this ridiculousness ends. Skull and Crossbones for the Rock Racing team? Good deal - get me some of that gear!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
We are staying at the Downtown Marriott in Indianapolis while we are attending the Dealer Expo. It's a nice hotel - most of it has just been renovated. However, "nice" doesn't cut it when they aren't looking out for the well being of their guests.
Last night at 2:42am the fire alarm starts to go off. It is a fantastic system. Not only does the alarm sound in each individual room and the hallways, but there is also a voice that directs you to the nearest stairway because something is going on in the hotel (I don't remember the exact words - it was in the middle of the night!). But, my college "training" kicked in (fire alarms at least 2-4 times a month is good training)...pants, shirt, shoes, fleece, key, phone then out the door. I can do it in under 2 minutes even out of practice (thank you Charlesgate!).
When I got out into the rain on the side of the building with the other folks, we walked around to the front of the building just as the fire engines were going past the building. I think they were going around back, which was fine. However, we all walked into the lobby where there wasn't an alarm going off. Huh? No alarm.
Eric's on my floor so he's downstairs with me, but in a few minutes it becomes very apparent that those of us that are in the lobby are the only ones coming. Where's the rest of the Kryptonite team? Nowhere to be found. Why? The alarm isn't going off on their floors! We learned later that it was a false alarm on the 5th floor and that the alarm only sounded on the 4th, 5th and possibly 6th floors. What about the other floors (there are at least 15)??? Clearly, this is an automated system so that when an issue is flagged on one floor the alarm goes off on that floor and the floor above and below only. What is up with that??
And, to top it all off, there was only one person in the lobby working behind the desk. Fine. BUT, there wasn't anyone at the elevators telling people not to go up. I saw two cabs arrive and deliver people to the hotel last night while we were in the lobby and they went straight to the elevator and went up because there wasn't an alarm going off in the lobby, of course. HELLO, what if they were going to get off on the 5th floor? Nothing had been cleared by then.
This was so poorly run by the hotel that it made me fearful for an actual emergency in this hotel. When the rest of the gang heard about this last night, they were all a little shocked that they weren't evacuated, too. After all, had it been a fire on the 5th floor when, exactly, would the 7th and 8th floors be alarmed? When it was too late? And the floors above that? And what about the people returning to the hotel who were allowed to go up in the elevator to a floor with a potential issue?
Maybe the hotel knew from the get-go that this was a false alarm for some reason. MAYBE. However, this would have been a great test for all of their protocols for a time when this might actually be an emergency. I'd suggest they treat the next fire alarm like a real emergency, get everyone out and put in all of their emergency services (including keeping people away from the elevators!).
I'd rather be inconvenienced. like I was last night, and feel safe in a hotel than not feel safe there at all!
1. The Tour of California kicks off today! It's been a bumpy ride for pro cycling lately, but it's good to get the season started. Personally, I'm more than psyched. It's a return to racing for my friend Tyler Hamilton. Today's short 2 mile individual time trial could be fantastic for him, although it is a little early in the year for him. I also know the great talent of this guy, though. I can't wait to come back from the show tonight and see the results. Go kick some serious butt, my friend! I'll be cheering all the way from Indy.
2. It's the Daytona 500, of course. I don't think you can live in the US and not know that, if you watch the news at all. It's the 50th anniversary of this great race. We'll be showing it in our booth at Dealer Expo. If you are here, come watch it with Dave and Jody Perewitz and all of the rest of us! I'll be the one with the Jeff Gordon gear on. I think it's time for him to win another. I can't wait.
Go get 'em Tyler and Jeff!
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I didn't tell you yesterday that every time I was in the lobby on Thursday I saw Jason Britton every time I passed through the lobby. Saw him yesterday morning, too. Haven't seen him since. I'll bet he's been swamped at the show. It's fun to see the folks you see on TV all the time here at the show walking around - I've seen Rick Smits, too. He's hard to miss since he's so dang tall! He's here every year.
Since it's late and we just got back from dinner, I'm going to do a little pictorial for you. Enjoy!
Set up continues....
Nicole's new racing bike was waiting for us in the booth on Friday morning!
Soon Nicole, Steve and Shane came to change some decals on the bike and move it around the booth for us. There was no way I was going to move her bike or even have one of our guys do it.
Do you ever notice that when you clean your house or room that it always seems to get worse before it gets better? Same thing applies with setting up a booth. It looks like a wreck while it's being set up. But, don't worry, Don and Roby had a method to their madness.
Craig worked hard setting displays.
The night before every show opens we have a booth meeting. It's a time when we can make sure everyone is in town and on the same page for the next day. Here Don talks about some of the new products to Ross, Craig, Eric, Gustavo, Roby and Tim.
SHOW TIME! DAY 1
Karen and Nicole visit for a bit before the show really gets crankin'
Nicole and Dave must have hand cramps tonight. They signed so many posters today!
Here's the Perewitz motorcycle we have in the booth. Tim and Eric find a lull in the crowd to check it out themselves. You want to talk draw to your booth? This is it! Crazy amounts of people have been around this motorcycle all day.
Ok, that's it for the pictures for now....off to get some sleep before I need to be up again early tomorrow morning to be to the show by 8ish. More tomorrow night after Jeff Gordon wins the Daytona 500!
Friday, February 15, 2008
We are here for the Dealer Expo powersports trade show. We've been making the trek out here for years and years and I've attended every year but one of the eight years I've been here.
I arrived yesterday to do a lot of little things that need to get done before the rest of the team and our guests arrive. Pick up badges for the team, deliver our guests' badges to the front desks of their hotels, check and confirm all reservations in person, get the packages that I sent to myself at the hotel and go over to the booth to see how it is all going.
I am always fascinated at the amount of work it takes to put up a booth. Now, in Vegas we have a "double decker" booth so I understand that work to make it structurally sound. But, all booths take time and expertise to put them up. Here's a little pictorial of my visit to the show floor yesterday.
Getting through the show floor on set up days is a challenge. You can see where you want to go for the most part, but you can't get there. Crates and boxes and tools and everything else you can think of is all over the entire footprint of the show floor. Sometimes you have to climb over things to get where you want to go.
Here are some of the crates that our booth ships in and skids of product wrapped in the black there.
When I go back today the slat wall will be up, the reception desk will be done, the shelves in the storage room will be built and the graphics will be up. I'll get more photos as the process goes along.
So...do you think the chain is the only new product we have? Nah....we've got more...here's another sneak peek of some products we'll be showing starting tomorrow (yikes!).
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Today is the unofficial start of spring here at Kryptonite. It may appear to still be winter with snow on the ground and cold temps but Red Sox training camp kicks off today in Ft Myers Fl.
Our customer service team (Donna, Joe and myself) have been counting down the days for the past 2 weeks.
Usually birds chirping, flowers blooming and sunny skies gives you that warm spring feeling but in our office the sounds of bats hitting balls and Jason Varitek in uniform lets us know spring is right around the corner.
Opening day at Fenway Park for the 2004 & 2007 World Champs is just 7 ½ weeks away….but hey who’s counting?!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Yes, that's the brand new Dale Earnhardt, Jr./Hendrick Motorsports Chevy Impala. Yes, that's a replica of the car that won on Saturday night in the Bud Shootout. It's so new, in fact, that I'm almost afraid to touch it and smudge the paint because I can smell the new paint on it! Yes, I went online and ordered it Saturday night after the win. This will be a classic one day, but for right now it's comfy sittin' here on my tire.
So my prediction for the big race on Sunday? Junior will be second by a nose....to his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon. Of course!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Team Kryptonite was well represented in the Perewitz Cycle Fab booth. Obviously, the master of ceremonies, Dave, was busy, busy, busy both days. This is, after all, their home show and just about everyone "knows" Dave. And a good few were wearing Perewitz shirts and hats.
Dave signing autographsBut, there were other motorcycle builders there, including Billy Lane. Here's the chopper in his booth...
Garage Girls" they are putting together a motorcycle at each of the Northeast Motorcycle Expo stops (same bike, torn down and put back together). They do it in less than 2 days! You can win the motorcycle, too. Just buy a $10 ticket, with the money going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Good cause, sweet bike! I bought a couple of tickets. We'll see...
Whenever you go to these shows you see budding celebrities, like Jody and Sarah, but you also see the tried and true celebs, too. Here are both Susan Perewitz (l) and Barb Borowiec, owner of Barb's Harley Davidson in NJ. It was a treat to see Barb because I hadn't seen her in quite some time. You might just be hearing more about Barb here soon.....stay tuned. Maybe we can even get her to do an Unbreakable Bonds story...what do you think....I'll work on it.
I didn't take many motorcycle photos...seriously, when you are in a booth with the best why do you need to look around, right? But, this caught my eye from Irish Choppers. Green happens to be my favorite color, personally. I just love this color combination on this bike...
Yes, that's a shot glass at the top of the tank.
We hope you made it to the show and stopped by to say "hi" to Roby, Eric, Dave, Jody, Susan and myself. Maybe you even saw Louie, Cheech and Zipp. If you did, you saw that Zipp used up a lot of energy greeting people so by the end of the day he was a little pooped....
Thursday, February 07, 2008
We are really happy to announce Kryptonite's "Riding Essentials for Women" class. That's right. We know you ladies are out there. We know you are either thinking about buying your first motorcycle/getting your mc license or you have just purchased a motorcycle. You've got a few questions to get you going, but the only way to learn is to ask 'the guys'. Hmmm...sometimes that's intimidating, right? We've got the solution!
Nicole Hoffman and Jody Perewitz will be leading four 1-2 hour "Riding Essentials for Women" classes at select shops around the country. Gee, guess where the first one will be? C'mon...you know the answer to this one....yup, right at Perewitz Cycle Fab in June. We'll keep you posted here as to the date.
It's a FREE class for women to come out and learn from two ladies who are not only great riders, but are a wealth of information. They bring some serious talents to the table - safety tips, simple maintenance, info about riding gear you might need, resources available (online and at tracks) and, of course how to keep your ride safe and secure.
So, if you are a gal who wants to get more into riding, stay tuned....these ladies will not only share their experiences and tips, but they'll answer your questions, too. Any question you have about their backgrounds, Nicole's racing, Jody's building of motorcycles, or how to get on a bike for the first time - they'll answer them all.
We want to bring more women into shops and help put more women on motorcycles. It's not just about creating a pink product (no, no pink locks coming), it's about assisting women in this fun adventure.
Now, just to be fair, I was totally scooped on our own news. Thanks to Marilyn at Ironworks Magazine and Genevieve at Womenridersnow.com for supporting our efforts! And, I believe Ms. Jody scooped me, too, just now.
Apparently, the camera panned up a rack of bikes locked with a chain and a New York Disc Lock. How cool is that? Ok, I think it's cool - and in this office, I'm not the only one.
Talk about set dressing that is authentic! Good job to that prop department!
Did anyone else see it?
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
(Boston Globe photo)
The Boston Globe has a great piece by Rich Fahey about his experience being stranded at the Boston Garden during the storm. It's a fun read.
The Globe also has a video with photos of the storm and destruction that are unbelievable. They interview people who were there about the storm and how they got through it. It's an interesting piece to watch! It will give you a little taste of just why people remember it so vividly, even now 30 years later.
Thank goodness it's only rain today!
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
As I inferred a little over a month ago...Ms. Jody Perewitz has now become an official member of Team Kryptonite!We've been working with Jody in an "unofficial" capacity for a couple of years now, but it was time to make it official. There are some really cool things we'll be doing with Jody this year. More to come on that tomorrow.
Karen says it best, "Our partnership with Jody will help us bring the message of security to an ever expanding audience that we may not have been successful at targeting before – the woman motorcycle rider. We all look forward to having a long relationship with Jody.”
So, yes this means y'all get more Jody on the blog, too!
If you'd like to meet Jody and welcome her to this crazy crew, she'll be at the Northeast Motorcycle Expo at the Bayside Expo Center in Boston this weekend. Details to the side here.
Welcome to the gang Jody! We're "wicked" glad you're on board.
I would have gone to the VTwin Show anyway, but it’s nice that it’s only 11 miles from my house. I went to the show all day on Saturday. It seemed to be as busy as in past years, but some of the booth spaces seemed to be smaller. There didn’t seem to be any booths upstairs, unless I missed something, so the whole show was on the main floor. There were some companies I couldn’t find, too. This all may have to do with the lull in the industry. We’ve seen a little hiccup in the industry, but it will come back soon.
Here’s Dave Perewitz and myself in the PPG booth. We stood and talked for a little bit, but he was busy.
He was there to do what he does – talk to dealers about motorcycles and paint.
I left Dave’s booth with a dealer friend of mine. We walked by the Ness booth and saw people taking photos. I told Rod that I wanted to get my photo with Arlen and Cory Ness so we stopped in their booth.
Then I spent time in Ed’s booth from Cycle Sounds which builds the immobilizers. It’s always good to check out what other people in the industry are doing. I know Ed from way back when I was at LeMans.
The motorcycle dealers are true believers in their industry to take the time out of their shops and money to get to the show. It shows me that they are still invested in the industry. The people who have been in the industry for years and years (like myself) were still there supporting the industry, too.
I’m sure I’ll feel the same way about the Dealer Expo when we get there in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to going to that show and seeing people that I haven’t seen in awhile because I haven’t been to that show in 4-5 years because I was more involved with the VTwin side of the business which isn’t as well represented at the powersports show.
See you all there!
I can not stress enough the importance of voting today. I'm not going to tell you who I voted for or who I think you should vote for. To me, politics and religion are personal things - everyone has the issues that are important to them and should vote that way.
We know the issue closest to Lance Armstrong's heart - he's even had an ad created....
I chose to show this ad because it's not endorsing one candidate or another. It's just showing what is important to Lance and may give an indication of how he's voting, but the message is clear - VOTE. Whomever you vote for, just let your voice be heard.
This is not a "duty", it's a right. We all have it here in the US and we should take the right seriously. It's not hard to do. Watch a debate, go to a few websites, choose a candidate that has the most in common with your issues, get to your polling location and vote.
I voted this morning and it couldn't have been a more pleasant experience. It was raining here in Massachusetts (but you won't melt, trust me!) but I made my way to the senior center in town. The ladies that greeted me were a hoot! The man who took my ballot thought he was a comedian (he was kind of funny) and poof, I was done! It took me no more than 10 minutes. Seriously. 10 minutes to have my voice heard.
You may think you don't have that 10 or 15 or even 20 minutes, if there is a line. But, I'll bet you will have that amount of time to complain when your candidate doesn't do well....c'mon, you know the saying, "if you don't vote, don't complain later".
Monday, February 04, 2008
It is with great sadness that we all just learned about the passing of a bike industry icon, Sheldon Brown (via Cyclelicious). He passed last night of a massive heart attack, after his last journal post, amazingly.
Although I'd never met Sheldon, I couldn't help but know about a fraction of his expertise - after all, every time I get on a forum and someone asks about proper lock up techniques the answer is hardly, "ask Kryptonite" or even "ask Kryptonite competitor Y". No, it is nearly always, "use the Sheldon Brown method" or, "read Sheldon's method" or "visit Sheldon's site to get the proper method". Either that, or it was Sheldon himself replying to the person with the question. And...they were right...in most cases, Sheldon has the correct method.
I'd been saddened to learn that he'd been diagnosed with MS last year and couldn't ride as he'd like to any longer. Like many of the amazing people with MS he adapted to this situation and rode anyway.
On this sad day, we all hope Sheldon is riding exactly as he'd like on sun-drenched roads with the wind at his back.
To his family and his family at Harris Cyclery, please accept the sympathies of us all here at Kryptonite.
In addition to Cyclelicious the tributes are starting to roll in:
Ross Kerber isn't just a Boston Globe reporter, he's also a cyclist. He's written a nice article, complete with a thoughtful photo, on Sheldon Brown and his family today. It also gives memorial service information.
Anyway, we love New York, in general, here at Kryptonite. After all, our flagship lock is the New York Lock, right? And our premiere line is the New York Series. So...from all of us to all of our friends in New York. Congrats. Enjoy the win.
For me, football isn't the be all and end all. I'm just glad the constant hype is over - seriously, did anything else happen in the world these last two weeks? Because we didn't get any other news on television than the Pats.
For me, last night was more about the commercials. I eagerly check the USAToday Ad Meter the morning after each Superbowl. They pretty much nailed it this year. The Bud dog and horse won by a pretty good margin. The Fed Ex pigeons were next, though. I'm not sure I would have put them that high. We really liked the Etrade talking baby ads, which didn't make the top 10. But Bridgestone had some great ads and the meter ranks them in the third spot. Followed by the Doritos commercial with the large mouse, which was hilarious. I think that was one of their customer generated ads (bravo!). Rounding out the top 5 was the fire breathing man for Bud.
At number 6, though, they have a Coca Cola spot that used the huge Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons. I was partial to that because of Charlie Brown. I have loved the Snoopy cartoon since I was a little, little kid. It was something special I shared with my grandfather, so it pulled at my heart strings a little bit. I don't think it was meant to do that, but it did for me. I'm glad to see it did so well.
Interestingly, this year USAToday is also showing what is the most watched commercial online since you can view them everywhere. The Audi ad ranks number 1 so far. I'm sorry, I really didn't like that one. I thought the car was cool, but the ad did nothing for me. The Bud dog and horse came in second and the talking baby rounds out the top three.
Now, I was surprised that the silent Pepsi ad didn't rate higher. But, maybe that was pre-show? I thought it was an excellent commercial. I also found that a Ronald McDonald House commercial right around 6pm EST was fantastic. Those are the best buys because I don't think they cost the $3million, but you know everyone tunes in by 6pm for goodness sake.
Sometimes the ad isn't great, but you go "no way" to a tidbit of information you learn. Anyone else fascinated that the quickly growing brand Under Armour is launching a shoe line?! Woa...that will be interesting!
So...what did y'all think of the commercials? What was your favorite. Do tell....
Friday, February 01, 2008
Our corporate headquarters are in Indianapolis.
But, we are planted firmly in New England...which means....
Joe and Neil show their Patriots pride today
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS COUNTRY!!!
It's all about the Pats this weekend. Hey, Indy office....how about those Colts?! (HA!)
Why does Joe look so serious in the photo? In his own words, "Because this is serious business!"
We are all wishing the Patriots a perfect game on Sunday to end their perfect season.