Hi, I’m Joe V. The V is for Vadeboncoeur, but no one ever really calls me that (except my business card). That card also calls me the Global Director of Product Development, Marketing and Creative Design. Yep, I am sometimes not really sure what all that means either. I do know, that I dig bikes, oatmeal, motorcycles, the weird things I see along the way, my family and my job. I get to travel the world helping great bikes happen so it’s a pretty great gig.
So I am starting this blog entry (as well as my stint as an official “Trek Blogger”) while sitting on a plane in Tokyo, waiting to get going on the final leg of a flight to Taiwan. It’s not the first time I have been on this flight. This is not something that everyone who rides a bike does, but it is something that many of us in the bike biz do from time to time.
The bike biz, what is that anyway? I guess I never thought that I would be on a plane to Taiwan nor even in the bike biz. It's a crazy thing. I love bikes. I have come to accept, maybe even really like, travel. I should, this job gets me on a plane more in a year than most people will in a lifetime. Sometimes the travel is fun, sometimes not. But a lot of it allows me to ride a bike in some really great places. During dinner one night at a recent mountain bike test event in the Arizona desert, the gang of us were recounting all the great places we were fortunate enough to ride this year. I got in road rides in Tuscany and France. I should have gotten MTB rides in Chatel, France but had a separated shoulder from a previous mountain bike crash at the Whistler bike park. There were great XC rides in Colorado and northern Wisconsin, a bunch of big bike rides on the freeride trails in the UP of Michigan, Ray’s Indoor MTB Park in Cleveland; road bike rides in northern California, southern California mountain bike rides... That was just my list in what was a mediocre riding year for me. I am very fortunate.
This week in Taiwan will be interesting.I hope to mix all the experiences that I have had this year, and to do some good work to set the stage with a bunch of suppliers to deliver the greatest Trek and Bontrager lineups you have ever seen. We have a bunch of things planned that will set the cycling world on fire. We are on a complete tear lately with product development and it gets better every year.
So I sit here, reading a Bike magazine on Zinio while listening to Michael Franti and Spearhead on my iPod. All around me are a bunch of business people. I am in my usual attire (Converse shoes, jeans and a cycling t-shirt). I definitely do not fit in here. When I climbed into the seat, I jammed 2 cycling magazines a ski magazine and a motorcycle magazine into the pocket on the seat. I have a trashy scary novel somewhere in there also. Something I picked up in the airport. It may be cheap and pointless but it has the uncanny ability to pass the time after I have exhausted the Bike and Moto magazines. The people around are all Financial Times and business books. I just cannot do that stuff.
I am going to help build really cool bike stuff. That is business, yes. But over and above that it is bike stuff. That is what all this is really about.
Just don't tell anyone around me.