Hello 22F. Good to see you again. I have not seen you in...days.
Once again, on a plane. Wow. These are whacky times we live in. When I was a kid, I remember seeing a movie called “If its Tuesday, this must be Belgium”. (I know that I just dated myself, as all of you are now Googling that movie and discovering that it is like 1000 years old.) It introduced to me the concept of traveling around a lot, not really knowing where you are and all the whacky things that can happen to you. After all, people are the same everywhere you go, yet somehow they are different. Now this may not seem like a big deal to you, but 100 years ago – people just did not imagine themselves traveling around the world the way I do now.
If you know who this woman is, then you know what I am talking about.
I have traveled to almost every continent in pursuit of really good bikes, the bike business, bike races, good coffee and of course burritos. I have a passport that needs to be reissued years before the expiration date, because it runs out of pages to put stamps in and it is just not durable enough for the constant use it gets. I do not know if I am any wiser for all of this travel, but I do know this, it is really tough to get a burrito outside of Mexico, the USA and Canada. Something about the glorious perfect food of a burrito just does not translate well to the rest of the world. I also know that a bowl of oatmeal is the most cherished travel food you can find, for reasons that I will save for a later blog entry. (see how I keep you coming back for more?) I am not quite to the Douglas Adams stage of always needing a towel with me, but I am getting there. One thing I do not understand, is why it is so hard to make a good cup of coffee. The magic little cup of a double espresso is a thing of beauty. It has a great smell, when done right looks like heaven and satisfies while going down like not other beverage can. I mean think about it, we all have our favorite little coffee place, either down the street or in a far off city. Coffee is one of those things that can either be great or can be really mediocre. I find that a Starbucks espresso is pretty good, but almost any espresso maker – including the gas station – in Italy is better than almost any other place in the world. Somehow, everyone who operates a coffee machine in Italy was born with the coffee making gene. Somehow, the coffee making gene in France skipped all the current generations of people. I am not sure the coffee making skill was ever transported to China. (Which is just silly, as there are a ton of people there who would really enjoy a good espresso). Most of America, doesn’t really understand the espresso maker either.
When I last wrote, I was finishing the Paris Roubaix challenge and watching the pro race there. Wow. That seems like months ago. After that race, I left directly from Paris and flew to China. While there, I spent some time with our bike vendors in China detailing final arrangements for the 2012MY products. From there, I flew to Taiwan to settle final arrangements with our bike vendors there. I cannot tell you yet, but wow are you going to be excited when you see those catalogs. (I could tell you, but you know…)
The year started out with a month in France during January. That was punctuated by a week in Spain. On this trip, I was in China for just a few days. A couple of big meetings on future bike stuff, and a bike ride with a bunch of the guys that I work with there. I like to take a bike ride whenever I can while traveling. It is funny, when you are traveling many things are different. But, when you get on a bike it all starts to feel similar.
This will be my last trip to Asia until we start working on the 2013MY products. But, the travel does not stop here. As I look forward, there is the Tour of California, a trip to Boulder, most of the month of July in Europe, back to the USA for huge meetings in Wisconsin in August, a trip to Whistler Mountain Bike Park in late August, back to Europe in September, up to the UP of Michigan also in September and on and on. No rest for the weary.
Sometimes you have the whole road to yourself in China. "Is this road open?"
When it is all said and done, I will have flown about 250,000 miles on planes this year, and built up a virtual treasure chest of frequent traveler miles. Sometimes those trips are to a mundane meeting somewhere. Sometimes those trips are to ride my bike somewhere exotic. Sometimes those trips are to meet with customers or vendors around the US or the world. As I said, have passport will travel.
Out for now.