Thursday, December 18, 2008

2010...but it's not even 2009 yet!

It seriously seems like the bicycle product development cycle just never ends. Just when you wrap up one year, it's time to start on the next year's line. With lead times on mountain bikes in the 6-month range, it really presents a challenge for us since we're more or less planning a new year's line of bikes well before the current year's bikes have even hit dealer's floors. It's challenging for sure.

Most all of our 2009 bikes are in stock and we're wrapping up the 2010 line as I write this. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is seeing bikes go from the idea phase come full circle to production bikes sitting in a dealer's shop. It's also been really rewarding over the course of the eight years I have been employed by Haro to see the bikes get better and better. The 2009 bikes look amazing...and the 2010 bikes are positioned to knock the socks off of the 2009 line! My product manager, Pat Crosby, and graphics guys Pete Demos and Rick Ortiz have just done a killer job on these bikes.

I don't have any spy photos to show you quite yet, but I can give you a little rundown on some of the stuff you can expect to see next year.

  • We're going to be introducing a 650B full-suspension bike based on the Sonix suspension platform. This will be a 120mm travel bike using a White Brother Magic 650B specific fork. We're shooting to have this bike retail for about $2,600.
  • The Mary 29er bikes are getting some significant changes. The frame will get a bent top tube along the lines of what we use on the Beasley 650B hardtails; this will help provide some added standover on those beasts. They will also get a whole new graphic treatment...if you like the looks of the Masi steel bikes with classic panels, you're going to love the look of the new Mary graphics.
  • The Ally series won't get the frame redesign that the Mary's are getting, but they are going to share the same classic panel graphics.
  • The popularly-priced Flightline series is getting a graphics facelift. I am SO excited about the new look of these bikes. These are going to be the most expensive-looking inexpensive bikes on the market.
  • We're introducing a $550 fixie with riser bars and all the fashion-forward details the fixie crowd has come to expect.
  • No more On-One Mary bars on Mary 29ers or Beasleys. We've been using that bar for a few years now, so we felt like it was time for a switch. Ritchey has a new 10-degree sweep bar that's pretty damn cool we're going to use instead.
  • Think purple...yes, purple. Purple is a hot color this year and we're using in as an accent color on several bikes.
  • We're introducing a slopestyle-specific 4.5" travel full suspension bike called The Porter...named after our slopestyle superstar, Eric Porter. As this is Porter's signature bike, it's going to be spec'd just like his personal bike...with Fox suspension, Hayes brakes, Kenda tires, and a slew of Gravity components.
  • The Shift bikes get a new frame...this frame is lighter and sleeker.
  • Due to recent price increases, we're bringing in some new sub-$300 Heartland comfort series bikes with entry-level spec so people will still be able to buy a comfort bike at an entry-level price.

So there you have it. All the news you can use about our 2010 line. I'll be sure to post some pics of the new graphics and frames soon. In the meantime, you'll just have to rely on that vivid imagination of yours.

Happy trails...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I don't know you, but I hate you.

Consider this scenario:

It's a beautiful Saturday morning. You and your friends just got with an epic ride on one of your favorite trails. There's a mixed bag of banter going on between the group as you change out of your riding clothes, load bikes onto bike racks, and take swigs of beer from the stash of cold ones someone was thoughtful enough to bring along. Pretty soon the random chatter becomes a little more focused as the discussion turns to where we should ride tomorrow. You pipe up and mention, "Hey, I think I'll give John a call to see if he wants to join us."

Your friends suddenly stop in your tracks and look at you like you're nuts. One of your friends says, "Why in the world would you want to ride with John?"

"Well, why not?" You ask, puzzled. "Besides, I don't even think you know John that well, so why would you say such a thing?"

Your friend rolls his eyes and says, "John's Asian. Why would you want to ride with an Asian? We don't want him or any other Asian on our ride."

Flabbergasted by what's just come out of your friend's mouth, you blurt out, "But you don't even know him. How can you say you don't like him?"

"And I don't want to get to know him either," he says. "Besides, we all know that Asians can't ride a bicycle. They aren't real cyclists. They are just a bunch of posers!"

To your horror, the rest of your friends are nodding their heads in agreement with your friend. One of them even goes as far as to say, "He's right. I wouldn't bring John if I were you. You have a lot of other white friends who ride...why don't you invite one of them?"

At this point, you don't even know what to say. Your friends all start to walk towards their respective vehicles, leaving you confused and alone at the trail head.

Of course, this situation never happened. It's a story I just made up. But if this were a true story, chances are you'd be outraged, right? You'd feel compelled to speak out against the bigotry and insensitivity of the situation. You'd forward this story to all your friends and co-workers. You might even demand to know just who these creeps are who refused to ride with someone simply because of the color of their skin and their perceptions of that race.

Although I have never heard of anything like this happening that involved a person, I can tell you that this "bigotry" happens with bicycles all of the time. I hear it at the races and on the trail. I read it in the forums. And since my brand is one of the proverbial "minorities", it breaks my heart. Here are just a couple examples taken from a thread on

"Why so many Haro haters out there??? I just finished the build of a x7 and I really like this bike but guys on the trails and forums seem to dis the Haro! What is up with that? I don't care as I like my bike but it gets annoying. HARO was the shiznit in the bmx world when I was a kid!!!"

"I have had a bike mechanic comment that my [Extreme]X2's suspension design wasn't "real". I have also had a guy comment that 'it certainly wasn't the bike' the first time I made it up Heart Attack hill at Phoenix's South Mountain."

The biggest challenges I have faced as a brand manager for the Haro MTB line is overall lack of awareness for the Haro MTB line and the perception that Haro MTB line can't be taken seriously since we also make BMX bikes. The awareness issue is turning around thanks to increased marketing efforts in that area. However, convincing some of these folks that Haro does indeed make a legitimate mountain bike has proven to be more of a challenge.

However, I don't want to turn this into a Haro problem. It's not. I see many, many other bike brands..good bike brands...falling victim to the same form of brand bigotry. It sucks. While I have met some of the coolest people ever through cycling, I have to say that the biggest downfall cyclists have as a group is their closed-mindedness to certain brands.

This isn't an issue with brand loyalty. I encourage people to be loyal and become true "fans" of the brands they enjoy. The biggest issue I have is with people who feel the need to bash other brands in the wake of their loyalty without having any direct experience with the brand they're picking on.

Consider this situation:

It's a beautiful Saturday morning. You and your friends just got with an epic ride on one of your favorite trails. There's a mixed bag of banter going on between the group as you change out of your riding clothes, load bikes onto bike racks, and take swigs of beer from the stash of cold ones someone was thoughtful enough to bring along. You say to your group of friends, "I'm thinking about buying a new bike so I can keep up with you guys. I think I am going to go with Brand X".

Your friends suddenly stop in your tracks and look at you like you're nuts. One of your friends says, "Why in the world would you want to buy a Brand X?"

"Well, why not?" You ask, puzzled. "Besides, I don't even think you've ever even ridden a Brand X, right?"

Your friend rolls his eyes and says, "Brand X is a road bike company. Why would you want to ride a mountain bike made by a company that makes road bikes? We don't like Brand X mountain bikes."

Flabbergasted by what's just come out of your friend's mouth, you blurt out, "But you never even ridden one. How can you say you don't like them?"

"And I won't ever ride one," he says. "Besides, we all know that Brand X isn't a real mountain bike company anyhow."

This, sadly, is a story based in truth and propagated by ignorance. Pretty sad, right?

So here's where I'm speaking out against the bigotry and ignorance of this situation. To those of you who participate in this sort of bike brand bigotry, take the time to ask yourself why. Does it make you feel better about the brand you bought? Does it make you feel like an expert? Are you just a hater? I'll tell ya, life is too short for those types of head games. Next time, try giving the person seeking your opinion information based on your experience with certain brands. And if your friend shows up at the trail head on a bike that's not on your "A" list, keep your opinions to yourself. Be grateful he/she in on a bike.

To those of you looking to buy a new bike and are thoroughly confused by all the opinions people have of the brands you are considering, just what YOU like. Buy what you can afford. Buy the bike YOU feel will perform the best for you and meet YOUR needs. Take test rides, do your research, and buy what you like...not what people say you should like.

OK, rant over. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Haro in Kenya!

As you can probably imagine, we got a LOT of sponsorship requests here at Haro. I think I could practically fill the bed of my truck up with all the proposals that roll in this time of year.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a request that really caught my eye. Here's the e-mail I received:


My name is Nickson Mwaura and resides from a small town(Gilgil) in Kenya,East Africa. Have been doing mountain bike racing for the past 5 years and have had the national title for two years 2004 and 2005.I recently got a Haro bike V4 SERIES, which I rode at one of Kenya's greatest mountain bike races. The news is it felt so balanced on climbs and descents which resulted in me winning the event in a time record.My query, is it possible to get sponsored by HARO.Attached herewith are some photos of me at the event.



I have to admit that I wasn't aware that organized mountain bike races even existed in Kenya, so this was a pretty cool request.

With his sponsorship request, Nickson also sent a race report from the prestigious 10 to 4 Bike Challenge on the slopes of Mount Kenya where he mentioned racing his V4 to a course record. What he didn't mention is not only did he win this race in record time, but he did it after breaking his chain at the beginning of the race.

We decided that Nickson has a lot of potential, so we're sending him a brand-new Flightline Expert to race on and a Haro jersey so he can keep representing Haro in Kenya. One of the stipulations of giving Nickson this support is he must give his V4 he's riding now to a fellow racer who is in need of a new bicycle or to someone who would like to start racing mountain bikes but is unable to because they cannot afford a bike.

Once Nickson receives his bike, we'll be posting more pictures and his future race reports.

Here's a little more information about Nickson:

Name: Nickson Mwaura

Age: 27

Birthplace: I was born in a small town in Kenya called Gilgil

Years mountain biking: I have been mountain biking for 5 years now

Profession: I'm a second hand clothes dealer in my home town. I'm also involved in volunteer jobs ie conservation. We(my team) recently took part in a self sponsored tree planting activity in a town far away from my town where we have had mountain bike races since the year 2000.

Goals: My goal in biking has been to improve both in standards and performance and to once ride in the international scene among other world top mountain bike riders. My goal in life has been to be successful in whatever I do and to become a mentor to whoever may want to follow in my line. I have been thinking of what i can give back to mtn biking and how I can improve the levels of competitive mountain biking in my country.

Check out the zebras in the background of this photo. How often do YOU get to ride among zebras?

(X-Post from Haro Bikes)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Send this man a bike that fits...

I got a good chuckle out of this picture. A friend of mine sent me an e-mail with "Send this man a bike that fits" in the subject line. Here's the message that followed:

"44 looks like a bear on a unicycle.

Send this man a free Masi coffee house bike, L or XL size/ throw in a pump if you've got one laying around (his rear tire looks a little flat).

Here's his address:

1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC

Ship it Jan 10. He doesn't move in until 1/20/09..."

Come on can't do better than this for our President-Elect? I mean, I didn't vote for the guy, but he at least deserves to be riding a bike that fits.

Mr. President-Elect Obama, if Trek won't set you up with a bike that fits, please let us know and we'll send you either a nice Haro Metro bike or Masi Caffe Racer. And we'll also gladly send you a pump so your secret service guys won't be fixing so many flats for you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ODDE is history

The first annual Interbike On Dirt Demo East is officially in the history books. Held October 21st and 22nd at Roger Williams Park in Providence, RI, this event was about as far on the East Coast as you could possibly get.

I have to admit that given the fact that this was the inaugural event and the list of suppliers attending was a bit on the short side as compared to its sister event held during Interbike Las Vegas, I really didn't didn't know what to expect from ODDE.

There was only one way to find out, so Tim "Masi Guy" Jackson, James Ayres (our Eastern Regional Sales Manager, and I made the trip out there. Luckily, we didn't have to drive the rig out East like we originally thought we were going to have to do...we were fortunate to secure the services of rig driver extraordinaire, Shannon Troglia. Shannon's a former BMX pro who makes his living driving and setting up for events like this, so it was so nice to have another crew member who was familiar with the drill.

We had a fairly early wake-up call for the first day since we had bikes to unload and get the pit area all set up for the dealers who would (hopefully) be flocking to the event. The event started at 9am...and unlike the On Dirt Demo held in Las Vegas, there were not the busloads of people salivating liked caged tigers waiting to bust through the gates to get to the bikes they wanted to demo. But nonetheless, even though the event got off to a slow start, the crowds started to build by about 10am or so...and pretty soon we were shuffling bikes in and out of the booth.

Day One wasn't complete chaos like the Las Vegas On Dirt Demo never fails to be, but it was just busy enough to keep us on our toes and never really let us sit down. Our new Beasley 650B bikes were a HUGE hit...they seemed to go out as fast as they came in. Everyone seemed to really love them; getting the positive feedback on a bike we've worked really hard on to get right was really rewarding.

Day Two wasn't quite as pleasant. It was really cold (like 45 degrees...and by my candy-ass California standards, that's COLD!) and it drizzled on and off all day. Needless to say, we didn't get a ton of traffic through the event so we really didn't send out all that many demos. There was a couple of guys from Upstate NY who braved the weather and took out Beasley SS bikes; when they brought the bikes back, they commented about how much fun the bikes were and headed off to ride more bikes. A few hours later, these guys made a point to come back and tell us that they were awarding the Beasley bikes they rode "Best in Show"...they said they were the best bikes they rode at the event. So that alone made standing in the cold, wet booth all worthwhile!

The biggest difference I noticed with the East Coast crowd as compared to the Las Vegas event is all the dealers seemed much more focused on what they want to accomplish. Most all of the dealers we spoke to had some sort of an agenda. Some weren't happy with one of their current brands, so they were exploring their options. Some were already Haro dealers who wanted to try what they just put on their preseason orders. Some wanted to meet their respective sales reps to see the line. There seemed to much less of the "joyriding" you often get at the Las Vegas event.

It goes without saying that the venue at Roger Williams Park was beautiful! The park is huge with lots of greenery, lakes, and gardens. The demo trail loop was short, but really fun. Having a shorter loop like this one was nice since it kept the bikes flowing in and out of our booth nicely.

I'm hoping more suppliers support ODDE next year. I'm sure many took on a "wait and see" approach where they'll wait to hear some feedback on the first event before committing to it next year. Everyone from Haro that attended felt like we got good value out of the event, so we'll likely be back next year.

I'm also hoping that Interbike will possibly consider moving the event to an earlier date so we can be a little more guaranteed of better weather. The second day of the event was poorly attended; I think the crappy weather played a big role in that.

Overall, I was really impressed with ODDE and I'm glad Haro could be a part of it. We'd like to extend a big "thank you" to all of the folks at Interbike for all of your hard work! (And I'd like to personally thank you for the really cool special ODDE/Interbike wool jersey made by none other than the great Earth, Wind, and Rider!)

Happy trails, ya'll...

(Below are some pictures taken from around the venue at Roger Williams Park)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Heartland Love

It's not all that often that people take the time to review a comfort bike, so I was nonetheless intrigued when my co-worker Tim "Masi Guy" Jackson, forwarded me a review that somebody wrote about their Haro Heartland Express LE.

The post came from a blog simply called "Jon's Bicycle Blog" I would assume the owner of the Heartland Express LE is named Jon. Jon's relationship with his Heartland Express LE started when he decided he needed what he described as a "Florida Bike": a bike he could do decent mileage on, was zippy, and was comfortable. Based on his love for his Masi Gran Corsa, Jon decided to check out what Haro had to offer (for those of you who don't know, Haro and Masi are "sister" brands...we share the same ownership and same building). After doing his research, Jon headed to one of our dealers called The Energy Conservatory where he purchased his Heartland Express LE.

Jon goes on to describe his first ride about his Heartland. He set out for a quick 10-mile ride without any water, tools, or tubes. As he headed down the Pinellas County Trail, he soon discovered that he was doing more than just cruising along on his new comfort hybrid, we was flying along at 20 mph. As he continued along at his brisk clip, thoughts about being "deceived" by his perception of his Masi road bike entered his head. Never in his wildest dreams did he think he'd be able to pedal so smoothly, quickly, and comfortably on a comfort bike. He pedaled onward until he realized that it would be getting dark soon, so he reluctantly turned around and pedaled home, basking in the "I love my new bike" glow.

At the time he wrote the review, Jon had put on over 500 miles on his Heartland Express LE. In his own words, Jon says, "And I still love the bike. 500+ miles later, it’s my weapon of choice here in Dunedin. It’s not comparable to the Masi, but that’s not its purpose. I can roll out, do 20 miles, and roll home, or roll into work and back. Or just pick up groceries, or toss a tent in the saddlebags and head out to camp".

I couldn't have said it better myself.

It's great to hear feedback this good about a bike that we put a lot of effort in "getting right". Since the comfort category represents a large chunk of Haro's business, we really wanted to make sure the new Heartland series was spot on. We looked at lots of different comfort bikes and examined what other manufacturers were doing right and what they were doing wrong. We looked for ways to improve the common comfort bike. In fact, we even went as far as purchasing a very popular comfort hybrid that one of our competitors makes just so we could analyze how it rode. The brand will remain nameless, but underneath the flashy looks and big brand name was a bike that had such poor handling, it's a wonder anyone buys them.

Once we had done all of our homework, product managers Pat Crosby and Wayne Doran set off to make what we feel are the best darn comfort bikes on the market. Here are just a few of the things that make Heartlands superior:
  • We steepened up the head angle so the rider wouldn't feel the dreadful "wheel flop" our competitor's bike had.
  • We got the seat angle's just slack enough to be easy on your back, but not so slack to where you can't pedal efficiently. The super-slack seat angles that some of our competitors use that put your feet too far in front of you just isn't efficient. Once you start to pedal up any sort of an incline, you'll see why.

  • We welded the seat stays higher up on the seat tube; this provides a better platform to mount racks and child carriers. We noticed many of our competitor's bikes welded their stays too low on the seat tube, making rack mounting difficult or impossible.

  • We added extra water bottle cage mounting holes: 2 pairs on both the standard and step-thru frames. Having an extra mount is nice if you want to mount an extra bottle for longer rides, lighting system, or a tire pump.

  • We use sealed bottom brackets and cassette rear hubs for longer life and less maintenance.

  • We use nice tall bars to put you in a comfortable, upright riding position.

  • And above all, we use the most comfortable seats and grips we can find.

I could go on and on, but I'll stop there. I guess one of the points I'm trying to make is we're not all that surprised that Jon loves his Heartland Express...a whole lot of "love" went into making those bikes.

So Jon, if you happen to read this...thanks for the kind words and taking the time to write up a nice review of your Heartland Express LE. And for the record, the Haro MTB and Asphalt line does have a Tim Jackson...that would be me. I just don't blog as much as I used to. But who knows...that just might change here real soon.

Happy trails, ya'll...

Jon's Heartland Express LE

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Just a few of my recent "peeves".

We all have our little pet peeves. Sometimes pet peeves are with us for life. Some just come and go. Right now, the top three things that really frost me (in no particular order) are:

1. Bike dealers who continue to drink the Trek (and Specialized...but not to as big of a degree) Kool-Aid despite the fact that they get bikes rammed down their throats they don't need or want, open competing dealers a stone's throw away, and threatening dealers to pull their dealership if they don't kick brands X, Y, and/or Z out of their store.

2. My neighbor, who despite being a really smart gal, is allowing her normally indoor cat roam the neighborhood in effort to get it pregnant so her 10-year-old daughter can witness "the miracle of birth". Huh?!? Why do smart people do dumb things? With our local shelters filled to their respective brims with homeless cats, this is one of the most irresponsible things I've heard of lately.

3. Trail poachers! Yes, it seems like every trail system has them. One of my local trails, Lake Hodges, was ravenged by the fires this past October. It was closed for a few months, but is now re-opened for the most part. There are a few trails that have remained closed due to the sensitivity of the areas the trail passes through. At every trail entrance around the lake, there are signs that make it very clear that the trails will remain open while the landscape heals if...and only if...people stay on the designated trails. If people don't respect this, the trails will be shut down.

The trails that are closed are clearly marked that they are closed. So what do people do? They just make a new trail that circumvents the "closed" signs 10 feet down the trail. Or, they just hop over the caution tape to access the closed areas. This is evidenced the many tire tracks you see going right on past the closed signs...right over the caution tape in some cases. I tried to take a couple of pictures of this, but they didn't come out all that great.

What's up with this poaching BS? Do the rules apply to everyone but you? Do you have such little respect for the fragile environment and your fellow riders who might lose Hodges as a trail system because of your selfishness? Last weekend, I saw a couple guys go around the closed signs and ride away on a closed trail. Lame.

The signs at the trail entrances that mandate people stay on the designated trails also ask all trail users to help educate others about the importance of staying on the trails in effort to ensure we are able to keep riding there. So consider this doing my part: To everyone who rides Lake Hodges, stop poaching the trails. I enjoy riding out there as do many other people...please don't allow your selfishness to ruin access to this area for others. It's just not worth it. Stay off the closed trails. When the park rangers see all the tire tracks on trails that are closed, it makes all mountain bikers as a group look bad. Have some respect. Thanks for listening.

On a more positive note, I met a few cool guys out there at Hodges on Saturday. One was on a Xeon S (and loves it), one has a Xeon S on order, and the other was considering upgrading from his Iron Horse soon. Very cool! Thanks guys!

Ciao for now!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hello to an old friend

Today I spent a little time with an old Haro Xeon. I'm not really sure why I haven't ridden this bike in what seems like ages, but it certainly had a thick layer of garage dust on it along with a couple of not-quite-flat-but-close tires.

When go to take a ride, it goes something like this: I walk out to the garage and stare at the bikes on the wall for a few minutes. Then I decide which bike I feel like riding based on whatever trail I plan on going to.

This morning, I actually picked the super-sonic pink Sonix off of the wall, but discovered the front brake needed to be bled. OK, I'll bleed the brake. After pouring a bunch of mineral oil into the caliper and watching it flow through my little makeshift bleed kit hose after a series of lever pumps, I closed the bleed valve and capped off the resevior only to find that brake fluid was seeping out under the cap. After opening the resevoir back up, I found that the seal was roached.

Since I sort of value having a front brake, I had no other choice but to choose another bike. I've been spending a ton of time on either "big wheels" (650B or 29er) and my road bike, so I really wanted to ride 26" full-suspension. My trusty Xeon is the only other squishy bike I own at the moment, so off the wall it came and went straight on to my roof racks.

I headed out to Daley Ranch; a nice little trail system about 30 minutes south of me in the foothills of Escondido. Sure, a 6.3" travel bike is a bit much for those who are familiar with Daley Ranch, but there aren't too many 6.3" travel bikes that climb as nicely as a Xeon.

I can honestly say that I had forgotten just how much fun that bike is to ride. The Xeon is classified in the "all-mountain" category. A few of us at Haro agree that it's a downhiller's cross-country bike. This bike has admittedly been a bit of a challenge for us...people either "get it" or they don't. It seems that the "lycra set" just doesn't quite understand the slacker seat angle and the longer travel. Those of us who have more of a "gravity " background think this bike rules.

Daley Ranch is sort of mixed bag of climbs (some are particularly nasty), rolling single/double track, and some rutted-out technical downhill sections. What I love most about my Xeon is the fact that it's just so damn comfortable in wide variety of terrain and riding conditions. Even though it's been a couple of months since I've ridden a squishy bike, I felt right at home on my Xeon. I was having so much fun on the bike, I ended up riding far longer than I had anticipated. That's OK...what else was I going to do? I really didn't have anywhere I had to be, so I might as well just ride.

During my drive home, I kept thinking about how nice it was to visit my "old friend" and enjoy a nice ride. I think my Xeon will be seeing a lot more of the trail in the very near future.

Happy trails.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Don't just exist. Live.

Don't say I didn't warn you...this post has nothing to do with bikes. But that's's my blog so I can say what I want, right?

Sometimes life deals you a bad hand. Sometimes, life deals you many bad hands within a relatively short span of time. When you get dealt a series of bad hands at the poker table in Las Vegas, you just stop playing...but life just doesn't work that way. You can't just walk away from your bad hands and stop playing. You must stay in the game.

Sometimes I feel as if I have been dealt a few bad hands over the past few years. Just like that figurative poker table in Las Vegas, I chose to just "walk away" from the game in an emotional sense. My lack of blog entries over the past several months has been one of many by-products of this withdrawal.

Several events have contributed to me sort of "waking up" to the fact that I need to be playing the game of life just a little differently. I've realized that nobody is going to hand over the good stuff in life on a silver have to make the good stuff happen for yourself. Visualize it. Commit to it. Make it happen. Don't wait for someday...ever notice that "someday" never happens? I have. Carpe diem...seize the day.

I'm finally realizing that life's big rewards aren't easily attained without taking a bit of a risk. As a society, we spend entirely too much time worrying about trying to look good or avoid looking bad. Sometimes, you just have to be willing to look like a complete jackass from time to time. It's the only way we grow.

So the horse bucked me off. That's OK; it happens to all of us from time to time. I'm ready to get back on and ride it again. There's a real difference between existing and living. When you merely exist on this planet, your life runs you. When you live, you run your life. Don't just exist. Live.

It's time to ride.

Just a few pics from today's ride.

Today I did something I haven't done in a while: went for an afternoon bike ride. I usually ride during my lunch break at work or in the mornings on weekends. I used to ride as often as I could after work once Daylight Savings Time hit...I just love the low sunlight plus it sure beat just going straight home. For whatever reason, I've sort of fallen out of that post-work ride routine...but today I feel like I have fallen in love with it all over again.

This wasn't an epic ride my any stretch of the imagination; just a short 1.5 hour cruise on my Beasley SS at Lake Hodges. It felt great to get out there and enjoy some time on the dirt. Something tells me I'm going to planning far more post-work rides in the coming weeks.

I did manage to remember to take my camera along with me, so I snapped a few pictures. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! Enjoy the holiday with your family and friends. Hopefully, your celebration involves getting on your bike. If you don't celebrate Easter, just go out and celebrate life!
I'll try to post some bike-related stuff next week.
(I took this photo at Borrego Springs a couple of weeks ago...the wildflowers were unreal!)

Monday, March 10, 2008

A "gift" from the fires...

The October wildfires were indeed a tragedy for nearly everyone in San Diego. I feel fortunate that the flames only came within about 2 miles from my house. So many others were not as fortunate.
If there's any good that has come out of the fires, it's the fact that the charred hillsides are starting to green up...and the wildflowers are in full bloom on them! It's sort of like a little gift left behind in the wake of destruction.
This photo was taken at Lake Hodges in Escondido, CA. The day the fires started, I was sitting in the middle of the lake in my kayak enjoying an afternoon paddle. At that time, the fires were miles away. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that about 12 hours after I pulled by boat out of the water, the fires would have completely surrounded the lake and would continue racing westward.
It's hard to believe this hillside was a blackened, charred mess just weeks ago.

Beasley 650B First Ride Impressions

OK, so it's been almost 6 months since my last post. Who knows, it may be 6 months until I post again...I suppose only time will tell. :)

About 6 months ago, I wrote about a test I did with 2 of our Xeon equipped with 650B wheels and the other equipped with stock 26" wheels. At that time, our line of 650B bikes were little more than lines on paper. Over the past several months, it's been really rewarding to see our 650B bikes evolve from an idea into flesh and blood...err, I guess rubber and steel would be more accurate. Albeit a small line consisting of just two bikes, I'm proud to say that our Beasley 650B bikes are now a reality and should be available this summer. We had hoped they would come to market a bit sooner, but longer-than-expected factory leadtimes just won't make that possible.

Now that our sample bikes have been photographed for our Spring catalog and have been presented to our sales force at our Spring Launch sales meeting, I finally had the chance to take one out and get it dirty. Product Manager Pat called an early "dibs" on the 1 x 9 which was just fine by me...I really wanted to ride the SS. After pedaling it around in the parking lot, I could tell the 32/17 gearing was going to be a little tall for my outta shape ass. I have admittedly chosen riding my motorcycle or going for a hike over a bike ride on more than a few occasions the weather hasn't been all that great over the past several weeks. Excuses...excuses....

Anyhow, I headed out to a local trail system I knew would be singlespeed friendly, the Santa Rosa Plateau up in the Murrieta/Wildomar area. No gut busting super gnarly descents...just nice rolling singletrack that flows through a beautiful series of meadows. Perfect for a maiden voyage aboard the fully-rigid steel Beasley SS.

I really didn't know what to expect...whether this bike would feel more like a 29er or a 26" wheel mountain bike. I was hoping that it would live up to what most people say about 650B MTB's...that you get many of the same benefits of big wheels without the big 29" wheel geometry. I'm pleased to say that the little Beasley SS lived up to those expectations. Don't get me wrong...I love my 29ers. But for a "little" person like me (at 5'7"), a 29er is a lot of bike. The Beasley didn't feel like such a big felt very nimble and quick, yet very stable. Just like a 29er, it climbed with what felt like infinite traction, cornered with stability, and rolled over trail obstacles with ease.

The fork is my favorite part of this's beautifully made and it's as stiff as hell. But much like the rigid forks on my 29ers, I really wasn't ever left wishing for a suspension fork. Riding rigid really forces you to become a smoother rider. It forces you to pick better lines, relax your arms more, keep your momentum up, and just flow with the trail like water. Only on the gnarliest of descents do I miss having suspension.

The fact that the Beasley is steel also lends to the fun factor...steel truly is real. It yields a ride unlike any other material. It's lively, yet stiff enough so you "feel" the trail. I definitely feel more "one" with my steel bikes, that's for sure. Steel frames also just look great...since you can make frames out of smaller diameter tubes, steel frames look sleek and svelte.

I won't bore you with too many more words, but in a nutshell, this bike rocks. I had a blast on it. Other than the gearing being a little much for me, I don't know that I'd change a thing on it. It steers great...not too fast, not too slow. The On-One Mary bars are perfect for rigid singlespeeds...very easy on the wrists. And unlike some 29ers, I've got plenty of standover thanks to the graceful bend in the top-tube (it's there for a reason).

I sure hope everyone else likes our new Beasley bikes as much as I do. That's sort of our create bikes that are just darn fun to ride.

I'll leave you with a few pictures I took on the ride today. Enjoy!