Wednesday, July 10

My life as an industry insider douchebag for a day: Part One

As I mentioned, I had an opportunity to do some serious industry insider douchebagging on my trip to BC.  I'm not exactly sure how I got looped in, but because I was going up to do the BC Bike Race for the purpose of writing a feature in Dirt Rag, I was asked to come up a day early to attend a bike launch at Rocky Mountain's new Vancouver headquarters.


Take another day off work.

Another day away from my family.

Another writing assignment.

Just to ride a squishy shifty bit equipped bike for a couple hours in North Vancouver.


A once in a lifetime experience to do something I've never done before.

So I said yes.  Hard not to.  Even with all the downsides, a chance to do something that could possibly be interesting could not be walked away from easily.  Serious blog fodder at the very least.  It took quite a bit of back and forth to get me there.  I had already made my travel arrangements some time ago.  Orbitz was none too accommodating.  I now have a worthless voucher for $500 to travel to Canada before February that can only be used by making a phone call to someone in India.


I was the last industry insider douchebag media elitist to get into the Vancouver airport.  I think I got to the hotel room sometime around midnight (3:00AM to my body).  Then I got scooped up (Rocky Mountain's headquarters were walking distance away), and I ended up shuffling over with Bike Radar's Josh Patterson and MTBR's Francis Cebedo.  On the way over, I told Francis what was wrong with MTBR nowadays, and he told me that he had never met a man smaller than himself before.

So we get there... coffee, donuts, juice, danishes, a chance to walk around and meet fellow industry insider douchebags and drink tiny but still quite effective coffees.

photo cred: Brendon Purdy

"You guys mind if I blow up that bathroom back there, eh?"

Then there was the ribbon (log) cutting.  Great idea in concept, lacking slightly only in follow-thru.   The pre-cut log should have taken seconds to sever, but many awkward, sweaty minutes of effort were required to coax the free end to fall.
photo cred: Margus Riga

Once that was behind us, we got a tour of the facility.  The front office was just that, an office.  Typical cubicles but with better decor than your typical hum drum setting.

photo cred: Brendon Purdy

We went from the front to back (like gentlemen), and the true bike geeking started.  I love seeing how things get done.  This was a treat for me.

photo cred: Brendon Purdy

All kinds of testing machines that break bikes and tear them into pieces.

photo cred: Brendon Purdy

After the tour was over, we were placed in assigned seats (I had to sit next to the much larger Francis Cebedo) and given a "presentation."

photo cred: Margus Riga

Dimly lit industrial setting... audio, visual, sensual.

Then they finally rolled out the new bikes, the Instinct MSL line up.  While most folks were pulling out their digital cameras and MacBook Pros, I sat there with a pen I stole from the Holiday Inn, a legal pad I borrowed from work, and a thumb up my ass.

After all the words were spoken, tech was absorbed, and hype was heightened, it was time to get ready to ride.   A big reason that RM moved their headquarters to North Vancouver was to get closer to the trails these bikes were meant to shred.  We would be shredding those very same trails.

The bikes had to be properly set up first.  Who better to assist in the task than legendary pioneer of the free ride movement (and winner of the first Red Bull Rampage), Wade Simmons?

 photo cred: Margus Riga
"I hate rigid single speeders."

They asked us to please put on our new Rocky Mountain/Race Face tech-t's for the ride, which I did.  Then noticing that Josh Patterson was breaking the rules and I had no stokage for being without pockets for tools, I also broke ranks and dropped the drab gray shirt for some sleeveless BKB action.

photo cred: Margus Riga

And then we went into the woods for a ride...

to be continued.


Stephen Bennett said...

No digital camera...refusing to wear the free shirt?

You're such an amateur douchebag.

John Parker said...

Nice play with the tee and buckle.....nice way to represent the ones who pay the bills (so to speak)

Chsad said...

Congrats on getting the special invite. What the Angry Singlespeeder wasn't available?

Anthony said...

Book your flights to Whitehorse we'll show you around in a manner fully befitting your elite status in the world of bicycle industry bloggers.

Anonymous said...

I can see from the pics that the industry is still SUPER interested in selling stuff to women.