Monday, March 17

That was something.

Everything that occurred since Wednesday was a blur.

I took a day off and rode in the mountains with friends from PA.  I've never done that.  Ever.  A day off for a social ride, no racing, no travel to a race.  Just a ride.  Beautiful day.  I have read Montucky's accounts of riding with this crew before.  It was as if I lived a day of his life.  Constant comparisons of GPS data, miles ridden, elevation gained... brought a tear to my eye.  Great day off.  Incredible ride, yinzers.

And then a late night of sushi with Breck Epic promoter Mike McCormack, Olivia, who he knew in college twenty years ago, and Albert from Ergon.  Put three strangers in a booth who's only connection is Mike... interesting conversation all evening long.  I now know what pen to own, what is the best piece of carry-on luggage, and not to try to swim in the La Brea tar pits.

Wake up, go to work, day flies by, come home to a friend from Ohio I haven't seen in something like six years, and then Watts shows up.  Beer, ride to Bike Source for the SRAM party that's only supposed to last 1.5 hours but goes on much later, Sir Ed's for late dinner, home late for an early wake up call.

I'm up when my alarm goes off.  Oh yeah, we're supposed to squeeze a ride in before NAHBS.  I hope they forgot.  No.  I can hear them at the other end of the hall getting ready.  I guess this is happening.  Pop Tarts for breakfast and then a ride at the iconic Backyard Trails.

Head still pounding, we knock out some miles, eat, shower, and ride to the show.

I was there to meet people more than I was to look at bikes.  It's no secret that I have a thing for custom bikes and a fascination with the builders themselves.  I'm a fan of what they do, and I unabashedly admire their efforts.

Catch up with the guys from MOOTS, meet Kristofer from 44 Bikes, spent some time talking to Donna Norstad from Paragon Machine Works...

I thought it was strange as I have talked to her on the phone before.  I've bought more things from Paragon than I would think the average consumer would... being that they mostly deal with people building actual bike frames (I would imagine).  I fell in love with that bike and even though I wanted to hate it, the Toggle Dropout stole my heart.

It looked a lot cleaner in person than I thought it would.  Good thing I had my new frame built before this was an option (sarcasm).

Then it was over to Rody at Groovy Cycles.  Strangely enough, my Ohio friend (Jimmy the Gimp) knows Rody and credits him for getting him back on the bike and racing (and happy).  Not only was Rody slinging wit like a champ, he was dropping wisdom and knowledge into the mix as well.  One of the highlights of the day for sure.  I knew I'd like him before I met him... perhaps it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We stopped by the Shimano booth to see the 44 Bikes and Retrotec (by Curtis) that they had on display.  Whilst there, a Shimano guy came over to explain Curtis's bike, but I had to tell him I'd already read all about it on Facebook. 

But while I had him there, it was time to talk bike parts and such.  I asked him about brakes, my XTR pedal that broke, and all manner of Shimano related stuff.  He was very forthcoming and told me what I wanted to hear about my pedal failure so I can continue to ride (and privately endorse) my XTR pedals into the future.  He also told me that these were not what everyone though they were...

Which was good, since I just bought another set of XTR pedals for the Vertigo.

The show was getting ready to close, so I headed over to meet Don Ferris Jr of Anvil.  I'm not sure how we ever became people who bother each other on the internet, being that he makes frame building equipment and I just buy frames... but somehow he and I play well together.  While hanging out waiting for him to finish up with someone who probably had business talking to him, I met his son, Don III.  He asked me who I was/who I was with.

"I'm nobody.  I just mess around on the internet with your dad."

Don III, Don Jr, and Matt (photo cred: Anvil)
And then I got to meet Don Jr, talk about whatever one might in a matter of minutes, do a shot of whiskey, and then head out of the show feeling like I got what I came for.

Then it was time to go to the real party.