Wow I have been super busy this last month. Gotta get all the crap organized for the "man" -government- so that you can then pay them more money.
In addition we're still assembling Legends, working on another prototype -the Paradox- and working on production bikes.
The bright spot is when I get to do a few emails [about 80 -100 a day] and it grounds me because I get the email that says "yo dude I just love my new Wildcard" or whatever... the last one was from Nate in Utah that sent me pics and said he was super stoked and it was the best bike he ever rode... If that doesn't make you feel good and keep you busting your ass then nothing will. It lets you know why you are doing what you're doing.
It isn't all fun and games and I seriously think i rode more when i was out of the industry, but you really cherish the times when you do get to grab a bike and head for the hills.
You meet alot of cool people working at the factory and some are pretty damn good riders - like the Canfields for example. This time I got to ride with the former 3X Belgium DH Champion Steijn [pronounced stain... ha!].
By far the best trail in TW that I have found so far is the SpeedTrap and it was back to do a days worth of runs on my freshie ride the Legend.
So i went first but I wish I hadn't... they have these freakin huge-ass spiders that build webs right across the trail. Not that i'm totally afraid of spiders, I just don't want them on my face.
The trail had changed a bit, the skinny across the creek was gone and they were building a road so the very last part was lame, but the top part was its usual steep, fast, and some parts tech, self.
It was lots of fun as usual. Last run Steijn took my bike and flatted so we just called it a day as it was getting dark.
I decided it was time to go and visit my new distributor -Pinoy Bikes- in the Phillipines.
I really didn't have time to pack up a bike and it was super last minute so I didn't want to impose on them and Gregorio [Goyo] had been awesome and postponed a flight he was suppose to take earlier that day so he could spend the day showing me around.
I arrived in the late afternoon and took a taxi to my hotel where I setup my virtual office and started to back to work again.
The plan was to go out for dinner but Goyo had a family birthday party that was in fullswing so we arranged to meet each other next morning, which was cool because I had a ton of urgent stuff I had to do.
Next morning we climbed in the car and headed off to Bike Town which is shop he has with his friend Tony. Man if you thought traffic was crazy in Taipei you've never been to Manila... the first night i was kept awake by non-stop honking of the cars horn. In fact I don't even think you honk to warn somebody... it was more like honk to the beat of the song on the radio... it was like craziness and at all hours. I can drive in Taipei no problem... parking is a bitch... driving in Manila that is something I will need to get my head around.
I had heard earlier that it wasn't the safest city but to be honest I never once had my spidey senses tingle and even though the security guards carried what looked like sawed of shotguns and assualt rifles they were super nice and open doors for you and said hi. It was a hella lot better then the attitude you get on the other side o the pond.
The other thing that struck me was how easy it would be to live here. Everyone speaks English, theres every manner of fastfood place and the mall was like a transplanted American mall. There seemed to be ALOT of foreigners running around too.
I chilled with Goyo in the early part of the day and then we got a possie toghether for some Phillipine food. OMG was it tasty... kinda like Tai food, and I wish I could remember what all the names were but it was pretty awesome.
Anyway I'll try to not make this too long but had a great time. Big thanks to Tony's wife for the 80 proof Filipino rum... i've already cracked into it and it is soooo tasty hahaha so tasty i'm not sharing... i don't care what they taught me in kindergarten.
We came back to the shop after a really long extended lunch. Customers were showing up, but they didn't really seem like customers as much as friends who bought stuff... it was such a cool environment and reminded me of the shops back home where you show up, everyone knows you, you chat about shit, maybe pick up a few things and then get on your way. We actually stayed pretty late as Goyo was fitting a bike. Anyway it was awesome to meet everyone and was cool that they made me feel so welcome.
I'll be back in March for the Terry Larrazabal Bike fest http://www.tlbf.org/ and I hope I can hang out with Hans Rey and Brian Lopes and Cedric cause apparantly they're going to be there.
It'll have racing, dirt jumping... and from what i heard about 3000 people will come out to it.
Anyway I'm back in TW now, working away.
Talk to you soon and if I race on the 30th in Hong Kong I'll post something up and take more pics - i'm so bad about that.