Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Product, product and more product
Most of the people in this crazy bike industry are here for the same reasons. Those being product, riding and the people. It's so hard for the 2 months prior to Interbike because all 3 of those things, along with your family, get lost in the mad rush to get your new products & samples completed, catalog printed and booth finished & shipped. Throw in about 2 weeks of answering emails after the show, since you didn't have enough stress already. It's a time of year where I repeatedly ask, why am I doing this? Thankfully, it comes to an end and we move to a new season.
I love this time of year. Fall colors. Cool temps and fun rides. I just want to wear Merino wool clothing and ride my steel bike. Interbike is over. Production schedules are mostly booked. It's the time of year that exhilarates me and makes me forget all the crappy and painful stuff because we get to start focusing energy on new product and catching up with our dealers, distributors, and friends. Lately it just feels so damn good to think about product and NOT think about those other things. I can't stop thinking about product. Every ride spurs at least one new idea or concept. Have I told you how much I love product?
For all of you that share this passion for product, thank you. It's you who keeps us going. We share your bike related passions. Keep those product ideas flowing. Thanks for sharing some of those great ideas.
Ride and Smile,
Posted by Butcher : 10/26/2005 08:06:00 PM
Monday, October 24, 2005
Note to self...I own a big blue van...it gets terrible gas milage...a Camelback hose can be useful as a siphon....I also own several camel backs.... this site is public..... oops. :)
props to dave for actually sucking atf into his mouth though!! And..so as to head off all the thousands of emails asking for toyota advice... I really have no idea how I was named the toyota expert. I would be more along the lines of a Red-Green type mechanic. Did you know duct tape comes in like 8 colors now at Wal Mart?
Posted by Bobby : 10/24/2005 10:47:00 AM
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Ummmm, is that supposed to be pink?
Ahh, the horrible choices we face at times. In this case, whether to admit your stupidity to your coworkers who will tease you mercilessly or admit it to your family who will bring it up at every holiday, wedding, bat mitzvah, or birthday. This is the sort of dilemma I faced early Saturday morning while all you kind readers were waking up to cartoons, Crunchy Sugar Flakes, and picking out which trail to ride.
The power steering pump in my "new" truck was beginning to whine so I checked the fluid level. Not surprisingly it read quite low. Grabbing the yellow can of power steering fluid from the garage cabinet I poured the pink liquid into the reservoir until it was almost full. This is when it occurred to my sleepy brain that power steering fluid isn't pink. As visible horror crept over my face I realized I had just dumped automatic transmission fluid into the power steering system.
With visions of what happens when you mix mineral oil and DOT in a Hayes brake system flashing through my mind, only on a much larger and more expensive scale, I desperately searched for a stopcock or drain plug but could find none. Steeling myself, I cut the tube off my Camelbak and began to suck the fluid out through the fill cap. Five minutes and only a little bit of ATF in my mouth later I could suck no more out. I still wasn't sure how much damage I may have done nor how to correct it. Now was when the dilemma hit. Do I call Bobby, Salsa's resident punk rocker and Toyota expert, or my brother the PhD in automotive everything? Opting for higher frequency but shorter duration I called Bobby. No answer. Sighing, I called my bro.
After the requisite polite talk I got right to the heart of it and admitted what I had done. I come from a family of engineers, machinists, welders, mechanics, and straight-up motorheads. I'm the musician who likes bikes. Somewhere I missed a gene or two and am constantly reminded of it every time I open the hood of a vehicle and have to hunt for where to check the motor oil. I'm just not internal combustion savvy. For future reference, my brother reassured me, ATF fluid is a good substitute for power steering fluid in a pinch. He had even used it in emergencies himself (of course he had), so I had nothing to worry about. It seems most people know this bit of wisdom, it's inscribed on one of our genes.
I'm hoping he won't remember the conversation since he was a little distracted by the weather channel. He's supposed to drive to Daytona this week to run track tests on a new motorcycle engine for work, but Wilma is on the way there too. Lots of water and high speed motorcycle runs don't mix well.
The only lasting damage I endured? Bobby has caller i.d., saw the missed call, and rang back wanting to know what I needed. I really need to learn to lie better...
Posted by Pierce : 10/23/2005 11:27:00 AM
Friday, October 21, 2005
I've been thinking about bike goals for next year and have made up a little list of them. They are diverse and fun, and hopefully sharing them will make me stick to them more easily. So without further adue...
1) Ore To Shore 48-miler. Finish middle of the pack.
2) Lumberjack 100. Finish.
3) Get comfortable with 6' drops to tranny. Not wheelie drops mind you, but rolling drops to tranny. Accomplish this without trips to the hospital.
4) Wheelie. I have a bike that's sweet for wheelie-ing. Shoot, I've seen master graphic designer Stobbe wheelie it for over a block. Now it is time to learn. Accomplish this without tons of kids laughing at me.
That's my list for now. I'll keep you posted on how it is working out.
Peace out. Enjoy the weekend wherever you may be.
Posted by Salsa Kid : 10/21/2005 05:37:00 PM
Thursday, October 20, 2005
So.. its official folks.... The newest addition to the Dahlberg family tree was born on October 7th at 9:07pm. 6lbs and 11oz. of cuteness. Her name is Anneka. Big sister is very excited and for the moment has been well... quite sisterly. (stay tuned for stories of lines drawn in the sandbox and smackdowns by the swingset) I can honestly say that there isn't anything in the world that can make you more proud than to look into the face of your child. They are truley little Miracles. okay..enough with the sappy stuff. Catch you cats later!
Ride and Smile!
Posted by Bobby : 10/20/2005 02:16:00 PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
The final show of 2006
Hey folks, it has been a bit since I've posted. I've just completed my final Salsa work trip for 2006. I attended the London Cycle Show where I was working in Ison's booth, our UK distributor. Thanks to all the good UK folks for stopping in and saying hello.
This year Salsa has traveled a lot in an attempt to spread the word about what Salsa is doing and to learn first hand what is going on in other markets. We've learned so much this year and as a result, I thought I'd share some thoughts and make some predictions for 2006 and beyond.
1) Steel is really making a come back. Many would argue that it never really left. Next year steel Salsa frames will play a huge role in our growth and our expanding product offering.
2) 29 inch mtn bikes are making some big splashes and taking some big victories. I expect more companies to take notice. It is still basically a US market as few international markets are fully embracing the big wheels, but there is hope. Future Publishing in the UK just got a Dos Niner and are building it up and Chipps, our good friend from SingleTrack UK has a Karate Monkey. Our Japanese friends are also showing some interest. On top of that, one international magazine has committed to testing our Dos Niner and one domestic mag has expressed interest.
3) It used to be that small brands like Salsa had success in the niche categories. It's true, we do. But, as more big brands start dabbling in niche categories to grow their brands, small brands need to go one step further and be the niche of the niche. Sounds crazy, but it is true.
4) Scandium frames are becoming more popular. We know why. It is an amazing material with unique properties. Thankfully, we've been using it for 4 years already and we plan to continue.
5) Just like steel frames, Merino wool jerseys are everywhere. Again for good reason, but I can't believe all the companies doing it. I bought a light weight Rapha jersey while in the UK. I hope Salsa can offer more wool stuff next year.
6) Industrial design is becoming more important. It used to be that if a product simply worked really well and did what it was supposed to, that's all that mattered. Now, it also has to have a distinctive and finished look. This is an important part of Salsa's future and we hope that you'll see this in our future projects.
7) Lastly, and my most important observation. Bike people are really good people. We've been in Germany, UK, Japan, Canada, Taiwan and all over the US this year. Everyone has been so good to us and given us a lot of their valuable time. We are lucky to have such great friends and partners. We've learned a lot from each of you and I hope that you see a little influence from each of you in our 2006 product offering.
Ride and Smile folks.
Posted by Butcher : 10/18/2005 11:30:00 PM
Monday, October 17, 2005
So Friday after work, Jordan and I grab out bikes to go to the park so I can work on my wheelies while the J-man works on his jungle gym routine. Well, long story short...the park is closed. So we bike around the front of the school that happens to be located there and start having a little fun on the steps and rocks in front of the place. Not hurting anyone. Not damaging any property.
Of course you know where this is going, right? Well, the maintainence guy watches for about ten minutes before he finally comes over to tell me that I'm not allowed to do this here, that I shouldn't be showing kids you can do this kind of stuff, that the helmet I'm wearing isn't going to do me any good if I fall, that the public school grounds are really like private property, that is all about insurance, and on and on and blah, blah, blah...
Well, after pissing him off by saying 'Well why did you watch for ten minutes if you didn't want us to do it?", we head back to the ranch where we can have our own mini stunts in our own backyard without bringing on frowns from the man (or mom).
So we ride the teeter totter to 2 x 4 skinnies that we have and I get to relieve some frustration with the sad state of affairs our legalistic, lawsuit happy society has dropped on us. Kids can't ride bikes to school and they can't ride them anywhere in town.
Can someone...anyone...please explain the greater good that either of those actions has accomplished?
It's time we take a look at our world and do what it takes to turn it back into the good place it could have been. Do your part. Enough of all this ridiculousness.
Posted by Salsa Kid : 10/17/2005 03:27:00 AM
Friday, October 14, 2005
Miles To Go
Received an email and photo from Rick Studley this week. Rick seems to have caught 'Century Fever' as he's just completed the Moab Century Tour, his seventh century of the season.
Here's Rick's list for the year and a few comments:
-3 State, 3 Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee
-Mountains of Misery, Blacksburg, Virginia
-Blood, Sweat, and Gears, Boone, North Carolina
-Blue Ridge Extreme, Afton, Virginia
-Civil War Century, Thurmont, Maryland
-NYC Century Tour, New York City, New York
-Moab Century Tour, Moab, Utah
Rick says the "Mountains of Misery" and "Blue Ridge Extreme" tie for some of the most challenging (tough) sporting events I've ever undertaken...
Thanks for putting our Campeon to the test Rick. Let us know how many of these you pull off next year.
Speaking for myself now, it's been two years since I was able to do a century. That last one was a good one though with Wes, Salsa's graphic designer. It was a Saturday and it was hot. 90+ degrees. We started in South Minneapolis, crossed the river at Fort Snelling, over to St Paul, down to Hastings, across the river there, through Afton, up to Stillwater, took the Gateway Trail back to St Paul, and then hit the parkway back to South Minneapolis.
The craziest thing about that ride was in the last 20 miles we caught up to this cat on some real piece of work bike with a radio strapped to his handlebars. He was just jammin' away in his cutoffs. No shirt. Just smiles.
It was fun for a while but then luckily we were able to slip away from him.
Posted by Salsa Kid : 10/14/2005 11:55:00 AM
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Ridin' Like A Champ
Got a couple nice photos from Dan Sigouin of Calgary, Alberta.
Dan races triathlons in Alberta and British Columbia. He spent this season on a Salsa Campeon and has had some fine results.
At the Subaru Ironman Canada race Dan rode the 180km course in 5:24:00. That time was good for 257th out of 2254 on the bike course.
Dan, thanks for putting our Campeon to good use. Best of luck to you during the rest of the year.
Posted by Salsa Kid : 10/13/2005 06:52:00 PM
Sunday, October 9, 2005
So Much Color
This comes to you from Silver Bay, up on Minnesota's North Shore. For those of you that haven't been here, it is best described as a simply amazing place. Rough and rugged, the land comes down to meet Lake Superior in steep, rocky slopes. Pine, Birch, and Maple dominate the landscape.
There is a fantastic hiking/backpacking trail that flows from Two Harbors to darn near the Canadian border. The trail is a good one, offering short steep climbs and descents. It isn't a 'paved path' through the woods. I've backpacked most of it and know it pretty well.
We came up this weekend to do some hiking amidst the wonderful Fall colors. There are so many shades it is impossible to count. Yesterday on Oberg we stared at one section and focused only on the color green. Bright, dark, rich, mossy...you name it the colors were there.
Of course, reds, yellows, and oranges are the colors that are bustin' out right now. We are blessed to have this beautiful land this close at hand. We are blessed that good volunteers have donated their time to build such a thing as the Superior Hiking Trail.
Soon this land will be covered with snow and ice, and the colors will be gone. But for now, the colors are exploding all around us.
Posted by Salsa Kid : 10/09/2005 11:33:00 AM
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
Well, the last Blog filed here was Chuck's Day 1 Interbike report. That's a pretty good indication of just what Interbike is like.
First off, the show is in Vegas. It has its conveniences and all, and I do have a few resteraunts that I like to frequent, but is also Sin City with incessant noise coming from slot machines, hookers trolling their wares throughout the hotel lobbies (her smile didn't really make you think she liked you, did it?), and enough cigarette smoke to give a non-smoker a healthy nicotine addiction.
As a bonus, you've got beautiful hot dry weather which takes a toll on your interior hydration level and reduces some folks throats to dry, croaking messes by the time the week is over.
Pretty much every cab you take is essentially a pimp who's gonna get paid whether you take his advice or not. This year I had the bonus of being with perhaps the angriest, most foul cabbie yet. He admitted to being a bit depraved. Well, at least he was honest.
Working the show you get to deal with two days of set up breathing in propane fumes from the fork lifts speeding by attempting to kill bike folks and destroy booths in one fell swoop.
Then when the show begins you get to stand on your feet talking to folks for a good 10 hours a day.
Now the good part of that is that you're talking to people that support or are interested in your product. The bad thing is that even in a booth like Salsa's, which has a very wide and diverse line of product, you still have to talk about the same thing a few more times than you'd like.
Then, as quickly as it began...the show ends. And you get to tear it all down.
This year it took us till 5am to get it knocked down, crated up, and ready for the truck to take back to Minneapolis. By that time, we all pretty much felt the Vegas Hangover...even without the Jagermeister.
To those of you that came to see us at our booth or at the Outdoor Demo, we hope we answered your questions and that there is something in our lineup that will work well for your shop.
For those of you bike lovers that don't get to go to the big show, enjoy the online coverage. At least you get to "see" the show without the fumes, constant jingle jangle slot noise, and whoring cabbies.
Only 51 weeks till Interbike...Lord, give me strength...
Posted by Salsa Kid : 10/04/2005 06:50:00 PM
Dirty Kanza 200
June 5th, 2010
Salsa Two-Four in Support of MORC
August 27 - 29th, 2010
Afton Alps, MN
September 1 - 4th, 2010
September 20 - 21st, 2010
Boulder City, NV
September 22 - 24th, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009
05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009
06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009
07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009
08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009
09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009
10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009
11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009
12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010
01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010
02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010