Wednesday, September 24, 2008

oktoberf....septemberfest? in Cincinnatti

As if travelling around Europe and spending 2 weeks in Germany wasn't enough....when Leigh and I were in Cincinnatti, it turned out to be their Oktoberfest in Zinzinnatti....crazy.

I just can't escape pretzels, beers, DAS BOOT, and the naked cowboy....(what???? what was that last one...yeah, naked cowboy in Cincinatti...)

yes, das boot does exist....

Monday, September 22, 2008

closer - fixed this update...links work now, yay!

the closer I get to home, the more I want to ride my motorcycle.  its been far too long since I've hit the open road so hopefully the boys will rally this weekend and find a nice day trip....maybe this one, perhaps???

Cycle Zombies Motorcycle Rally BBQ Skate Jam
September 27, 2008 
Hurley Skatepark Costa Mesa, CA

in the meantime, literally, check out this video of the daily life of Max Schaaf...when he's injured and not ripping the skateboard.

big thanks to Carter for turning me onto his motorcycle stuff.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


It feels good to be back in the homeland.  Leigh Anne and I had a great reunion even though I'm not quite back in California yet.  We're in Ohio for Andrew and Justine's wedding, but its America and that's all that matters.

We had a great dinner consisting of wings and beers last night followed by my favorite East Coast delicacy for breakfast.  The picture below is from Providence, but its one of my favorite pictures that represents my LOVE for the D!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

fixies in Germany

Last night I had the great opportunity of joining the SRAM crew for the stealthy launch of their new hub as I represented Brooks along with Nicolo and Steve from Selle Royal.

The new hub is called the Torpedo and has a simple mechanism that allows the user to switch from fixed to free wheel with the turn of a screwdriver.  No flip flop hub, no removing the back wheel from the bike.  just turn the screw in one direction, its a Fixie.  Turn in the other direction and its a single speed Freewheel.  

The event was cool, pretty low key as this is pretty low on SRAM's radar, especially with the launch of their HammerSchmidt mountain bike front hub/internal derailleur/shifter scenario.  Kind of sad that it didn't get more attention being that this type of rider is on the cutting edge for the bicycle industry, but really, its good to stay underground for the singlespeeders of the world.

So, we all met up outside the Messe (trade show hall) in Cologne and grabbed a bike.  It was a mix of fixies, singlespeeds and then whatever else the guys could grab in order to get people on a bike tour of the city and to go to a great new local shop that specializes in fixie conversions and building new bikes from old!  


After I grabbed my random Red Sram branded single speeder, I was off, checking out the city, cruising through traffic with the crew and dodging people on the sidewalks.  We stopped for a bit right in front of the big cathedral in Cologne.

super beautiful and a pretty packed skate spot as well.  After the stop I grabbed a sweet white Veloheld fixie to continue on the ride with.  Pretty fun since it had a rear brake to get some 'fake' skid stops working....(i guess they HAD to keep the brakes on the bikes for liability reasons....?)


From there we headed to the shop to get a presentation from the owner of Kettenlinie Coeln and then from Marcus, the Product Manager for the Torpedo from SRAM.

  Presentation was rad (but in German), they took apart the hub, showing the guts, and the parts to show how the mechanism works, many beers were consumed and we had a great night.

more pictures on the flickr site.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brussels, Sprouts

Ok, ok, so I am only 2 days behind in updating this blog with where I really am.

Brussels is an amazing city.  Really cool architecture.  Old buildings mixed with art deco details, columns with square and rectangular cutouts.

One of the coolest things was happening upon an artshow called "Its Not Only Rock n Roll Baby"

It was an artshow featuring artwork by musicians such as:
Brian Eno
Yoko Ono
David Byrne
Pete Doherty
and more..

it was especially cool to see this 10 foot tall David Byrne piece painted directly on the wall.  Knowing he stood there and did it for this great show is radical.  Rhode Island pride!

Other than that, I saw an 883R which was crazy...who has that bike, anyways?

and what the hell is Indian Tonic, just a new way for Euros to be racist???? i dunno....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Biondi - iphone picture post

man, so much to post about can't settle down!  between internet outtages and travel to different countries, I feel like I have no idea what day it is or where I am......here's some stuff to get you through your day!

On this past friday, I went to the offices of the infamous Alberto Del Biondi, shoe and product designer.  This guy LOVES BLACK.  more than anyone I know.  Everything is black in the office.  Black wall surrounding the office, Black rock garden surrounding the building, Black tables, Black chairs, just keep looking...

the black rock garden in between the outside black wall and the office entrance

the black couches lamps and side tables in the courtyard

the black toilet paper, yes BLACK toilet paper

black table, black chairs lunch spread for us.  note the red wine with lunch.  Italian style.

exiting the compound through the black steel sliding doors.

it was a great meeting, reviewing samples of the next Brooks bags and accessories.  They have some really talented designers and great people as well....even if they don't speak much english.  I guess i need to take some Italian classes at Cal State San Marcos this semester.....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dance Party!

well, not really, but this is a good one that i wish I had a first person perspective camera for....(if you're listening, put that on the christmukah list, even though it doesn't really exist)

so, at Eurobike, on the final night they have big party (plural, read in german accent).  SRAM was throwing a free hamburgers and all you can drink beer party in the atrium of the convention center and then the official Eurobike sponsored even was in the center courtyard.  The SRAM party had some sweet world music band playing early on and after they ran out of hamburgers, we vacated the premises.

Then it was off to the outdoor Eurobike party.  Rain, rain and more rain, but once that German cover band started, there was no stopping the party.  Jason, Andy, Christina and I were ripping it up on the dance floor/2" deep pool of rain/sludge water and soon enough, the euros followed suit.  Once they kicked in with 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and went right into 'Run to the Hills', we knew it would be a night to remember.  

I wish I had pictures of all of this, but I admittedly don't.  The next activity was dubbed, "dude, throw your empty cup at the band...".  This game was FUN.  It was also followed by a thing conducted by some guy on stage called "hey, these are musicians up here performing and risking getting electrocuted for you.  are you going to pay for their instruments if you break them?".  that was fun, but followed by the crowd's own game called "YEAHHHHHHH"

Finally, we left, and headed back to the SRAM party.  I decided it was time to liven up the place so I hopped on stage with the DJ and started playing the bongos and timbales with him.  then i moved to the front of the stage to get some dance moves going with the crowd.  What followed next was incredible.  Christina from crankbrothers hopped up on stage and grabbed the tambourine, some other Euro Dudes jumped on the percussion and I just had to grab the mic and yell....


and when I pointed to the crowd, people started jumping into the fountain and it went off.  fun night it was.

Monday, September 8, 2008

going back in time and moving forward

I have finally added my Eurobike 2008 pictures to the flickr page.

Here's the address:


You should see both Eurobike 08 and Eurobike 08 fun with Euros...check it out.

Here's some examples of the fine things you will see:

Germans being German at a party

Andy Hilliard getting RAD on an ATV

and the most beautiful thing in the bicycle world

Sunday, September 7, 2008

England is english speaking

Week 1, Done.  (say it again, but this time with a british accent)

no pics for now, but tonight I will have some good updates about the Eurobike show with pictures and I'll get all the pictures uploaded to the flickr site.....

Last night, I left Germany with a few work folks and headed to Birmingham, UK.  today we are visiting the Brooks factory.  I'm looking forward to this one.  My goal is to build a saddle myself, but they don't know that yet.  Time to infiltrate the system and get to business....

so again, look for another following post that is better, feels better and looks better.

Friday, September 5, 2008

candy = food?

i love candy.  not so much with the fruit and sugar, but the chocolate...!

here's some amazing Euro foods/candy.  ok ok okay...Bifi is not candy, but definitely weird, slightly fallic, but a food in a candy like package.  tip to the wise, everything Kinder is great and not matter what you think, Ritter Sport chocolate is NOT recommended when you are playing sports......but I do feel athletic when I eat any of the 23 flavors.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

situational scenarios

I admire europeans.....well, not as a general rule, but the fact that they always do things that make me laugh, cheer, or say WTF??? so easily and so much.  Upon walking down the little streets of Friedrichshafen, we stumbled upon the hotel in the picture above...."well, Matt, is that where you are staying?", you ask.....not this time, but next trip, DEFINITELY.

As we continue our tour of the city we stumbled upon some amazing merchandising in an eyeglasses store.  I mean, this is some good stuff.  Really ahead of the curve.  check it out below:

OK, OK, this post is boring you, but I'm telling you, its really not.  Next on our list of places to visit was a great japanese restaurant.  I was especially excited for this.  After all what can be better in a landlocked country than Sushi??  Yeah, right, i wasn't about to step foot into this place, not after I saw the sign....Running - Sushi - Restaurant....WTF??? (there you go

The last stop on our tour led us to a beautiful jewelry store.  I had to have Andrew pose in front of this one....he really didn't mind and in fact "struck a pose" that was very fitting.

Yes, that is my boss....

so 2 full days in and I'm feeling ok.  Hopefully I'll sleep straight through the night, but the espresso I had at 11PM is starting to kick in.....

Monday, September 1, 2008

Die Big Trip (the big trip, come on now..)

so here we go.....off on another jaunt for work.  I feel lucky to be able to travel for work, seeing new, old, and amazing places.  I just hate getting there. 

But travelling alot by aeroplane does have its advantages at times.  Racking up those miles, getting the status level up there, finding every single airport lounge,  and meeting important people who have important powerful jobs in the airline industry is what its all about.

This trip was no different.  I bought my usual regular economy ticket with the hopes that my systemwide upgrade would get me to business class for my LA to Frankfurt flight.  When it didn't go through right away, I dropped an email to a guy I met on a flight back from Frankfurt to LA that happens to be in charge of premium seating for United.  

Mr. Mark wrote me back telling me he'd keep an eye out on my uprgrade and make sure it went through, and it did.  Then, when I got on the plane and thanked him he told to wait a second....."ok" i thought this could be good, or bad....

he came back and then escorted me from Business Class to First Class....YES!!!! my own little pod for the 10 hour flight.  sweetness....now I only wish i actually could have slept the whole time.  Flight was bumpy, and I got an upset stomache on the flight.  not terrible but tons of gas was passed!

now the crappy part of the beginning of my trip...realizing that I left my digital camera plugged into the charger on my desk at home.  UGH.  so for now, its all going to have to be iphone pictures until I buy a new digital camera that becomes the company digi cam at crankbrothers today!  hopefully....