Thursday, March 08, 2012

RockShox Ride Experience: Prep

I spent last week in COS preparing for my upcoming travels. I got to meet some of the other
RockShox staff and reconnect with some friends at RockShox hq.

Andy is the other RSRE driver and he is a hard working, knowledgeable, friendly guy. I can see why they hired him. I wish I got to spend more time with him or doing events with him but I probably won't see him until Interbike, if we both end up there.

I also got to meet Tony. I forced the poor guy to fly
out to COS from Chicago so we could get acquainted. He's running a lot of the logistics for the events so we'll be working 

closely throughout the season. My job of driving and wrenching will be WAY easier than his job of finding venues, partners and participants. I've done enough event planning to know how difficult it can be and when you are dealing with non-local situations on a weekly basis AND mountain bikers, it really ups the pressure level. He's a level-headed guy so I'm not worried.

Mike showed me the Sprinter and showed me where our product was. We had three PALLETS full of forks and rear shocks for the vans. It's crazy to stare at that much product. Totem, Lyric, Sid, Boxxer and Revelation along with Monarch, Monarch+, Vivid and Vivid air. I also have drive train parts, pedals, Reverb posts and shwag. Yes, I hooked up on a bottle opener belt buckle...

We got the steerer tubes cut on 120 forks. That's 80 aluminum and 40 carbon for those of you counting... We burned through them pretty quickly thanks to the fork carrier the testing guys let us use. We burned through four hacksaw blades on the carbon and 

ended up with quite a collection of short steerer tube ends. Now all I have to worry about is installing star nuts and expanders into all of them. That is a job we left for later.

I also got the low-down on shock tuning from one of that masters: Jimmy. All he does is rebuild, customize, tune and test rear shocks. Watching him pull apart those shocks was like watching a ninja. He's pro, no doubt. I can' even posit a guess as to how many he has gone through. I have so much more to learn but I learned enough to be dangerous. I can see some rebuilding and custom shock tuning in my future though...

We also had to clean up the vans, wash them for the photo
shoot and get the shelving in. We are set up with 46" lcd teevees and AppleTV. Oh, and two iPads. It'll be a pretty impressive situation when it's all set up.

Andy and I snuck a few rides in. The weather outside was a bit cooler than here but it was amazing. It snowed and cleared up 5 times one day.

The Sprinters turned out rad. Andy talked them into upgrading the stereo so we have two USB inputs, a 3.5mm input, it'll pull Pandora off of your phone and it's got a cd player. Not much else I want, save for some booming bass... I had to replace the 'storage' that was installed in my van so I'm now a Sprinter headliner expert.

On Friday, we had to head over to pick up the shelving for the forks. There was some installation drama that comes with a custom-made, perfect fit wood shelving unit install. About 1/2" had to be shaved off of the back corner so it would fit in place. There will be a 

wall of forks and shocks when you look in the rear-view. I don't have photos but I'll share once I get it filled up. Here is the open shot with the teevee on the right.

Feb 29th was Maggie's birthday so I cruised up to Denver to wish her the best. There was a pretty ceremonious arrival at Great Divide, a comic caravan over to the park, some Xtracycle surfing, a spill, beer shotgunning (not me: driving) and a human pyramid. I think it's safe to say she enjoyed her 8th birthday.

I fly back out to COS on Wednesday for my first oh-fee-shul trip. I have to finish up the van and then drive to Austin by Friday afternoon. It's 12-14 hours so I should be ok. After Austin, it's Houston then a week off before Florida, ATL, NC, NC, Chatt then Pitt. I'll be flying and wrenching quite a bit.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Rock Shox crew and SRAM staff I've met are really great people. They are knowledgeable and patient and it's something that is really exciting to be a part of. I'm very lucky. And thanks to my family, I'm very lucky to be able to even pull this off.

That top pics is of Pikes Peak shrouded in snow. Next is a shot of the forks for one of the vans. Mike and Andy on our ride in Ute, Andy driving the forker, the van and me.

See y'all soon.


At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where you in Baton Rouge Sunday? If so, what did you think?


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