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Just riding along... for the past 23 years.

No pressure he says... and yet the sweat is rolling down my back as I type this first piece.

I am honored to become a part of this forum since I have been reading and posting comments for a while now and thoroughly enjoy it. As Jonathan pointed out in the introduction, the bike industry and the sport have both consumed my existence for quite some time now- 2/3's of my life now. It is my greatest passion and reward, outside of my family of course, and I have striven to stay in it. Between the people and the products, I have been lucky to be a part of it.

For this first installment, I thought I'd share my blogging beginnings and rationale behind it.

I'd been hearing more and more about blogging and having no idea what it really was during the Presidential campaign. I was fascinated by the idea that bloggers were contributing to the national discussion with such impact. Then the whole Kryptonite thing went down and I started thinking about starting my own blog for Masi Bicycles and for my own writings as well. The last straw was a report by the Gluskin Townley Group in March about the impact of the Kryptonite issue on the bike industry and how it unfolded through blogging before being picked up by mainstream media. That was it and I was in that day. Now, please keep in mind that I am not a tech savvy individual, so this was a daunting task to me. It has proven to be incredibly simple though.

In hindsight, I really should have asked for permission from the bosses before I started the blog, but I believed I needed to act quickly. With a very small budget for advertising, I really felt I needed to exploit the opportunity to reach my customers for free. So I started the blog and have been trying to maintain it and learn from it daily. I have been learning more and adding things as I get over my initial fears and it is really proving quite productive. I mean, I can get my retailers and consumers both to give me information critical to developing my products and the overall business... and it doesn't cost me anything.

The blog has been a wonderful tool for me and has gotten the attention of the "higher ups" who are happy to see what has been happening and the resulting publicity and attention. Between the article in BRAIN, BikeBiz and the discussion that took place on Business Week Online, they have been very pleased. So pleased that I will be incorporating a newsletter (of sorts) on the Masi website to further reach "my people".

Ultimately, I see blogging as a huge part of how I can fine tune the brand I get to lead. It is my sincere hope to see more industry people blogging because it is an opportunity to share ideas and experiences and increase overall awareness with consumers as well.



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