Now that I've been home for a week, the trip has really sunk in. I thought I'd share some of my thoughts, both personal and professional. Sit back and enjoy.
Eurobike is different for me and for Salsa. We don't have our own booth. Cosmic Sports, our German distributor, manages all the logistics, set up, etc. This is both good and bad. It's good because it is so much less stress for me. Sounds pretty selfish, but if any of you do tradeshows and do your own booth set up and tear down, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Additionally, I enjoyed a level of freedom because I had originally not planned on going. As a result of my late booking, my schedule was pretty open. This meant that I actually got to walk a show and look at a lot of stuff. The not so good part is that because it's not our show, our distributor picks and chooses what to show and how to spec it. This meant that our new complete bike offerings and most of our 29er stuff were not shown.
It's hard not to walk through a bicycle tradeshow and think "what if"? What if Salsa did carbon road bikes? What if Salsa was a commuter or trekking brand? What if Salsa built a downhill bike? What if we were a one stop brand with trekking bikes, mtn bikes, road bikes, cross bikes, bmx bikes, and trikes? What if we did titanium bikes? What if we went back to full scandium frames because we could build them lighter and keep the ride qualities the same as our scandium & carbon frames? Seriously, about a thousand "what if" questions come to mind when I walk a show. I don't know if this happens to everyone or if it is just me.
While this may appear to drive me crazy, it doesn't. It is the thing I love most about my job. Thinking about all these things helps me find clarity for me and for Salsa. Asking these questions helps me think big and think about just how far or what Salsa could do if we so desire? Where are we going? How are we going to get there? Who is going with us?
So enough of the "what if" questions. Let's look at some pictures. Here are just a few things I learned and found interesting.
"What if I ate one of those peppers?" Ask Marty_HD. Watching him afterwards was painful. I will say that because I witnessed his painful experience, I will never forget Marty_HD.
"What if Salsa was a commuter or city bike brand?" I'd bet it would look something like this with a little more color. This bike was so beautiful. I'd probably buy one if it wasn't a shaft drive and came as a dedicated SS or Rohloff bike.
"What if Salsa only did carbon fiber bikes?" These two bikes were awesome. One was from Momo and one from a brand I couldn't make out by the logo (I think it said Swift or something). They both won design awards. Simply stunning and who can't appreciate tubuar mtn tires?
"What if I were taller?" Cloxxki, Hubert and Jelle (Ye-laaaa) have some serious height and it's no wonder they love big wheels. I can't imagine seeing them on 26" wheels. Thanks for driving and having dinner with Devon and I. Hubert, if you are reading this, keep spewing the 32" propoganda!
"What if I leave the show early on Sunday to decompress and relax before my 18 hour trip home?" Well, here is my parting shot from Germany. I sat with my good friend Scott, who is the man behind the new Civia Cycles, enjoyed a few cold beers, and watched the Europeans enjoy life. It was a nice way to end the trip. Can't wait until next year.
For all of you that have made it this far, I'll be the first to admit that I don't have all the answers to the above questions. I've certainly thought about many of them. I'm betting some of you bike junkies thave thought a lot about this stuff too. So, as we roll up to Interbike later this month, we will be launching a new blog that will allow users to comment. Yep, we are hoping to interact with our loyal readers and seek you input. In the coming weeks, months and years, we plan to ask just those questions. I hope you join us and share your thoughts. It should be a fun journey.
Ride and Smile. Life's just too short to not enjoy it!
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