Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Next time I get food poisoning...

Found this in the CT office last trip. It's a CODA disc brake-mounted
t.p. roll! Believe me when I say 'there have been days!'

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year, New Look

Whew... that's MUCH better. I don't know where my head was when I did the original layout of this blog, but I'm pretty sure it was dark. I do know that I did it pretty quick and on the fly without much thought!

Hopefully, this works out a bit better!

2008 was a good year. I got my first race win. I also got to Korea and Japan for the first time. I got to LOTS of races, didn't do many myself. Logged way too many flight and drive miles.

In 2009, looks like I have a new goal. It seems we have a spot for me to do l'Etape du Tour. I trained for it in 2007 until I got really sick, which killed my form so I scratched. I still remember that 200km ride into the Vosges with the guys from the office (most of whom continued on and completed l'Etape). It's a far cry from racing crits, and my climbing is nonexistent in recent years, so it'll be a good challenge!

Safe New Year to everyone out there, keep riding and reading!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quick Update and Test

You gotta love these long year-end vacation weekends. I'm spending my extra time well...

1. Feeding the social-networking monster. This post is actually a test of's service. Now each new post is being tweeted (kind of the opposite of what I got into Twitter for from the start). Now to find the perfect set of icons... stay tuned.

2. Cleaning the floors. The little ones have had a field day of late with their muddy paws!

3. Whole house iTunes! 2 Airport Expresses and 'Remote' running from the iPhone and Touch. Wireless radio shows from the States, controlled from my phone! Yes, I'm a geek (still). Right now catching up on the Common Man.

4. Office rework-redoing the shelves to give me my space. I love computer workspaces, and now I feel at 'home' in my office.

5. Bike part inventory. I've gotten a lot of new stuff lately, so it's out with the old, etc. etc. Still low energy from the food poisoning spell, so still off the bike. No worries. It's still early to restart (or is that 'late').

Tomorrow, the Bucs get their shot at the playoffs. Let's see, 9-3 wasn't motivation enough, so I guess 9-6 gives you that desperate feeling to want to beat the hapless Raiders at home?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, Buon Natale!

Merry Christmas to all from the Masons and Santa Daisy!

The Mother of all Year-end Updates!

So I've been REALLY lame in putting the posts together, I know. So here's the past month, all at once...

To start off with, I was in Bibione for the team presentation and building of the first round of bikes (this immediately after landing from a trip to the US for some Thanksgiving festivities and birthday parties). If you kept up with the Twitter updates, you'd know that I drove to Italy via Germany and Austria (not the shortest route) with a car full of Moto and Rize mtb's. Driving all through the night and taking in two snowy passes on summer tires, I got to Venice in time to pick up a partner in crime (engineer) for the week's activities with LG. From there, it was off to Passo San Pellegrino for the Liquigas guys to play in the snow. Studded tires (thanks to new team sponsor Schwalbe) made for some happy road racers, thoroughly enjoying the time on the mtb's - lots of press coverage, a few sold bikes, happy riders, mission accomplished!

From there, it was off to Val Pusteria for the first meeting of Cannondale Factory Racing Team. There I finally met new signings Marco Aurelia Fontana and Martin Gujan. Roel showed up late, as he was being honored in Belgium. It was a good couple of days - productive and some fun too. I also got a chance to try out the new skate skis at the Anterselva World Cup ski center. Let's just say I'm a bit out of practice!

Home for a day or two and then back to the US for meetings. Not much I can report on there (other than I picked up a sweet piece of Schwinn schwag in the form of a retro wool jersey). I did a bit of riding and attempted winter weight loss in the gym. This would soon come to pass though. A couple of finds from the CT office... First, a red ano Beijing headset cup that wasn't used by the boys for obvious logo reasons - just a test piece. And a new green bearing shield to be used by Liquigas in 09 - after a couple of tries, they got the iPod green down just about perfect. It should match well!

For some reason, it seems that as soon as I land home, a LONG drive awaits me immediately. This time, it was time to pack up Mrs. Masini and the dogs and drive to Spain! Liquigas' second team camp meant we had some media work to do. Scott, Don and Chris were to meet us in Benicasim for 3 days work, followed by a few days in Barcelona. The trip started out great - a bag full of the Mrs' goodies was stolen from the car! We replaced what we could find at a mall in Barca, then continued the trip. Once there, we got our work done, along with a ride on Scott's 40th birthday. As slow as I went on the climb, it felt good to the ego to make up time on the descent - still looking for the climbing legs. I was able to get Ivan up to speed on Twitter (he was nice enough to mention it on cyclingnews).

After all that excitement, we headed to Barcelona for the weekend. I had been prior to the Olympics there in 1992 but the Mrs. hadn't been. In our typical style, we walked almost the entire city, taking in all the major sites (with good dogs in tow) in a day. Unfortuntately, and I don't know if it was the dinner (I won't mention the American theme restaurant's name, just say we had a hankering for Tex-Mex and Rock & Roll), or the Buc's miserable third loss in a row, but Sunday night came around with a nice case of food poisoning! We decided Spain wasn't for us - we're more of an Italian or even Swiss pack of dogs here. Once I was "stable" and able to stay away from the throne for more than a half hour, we headed home to enjoy Christmas with friends in Basel! Hope you're having a good holiday and are able to spend it with family... Masini

Podium Cafe Shows Liquigas Some Love!

Podium Cafe is quickly becoming a favorite site of mine. The folks over there (OK, mainly the girls over there who are smitten by the green "hotness") are showing the love...

1. Liquigas Voted Hottest ProTour Team of 2008

2. Need I say more? First found here.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Equestrian Trails Don't End!

So I'm on day six of my Swiss 'cross training and the trails just past the new place don't end. Today was another hour-plus and I continued to explore. The Garmin's battery was dead so I didn't map it, but I know where everything is and leads to. It's really incredible - I can't wait to see if someone grooms for skate skiing.

The nine-ball just got a good washing, being a week packed with mud and all. Oh yeah, what better way to finish off a ride than a nice cold Chimay?


Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Perfect Ride...

Taking advantage of the incredible fall weather today, I took the nine-ball out for some more 'cross training. Two blocks from the new apartment is a trailhead that leads to a network of walking trails, singletrack and access roads that only the Swiss could maintain so well. There are ALWAYS lots of walkers out and about, dogs too. But once you get past the front trails it turns into one of the greatest cross bike rides you can imagine.

In just one hour of riding, you can find plenty of downed logs to practice barriers, stairs, water crossings - everything except a sand pit! Elevation gain is minimal unless you want to find some run-ups or blast up the odd hill. There are a couple of paved climbs if you need. All of this, and you won't find a car and don't even really have to cross a road! Not only that, but the Garmin showed that I didn't hit the same patch of trail twice, save for the entrance and return bit.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Top Ten Lists

One of my favorite things to listen to is when my talk radio shows go off topic and discuss music... why isn't this a popular topic on more shows? Anyway, I recently saw a blog post about Mtv streaming old videos online. SO - as I'm a child of the 80's (and 90's), here is a list of videos from my favorite "college bands" (remember that term?).

The Cure Primary
Is that really Robert Smith?

New Order True Faith
Speechless from the first time I saw it.

Joy Division Atmosphere
Anton Corbijn invented Jawas. True story.
Tribute to Ian Curtis, RIP (and somebody please return the grave stone!).

The Smiths This Charming Man
"Punctured bicycle, on a hillside desolate..."
"I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear.
This man said 'It's gruesome that someone so handsome should care' "

Morrissey Suedehead
This song may have been the first time a laser wore grooves in a CD, I played it SOO much when it came out.

Everyday Is Like Sunday
See above!

First of the Gang to Die
This is a late entry and the only 'live' video. There are many better, older M videos, but this song is incredible, from his Manchester concert DVD.

Material Issue Valerie Loves Me
Great college band. Remember a foggy concert in Ames, making an ass of myself.

Jesus and Mary Chain Head On
Distortion kings.

Finally, for #10, take your pick... do a search on the following.
Peter Murphy
Love and Rockets
The Beautiful South
The Housemartins
The Pixies
The Ocean Blue

Our lines are open... are you diggin' this type of music, or are you more of a fan of the good ol' hair band? If so, try Yngwie my personal favorite for "fastest guitar player alive". Oops, Mtv still not into Yngwie! It's what goes through my head in a race... EVERY race!

Monday, November 3, 2008

From the back room...

Since I've been riding it so much in the past week, I figured it
appropriate to give some blog love to my rig... an 08 XTJ, taken woth
the iPhone on the back shop. It's wedged between a couple other guys'

Friday, October 31, 2008


Not sure how I missed that one, but THIS makes 51. Yay...

Upon further review... one of those was a draft... so this IS 50!

A quick one from Japan

Here's what my Element (oft-ridiculed by my Italian friends) looks
like in Japan.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Ivan Basso's Japan Cup Bike

I'm now back from Japan and a little recovered from the past month and a half of travel. Here are the images (plus a few bonus shots) that I posted to Cannondale and that have now appeared all over the place. This must be one of the most photographed bikes we've done to date! At one point during the team presentation, I grabbed the bike and moved it slightly - some people waiting in the wings could then see a different view and the flash bulbs went wild... I ended up posing the bike for another ten minutes!

The race went as expected. The climb wasn't tough enough for Ivan to break away. What has been under-appreciated in the race reports were the rides of both Giovanni Visconti and Valerio Agnoli, who each were dropped on the climbs and chased back on... twice!

After the race, Ivan was great, signing autographs and posing for photos for a good while for the long line of Japanese fans who waited two hours after the podium and press conference! Like it or not, Ivan is back... and will be a force to contend with at the Giro.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Japan Cup 2008!

When the chance to go to Japan for Ivan's first race back came up, how could I say no? The twelve hour flight followed by two hours of travel from Tokyo to Utsunomia (after an hour long bus transfer) was the small price to pay!

I've been happy to be accompanied by the fine staff of Cannondale Japan. Katsoumi, Hiro and Shoji can be added to the long list of Cannondale employees around the world that I've had the pleasure to work with. They do a great job here, as evidenced by the large number of Cannondales on the road during today's amateur rides and races.

We followed the guys to the race venue for a lap with the public. The course is nice - a closed-off national park with a couple of climbs. Ivan has enjoyed a great reception from the public. We've prepared a special bike (thanks to Lara) for him, which has garnered a lot of attention. After the press conference, he was mobbed by Japanese fans, who are very passionate about Italian cycling. I didn't expect to see guys dressed in full pro team kit, head to toe. We saw a Japanese Bennati, Lance, Danilo in pink... there was even a guy in a Rock Racing jersey!

This afternoon, I did my usual electronics shopping. Utsunomia's mall wasn't nearly as big as that I saw in Seoul (evidently the huge one in Tokyo isn't even as big as Seoul), but I managed to find enough iPod accessories to keep me satisfied for a while.

I've always thought that the written Japanese languages are an amazing art form. I love to see things common to me (Mountain Dew and Apple products) advertised in Japanese. The Mountain Dew cans are HUGE... just my size. Obligatory shot of my morning coffee with my Liquigas iPod Nano and today's playlist - O&A from Wednesday (the Pendulum is swingin' back the other way!).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where've I been?

So - it's been a while. Anyway, I've been earning lots of frequent flyer miles lately and it doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon!

If you saw the tweets, you'll know I've been to the US for some Tour of Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa and of course, Vegas. Just before that, we moved into a new apartment in Basel and the early results are in... it rocks! My big project for the new place was to hook up the Mac Mini to a big LCD (nice deal courtesy of Cannondale/Vredestein partners Polaroid). I'm now running Front Row, EyeTV and Slingbox from my couch! So I'm now in the process of loading iTunes up with all my old favorites... Seinfeld, Miami Vice and even thirtysomething (purchased a box set which seems to have come from the same guy that sold me some DVD's in Korea!). With all of the traveling coming up, I'll at least not be forced into watching lame airline movies (the last few flights have had dreadful offerings).

Last week we packed up the dogs and headed to Tuscany for a long weekend. We stayed in an 'agriturismo' where Team Barloworld had a spring camp last year. The place was perfect... lots of big fields for the dogs, great apartments, and close to the shore as well as inland to the Tuscan hill towns. We ended up spending a day in Volterra, where I've surprisingly never been. From there, we headed to the Isle of Elba, famous for the exile of a certain short French emperor. From there, we stayed with a friend from the bike industry who has a large villa next door to a Mr. Cipollini. Mario was not in town (legal woes?), otherwise he would have joined for breakfast. Great food, nice sites, then a rush back home to finish up some work.

It's off to Connecticut this weekend for a big meeting next week. Following that, it's Lombardia and then Japan Cup! I can't wait for this season to finish so we can get to work on the next one!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Trial by Fire

So then Friday and Saturday I continued my DS training. Friday's stage into Jefferson City was another hot and muggy one. I went with Gianni to the feed zone, passed a musette to Roman and then hopped into Stefano's car while he took mine and went to the break, where Mugerli was in the mix. More bottles passed, and a rear wheel change. Guarnieri pulled over while I was in the passing lane and I ended up pulling over in front of him, to Gianfranco's dismay - POW! - his door hit Guarnieri's handlebar! Lesson learned - even when the rider stops quick, always pull in behind him even if you have to just stop in the road.

The run-in to Jeff City was a quick one. Nibali played out an attack but got quickly pulled back. Two Rabobank youngsters took 1st and 2nd. The winner is the son of Jean Paul Van Poppel. Stefano raced with him and said he went like a train.

For Saturday, we expected horrible rain from Ike, but it never showed up. I drove car 2 from the start and the break went halfway again. Mugerli was up front in a 12 man break, so again, we swapped cars. This time, Guarnieri was involved in a big crash on the left side of the road. The street was real wide and everyone pulled over to the left, so I followed suit. Guarnieri eventually went to the right side of the road and I was a bit blocked in. I was able to exit and get to Gianfranco after a wheel change, but another lesson learned... ALWAYS service on the right side of the road. After that, we serviced the bike and helped him back to the group... let's see if I get a fine. Read between the lines on that one!

On the run-in to the finish into St. Charles, the skied darkened and threatened the rain which still didn't come. I got a bit nervous watching from about ten cars back, hoping for a Chicchi sprint or a Nibali breakaway. My heart was pounding and I think I found a new best way to watch a race... in the caravan driving a support car! Finally, Cavendish took his third stage, and we have to wait until Sunday's circuit for our first.

Friday, September 12, 2008

DS for a day... or two

So the Tour of Missouri keeps rolling along. Wednesday's TT in Branson went well... Nibali in sixth, fifth overall. Roman not too far behind.

I got to drive the follow car for Chicchi. The course was great, with big carved out canyons, open roads in the wind, and big rolling hills. Of course, I did my usual 'avoid the deviation and drive through the finish' that I've become famous for. Hey - they didn't fine us and I didn't tear down the banners, so it couldn't be that drastic!

On Thursday, Stefano wanted me to drive the second team car (since we're short on people). When the break happened, we swapped cars. He went with the break and I took over in the peloton! Let's say it's nervous and very tight squeezing between the moto and the cars on your right. We fed and passed bottles a few times. Nibali, having missed the break, got his ear twisted quite a bit, but did come back and load up on water for the rest of the guys. Roman took over the white jersey in the end! Today we'll try for another stage, possibly with Roman - the finish is a killer!

Meantime, James our mechanic crashed in the parking lot and destroyed his knee!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tour of Missouri

So I'm here with the boys in the midwest, fulfilling whatever duties I can. So far, I've translated interviews, translated any and all questions they may have, passing my first musette, helping the mechanics, written race reports, etc.

Sunday, my parents came down from Iowa. I think they enjoyed seeing their first big bike race. We had a reception at Cycle City, a local retailer. The crowd was great and had a good time. I finally met Jackal and Blue... great guys. Funny thing about the internet. You can 'get to know' someone by their writing, and then stumble into them and feel like old friends.

Monday we had the worst storm ever... 4 o'clock in the morning while doing emails, the sky opened up with a loud crash. It was like someone shooting a shotgun in the next room over! This continued until the power shut down for most of the city! It was quite a scene having all the teams eating breakfast by candlelight in the Hyatt!

Nephew Joey skipped work Monday afternoon to come down to the finish at KC's Plaza. The crowd was huge and the rain held out. Chicchi was third with Cavendish winning.

Tuesday was pretty much more of the same - Chicchi again third in Springfield. 

I met Cub and the Great Chiweenie... cute little dog rescued by loving owners who take him along on the bike. I know Mrs. Masini would like to do the same, but I can already tell, our guys would be more than a handful than this little guy.

Today is the TT. Nibali should do pretty well. Roman says his legs aren't great, but he has the power and will do well nonetheless.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I've Been Tagged... here you go.

So Carl tagged me a few days ago... here goes.

What was I doing ten years ago? 
Just getting ready to move from Des Moines to Fort Dodge, IA. Just a little relocation so Mrs. Masini could start a great teaching job. I was driving about 60,000 miles a year as a sales rep for the big Cdale (did that for 8 years). I was also riding a YZ125 a little bit. Listening to: Limbaugh, Common Man, Mischke and Jim Rome on the radio (gotta stay awake somehow when driving all night through North Dakota). Also listening to: Guster, Josh Rouse, the Cure, Joy Division, New Order (none of that has really changed). I was not racing on the road or CX, but more mtb. Eventually did well on a single speed hardtail at the local race on a course I knew by heart.

What are five non-work things on my to-do list today?
1. Walk the dogs
2. Backup my old radio shows (Mischke, Common Man, Ron & Fez, Opie & Anthony)
3. Pick up Mrs. Masini from Zurich Airport
4. Watch Liquigas defend their Vuelta lead on Eurosport
5. Watch a replay of the Buccaneers' final preseason game

Snacks I enjoy?

Things I would do if I were a billionaire. 
Help groups giving relief in Africa and Asia. 
Small houses in Iowa, Connecticut and Italy. 
Maserati for myself, Jag convertible for the Mrs. 
A little to everyone in the family. 
Bank the rest for the upcoming economic crisis. 

Places I have lived:
Charlotte NC, Ruland SD, Spencer IA, Laurens IA, Ames IA, Florence Italy, Des Moines IA, Ft Dodge IA, New Milford CT, Basel Switz. - In that order!

Jobs I have had:
Gas station grunt, construction, track and tennis court grunt, sales rep, webmaster, sports marketer.

Hollywood and DanGerous - tag, you're it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Oldenzaal Museum

Nick told me that he would like to redo the museum at the Holland office so I dug out the Di Luca Giro-winning bike to add to the collection. While the door to the museum was locked, I did get a chance to snap a few of my favorites that are scattered throughout the office. So now I present: the Cipo Black Lightning, Savoldelli's Angel, the white DDL, and various jerseys... enjoy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Been Busy - Olympic Bikes

This is the kind of stuff I have to call 'work'. How cool is this bike? Each C/V member (as well as LG) got a graphic based on their national flag.

This bike is now showing up on various boards, after an 'unofficial' photo or two got out prematurely. Interesting bits that aren't yet officially known... there are fewer needle bearings in this fork and the internals have been minimized for weight. Notice the fork boot? Or should I say inner tube? Special super secret fork assembly as well. No paint means less weight to the tune of 70-100g. High modulous carbon saves additional weight - this frame is a total 220g lighter than stock. Mavic tubular wheels save tons, as will the Vredestein tubulars. Why go crazy and unreliable when major weight can be saved by true innovation and optimization? Hopefully, Roel, Jakob and Kashi can have a perfect day and grab a medal!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ernesto Colner?

I know Colnago has branched out into city bikes, but this is rediculous. Spotted in Basel, Switzerland, where one in four bikes is a Cannondale Bad Boy (true). Proving that there is no shame, check out the head tube badge... the famous Colner spade with the world championship stripes. Truly a beautiful bike with a great race heritage.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oh Yeah

Just found the photos of our encounter with the cop at Lago di Garda that I wrote about here. Thought it was worth posting! This was the moment of clarity... you can see Ivan saying "yeah, it's really me" and the cop saying "ma che cazzo!"

Little man with a badge.

And after.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Wednesday I was able to get my guests to the start and in their respective team cars for their amazing day at the Tour. After the start, I tucked in to the caravan of team busses and followed them (sometimes slowly) up and down and around the hairpins on the way to Bourg d'Oisans. Once there, I jumped in Dario's car and followed Nibali up the Alpe d'Huez. The fans were amazing. We rounded one bend to see a sea of orange-clad Dutch fans. The devil was spotted quite early up the hill as well. Apparently, there were more fans on the Galibier and Croix de Fer.

Unfortunately, Nibali ran out of steam but showed a desire to suffer in order to learn the ropes. He picked up rider after rider almost the whole way up. Dario was great as usual, yelling at the young Sicilian the only way a loud mulleted Venetian ex-pro can. He also passed water to almost every rider we went past... Ryder, Schumi, Bruseghin and the rest.

Afterward, we enjoyed dinner at a great French place, got a quick night's sleep, and headed back down the Alpe for the start of the next stage. A road block until 2:00 meant that we couldn't actually leave Bourg d'Oisan! We eventually got back to Basel at about 7:00... whew! glad that's over. Great experience, but a nice week to cross off! I've now been to the Tour and back FOUR times!

Now if I could just get back on my bike...


This guy's gonna be a great GC rider someday.

On the lower slopes of l'Alpe d'Huez.

A little higher up... then my battery kicked it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reallon Ski Station

So after three hours of sleep, I did the ten-hour drive to Réallon Ski Station where LG was staying. The hotel itself is at 2100 meters and has spectacular views to the crags above. The drive itself was (other than long and tiring) spectacular. Twisty roads at super high altitudes with no guard rails! I can see how John-Lee fell off course during the day's stage.