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