Hark, The Harold Angel Sings…


• Bike-biz mentor Bob Margevicius’s Christmas wrap-up arrived in today’s mail, signaling my own turn to spread some holiday cheer. It was good to see Bob’s wife Elaine at Interbike this year, and I’m glad to hear the old man is still kicking ass. Thanks for keeping me on your holiday list, old friend

• Enjoyed a super-productive 10 days of bike building and color picking in Taiwan early December for SNAFU, our house BMX brand. The big news with this project is the brand’s assault on the mountain bike scene. We brought the SNAFU Crenshaw Project to life on this trip, and the test mule looks and works great. Spring 2010 will be our urban freeride/dirt-jumping bike’s world debut, and I can’t wait


• Turkey Day with my friend Laura Stencel and her family in The OC. Great folks, great food, great fun. Followed up the stuffing with a much-needed haircut by Laura’s hand. You can’t go to Taiwan looking like a clown


• Mike D. Ellis re-joins Bill and me at New Direction HQ to take the sales helm for Biltwell Inc., our fledgling chopper P&A brand. Backed up by an aggressive online presence and some fresh new web-based marketing tools, Biltwell’s fortunes for 2010 look good, indeed

• To help her fortunes in cosmetology college, I volunteer my voluminous locks to my friend Laura on perm day. She gets an “A” and I get a “J,” as in Jewfro. My friend Courtney Halowell turns my 30th anniversary perm into an Internet sensation with a photo expose on FaceTube and MyBook


• Friend Duane Ballard, his wife Lisa and I take a whirlwind trip from SoCal to Albuquerque to hang out with other like-minded chopper freaks at the Ground Zero Throwdown. At said event, Lisa wins a raffle for the awesome new chopper frame from our friend George at Spartan Frameworks. Being a Honda man, Duane wants nothing to do with this Harley hardtail, so he gives it to me for my next build: the SpartanKiller. My most stylish chopper project to date is the fifth one in five years, and lots of Internet and analog friends have volunteered to lend a hand


• Out with the old, in with the new. After parting ways with a time-suck client, Bill and I launch www.ChopCult.com. ChopCult is Myspace without the strippers, Facebook without the creepy cousins, your favorite message board without the keyboard commandos and a newsfeed without the secret political agenda. In 60 days ChopCult hits two million page views, averages 11 minutes per user session and attracts 20,000 unique visitors per month. Putting our social media mouths where the money is was a smart move


• Chopper shenanigans hit terminal velocity in the summer, with something happening somewhere every weekend. While Bill drives the Biltwell bus in the field, I keep the home fires burning for SNAFU on several social networks and blogs. Marketing has become a very different game, and the game clock doesn’t seem to stop. We love it, but the lines between business, blogs, bro downs and personal time become blurry. R&R is needed, but it will have to wait

• A wild hair and good fortune collide in Carmel, CA, and I spend the fourth of July playing tennis and eating like a king in Pebble Beach. Friends Mike McDaniel, Chris and Bev Sanders and Holden Hume host the soiree, and it is fantastic. Wait over


• Every attempt to climb back on my bicycle in a meaningful, sustainable way falls flat on its chamois. I treat myself to a new Turner MTB, but not even that has helped me find the trail. My best bike-buddy Chris Holmes lives in SoCal now, but we’ve only ridden once. The wait—and the weight—is killing me


• Spring has sprung a leak in SoCal, so I while away the days working on my Honda CB450. New electricals accomplish nothing. Running out of talent and patience, I take my street tracker to the pros at Classic Cycle for some new carbs. In the process of tuning my Mikunis, my 600-dollar electronic ignition goes up in smoke. Tony and Andy are cool guys, and they get my finicky retro bike back on the road. Thanks, guys. Now if I could just keep the battery charged


• The global economic meltdown forces us to change our normal plans for April chopper mayhem. For the first time in three years, we skip our Mexican hell ride and drag 350 outlaw bikers to Lake Skinner Campground in Temecula instead. The Biltwell Bash is our biggest biker bro down yet, and some of the most fun we’ve ever had. To commemorate the occasion, Guns and Roses axeman Gilby Clarke gives me a Sharpie back tat. Welcome to the jungle, indeed. I swear off fratboy-style drinking forever, a personal promise that sticks


• I kick off the 2009 BMX season for SNAFU by meeting friends and customers at the Taiwan International Bicycle Show. No boozing, no losing and no snoozing on this trip. Instead, we bang out five meetings in two days, then take the bullet train to Taichung for a fun-filled week of BMX- and chopper-parts R&D. On this trip the seeds for SNAFU’s 2010 urban freeride and MTB dirt-jumping project take root


• San Francisco supercross comes late this year, so my normal January sabbatical to the Bay Area gets pushed to Valentine’s Day. No harm no foul—I haven’t had a Valentine to worry about in nearly three years. My old friend Andy Jenkins joins me on this year’s adventure, and after-action reports indicate we had a great time. I wouldn’t know—I was too lubed up and dumb. Perhaps a rethink on the drinking is in order


• Nothing to see here—just another grumpy old man turning one year older and getting one year grumpier. Happy birthday, Harold—you’re 47!


1 comment:

Brittany said...

This is a good synopsis. I only wish I could remember the details of my own year to do the same! Maybe not remembering is good. Yeah, it is.