Ok, so, I realize that our “rebirth” hasn’t exactly been supersonic. All of us were very excited to relaunch this thing and then life, work, holidays, illness, etc stepped into the way. For me personally, this all coincided with starting a new job and developing one of the most significantly paralyzing bouts of Writer’s Block® I’ve ever endured. (I’ve been able to pride myself in working through blocks like this before- even creating entire catalogs while fighting this ailment… but not this time.)
That said, it still sucks that the excitement kinda came and went…
However, that will hopefully change very soon. I am proud to announce the first post from a new contributor has recently landed in my inbox and will be landing in this space within a day or two. I’m supremely proud to be able to introduce this contributor to this audience and the first post is a good one… so you’ll wanna come back and read it.
Stay tuned… I promise, it’ll be worth it.
Thank YOU all for your support and patience. Here’s to an incredible 2013.
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser
Here we are again, after a number of failed attempts to relaunch this blog… we’re finally crossing the threshold from “gonna” to “doing”. And to be perfectly honest, I’m happier than you can imagine!
This blog’s first post was on November 20, 2005– a short and simple introduction to the blog and its original intended goals/ purpose. Even though the past few years have seen barely any activity here (aside from claims that I was going to get it rolling again), the blog has somehow continued to get visitors and I’ve continued to be asked why I haven’t really restarted it. Honestly, that’s very flattering to me. To me, it shows there is still a “need” for a blog like this one- dedicated to the bike industry or other industries that choose to use cycling as a way to market themselves and their products/ services. Over the years, the content has varied from Marketing and PR, to news and current events within the cycling world- whether in the industry or the larger cycling community… and that doesn’t bother me. Not at all. I originally provided all the content myself, but then I realized that I didn’t have the time to maintain it by myself anymore, yet there were plenty of topics to discuss, and I’m blessed to know a lot people who are much smarter than me. That holds true today, as well.
Over the coming days and weeks, I will introduce new and old contributors as they share their first posts. I’ll provide a little background on each contributor, along with why I am so delighted they are a part of the Krew. Sincerely, the contributor list here is going to read like an All-Star roster. And it is. I am so pleased to be working with these fine folks- many you have likely heard of, and others who you will want to get to know better… trust me. My goal, as Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser, is to make sure that we uphold my original criteria of providing relevant content that is insightful, useful, and critical when needed. A sense of humor goes a long way too… trust me, again. We’re not here to simply shoot spitballs from the back of the class- this blog’s purpose is to educate, enlighten, share, and hopefully encourage real, open, and honest dialog. If we stray from those simple principles, I hope that you will let us know- because they are very important to me.
With the size and variety of the contributor list, it might get a little noisy around here- which is a good thing. It should also mean that content remains fresh and covers tons of topics. We have folks from nearly every corner of the cycling world; sales reps, manufacturers, marketers, advocacy experts, retail, media, and from multiple continents… and more will follow. The content is guaranteed to be unique and thoughtful. Again, that makes me extremely happy.
(Sharing a meal- hot pot- Taiwan style.)
So, nearly 7yrs after this blog was created, it has now become something much bigger and much more special than I ever imagined it would. I thank you for remaining or becoming interested in this silly project, and I am very much indebted to the incredible group of people who will be working with me to provide content here. We may not post every day, but you can bet there will be some incredible content coming your way, so stay tuned and check in often.
Once again, thank you for putting up with my repeated proclamations of our return from the dead. This time, I’m pretty confident in the likelihood it’s going to stick. I look forward to sharing each new contributor with you, and like you, I can’t wait to see what they have to say.
In closing, I’d like to say- “WE’RE BACK!”
This is gonna be really good.
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser
(Me with my first bike- the beginning of the end… and the beginning of a lifelong love.)
Alright, it’s really gonna happen. We’re going to be back bigger, better, and stronger than ever with new and old contributors, and a renewed commitment to providing compelling commentary, insight, analysis… and hopefully a few laughs along the way.
Please allow us (by “us” I mean “me”) a little time to migrate everything over from Blogger to WordPress, refresh links, dump the old spam comments, and generally clean up.
As the host of this party, my real job is to make sure the guests have a good time, and make sure there are enough snacks for everybody. I’ll be contributing as well, but I’m excited that the Kool-Aid Krew is going to be collectively providing great content here… which is terribly exciting for me. I can’t wait to introduce/ reintroduce all the contributors. The best part is making them write bios in third person; Tim likes that a lot, yes he does!
I’ll be back and forth here a lot as I work on things… even with a little content along the way…
Please stay tuned because things are going to get very interesting and entertaining. Promise.
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser
Cinelli is one of the iconic brands in cycling, around since the late 40’s in one capacity or another. Cinelli is responsible for lasting designs and innovations that will be part of cycling’s history and heritage into the next millennia and beyond. The incredible history of the brand is something any company would like to have.
It is not to say that Cinelli has not had its problems and defeats, as well as all those victories. There have been many setbacks along the way, but Cinelli has managed to always smartly find a way to climb back from the abyss and reestablish itself as a brand to be reckoned with.
Cinelli had fallen on some pretty rough times in the 90’s, but then they introduced a very innovative handlebar extension called Spinaci. These clever extensions became exceptionally popular with racers around the globe and at the highest levels of the sport. Sadly, the international governing body of cycling- the UCI- decided they were unsafe and banned them from competition in mass start events. This meant the death of Spinaci and the countless copycat products they’d spawned. This also threw Cinelli back into some rough waters.
The brand never went away and was never all that close to vanishing, but the image had been dented again and the name was fading from the hierarchy of brands at the top of the sport- despite the best efforts of the products and the engineers and designers at Cinelli.
Ultimately, what saved the brand and has kept it alive to this day, is the brand’s great eye for Italian design. Cinelli has always had a strong reputation for iconic modern Italian design. From the famous winged “C” logo, to the hallmark use of color and an eye for spotting trends. This all lead to Cinelli constantly maintaining a cult following of rabid fans willing to look past mistakes or missteps, eagerly awaiting the next design- whether with glee or morbid curiosity.
It’s the eye for design and ability to remain “current” with fashionable trends that gave the fans something to love. And those fans have spanned multiple generations. The young fans of today are largely in love with the deigns of the past- and Cinelli has been smart enough to give them what they want. Cinelli has remained relevant by listening to their fans and allowing them to dictate where the brand is going… or returning to.
The strength of Cinelli today lies in the fact that the brand has been co-opted by the fixed gear/ urban cycling culture. Most of the fans of Cinelli now only know of the brand’s vintage appeal from the aesthetic, as opposed to the long history of race wins and product innovation. They’re drawn more to the cool factor than anything else… and Cinelli has no problem with that at all. Which is a stroke of pure genius.
In this incredibly cutthroat market for bikes and parts, Cinelli has been able to rise above the fray and retain it’s sense of style and elegance. The Cinelli of today looks a lot like the Cinelli of decades prior because that is what the consumers of today have been begging for. From aligning themselves with arguably the strongest name in the fixed gear subculture- MASH SF– to reissuing the products that originally built the Cinelli name, they have placed themselves in the center of a very visible and vocal segment of the cycling world.
Cinelli stands out as a brand that understands who they are, who they aren’t and who their true customers are and what they want. Unlike many brands who tell their customers what they want- or should want- Cinelli listens and gives their customers what they have asked for. It sounds stupidly easy to do, yet too few companies even bother to try; the idea of letting go of control is too frightening. It isn’t to say that Cinelli simply spits out product by request- they still design avant-garde products that push the edge of being a freak show highlight. It’s this blend of innovation and retro reproduction that keeps Cinelli alive today…
… and is likely to keep them alive tomorrow too.
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser