Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Trust isn't something we all do very easily these days. We are all such control freaks its pretty much impossible for us to put our trust and by default our faith in someone. Even if we know they are an expert, master, professional, whatever pick your title. We are going to them for their expertise but we feel we somehow know more than they do. Or that we should be involved in the process. It pretty much is the American way. It is no wonder we are one step away from cracking at all times. Control I believe is what we think is the key to our happiness. If we control everything we'll stay happy, healthy and never have anything untoward happen to us. Right. But this inability to relinquish control can lead to sometimes uncomfortable situations.
I drag my feet on new bike decisions. I belabor them way beyond what is reasonable. Jeremy Sycip basically built all my bike frames for a decade. The bikes I owned before Jeremy started building them were no slouches: A bontrager, a custom Ti WTB phoenix, a stock Rock Lobster. But once Jeremy started building my bikes it just was fluid. I'd call Jeremy tell him what I wanted and then he'd deliver one of the finest riding bikes you'd ever have the pleasure to ride. I trusted him emphatically. He also spoiled me. I didn't realize it at the time but he'd let me dictate the design a bit on the bikes. I didn't even know or think this was a bad idea. If I pushed things in the wrong direction he'd gently nudge me back to what made sense. It was very much a relationship. He is one of my good friends. And we conducted business that way.

Over the years he built me no less than 5 bikes. My current S3/columbus life rocket ship of a road bike, my cross bike and an older 853 mtb. This cross season I knew I wanted to try something different. I took a trip out to PDX a year ago for the Crank Bros finals at PIR. The trip was an epiphany. And I of course fell in love with a Speedvagen. Who wouldn't or hasn't. But the practical side of me just could not spend that type of money on a cross machine. A year later I was still going over in my mind what bike to try next. I rode my trusty Sycip the whole cross season. Until it hit me. Rock Lobster. My first cross bike was a stock School Bus Yellow Rock Lobster. It was too big for me and was one of a fleet of team bikes that flooded the courses of Santa Cruz and NorCal but it Rocked. It was awesome! 

I thought why not go with what got you started. I love the fact that Paul Sadoff races himself. Quite competitively I might add. Paul fields a serious cross team and is a master. He is also a very cool cat. Real NorCal gem. Musician, living in Santa Cruz wow. I called him. He remembered me (we'd actually crossed paths at that Crank Bros finals in PDX) and we hit it off. I sent a deposit and my numbers and got stoked. 

That's where it got interesting. When he sent me his final numbers on the bike I casually responded to his email. I made what I thought were some ok suggestions on what might make it better...oopsies. His reaction was totally justified. I had no place suggesting design ideas on a bike I was ordering from him. He basically said trust me or you should find another builder. I learned a very valuable lesson in Trust. 

It is important to Trust those who we are looking to for their expertise. He wasn't rude about it just made a strong statement that helped me understand what it means to be a master. And that is what he is. And I respect him for it. I trusted him and that bike has changed everything for me. I basically said build me what you would ride. Nice to be able to do that with a builder. It has some real interesting race-proven elements to it. It is my first 7000 series aluminum bike and it is a weapon of cross destruction. The real thing is he has thought out every single thing he's put into the Team bikes so they are perfect for cross racing. And what I love about it more than anything is that he was right and I learnt a valuable lesson in trust. Man can that man build a cross bike!

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