2011 will never know what hit it.
We're essentially reinventing ourselves and our brand, and even a whole category. The ball was already rolling a year ago, but it's picked up momentum, and come Eurobike/Interbike, we're flipping the switch and will find out where this thing will go. It's going to be pretty spectacular -- but then again, I've drunk the Kool-Aid, so I may be a bit biased.
What's kind of awesome is that it's exactly what I signed up for. A year ago this week, I was driving around Chicago in the SRAM van, and "Otherside" from the Red Hot Chili Peppers came on the radio. (Q101, aka "RHCP Radio.") There I was, on Halsted, in the summer heat, windows open, breathing in all that is Chicago, and I realized I was done. Finished. It was time to move on. Kim and I had been talking about it for a while, but for some reason that moment crystallized it, and the die was cast.
Not too long ago, a FB Friend of mine posted something to the effect that songs often have a place -- he was specifically referring to listening to RHCP on the beach in Venice, California, sun shining and palm trees surrounding him. It got me thinking, and I made me more aware of that reality for me. Specifically, it got me thinking back to those last few years in Chicago, and the massive amounts of Renee's "angry music" I was listening to. I tend to get into ruts by artist, completely immersing myself for a period of time in complete discographies (or as complete as my budget will allow!), and I'll often allow a particular artist or genre to take over my emotions. That's not to say there's not diversity in the music or artists I listen to, but there's often one defining artist for a given time period -- and often that's tied to major changes in my life.
So the Chili Peppers were with me in this transition -- all the way through about Sea Otter, when I got to experience the PCH with "Road Trippin" on the mind. But in the meantime, the Foo Fighters have been making a strong push, and Virginian Dave Grohl's voice has been in my ears a lot as I moved from Chicago and we've settled into the mountains of the Southeast. These past couple of weeks have been pretty much all Foo, all the time as I get ready for SM100 and the Stage Race. In particular, I've spent a lot of time with "Home" from Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace and "Times Like These (Live)" from Skin and Bones. The music is giving me a sense of place, grounding me even as everything goes crazy around me.
And that place is beautiful.