Keywords: interview gerard vroomen,q&a,rapha

Upcoming visits: Chicago, SeaOtter & Santa Monica

Gerard Vroomen - 08-Apr-2019
Well, it's that week again, a trip to SeaOtter. It used to be that the tradeshows were the anchors of the season, but somehow they have now been replaced by events such as SeaOtter. Makes sense for us, as we're much more about the consumer-facing part of the cycling industry than the business-to-business work, but it seems that it applies to a lot of companies nowadays. 

We've had some great bike launches at SeaOtter over the years, including the best of them all, for the original U.P. (see above, and a special mention for the home-made carbon bike rack). We don't have any launch at SeaOtter this year, in fact we don't even have a booth, but for me it's still a good place to go and see people. So if you were planning to visit our booth for a chat, just send me a message instead and we'll find a place to meet up.

On the more formal meet & greet end of the spectrum, I will be doing two talks this week in the USA and I am dreading them already. Don't get me wrong, when I do the talks I love them, but the days leading up to them I am a mess. You see, I don't want to do scripted talks. I always set myself the challenge of just going in and starting. The feedback from people is always positive, and that's what matters (it's for their enjoyment, not mine), but it means that the days leading up to the event I always worry that I won't find enough stuff to talk about. That's never happened, but the fear remains.

To give you an example, one of the first talks I did this way was at Rapha New York, and as I got closer I got more and more nervous. I cheated by preparing one line ("Hi, I'm Gerard Vroomen") but that hardly gave me the confidence I could fill the hour that would follow. So I had nothing, went into the store, still nothing, chatted with a few people, still nothing, was sent onto the podium, still nothing, then the introduction started and they said "Those who were here last month for Bernard Hinault know that we like to have interesting speakers each month ...", still nothing.

Actually, I did have a thought: "Well, this month the speaker may not be interesting!" But then it hit me, I once was in a race with Hinault and that was funny. So that was the start and the whole story flowed from there for a good hour. In fact, so much so that a few months later in Washington, DC, I held a completely different talk and the first question for the Q&A was "Hey, tell us about Bernard Hinault!"

(c) Neil Bridge

Anyway, this week I'm sure it will be fun again at:

  • Rapha Chicago (1514 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622)this Wednesday, April 10 at 7pm. And because it's the hometown of SRAM, I know I have at least one fun anecdote related to them. You can RSVP here.
  • Rapha Los Angeles (1347 Fourth St, Monica, CA 90401) this Sunday April 14 at 6:30am (yes am). I'll be there during the live screening of Paris-Roubaix, so anecdotes galore I would think/hope. Please RSVP here.
  • 10-Speed Coffee (1919 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica 90404) this Sunday April 14 at 2pm.  
BTW, when I tell people how I do these talks, sometimes people ask me why I don't simply remember the talk, write down the ten topics I covered and then rif it from there. But the craziest thing is, afterwards I  remember almost nothing, it's like an out of body experience and I have no idea what I filled the time with. During the talk I may think "Hey I hadn't thought about that story for a long time, I should use this again" but afterwards I may remember 1-2 small bits if I'm lucky but that's it.

Comments & Questions

Hopefully you will make your way to Boston. I have the Open Upper, recently refreshed to the Sram AXS 2x12 from DI2. I've owned it for over a year and it is still my most favorite bike among many n+1s. From blowing through the woods to riding the road and gravel it is a great bike. Thank you!
Post #1 of 8. Posted by FM on 08-Apr-2019 09:32:38 GMT in reply to blog [0<--18341]
How is the axs working out on gravel? What two chainrings did you select up front?
Post #3 of 8. Posted by Dennis Tukua on 08-Apr-2019 15:44:12 GMT in reply to post #1 [18341<--18343]
I'm running 33-46 power meter and 10-33 on G23s. I did Land Run 100 two weekends ago and from my prospective the shifting is like butter compared to DI2. Much easier shifting under power. I actually truly love the AXS so far, after about 300 miles on it. I am running out of room on 29s between the rim and the down tube above 40mm tires, but there is no interference with the FD battery, though I admit that there wasn't any mud at Land Run this year. I'm running Barry-Roubaix 100 this weekend so we will see how it goes. To get a bigger tire in there, I would have to run 27s I think, which should be clear of the battery.
Post #4 of 8. Posted by FM on 08-Apr-2019 17:27:21 GMT in reply to post #3 [18343<--18344]
Look forward to meeting you at Sea Otter!
Post #2 of 8. Posted by Dave on 08-Apr-2019 10:55:10 GMT in reply to blog [0<--18342]
I'll be at Sea Otter on Saturday. Hope to get a chance to talk with you.
Post #5 of 8. Posted by Eddie on 08-Apr-2019 19:35:03 GMT in reply to blog [0<--18345]
Gerard,looking forward to chat with you in Santa Monica,ill be using my classic up for the velodrome ride hoping they allow me to spin it there.Lol.
Post #6 of 8. Posted by Ed Gabon on 08-Apr-2019 21:39:21 GMT in reply to blog [0<--18346]
Hi Gerard, we will have my Open UP on display at Sea Otter at our booth #S23 for Enduro Bearings. Actually, we will have another Grey one there too. Please come by and visit!
Post #7 of 8. Posted by Matt Harvey on 10-Apr-2019 13:52:52 GMT in reply to blog [0<--18350]
How about somewhere...any where in Michigan with all our trails and paths. Love my Original Open Bike in ORANGE and ALWAYS RECEIVE COMPLIMENTS galore. Haven't ridden my Paris in a year and a half since my Open arrived...just too much fun.
Post #8 of 8. Posted by Steve Dakhlian on 17-Apr-2019 23:53:11 GMT in reply to blog [0<--18356]