Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Long Awaited...

I know, I know...It's been a while-

Here are my excuses:

1. I had to take a REALLY long detour...

I'm not lying...If you go back to my last post, you'll notice that I was stuck in Golden due to avalanche hazards on Hwy 1 - I was on my way to demo in Kelowna - the time was 7pm...After getting a radio update that said the roads wouldn't open until 1am, I decided to head South to find another way across the Rockies (but the Salmo-Creston Pass was also closed), Upon missing the last ferry across Kootenay Lake, I decided to go the long way around via the US of A, and take my chances by crossing the border without my passport. A bit of sweet talkin' and no problemo! With truck load full of demo skis (about 50 pairs) and boots (about 60 pairs), the friendly US customs agent let me drive through with relatively few questions...As for my re-entry into Canada, even better! The customs agent asked me the usual: "Nationality?...Canada. How long have you been in the the US?...about 3 and 1/2 hours, I'm trying to get to Kelowna, yada, yada, yada... What have you got in the back?...Lots of skis, boots for my xc demo in Kelowna..." After a few more questions, he said: "Alright...I've heard enough, go ahead". And he didn't even ask for ID!

2. I decided to enter my first ski race of the year to stretch my legs...

After my epic 15hr detour, I arrived in Kelowna just in time. The Telemark Ski Club and Fresh Air Experience hosted another great weekend of events with the Super Demo on Saturday and the Kelowna Apple Loppet on Sunday - a 30km 'pursuit' style event where participants ski the first half of the event in the classic style, come into a transition pit and switch into their skate gear for the remaining 15km event. Despite being tired from a couple of big days, I jumped in the race for fun with no real expectations - Luckily, good skis allowed me to escaped with an ex-Olympian biathlete from Oz and we built up a sizable gap on the rest of the field. In the end, I lost the sprint at the line, settling for 2nd place - I'm sure that my scotch tasting session the night before didn't help, but I wouldn't have traded that for a win regardless! (thanks Jim)

3. Salomon Sales Meetings swallowed up another week

Following the race, I jumped back in the rig and continued West to Whistler for the week-long Salomon Sales meetings. Since I'm the 'nordic guy'...I presented my nordic marketing pitch to the sales crew and talked shop all week- Despite the long days in the boardroom, it was actually a great week to get caught up with the crew and finalize the game-plan for the remaining winter months. In the latter part of the week, we launched our new 2009-10 nordic product line to our best retailers and got a chance to ski on the brand spankin' new gear! The event was also coordinated with the FIS World Cup in Whistler (Callaghan Valley), site of the 2010 Olympic Games, where I helped support Salomon Racing Service team in testing some of the new racers skis and prototype products coming down the pipe...An very busy, but exciting week!

4. I renovated my rental property in Calgary

Immediately following the end of the World Cup, I made the long 10hr drive home to join my dad who had started working on my new rental place in Calgary the week before...You know what they say...Double the amount of time/money you think it will take to finish your reno project - and their right! I knew that I was in for a big month of renos, but for some reason, the progress seemed to ooze forward. I wanted to get the place ready for Feb 1st, but I soon realized that projects of this size can't be rushed - so March 1st it is...Anyone looking for a place to rent?

No more baby blue - 3 bedrooms up + 3 bedrooms down makes for a lot of painting - thanks Dad!

5. I had to fly to Ottawa for another Demo Day

I left the paint to dry in Calgary and headed to Ottawa (where I'm writing from now...) for a 2-day demo, part of the Eastern Canadian Champs in the Gatineau Park. I was hoping for some nice weather but instead was greeted by a cold humid wind that struck deep in my bones...argggghhh. The second day was better as the sun came out and warmed up the track, bringing a smile back to my face. With warmer weather came more people to take a peak at our fancy new gear - In return, I gave out tons and tons of swag and kept the kids coming back for more!

Salomon's Expo...

The competition's booth - Oops!

I'm out East for another 2 weekend events and looking forward to plenty of on-snow time during the weekdays - giddy up! I've got some other fun stuff to talk about but I'll leave that rant for another night...

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