America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Monday, January 26, 2009

M1 Racing is growing

Our budget for fuel is the same in 2009 as it was in 2008. This means that with gas prices under $2 (instead of over $3) we can afford to support some more racers. Reach out to me if you are interested using There are some requirements for those of you who want to be considered for the "A" team. If you are as fanatical about training and racing as I am, it's obviously a big plus.
M1 Racing are also in the process of developing a package of benefits for prospective members of our new "B" team. This program is going to be an attractive way for new racers to be in an environment which nurtures, develops and teaches the things which can't be found in any book about bike racing. It's also a smart way to shoe-horn yourself into a pretty darn good New England team, one that is attached to one of the finest racing clubs in the country, the Genesee Valley Cycling Club.
You can learn more about Millwork One Racing as well as the new "B" Team by writing me an e-mail or by attending the Providence Bicycle Introduction to Bicycle Racing Night on February 19th. I will be there along with Mark McCormack and Matt Bodzione of NBX Bikes to help people find their way into New England's strong local racing scene. This event requires you to RSVP to either or to me at reiscotools@yahoo.comSee you there!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Specialized has landed

Millwork One Racing supports a masters bike racer overseas- Murat Akyazi- a fellow I rode with last May and who won me over as a dedicated, competitive and talented force on the road. We support Murat by supplying him with all of his racing apparel, tires, and tubes. Most recently we sent him a "new-to-you" race bike. This was a sensitive project to undertake. Shipping a bike to Turkey is not a laughing matter- in fact it should be avoided due to the unpredictable way in which Customs Taxes are assessed and collected. Bottom line- mailing a race bike is costly enough (about $250 via UPS) and paying the taxes on it when it arrives make it even more cost prohibitive.
First things first- we needed to find a bike for Murat. Lucky for us, a fellow racer in New Hampshire had something available which he sold to us for a fair price- a properly maintained Specialized Tarmac full carbon bike that had normal wear and tear. Matt S graciously accepted my first offer for the bike and I paid him for it on Paypal and a couple of weeks later we met at a mutually convenient location up in Greater Boston for delivery. That was the easy part! By this time, Murat had already seen digital pictures of the bike and he wired me the exact amount of money that I paid for it.

Next we needed to find a person with plans for traveling to Turkey in the near future, who would be willing to take the bike and check it as their own baggage. A message to a couple of Yahoo groups netted us such a participant, but not without offering a small fee of $50 for the favor. Worth every penny- we were also ready to pay any surcharge which the airline might impose at check-in. Our courier was all set up after only one e-mail and one phone call. I offered to drive him to Logan airport on that day to make sure everything went smoothly. This was all set.
The next challenge was packing the bike! Providence Bike pitched in and supplied us with a nice heavy duty carton to package the bike, which is greatly appreciated. It took a couple of tries, but after about 2 hours of trial and error, we managed to squeeze the bike into the box, properly protected every way that we knew how.. We took photos in case of any loss or damage claims..
The following morning, I picked up our courier and we headed up to Logan to catch his flight. Good friend that he is, he refused the $50 that we advertised, but when I insisted, he promised to accept it from Murat in Istanbul, who would be meeting him at the arrivals gate to get his bike. He just wanted to be sure it wasn't coming out of my pocket. Luckily, our friend traveled light, and so the airline refrained from charging us any extra money for the bike box. This was a relief to me, but it was especially a relief to Murat in Turkey, who was ready to pay it if necessary.
Now the bad news.. our courier was back-tracking to Chicago to catch his flight to Istanbul, meaning that the bike box would need to be rushed from one plane and into another, probably in a limited time span. Needless to say, the savings of checking the bike box came with certain bad luck, and the bike never made it onto the Turkish Airlines flight. It was lost for about 5 days before I managed to dial the correct number in Chicago and speak with the correct person, who found the bike within 12 hours and promptly notified me. Our team mate Murat, who took a day trip by high speed ferry to Istanbul to get his bike, met with our courier (who missed his connection to Ankara) and ended up paying him the $50 even though the bike was lost. A deal's a deal.. Murat took a long trip home after that, empty handed.
In the end though, Turkish Airlines made everything right- they put the bike on the next flight to Istanbul and they shipped it direct to Murat's house in Bursa using a delivery service. No added cost, no customs fee, no damage to the bike, and a huge relief to everyone who added to the effort. This was primarily an investment of time for Millwork One Racing- one which made it possible for a masters racer in Turkey to afford a high quality bike that is otherwise very cost prohibitive and out of reach for most people over there.