Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thank you to Andy Goldfine

I was slightly premature when I said I was finally going to have a little more time.  Once more I dove headfirst into rewriting a training program for our instructors.  These things tend to be a little consuming!  The Director simply looks at me with an evil grin on his face.  I ask him why he lets me bite off so much at once without giving me any sort of warning what I'm getting in to.  All he says in reply is "You know you like it."

Last weekend was the proof in the pudding for this project and I'm pleased to say it's both successful and behind me!

Before we delve into riding with seriousness of purpose but with a light touch I wanted to use this post to publicly thank Andy Goldfine, the mastermind behind Aerostich.   His riding gear is still the best I've ever used.  Andy has proven once more that their customer service is second to none, as well.

Somewhere around a year and a half ago I replaced my Roadcrafter.  The old one was getting pretty worn.  Sometime during the twelve years I was using it I sent the suit in for a spiffing up.  It was getting time to think about it again.  Instead, I opted for purchasing new riding gear.  There had been several updates over the years and it seemed a good time to make a purchase.

It was nice to have a new 'Stich.  Once the break-in process was over, of course!  There was a lingering problem with the inner liner of the pants, though.  Always at the worse moments the liner material would get caught in the zipper.  The frequency with which it happened increased.  I sent the pants back to Aerostich for repairs.  Turns out I was a month past the warranty period.  A pleasant fellow from the factory called me to say they would honor the warranty, anyway.  Great!

Only problem is that the situation remained the same when the pants came back.  The issue was at the left knee.  It got to the point where 9 times out of 10, no matter what I did, the liner would jam up the zipper.  I had reached the point where I wasn't going to wear them anymore. Katie told me in no uncertain terms that, as entertaining as it was watching me hop around on one leg, she was tired of hearing me turn the air blue.  I dug out the old ones again and Katie removed her ear plugs.

In the meantime I sent a note to Andy and explained the problem.  I know it was somewhat presumptious on my part to think he would take time to worry about my issue with the zipper.  Come to think of it, a lot of my life issues seem to have a zipper involved in them somewhere.  Oh well, those are stories for another venue.

A reply to my note showed up in my inbox.  Andy had taken time to personally respond.  We exchanged a couple of messages about the problem with the Roadcrafter pants.  As a result Andy sent an email to me and copied some of his folks instructing me to send the pants to his attention.  Andy told his crew to put the package on his desk when it showed up.  So I sent the pants in as directed.  There was silence for a week or two then I got a message telling me the pants were on their way back to me.

The zipper problem has been fully resolved.  There was a "no-charge" invoice with no explanation.  When I later asked Andy he replied that he saw right away that the pants had been assembled incorrectly.  Andy directed the crew to take them apart and replace the liner completely.  Like I say, things are great, now.

So I hearby offer a public thank you to Andy for taking care of me.  It is so impressive that the guy at the top of the food chain still cares enough about his customers to personally ensure that issues get resolved.  Things just happen in the manufacturing process.  This was a simply one of those things.  The real measure of a company is what they do about the glitches.  Andy Goldfine is at the top of the excellence list for taking care of customers.

Thank you so much, Sir!!

Miles and smiles,


Monday, February 11, 2013

But what if?

I was out in the middle of the night on my way to conduct an instructor update session.  Several cups of coffee and cold air made the rest area a needed stop.  I saw this sign.

That's all well and good, but I couldn't help thinking:  "But what if I had to go number 4?"

Miles and smiles,


Friday, February 01, 2013

Riding Well

How do you know when you're riding well?

I'm often on my steel horse.

We'd all like to be graceful and smooth. Some days it happens. Some days.....not so much.

 I have my "Turkey" days.

I've had days that were better, but not by much.

Once in a while, though, it all comes together and we are graceful, nimble, and beautiful.

Just like this beautiful crop duster that zooms across the fields around our offices. That plane and pilot seem so connected. The plane flies in sweeping, smooth movements.  There are no linear, jerky motions to be seen.  It's truly "poetry in motion". So back to the question. How do you know if you're riding well? More importantly, how do you influence things to move from the cream puff turkey to the graceful crop duster? I am setting myself up as a self-proclaimed Zen Master of Riding. I may be a Legend in my Own Mind, but that doesn't mean there isn't value in what I say. Here is the secret to being graceful and confident when riding.

Ride with Seriousness of Purpose but Lightness of Hand

I intend to spend a little time exploring this topic here.  For now, though, just take this away to ponder upon.  If you find yourself feeling like you're working hard while riding your technique is off.  We're doing something that's keeping our fleet and nimble steed from doing what it was born to do.

Miles and smiles,