Tradesman Status

Well, I didn’t make it to the final round in the Foundry Tradesmen contest. If I had, this post would be instructing you to go and vote for my entry. I found out that I had not made it to the final round a few days ago when Foundry Cycles posted the list of finalists to their Facebook page.

When I decided to enter this contest, I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew I would probably be facing some strong competition and I really didn’t have any expectation that I would win; especially when there was a whole nation of cyclists competing for one of five spots. That said, when I found out that I had not made it to the final round I was disappointed, more so than I anticipated.

I think the disappointment stems mainly from the fact that I ended up putting in a lot of time and effort into creating and producing my video entry. I was pretty satisfied with the end result and a received a lot of positive feedback from my test audience. Sure there are  things I would change in the video if I was going to start over today but, I’m sure anyone who’s ever produced a video has said the same thing at one time or another.

The time I spent creating my video was not wasted, on the contrary, it was a great benefit to my ongoing education. I taught myself a number of new techniques in the Adobe video editing suite. I learned a lot more about Adobe Premiere, a little about Adobe After Effects, and I even learned how to use some additional tools in Adobe Photoshop, an application I have using for 20 years. All invaluable knowledge and more skills I can add to my résumé.

Today, Foundry Cycles published the list of finalists on their website. I looked through the stories for each of the entrants and they all seem to have a ton of experience in cycling. People with 20+ years in the saddle, individuals who have a history working in the bicycle industry, athletes who compete in century races or 24 hour events, and folks that already have a full stable of bikes in their garages or basements. I don’t know if that’s what Foundry was looking for when they selected their finalists, experience certainly wasn’t listed as a prerequisite to enter the contest. I can however see how choosing people with a lot of experience would make things easier for Foundry over the course of the program. Putting their bikes in the hands of individuals that already have solid base and lots of connections in the world of cycling seems like a sound business decision.

Even though you can’t vote for me to be a Foundry Tradesman, I still encourage you to head over to Foundry website and vote for a finalist in each of the five regions. You need a Facebook account to vote but, who doesn’t have Facebook account these days. I’m not going to campaign for any of the finalists but, I will encourage you seriously consider the three female finalists when you vote. Since, it was Arleigh, a.k.a. Bike Shop Girl’s blog that led me to the Foundry contest in the first place, I think I should at least try to persuade you to cast your votes for some Foundry Tradeswomen.

Getting back to my story, I spent the past few days thinking about what I should do now. I went through a series of reactions, from giving up on the idea of cycling again and closing up shop on this blog to dropping some cash on a different lust worthy bike and throwing myself into anything and everything cycling related for the next 12 months, totally kicking ass and “showing” Foundry what could have been.

Now I think my pity party is over and I’m ready to get back on track. I’ve decided to just go back to where I was about two months ago before I started working on my video. I’m going to continue my search for a bike. When I find one that I like that’s in my budget, I’ll get it and start riding. Exactly what I planned to do B.F. (before foundry). 😀

The only thing that’s changed is that I now have this blog. I’ve decided to keep blogging about my experiences with cycling. Instead of writing about all the things I’m doing as a Foundry Tradesman, I just be writing about all the things I’m doing as a regular guy getting back into riding after 20 years. I’m sure there are plenty of other people like me out there that are in the same place I am right now and would enjoy reading my stories and hopefully avoid the mistakes I’m sure to make along the way.

Finally, since it feels like the first chapter in my story has already come to an end, I decided that this blog needed a fresh new look. I’m sticking with the Twenty Eleven theme because it’s just so fully featured. The thing I like most about this theme is the responsive layout that magically changes based on the size of your browser window. This feature allows everything to flow properly whether you’re visiting on your computer, a tablet or a smart phone. To freshen the look, I switched to the light color style with black text on a white background. The dark theme looked cool and it was Foundry-esque but, it was harder to read. I also styled the background with a simple seamless pattern and changed the header image. It won’t be the last time I change the style of this blog but, it works for now. Just for record, here’s a few screen shots of the prior design.

So Chapter 2 begins here, I hope you’ll stick around and continue the ride with me.

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