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Dealer Meeting 2012

Posted in General on February 20, 2012 by kjkalfas

It’s been a long time since I have written a blog post, however, this past weekend at the dealer meeting in Indy has inspired me and has really pumped up CJ Designs.  So, here’s the scoop..

CJ was fortunate enough to have his bike as a demo bike in the show.  David and Harold at Giant Loop were in need of a bike to show off the newest and greatest from Giant Loop, and CJ had a bike that was feeling a little lonely.  So, together, we pretty much made the most happening booth of the show!

Harold, CJ, Dave at the Giant Loop Booth


CJ Designs (Katie, CJ, Matthew) at the Giant Loop Booth


CJ at the Giant Loop Booth. Note the lady checking him out. What a hunk!


CJ chatting with some passerbys

 For next year, my suggestion to Harold and Dave was to get a male spokesmodel for the booth.  Perhaps Giant Loop can come up with a promotional Speedo for this model to wear.  Just a thought.  Anyways, we started out perusing the apparel/luggage section of the show, only to find that there are some wacky folks there, only made wackier with copious amounts of coffee, lack of sleep, and talking for 8 hours straight.

CJ, Eric (Wolfman), Matthew

It was great to catch up with Eric from Wolfman Luggage.  Wolfman showcased some new and exciting stuff, and I must say, Eric has fabulous taste in shoes.  However, while Eric had stepped away fom his booth, the staff of Wolfman were getting a little restless…

Interpretive Dancing in Wolfman


The Natives are Restless!

That said, David was also trying out a new marketing technique by flashing gang signs to the passer-bys. 


Dave and his new gangster marketing tehnique.

Ned Suesse, who just recently competed and completed Dakar, stopped by to chat.

CJ, Ned, and some dude who remained stationary for the entirety of the show in full riding gear with Ned's Dakar Bike in the Klim booth.


Ned, CJ, Matthew at the Giant Loop Booth

We walked through, checking out some of the booths from our other friends, including Klim, WARN, Christini, Kriega, Heidenau, Held.  I fell in love with a new design Held Jacket.  We even met some new friends, so check out the website for some new little and BIG goodies that we have in store!!!  I got a little lazy with the camera, so I only got a couple of shots:

Christini AWD Booth


Rolf, CJ, John, Matthew


Jason and CJ at WARN Booth


Matthew hard at work. He's taking a photo of a scantily clad spokesmodel. Matthew, you pig!

Friday night, CJ Designs dined with the folks at Moto-amore and Heidenau Tires at the Rathskeller for some fine German food in Indy.  Rolf from Heidenau and I wowed the group with a stellar rendition of “Ein Prosit,” and we had a great time!  We also distinguished the difference between kohl and kraut, besides talking about work.  I am excited that I found a new friend in Rolf, and someone I could practice my extremely rusty German with.  I will certainly study a bit and we’ll see you in Germany in 2013 (CJ Designs’ European tour)!!

Dinner at the Rathskeller with Heidenau


Rolf and Katie after singing another German song.

On Saturday, we had another long day at the show, capped off with an evening with our friends at Giant Loop and WARN. 

Dinner with CJ Designs, WARN, Giant Loop. What a lucky gal I am to dine with 6 devastatingly handsome guys.

All in all, we had a good time at the show, and we were able to learn a lot about new and exciting products.  So, stay posted for some dramatic and exciting changes at CJ Designs.  I am bugging CJ to post to the blog some of the technical information about the new products available.
Until then, make sure to eat plenty of Pączkis tomorrow for fat Tuesday! If you know what a Pączki is, then you are even cooler…

Some more pics

Posted in Alaska Trip 2011 on June 11, 2011 by kjkalfas

We have finally made it back into an area with wifi.  Here are some recent pics:

I do believe that the turned up side of Matthews bike would make a great picnic table. Thanks Matthew- I'll make the sandwich!


Do you see anything unusual in this pic?


We met a miniature bike enthusiast who wanted to take the KTM for a ride.


A little Rolly Free action on the KTM.


CJ is getting to be quite the celebrity. The question of the day: "Is that a WWII motorcycle?" Answer: "No- it was built in 2006."


Both hands on the handlebars, mister.


We determined that this tiny waitress weighs about as much as a full tank of fuel.


We’ll get some more pics on the blog.  Right now, we’re in Fairbanks.  The guys will be servicing the bikes tomorrow; I will be returning back home.  Unless I accidentally miss my flight…

Hello technology; updates thusfa

Posted in Alaska Trip 2011 on June 4, 2011 by kjkalfas

Well, it’s about time for some text updates from the road.  We’ve been here on Kodiak Island since June 1st, and fairly away from much outside communication. Today, we wait for the ferry home tonight, so we caught a place to work on the internet at the Kodiak island public library.  The library is not letting me download photos, so here is a brief text update so far (only have limited time!); pardon my timeline, it might be off a bit:

I.    I met with the guys on May 31st, Memorial Day.  At about 3 pm, the fellas rolled into the hostel to pick me up.  They had been hitting the pavement hard, and had been through some rain, so they were feeling and smelling a bit rank, or feral as Ardie puts it.  They were able to shower at the hostel and get things situated.  We also threw in several loads of laundry in, and gave our local contact, Mike, a call.  I need to remember how we got in contact with him- Mike is CJ’s friend’s sister-in-law’s brother???  I think that’s the connection.  Either way, it’s nice to know someone in an unfamiliar place.  After getting some of the clothing washed and me situated on the bike, we head over to Mike’s place, who graciously let us sleep at his place and use his dryer.  Mike and Tammy, as well as their 2 dogs, were great people to meet in Anchorage.  We went over to the Moose’s Tooth pub and pizzeria for a great selection of beers, some tasty pizza, and good conversation.  After a good night’s sleep, we get the bikes situated and head on down the Kenai Peninsula to catch the ferry.

II.  June 1st.  We head down the Kenai Peninsula towards Homer, where the ferry terminal is.  We leave Anchorage, and it was a bit cooler today; overcast.  Hit the truck wash place to hose off the bikes and clean them up a bit.  As we head south, the air continues to get cooler, and layers continue to be added.  We’re getting some good use out of the heated grips and gear.  It was nice riding; great views of the ocean and the Chugach Mountains.  Then comes a bit of rain, nothing too drastic.  As we pull into Homer, it’s about 1-2:00; we have plenty of time to kill before needing to be at the ferry terminal at 5:30.  So, we bum around the Homer spit, look at some of the shops.  The one thing I remember from last trip to Homer was one of the best cups of chowder that I have ever had.  We find this fish processing place (I forgot the name; I will add later when I have some more time).  Alas; the LAST bowl of chowder was served.  Huge disappointment.  However, we confirmed with the girl at the counter that she better have some waiting for us when we return on June 5th.  At 9:30 am.  It’s never too early for chowder.  CJ and I got some steamer clams (photos to follow) and crab legs as long as our forearm.  Pretty darn good.  We then head over to the salty dog saloon for some beers (It was beer o’clock, after all).  These beers turned into some graffiti… pictures to follow.  Anyways, we got to the ferry terminal, met some people who gave us some suggestions about what to do in Kodiak, and loaded onto the boat.  Last.  We didn’t get loaded until pretty late; the boat was late to leave the terminal.  The boat wasn’t too terribly large, we got on and staked out some places to set up our sleeping bags.  Ardie and Matthew chose the observation deck, that was heated somewhat, and CJ and I chose a darker, quieter interior room.  I didn’t sleep well that night, although the others fared better.  In the middle of the night, we were all woken to some serious jostling by the boat.  Turns out we hit some storms and were rerouted to avoid much more jostling.

III. June 2nd.  woke up on the ferry; had some more time to kill before getting to Kodiak.  We made some coffee and oatmeal (it’s a good idea to bring your own on, and there is free hot water in the cafeteria area.)  Our boat made a brief stop in Port Lions, and then a couple hours later, we hit Kodiak at about 12:30.  Luckily, bikes are unloaded first, so we unloaded the bikes, stopped at the visitor center to get the scoop on the weather and accommodations.  Apparently, we were to expect some rain and temps in the 40’s (pretty common for Kodiak).  CJ and I went to check out the Kodiak Hostel, which looked pretty sketchy.  Only if we are totally waterlogged.  We hit lunch at the Monk’s Rock cafe Go there!  Fantastic sandwiches, hot coffees, and good stuff.  Then, headed to Fort Abercrombie State park to camp.  Fort Abercrombie is awesome.  It is a rainforest (boreal, I think it’s called), full of spruce trees covered in moss.  It was really cool.  Also, there are bunkers and other assorted military paraphernalia around the camp.  We unloaded the bikes, set up camp, and were good to go.  We had enough time to head back into town to check out the scene.  Got the lowdown that Island Seafoods ( was the place to get fresh fish, so we popped over there to pick up some halibut, yellowfin tuna, oysters, and some sole.  Well, then we had to pop over to the Kodiak Island brewing company to get a couple growlers of beer.  After getting some other groceries, we had a great feast that night of fish on the grill.  I’ll elaborate later, and add some pics.  Not quite enough beer, though.  Slept great in camp, and awoke to sunny skies; still in the 40’s-50’s.

IV.  June 3rd.  Woke up, made some coffee/breakfast, and head out to the various places on the island.  We head all the way north, then south (I’ll add town names later), and checked out the military launching site and several beaches.  It was pretty cool at the beaches, had to keep our hats and gloves on to stay warm.  We encountered some grazing buffalo, and there are so many bald eagles on Kodiak that they’re going out of style.

Ok… I am out of time… will add some more photos and details later.

Another great day

Posted in Alaska Trip 2011 on May 29, 2011 by kjkalfas

Well, as I wait patiently for the fellas, I get to enjoy another great day here in Anchorage.  However, I am certainly ready to head on out and see some country.  Today, I went to the Anchorage Botanical Gardens, which is quite lovely, with a nice nature trail and several gardens.  Got a chance to load up on my vitamin D today- I think I might have gotten a little too much sun today.

Finally had a decent meal in this town.  I went to the Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria for a terrific selection of tasty beers and some really good pizza.  Got a large jug o’ beer to share with the guys when they come.

It looks like the guys are on the border of Yukon Territory and Alaska.  About 8 hours away.  Awaiting patiently for them.  Then, onto the ferry to Kodiak on Tuesday.

Addendum to this entry: new spot GPS locator looks like they have crossed the border and are now in Alaska.  They made it!!!!!!!!!

Doggone land of the midnight sun

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2011 by kjkalfas

I am getting acclimated to the new time zone (I can’t believe how fast Ardie did it!).  But holy buckets, it’s hard!  I’m trying to go to sleep last night at 10:30 pm, but it is light as day.  The blinds in the room aren’t particularly helpful in blocking light.  I wonder if the room darkening shade companies have their largest market share up here. 

Don’t think it’s going to be as warm as yesterday, but the sun is shining now and it looks pretty decent. 

I hope to share some pics soon; the internet connection on my phone doesn’t work here; so I can’t download my photos.

What’s a girl to do alone in the city… Spend money!

Posted in Alaska Trip 2011 on May 27, 2011 by kjkalfas

The guys continue northward, and as a result of them getting a late start, I have more time to myself here in Anchorage.  Today was a good day here, the weather was sunny and in the low 70’s.  Not bad.  So, I am able to bum around town and see what’s the haps here in Anchorage.

Staying at the Arctic Adventure Hostel during my stay here.  It’s pretty much your run of the mill hostel, but it’s cleaner than most I have stayed in and outside of the downtown area.  And, includes a hot breakfast.  I have encountered all of the typical hostel folks here; here’s some of my run-ins with them…  In an effort to save $, I am staying in a 3- person bunk room.  Last night, I assume I rudely awoke my Taiwanese roommate when I came in so late.  I tried to be quiet.  We met this morning briefly, however, I think she was either afraid of me, angry with me for coming in late, or doesn’t speak any English.  Either way, she briefly woke, then took a nap until after I left this morning.  When I returned this evening, she was gone.  So perhaps that means I have the room to myself tonight.  It also appears that Mr. Underpants has left the hostel; Mr. Underpants being the dude who thought it was alright to walk to the shared bathroom and back to his room in only his underpants.  Maybe he was European.  Well, at least they weren’t bikini or holey underpants.  Another hostel staple is the patchouli-scented guest.  This morning, it was a lady who was strangely looking out the window- she appeared to me to be an android or zombie.  She gave me one brief glance, and then continued to stare out the window (at a parking lot).  Well, when her ride came, she proceeded to spray something all over her billowy hair.  I didn’t catch the whiff until she was gone, but that patchouli scent lived on for quite some time.  I was slightly teased this evening, when I took the #2 bus from downtown back to the hostel (I would advise not spending as much time as I did in the bus station), there was this motorbike with some metal sidebags.  From afar, I thought, “could this be so?  Is that CJ’s bike?  But where are the others?”  As I got closer, I found that this bike is a lovely looking Triumph ridden by a Brit.  Brit plates; he/she must have shipped the bike.  I have yet to meet this rider.  Who I thought might be the rider, when I asked him, was some German who is getting back from climbing Mt.McKinley.  

What to do today?  I walked into downtown- about 1.5 miles away, and checked out what that has going on.  Pretty much mostly touristy shops selling all sorts of Alaska-related knick knacks.  Unfortunately for my checkbook, there are also a bunch of galleries, so I had to partake in a little retail therapy.  Thank goodness stuff can be shipped home.  Good things to check out in Anchorage are: the Alaska Federal building the DNR or whoever set up a little nature museum and there are helpful people there to talk to about things to do in Alaska.  And it’s free.  I also hit up the Anchorage Museum.  It’s got great exhibits of Alaskan artists and history.  Well worth visiting.  Last time we were here, I had a reindeer hot dog.  I thought it was good, so I when I went to get one, there were 3 street vendors; one with a million people in line, and 2 others with no one in line.  Well, with me trying to be different (or trying to not have to stand in line), I chose the cart less traveled.  I think that was a mistake; the reindeer dog was decidedly bland.  Then I went to some chowder restaurant for dinner.  Not impressed.  All I look forward to is getting some fresh fish and cooking it on the campfire.  Tomorrow is the Saturday market in town, so I look forward to that.  I hate to spend the $ to have a drink in a bar, so I went to get some booze.  Remembering that one of the house rules at the hostel is no Alcohol.   So, I got a little sneaky and bought this juice-box looking thing of wine.  I thought the Taiwanese girl might tattle on me if I cracked open a beer.  We’ll see how the box of wine goes.

Other than that, it was a good day.  I surely miss being on the bike.  I think bike travel is much more fun than plunking down in a city and bumming around.  I look forward to being on the bike, watching the scenery and smelling the air.  It’s always so fun to ride around all day, make camp for find a motel, and then have dinner and drink some beers with your group.  I can’t wait to buy some halibut and cook it up on the fire.  I can’t wait to hear the stories that the guys have to tell. 

Until then, I must wait it out, hang out with my new hostel friends, and sneak in boxes of wine to my room.  Perhaps later, I’ll take a trip to the bathroom in only my underpants!

Made it to Alaska

Posted in Alaska Trip 2011 on May 27, 2011 by kjkalfas

After a day of working 1/2 day (why do so many things come up at work 2 hours before you are set to leave, no matter how well you prepared your affairs), running around (I had to buy the $5 state fair tickets- what a deal!), sitting in airports, sitting in planes, sitting in taxicabs, I finally made it to Anchorage.  Rolled in at about 1:15 am local time.  (4:15 am Wisconsin time- right around when I like to wake up!).  After a mediocre night’s sleep, I awake to sunny skies, and weather better than it was in Wisconsin.  And lots of mountains.  Looking forward to grabbing a cup (or several cups) of coffee, exploring around, and getting a good night’s sleep tonite.  Looks like the fellas are in mid-British Colombia right now, I hope the weather is getting better for them.

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