It is. Anyone that knows Bob Barci would find it hard to believe that I didn't like him at first. No, not one bit. But then, you need to factor in a couple points. Such as I was a teenager and I was basing my judgement (or pre-judgement) on the words of a couple other teenagers. Funny thing about teenagers, they just know everything, right? See, you couldn't be into BMX freestyle in the Puget Sound region and not have at least heard of Bikefactory, if not at least stopping in to pick up a couple tires they had in stock that no one else even carried. I happened to become friends with a couple guys that had been sponsored by Bikefactory and had heard them lament how little Bob paid for and supplied. Because teenagers, of course, know all about the financial responsibilities of owning/running a small business. So armed with the opinions of my friends I hung a hat of disdain for Bob on my head, and there it was sitting still, some eight years later, when he came to work for Seattle Bike a few months after I began working there. It was not but a few months more that my 'hat' was put to the test. As I eluded to earlier I am a freestyle rider, and there was a consumer bike expo in Portland that my friend and I were scheduled to perform a demo at, in conjunction with the Redline Booth, which was being manned by Michael Adamson and Bob Barci. We got things set up the night before the expo and the four of us went to a nice dinner at Cucina, Cucina. That's when I really met Bob for the first time. That virtual hat I was wearing was immediately blown away by his virtual potato cannon. I was ashamed of myself for judging someone for so long on nearly baseless information. Right there in that restaurant I experienced first hand the passion that is so often (and not just on this page) associated with Bob's spirit. My entire view of Bob changed that night and I am always excited, even now, when I have a chance to hang out with Bob, even if just for a few minutes in the break room at SBS. I've had the honor of bombing a run at Snoqulamie Summit with him, eating pizza and listening to him tell stories on a street corner in Ontario, getting a tour of his snowboard artifacts and photography, sitting beside him in his Cobra (which has been my dream car since I was a child) as he zipped down a curvy road, and being present when he and Nancy took their vows of marriage. I feel privileged to have had a chance to really get to know Bob and share some amazing times with him and I will forever be a better man just in having him for a friend, for he inspires the best in all those around him.
My love and prayers are with you and Nancy.
ps., Your Brat is likely my second favorite car in the world now... and the new pics are up at www.bobsbrat.com