Gear Nuts and Bolts - Big Voice Article #19
GEARS NUTS & BOLTS
Starting this month, Massif will begin using Big Voice as a platform to help you get to know the passionate people behind our brand. Instead of traditional profiles, we asked our team how they wanted to be introduced and worked with them to give you a more rounded out view of their personalities. Our first team member highlight is Director of Business Development and Government Sales, Charles Sexton. Put simply: Charles is an absolutely solid guy. He is easy to get along with, a hard worker, dependable, and is refreshingly straightforward about his opinions. Charles is also a total gear head. We asked him to break down his five favorite pieces of gear. We feel like his choices of kit tell a lot about the man using them.
FEATURING CHARLES SEXTON: MASSIF’S DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND GOV’T SALES
#1 Charles got his newest mountain bike, a Santa Cruz Hightower Version 2, in the Spring of 2020 and can’t live without it. He and his family went on a month-long ski trip last winter and even though he knew he wouldn’t be able to ride, he threw both of his bikes in the back of his truck. “A thief can take just about anything in my house, but they sure as hell aren’t taking my bikes,” he said.
This is Charles’ third Santa Cruz bike. “I am passionate about the brand and the way they feel,” he said. Charles can go deep when talking about his bike. “I can tell you how many grams my tires weigh and how much sealant I put in,” Charles said. Details like spec-ing in parts that are made in the US and knowing precisely how his bike will react on a ride brings him joy even beyond the actual riding. “When you have spent hours on a certain piece of equipment you know exactly when it begins to creak and how perfect it is and how it feels in certain conditions—that is my bike,” he said.
Santa Cruz Hightower Version 2 https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/bikes/hightower
Charles believes that the water vessel you choose to drink from can tell a lot about you. Anyone who knows Charles, knows he always has a supremely practical and classic plastic Nalgene bottle by his side. “In the world of everybody’s fancy metal ones, I am the guy with the beat up stickered Nalgene bottle,” he said. He can conservatively say that his current bottle of choice has traveled three hundred thousand miles across the country with him. It has accompanied him on airplane rides, in hotel rooms, on hiking trips, warmed him in his sleeping bag, sits on his desk, and has always been with him in office meetings. “My current Nalgene has been with me everywhere for a good solid four years. I take pride in it,” Charles said.
Standard Wide Mouth 32-Ounce Nalgene (+stickers)
Charles spends most of his life in a pair of Salomon XA Pro Shoes and has for a while now. “I have been wearing XA Pros for 12 years straight. I keep three pairs of them, two going at all times. I have my work presentable trade-show pair, then I have the beater recreational pair, and I have the grass cutting pair that will go through a rotation,” Charles said. His love of this specific shoe comes from it’s extreme versatility that matches his active lifestyle. He has hiked the Appalachian Trail in them, worked out in them, and done business in the same pair. They fit his hard to fit feet well, the speed lace system locks in his step while in action, and the massive amount of available traction is ideal for hiking. Importantly, they also clean up well. “Sometimes we are in Vegas at a trade-show and we go hiking and I bring them to the hotel room then wash them down with a washing rag and you are good to go,” Charles said.
Salomon XA Pro Shoes (https://www.salomon.com/en-us/shop/product/xa-pro-3d-v8.html#color=25843)
Charles uses the cycling and running app Strava to track all of his rides, even his least ambitious ones. "I am not ususally comparing myself to everyone else but it is a great way to find new trails when we travel. I have recently adventured into gravel riding and it is a great tool for exploring," Charles said. While the app is famous/infamous for growing athlete egos - Charles just uses it to have fun and track his year to year data over time. Whereas, many Strava riders only track their most impressive rides on their fanciest gear, Charles rides five different kinds of bike and track every type of ride. "Sometimes when we do family rides where we stop and get ice cream, I'll even Strava those," Charles said.
Charles can conservatively say that he has put over 200 days in the Massif’s HotJohns® during the ten years it has been his base layer kit of choice. “The warmth to weight ratio is good and it is warm when it is wet. It wicks moisture really well. It has all of those things that you would expect out of a premium base layer that you paid 70$ for, the HotJohns® does it,” Charles said. “It also happens to be flame resistant and it is approved by almost every branch of the military.”