A Look Back At Bike Virginia 2014 July 01 2014
We're back from Bike Virginia and it was a blast. From the scenic rides to the moveable feast to the daily yoga, we've tried our best to bring you the highlights. Watch this and maybe you might see yourself! And check out some of the behind the scenes players such as the chef, the mobile mechanic, and the ladies who dished out the ice cream at our 3 Sweet Feet Social.
Jonathan and Richard
Virginia Approves Three Feet Passing Law June 17 2014
The Ladies of Road Holland May 06 2014
As you have come to know Road Holland, one thing we know you love about us is that we make our stylish cycling jerseys here in Florida. Given that this Sunday is Mother's Day, we thought you would enjoy meeting several of the Moms that work with us. We love these ladies - they truly are a part of something special we have going on here and this video gives you a glimpse of what "Made in America" really means.
No three words seem to give us more hope these days than Made in America. But it’s easy to forget that Made in America is more than just a feel-good slogan. It’s more than a union battle cry or some politician’s rhetoric.
Made in America is ultimately about people. It’s about relationships. It’s about taking pride in our work because whatever we make, we know who we’re making it for.
We might not have the same lives, live in the same zip codes, or even natively speak the same language. But we share so much. What we make has an impact on you and what you buy has an impact on us.
We’re all in this together. That’s what Made in America really means.
So sit back and watch our short video...
Our 2014 Cycling Kit Makeover Winner March 24 2014
Thousands of votes were cast and we want to Congratulate our Winner "Meow I've been bad" for taking home top prize: a $250 Cycling Kit Makeover from Road Holland - Hats off to the folks at The Chainlink in Chicago who pushed their forum member Duppie over the top!
We called our winner up to let him know he won, he had a lot to say about the contest and we posted it here!
A Look Back At NAHBS 2014 March 21 2014
Join Road Holland's roving reporter, Jonathan Schneider, as he shares the best of what the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) 2014 in Charlotte, NC had to offer.
Bicycling enthusiasts from all over the world came to the Charlotte Convention Center March 14 - 16, 2014 for an event some ranked up there in importance with the Academy Awards.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the show has grown from 23 exhibitors and 700 attendees to more than 150 exhibitors and 7,200 attendees. The three-day event showcased independent bike builders with their jaw dropping designs and custom builds.
Special guests include representatives of A.N.T. Bikes, Connorwood Cycles, Zukas Cycles, Velo Orange, Ti Cycles Fabrication, Sock Guy, Shamrock Cycles, Selle Anatomica, Rivet Cycle Works, Iride, Paul Component Engineering, Oskar Blues, Ellis Cycles, Momentum Magazine, Bilenky Cycle Works, AdventureCORPs, Pedal Chic, Bicycle Sport Charlotte, Fizik, Co-Motion Cycles, Recycle, Lekker Bikes, Red Kite Prayer, and Alloneword.
Road Holland was on hand to introduce our new spring line of serious and stylish cycling apparel. Take a look!
Vote Now! Road Holland's 2014 Makeover Contest March 04 2014
Let’s face it…we’ve all been there. Maybe it was that shop team kit that you bought when you got your first real bike. Or perhaps it was that on-clearance jersey with the cereal box characters. We understand that you’ve made some pretty horrendous choices in the past when it comes to your cycling gear. We have too. After all, it takes the dark to be able to see the light.
But we want to help and celebrate how you can move on to better rides ahead.
For the past two weeks, We asked readers to email us a photo of their worst cycling garb ever. It could be a terribly mismatched kit, some poor fitting gear, a ridiculously loud jersey, or anything similar.
For our amusement and yours, we are posting what we consider among the TOP entries! Now it is your turn to help us choose who will win a Free $250 Makeover from Road Holland?
SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE below for your favorite and ask your friends to do the same! Winner will be announced on March 18, 2014.
^ 80s Eye Glasses ^
^ Aeroshoes ^
^ Aye That's Ugly ^
^ Banana Chamois ^
^ Bibs Fail ^
^ Brutto ^
^ Camohawk ^
^ Cheap Ponchos ^
^ Classic 80s ^
^ Colorful Intensity ^
^ DaftPunk Rider ^
^ Extinct Cyclesaurus ^
^ Formal Kit ^
^ Fruit Shorts ONE ^
^ Fruit Shorts TWO ^
^ Goodnight Moon ^
^ Helmet Malfunction ^
^ High Waisted ^
^ I Won't Have Another ^
^ Kickin' It ^
^ Lampre Fauxpas ^
^ Layered Look ^
^ Martha's Vineyard Look ^
^ Meow I've Been Bad ^
^ Not-Looking-Up ^
^ Prom Night Crit ^
^ Put The Cat Back In The Hat ^
^ Retro Euro ^
^ Sleeveless and Styleless ^
^ Socal Look But Sougly ^
^ Too Hairy ^
^ Triple Dippin' ^
^ We Don't See You ^
^ Where Are My Sleeves ^
Does Your Cycling Kit Need A Free Makeover? February 23 2014
Let's face it...we've all been there. Maybe it was that shop team kit that you bought when you got your first real bike. Or perhaps it was that on-clearance jersey with the cereal box characters. We understand that you've made some pretty horrendous choices in the past when it comes to your cycling gear. We have too. After all, it takes the dark to be able to see the light.
But we want to help and celebrate how you can move on to better rides ahead.
Send us a photo of you in your worst cycling attire ever and you'll be automatically entered in our Makeover Contest. The first place winner will get $250 worth of free Road Holland gear!
Send us a pic (by March 3rd) of you in your worst cycling garb ever. It could be a terribly mismatched kit, some poor fitting gear, a ridiculously loud jersey, or anything similar. We will be posting the best photos and our fans can vote for the best - or shall we say the worst - kit. We will then announce a winner on March 18, 2014 - just in time for us to ship you a jersey for your weekend ride. It's that simple. So start sending your entries to email@example.com
Jonathan and Richard
A Look Back At 2013 December 19 2013
As a cyclist, I’m always a bit uneasy when not looking forward. As soon as you take your eyes off the road ahead and look back, bad stuff can happen. But every once in a while you need to look back - on the bike and in life. Now’s one of those times.
With 13 days left in 2013, I’m taking stock of what Richard and I have done this year at Road Holland, our 3rd full year in business, and wanted to share it with you.
2013 marked the first time we departed from our Merino / Poly wool blend material to make a 100% polyester cycling jersey. Whether they were allergic to wool, felt it would be too hot, or just scared of it, many customers clamored for a lightweight 100% poly jersey for a long time. At the beginning of the summer, the new Hilversums and Aalsmeers launched using a spectacular American-made and super stylish 100% polyester knit fabric. Judging by sales, it’s been a big hit and we plan to re-make these jerseys in 2014 in several new colors.
We also introduced 2 pieces of outwear. The first was a lightweight cycling vest (or “gilet” as the Europeans call it) for men and women. Again, customers wanted this product for a long time but it took us a while to find the right fabric. The Noordwijk and Kinderdijk represent a re-thinking of the traditional biking vest. We designed them to work when worn but be forgotten when not. We were tired of carrying around big bulges of fabric during our rides after it was time to remove our vests. The Noordwijk and Kinderdijk ball up to next to nothing. With their understated stylish good looks, they can also turn some heads.
The next outerwear pieces - the Amsterdam and Rotterdam - are the culmination of all that we have learned about how to make cycling gear. The new long sleeve jerseys utilize a new Merino / Poly / Spandex blend that is heavy enough for the coldest of rides. They also have features galore - huge cargo pockets, storm panels to block the wind, and a cinchable waist just to name a few. Though a traditional cycling color, Celeste green is noticeably absent in bike apparel. We decided to buck convention and use it for the Amsterdam and Rotterdam colors. Customers dig it. A lot.
Finally, on our already popular clothing front, we also introduced new colors for our Utrechts and Montfoorts, both of which use our signature Merino wool / polyester blend. We suspect there were many riders around the country sporting their USA-edition Utrechts on July 4th and looking very patriotic.
We amped up our custom program and worked with a number of organizations including Rivet Cycle Works, AdventureCORPS’® Furnace Creek 508, Simetri, River Dunes, and UC Bike Ride. It’s gratifying to see that organizations realize a kit can be much more than a plasticy pair of cheap shorts and a shirt. Whatever you can imagine, we can embroider and do it on all of our jerseys to keep you and your crew looking your best.
It’s nice to get noticed and in 2013 we received a huge amount of press coverage. Websites such as Bicycling, VeloNews, and Red Kite Prayer, as well as many of our favorite cycling blogs all wrote glowing reviews of our products. In November, the Miami Herald profiled Road Holland and gave the full story on how we came to be and how we are truly “American Made.”
We also continued our commitment to supporting our local cycling communities - whether it be through independent bicycle shops, an epic charity ride, or just camaraderie amongst cycling groups. Road Holland believes in giving back and we have our customers to thank for including us in many of their cycling related adventures.
It’s cliché to say, “the best is yet to come,” but sometimes clichés fit the bill. In 2014, we’ll be at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Charlotte, NC from March 14 - 16. We will also be sponsoring and riding the Bike Virginia tour from June 20 - 25, 2014. Best of all, we have a slew of new cycling gear to launch that will continue to be USA-made and of course, serious and stylish.
Reflections on Cyber Monday December 02 2013
Unless you live under a rock, you know that today was (and still is for a while longer) Cyber Monday. You’ve received countless emails (including one from us) about deals, deals, and more deals. You’ve probably pressed the delete button a lot.
While Richard and I are retailers now, we’re also consumers and we’re probably going to do our fair share of shopping tonight as well. However, one thing this business has taught us is to be more discerning in what we buy.
To borrow a phrase from Henry Royce, the founder of the eponymous automobile company, “The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.” Aldo Gucci, founder of the leather goods company that bears his name stated the same thing in another way, “The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”
So are we telling you not to buy today? No - nothing of the sort. We’re just telling you to be smart about what you buy. Whether it’s a TV or pair of socks, look for quality, integrity, and timelessness from the brands you consider.
I’ve just moved houses and maybe the reality of having too much worthless stuff is still fresh in my mind. But, what is also fresh in my mind is how the really good stuff I own has stayed with me through countless moves. They’re the things I unpack first and often hand carry. They are never part of a periodic purge. I’m writing of things like the sheepskin lined gloves I bought in Florence on my college grand tour in 1992, my Outward Bound emblazoned Swiss Army knife that I earned, my Ferragamo loafers that have seen more airports than a 747, and my Sony shortwave radio which is obsolete but still a dream to look at. I can’t recall what any of these items cost but I know they were worth every penny.
Happy shopping everyone.
The Amsterdam, our newest long sleeve jersey for frosty riding. November 30 2013
While many of our customers are huddling for warmth this holiday weekend, Jonathan Schneider, President of Road Holland is enjoying the tropical weather in South Florida. But don’t despair, Jonathan introduces the Amsterdam, our newest long sleeve jersey for frosty riding.
Take a look at this video and then head on over to our store where you can find the Amsterdam and its female sibling, the Rotterdam.
Have a great rest of the Thanksgiving Weekend everyone!
Hot Off The Press: Road Holland Gets Noticed November 14 2013Growing up, my grandmother used to say that no one would toot your horn for you except you. While I believe she was right, Road Holland has never been about the intense desire for publicity. We’ve preferred to keep our heads down, focus on the product, provide great service, and have faith that good karma would eventually flow our way.
Well the karma has landed over the past couple of weeks and maybe now it’s time to toot our horn a bit:
- On November 4th, The Miami Herald’s Business Monday section featured Road Holland. The writer did a yeoman-like job of telling our story. However, we were happy to see that he not only wrote about us, but also the hard working seamstresses at our factory. If you look at one of the pictures in the article, you’ll see the face of someone who has probably sewn your sleeves and collar onto your jersey.
- On Thursday of the same week, Looks Good from the Back reviewed our long sleeve Harlingen jersey. We always knew this was an outstanding jersey, but Adrien said it better than we ever could. A review like hers is especially rewarding because she writes about all types of clothing for women. It’s good to see we’re making inroads outside of the cycling world.
- On Monday the 11th, our Nantucket Red Aalsmeer jersey appeared in the Huffington Post / Off Metro NY’s USA made cycling gift guide. We were among a handful of cycling companies that still make their wares stateside. The article reminded me about our initial issues with Chinese manufacturing and how we’re lucky to be home.
- One day later on the 12th, the crew at Bike Rumor wrote about our new Noorrdwijk vest. It, along with its sister The Kinderdijk, is our first foray into outerwear. Bike Rumor doesn’t cover rinky-dink products - we’re glad we hit the proverbial home run with our first at bat.
Of course all this press helps us sell more gear. We love that. But we’re most happy to just get the word out that it’s possible to look better on a bike - no matter who you are and how you ride.
Support The Richmond Ride Center at Pocahontas State Park October 09 2013
Road Holland is proud to be supporting this event to build a Richmond Ride Center at Pocahontas State Park. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by visiting: http://www.virginiaparks.org/donate/#BBB
Upon completion, Richmond, Virginia will become the 12th site worldwide of an International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Ride Center. The center will focus on mountain biking trails in Pocahontas State Park and Richmond's James River Park System and will serve as a key ongoing legacy project of the Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships.
So I ask Congress, who is looking out for us? October 02 2013
Unless you've been living under a rock the last few days, you're well aware the US Government has shut its doors. We're an apolitical company so we're not going to offer an opinion on who is right and who is wrong here.
However, the concept of a business just "closing" while it has obligations to various constituents is just completely foreign to us.
As a small on-line business, we never close. Richard and I get notifications of sales on our smartphones 24/7/365. You've got a question about a cycling jersey or another product, call us and it will ring through to us after our receptionist is gone for the evening. Send us an email on a Sunday morning and I guarantee you should get a response that day. It's how we do business and how we always want to do business no matter how big we get. We look out for our customers.
So I ask Congress, who is looking out for us? I tried to call you just now but no one answered.
I Ride, Therefore I Think September 26 2013
Writing a blog is hard work. Especially when blogging is not the only thing you do.
If you've noticed a dearth of posts around here lately, it's not because we're not thinking about what to put up here. We are. My partner, Richard, constantly reminds me that we need new content. But we both agree there's only so much blogging we can do on a new jersey or our current production. You can go to our site pages for that information. On a blog, people want something more - they want something that challenges them in an intellectual manner. So here goes…
One of the most recent viral videos to make the rounds has been of Louis C.K. talking about why he hates cell phones. Although his comments included the dangers of using them while driving, his larger point was that they have taken away our ability to do nothing. To sit someplace and just observe. To truly chill. To just think.
His comments ring very true with me. Perhaps to the detriment of my social life, I've always been a thinker. I probably think too much for my own good as well. And while I find it increasingly difficult to find time to just think and do nothing, I still am pretty good at getting it done.
I used to think when listening to music - put it on and just listen and daydream and focus. But with kids and a wife who do not share my taste in music and an open floor plan house, that has become much more difficult.
Some people think in the shower. This doesn't work for me as a venue. I'm not comfortable with using the equivalent of a month's worth of water for a family of 4 in sub-Saharan Africa while contemplating the meaning of life.
Some people think in the car. Nope - I can't multi-task like that. Driving stresses me out.
I'm on airplanes a lot. Aside from inducing extreme fatigue, most air travel does not provide a calming pro-think environment.
I've tried yoga. Some people say it clears their minds. Not me. I'm just trying to keep up and end up confused.
So where does my best thinking occur these days. You guessed it - on the bike. I'll spare you the usual verbiage about being alone on the open road, getting in the zone, becoming one with the bike. It almost never works out like that for me. Rather, it's more about just getting the blood flowing. Somehow that must affect my brain. I tried listening to music while riding and that killed all thoughts. Group rides also kill the mental activity.
For me, it's the solo rides that get my mind going. The distance does not matter. I come up with all kinds of ideas while riding - business ideas, new song lyrics, activities for the kids, solutions to longstanding problems, designs for our jerseys, what to cook for dinner later that day...
So where do you do your best thinking? What do you think?
Ramblings about Jersey Sizing August 29 2013
We're not vain.
It's funny what you learn in the clothing business. 3 years ago, a "grade" meant a letter in school or how much I was likely sucking wind going up a mountain. In my world now, it refers to how much we expand things as we move from size small to medium to large and so on. I thought a marker was a type of felt-tipped pen (preferably the smellable ones…). Now, I hear the word and think about giant rolls of paper that inhabit my office. They're essentially outlines which are placed over the fabric to guide the cutters.
The same goes with sizing. I always knew there was some variability between brands. The small polo shirt from one company might be a bit snug on me while the small from another brand might be just fine.
But I never knew how seriously whacked out the world of cycling clothing was - and still is. From one brand to another, we're not talking about deciding between a small and a medium. We're talking about the choosing between a small and an extra large. What is going on? European brands are notorious for their snugger than normal sizing. Are they that much smaller over there? I don't know. I've been in Europe a lot and language aside, we don't seem that different. I'm not stick thin but I'm not heavy either - I want to know if anyone larger than my 4 year old can actually fit into the size 33" waist "urban" riding pants.
I'll be the first to admit we haven't always gotten our sizing spot on. But throughout this trip, we've been intent on rationalizing and "real worlding" our sizing. If you wear a medium in most clothes, we want you to wear a medium in our gear. If you're a 46" chest, we want you to actually wear something that measures close to 46".
We're not "vanity sizing" either - selling a size large and labeling it a medium to make you feel good about yourself. That's what the bike is for. A small is a small and a XXXL is, well, really big and we love that.
If you're of the female persuasion, and haven't checked out the women's section of Road Holland lately, you're in for a treat.
We now have our classic Aalsmeer Women's Cycling Jersey available in our Summer Series Colors - Nantucket Red, Road Black, and Bright White. Featuring a 100% polyester mesh, the Summer Series Aalsmeers have an innovative 5 pocket design, contrasting placket, and reflective accent.
The Summer Series Aalsmeers are shipping now in sizes XS to XXXL. And best of all, they're part of our Annual Podium Sale where the more you purchase (like this pair of ladies bib shorts in the pic), the more you save.
Color Wars Make Cyclists Look Bad June 05 2013
I was perusing one of the bike forums today when I came across a thread that rears its contentious head almost as often as the "Why do you shave your legs?" topic - what to wear in order to be seen while riding.
My mind immediately flashed back to when Richard and I had our first pop-up-shop in Oriental, North Carolina at Cycle NC in April 2011. A woman approached our tent and suddenly admonished us for making a black jersey. Despite a dearth of facts to back her claims, she emphatically stated that it was not safe to wear black on the road. I listened politely, held my tongue (black is always our best seller in any item we make), and thanked her for her input. She milled around a bit longer while I struck up a conversation with another woman who ultimately bought a black jersey. I guess our customer was not swayed by the anti-black argument and neither was I. I remain unconvinced.
Can we all just agree to disagree on the "What to wear in order to be seen" question? Can we all agree that this discussion takes our eyes off the bigger picture - Share The Road. In my mind, it would be a pyrrhic victory to see rider after rider kitted out in neon yellow on roads without dedicated bike lanes. Saying that we should and must wear neon suggests that cycling is inherently unsafe. Moreover, it imparts the message that bicycles should be unexpected fixtures - and unwelcome ones - on our roads.
It would be devastating to win the color war and not the "3 feet" one. So let's face it - no one is ever going to agree on what color is best. I've seen data to support black is less visible than yellow and vice versa. I've seen pictures that would make one think the opposite of either side of the argument. In the end, I'd rather wear black when I want to and have flashing lights on my bike (which I do) to help keep me visible. I'm not saying yellow wouldn't hurt but I'm not saying it's going to help either.
For now, take your argumentative energy and channel it to sending letters to your governmental representatives about bike lanes. Tell them where you need them and want them. Tell them that the lanes should have dividers from the main roads, curbs, and stoplights of their own.
Have you ever been to the Netherlands or Vancouver? Even in our best municipalities, it's amateur hour here in the States.
Honesty... May 29 2013
I visited our factory yesterday and on the way home I was reminded of the 1970s TV advertisements for Paul Masson wines. In them, a breathy and corpulent Orson Welles delivers the famous tagline of the brand, "We will sell no wine before its time."
The line is a polite way of saying, good things take time and sorry for the wait but it will be worth it. This is the story of my life right now. Many people have been asking us when our new "stuff" is coming out. It's frustrating and flattering at the same time.
Hang with us. We know it's been a while since we've released a new bike jersey but it won't be much longer now and you'll have plenty of time to sport them over the summer. On tap is a re-work of our Hilversum and Aalsmeer jerseys. We've got new colors and new fabric that is sure to keep you cooler than ever on the hottest of hot days.
Also in the Road Holland pipeline are two special editions of our Utrecht jersey. We already shared a glimpse of one of them (above) but both will be big hits for your July 4th rides. These will hit our virtual shelves in June.
Thanks for your patience!
Remembering my Schwinn Stingray - RIP Al Fritz May 09 2013
It's the spring of 1976 and it's time to take off the training wheels. I'm ready. Decked out in my full Redskins Kit to ward off the still crisp air, I take to the front lawn of our ranch house in Richmond, VA.
That's about as much of the story as anyone of us can remember. We have to imagine the rest from the pics. It seems my brother helped while my dad filmed us with his Konica camera. There are no pictures of me actually riding solo but I'm pretty sure I got the hang of it that day.
I dug these out of the archives last night after hearing about the passing of Al Fritz. Even if you don't know the name, you know the bike - the Schwinn Stingray. Fritz borrowed classic elements from California motorcycle culture to create this iconic bike during his long and storied career at the company.
For many of us born in the 1970s, the chopper style handlebars and the banana seat ARE cycling to us. I had this blue gem shown here in the pics. I inherited a larger yellow one from my brother after he moved on to a bigger bike himself.
For more information about Al Fritz, visit the story in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
I don't know about you, but I'd gladly trade out my lighter than air saddle and handlebars for some Stingray components on my ride this weekend.
Out of Hibernation and Back on the Bike May 02 2013
Sorry I've been in hibernation, but I'm back and better than ever with lots going on.
I'm back on my bike after my fall. I've got a couple of war wounds but other than that, it's like the accident never happened. By the way, I finally figured out what did actually happen. I slipped on some super slick crosswalk paint. The sun was shining bright that day, so let my accident be a lesson to us all - road markings can be hazardous no matter what the conditions.
Unlike me, Richard was riding all winter long and even tried his hand at the Autodrop Doubleshot. I think his lungs are still recovering from the Hanging Rock ascent. He said it was the longest two mile ride of his life. Adam Steinman, our resident rouleur, plowed through both parts of the course and is looking strong for the organized rides we have planned for the summer.
As for new products, we've got them coming shortly (and if you read that sentence again, you'll see a strong hint about what one of those products might be!). We're sewing like crazy and have new colors on the way as well.
Ok - that's all for now. Stand by for more. Much more.
I (Was) On The Rivet November 18 2012
There's nothing that pleases me more than being able to use customers' products. They support us and we support them - that's what the bike business should be all about.
Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of riding a Rivet CycleWorks Black Diablo Ti Saddle on my custom Peter Mooney road bike. I'd loved my Mooney from the start but the Specialized plastic saddle I put on it was never right. I love the Specialized for its comfort and it's a good saddle for me - on another bike. But not on my Mooney - that bike demands more elegance and I'd just never gotten around to making it happen. I'd tried the Brooks route once and it wasn't comfortable. After Brooks, there's not much else that I'm aware of.
So When Deb Banks called us from Rivet about getting some custom jerseys done, I knew the solution could be close at hand. We did some gorgeous custom Den Haags, Montfoorts, and Breukelens for her but she also sent me a saddle to try out. I took it for a spin last Sunday and it was glorious from mile 1. Yes, the saddle is stiff but it's not so stiff that you'll be in agony while breaking it in. It felt natural and looked good. Bliss.
Unfortunately, the picture of me above is going to be the last shot of me with a bike for a while. About 10 minutes later, I fell and broke my collar bone. I'm still not sure what happened - I remember falling but don't remember why. No cars, no other riders, no detritus in the road. Crazy but it could have been worse.
But it was a good ride while it lasted.
A Look Back At The Philly Bike Expo October 30 2012
We're back from the 2012 Philadelphia Bike Expo and just in time. If we had stayed even a couple of hours longer, we might have gotten trapped by Hurricane Sandy.
Once again, Bilenky Cycle Works played the consummate host. Versus last year, the show had a more consumer friendly vibe with a healthy array of budget conscious frame builders, unique bag makers, and thought-provoking advocacy groups.
Exhibitors of particular note included:
--Rothera Cycling. While the expo was home to no less than three cap manufacturers (including one of our favorites, Alloneword), Gary at Rothera showed up with some unique wares. His caps look classic, but they use more modern colors and fabrics which make them unusual. We also think Gary is a pretty fly guy. Anyone who brings his parents to help work the booth gets kudos from us.(rotheracycling.com)
--Swift Industries. These guys make some seriously stylish panniers and bags. The company's web site is impressive but once you see the bags up close, you really get a sense of the quality and craftsmanship.(builtbyswift.com)
--Balance Insurance. We admit it was pretty hard to get excited about insurance when one booth over, there were droolworthy custom steel frames for sale. But Jay Paul at Balance is providing something every cyclist should buy - bicycle accident insurance. His product provides up to $250,000 in supplemental funds in the event of a cycling related injury. The premiums are not much - it's a no brainer. Make sure to sign up on the web site to see if Jay's product is available where you live.(balanceins.com)
--Erra Creations. Nicole Bloch is taking the now common practice of recycling bike detritus to a whole new level. She blends elements such as chain links and cogs into jewelry that you actually want to wear.(erracreations.com)
Standouts among the numerous frame builders included Cysco Cycles, Silent Cycles, and Dornbox, our show-neighbor.
To all those who stopped by to meet us and to all those who purchased from us, thanks!
A Cycling Love Triangle September 16 2012
I vividly recall the first day I ever used the Internet. It was December 2, 1994 and I was working at an ad agency in Richmond, VA. I had convinced the bosses that I needed a modem connection in my cube to experiment with this new thing called the Net. The installation occurred on a Friday afternoon and by the time it was done, it was time to hit the office's favorite watering hole for some holiday drinks. I paid my dues at the bar but then went back to the office around 9pm and stayed until 2am surfing the web with Mosaic. It was slow going - I must have only visited 10 sites at the max and don't even recall how I found them. But it was remarkable. Mind blowing.
Fast forward 17 years to 2011 and the Internet remains a source of wonder for me and what it can do. Two simple email requests to us - one from two Canadians and one from two North Carolinians - have resulted in a cycling love triangle.
Richard and Guy at Bikes, Books, and Beers in Vancouver emailed us in February 2011 about trying out some of our jerseys. They wanted to look serious and stylish while vlogging and thought we could help. We obliged and soon realized we had similar tastes in many things bikes, books, and beer related. I was fortunate to also be able to meet the duo in Vancouver back in May. Richard had dabbled in sewing cycling caps and recycled inner tube bags for a while but had recently made the venture a full time gig and I was thrilled to see his wares first-hand with Red Dots Cycling.
Erich and Barry, from Winston-Salem NC, emailed us in November 2011 about creating some custom jerseys for their fledgling Autodrop venture. One look at their website and we knew we liked them - a novel approach to riding events with no pretentious and "epic" attitudes. Fortunately, they hit us at exactly the right time and we were able to produce some custom color and embroidered Utrechts. When it came time to make our long sleeve Arnhems this summer, we did a run for them and amped up the design a bit with their custom lion graphic inside the collar.
We had a bit of fabric left over and Erich and Barry wanted to use it for some caps. We don't make caps so the natural next step was to connect them Richard. A few weeks later, a matching Autodrop cap was in our mailboxes.
Sounds like a simple chain of events right, and certainly nothing to blog home about. Maybe, maybe not. But I have to think that without the Internet that it might not have happened at all.
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