Last week the plan was to head north and get the Ramblers rolling out to vendors and customers with a stop in the SF bay area on the way up. Well, that was the plan, things slipped a little with the powder coating schedule, and I ended up working out a plan b solution. Packed and ready to go on Friday I headed up late in the morning.
The old Golf TDI does pretty good for these trips getting 45 mpg and just enough room to squeeze a 63cm bike on the inside. I had made it to Gilroy when the message came in that the frames would be ready closer to the end of the upcoming week instead of Monday as planned. That was a bit of a bummer deal, as I had already left home, and with Aly pushing into the end of her 6th month of pregnancy it is not really feasible for me to leave her at home with the three-year old and the dog for more than one week at a time. I pressed on to Oakland working out a plan b for the trip as I rolled north.
I am lucky beyond imagination to have an internet friend, turned customer, turned good friend with a place to stay in Oakland, and cool house mates, with a stream of interesting people passing through every time I am up there. The cherries on top are a room with a view and fresh eggs every morning.
Jason has been helping with everything from backend web site stuff to schlepping bikes around on the last Seattle trip and now our pedal powered sales missions through San Francisco, Alameda and Oakland. While I could have probably done this alone it would have been harder, way more $$$ out-of-pocket and not nearly as fun. Thank you, and the whole family at the compound.
With traffic and parking being what it is in the Bay Area the decision was pretty obvious to do as much as possible via Rambler. I may not be the first, but based on impression, there are not many sales reps, or owners, making the rounds via bike, particularly the one they are promoting. I can not imagine selling something that I did not use as much as my Rambler, perfect city transport. Loaded with forks in the panniers as color samples and sales gear in the Docena we hit the City for a few days in a row. With stops at Stones, Mojo, Huckleberry, Citizen Chain and a bunch more we had a ton of interest, but no bites on retail placement. The upside was all the incredible mechanics, fans customers in waiting and new direct customers that we were able to meet, share time with and get out on test rides. The overall level of stoke was high, new friends were made, and we were able to get the word out there about our product. I know this is going to be big, really big, but getting the word out is taking time on the street. Fringe benefit was all the nerd photo ops like a real Rambler wagon from the 1960’s and the 650b street address.
We made it out to Point Reyes Station to meet long time internet friend Mike at Black Mtn Cycles, rode a little and scored some berries
The exhibit above is on the pier at the Exploratorium, and was fabricated by Jeff at Monkey Like Shiny. As a kid, never in a million years would I have guessed that my path would lead me to a bicycle company of my own staying with friends that have friends designing and making wicked cool museum exhibits and the Red Bull trophies for things like the America’s Cup youth races. Very stoked to have met Jeff.
On the last day I made one more round of follow-up visits around SF, it was great finally having the fog pull back for a bit, and then it was time to head home.
Thank you to everybody who helped make this trip a success, even if it was no remotely near the original plan. The San Francisco Bay area is our largest market at the moment, even with Portland and Seattle making the push, The East Bay will have the most Ramblers rolling in the coming weeks.