Forty

Turning 41 today was more interesting than turning 40.  Forty was one of the longest and best years of my life.  So why not cap it off with a #hardstylewednesday shot from the weekend’s headshot self-portrait session.

7.28 HS 41-1090090Ridiculous, but fun, and that’s the point.  Forty is stereotypically suppose to be some sort of a melt down or mid-life crisis.  I on the other hand worked the hardest I think I ever have, am more sleep deprived than ever, the years finances were a roller coaster of success and despair, the family cars are 15 years old and on the brink, it seems things are held together with kite string at times.  Going into forty I started back at a day job so Aly could be home with our second daughter.  It was pretty much the same construction management gig I left behind 6 years earlier, building and refurbishing schools in the public sector.  The pay is OK, but the hours and windshield time are long.  In the middle of all that we grew OAC, kept Ramblers rolling out, brought a few new products to market, and moved out of the garage into a gigantic space a mile away.

This stuff was incredibly hard, long hours, stretching finances to the brink and back more than once and scary as hell.

The best part?  I plan to keep it up.  This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done and keep doing.  The school economy is growing and the company I work for is setting the stage for the next generation of kids and delivery methods for the schools that will facilitate the education of the Gen X and Millenial’s children.  The OAC business is right at the edge of an incredible tipping point, it is about to all come together.  There will probably be a few more years of little or no sleep some nights, and growing both facets to see which one wins the race.   I know it will be Ocean Air, but the other one lights the lamps for the moment…

None of this could happen with out the love and support of my ladies and extended family.

7.28 family-1070519They are amazing, tolerant and loving.  Watching my babies grow into little ladies, and them wanting to help.  Aly working to keep it all together and learning to start a yoga teaching practice.  So much amazing going on.

The vendor support, both the makers and suppliers.  So many of you stepping up to the plate to supply the odd combinations of product and make my dreams into real objects.  Swift with the bags, Blue Lug getting Ramblers rolling in Japan, RandiJo with the cap patterns, Dylan at Centri on and on.  Then the back packing companies like Trail Designs and Soto who wondered if people riding bikes would really want the gear to make coffee outside in the middle of the week.  And there are a bunch of others that have my languishing projects on the back burner, vendors and wholesalers, the list goes on and on.   Then the friends who listen to my ideas and dreams, lift heavy objects, and help when I need a hand.  Jason, Marshal,  Toby and all the others.  I have to get home for dinner or I would type for hours.

But it is really about the people, family, friends customers everybody who has come together to help hold the ship up, keep the wheels turning.  There have been other times in my life that come close, but this last year…What an amazing year.

All I can say is thank you, for the support, wanting to change the world with us, and keeping us going through the rough patches.  Without all of you, I am just a crazy guy without enough sleep and a dream.

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9 Responses to Forty

  1. doug peterson says:

    Rob: The cycling world is a better place as a result of your drive & determination. Thanks to you for putting in the effort to make your dream come true.

  2. Pam says:

    Happy Birthday and Congratulations on your success so far!!

  3. david p. says:

    really beautiful man.

  4. Brad says:

    Awesome post Rob! Every piece of gear I have from OAC has become my favorite to use. The Rambler is one of the best bikes I’ve ridden and continues to make me smile every ride. Your dream is a good one and comes to life in every order you send.

  5. davidcha says:

    Great reflective post, Rob. As a customer, I can say that I appreciate your sense of design, utility, form, and function. From the bike to the front bag and all points in between – your products hit the mark. Thanks for putting yourself out there and trusting that others will see the value in what you’re producing.

  6. Andy Vibes says:

    Thanks for your hard work. You’ve brought some really cool stuff to the market. Been saving the pennies for a Docena bag and once I get this university degree out the way (and given ginormous thank you presents to my wife and daughter) hopefully I can put down the money on a Rambler.

  7. Jihad says:

    It’s a result of your hard work and many many happy returns of the day.

  8. Leif says:

    Rob, happy to hear you and your family are making all this work. I really appreciate all the thoughtfulness and ingenuity behind the products you sell and the blog details you share. Here’s hoping the next year is even brighter!

  9. Knut says:

    Happy delayed birthday, take care and be happy. Why not making up some nice knee warmers in merino? Let me know when you have t-shirts next time and I’ll buy a couple.

    Knut

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