New Secula Tail Light

As part of the recent rebuild of my personal Rambler I included a new dynamo powered tail light.  THe B&M Secula is looking to be one of the better options for 2014 and I wanted some first hand experience with set up and performance.

1.24 secula WP-1040488My previous go to light was the B&M Seculight, also a good performer and better than many battery powered lights on the Market.  The Secula implements what B&M is calling LineTec.  The LED shines into a thick prismatic lens distributing the light across a wider angle of view.  Initial bench tests look quite promising, and I am looking forward to getting this out in the dark.

One thing I never noticed with the older B&M packaging was the direct intent to be used as a hole template for drilling the fender mounting location, this worked out nicely.

1.24 secula WP-1040489 1.24 secula WP-1040490 1.24 secula WP-1040491Everything went together well as a standard fender mounted tail light would.  The only thing that bothered be a bit was the wire routing out of the fender to the bottom connection points.  The design intent is to use a common hole for the alignment prong on the light base and the wire pass through the fender.  As a rule I always use a relieve grommet on the holes to ensure the wire does not get cut over time.  This led to a space conflict as well as the light base no longer following the curve of the fender.  I resolved this by cutting a small section out of the relief grommet as well as shimming the mounting bolt with a round leather washer.

1.24 secula WP-1040496It all pulled in flush and snug.  I replaced the stock nut with a nylon lock nut and trimmed the bolt a few thready to maximize tire clearance.  It all came together well.

1.24 secula WP-1040501Through frame wiring was a breeze.  I use an old derailer cable butt spliced to my dual conductor wire with the glue filled shrink wrap as a wire fish.  All wire runs are through the frame or inside the fenders with the wires tucked into an edge.  The exposed run from the seat tube to the rear fender is secured with a short piece of cloth tape.  THe front fender had been previously drilled for a head light only.  For this build I opted for a second set of holes.  On new builds I generally use a larger hole and grommet to accommodate the two wires.

1.24 secula WP-1040495

1.24 secula WP-1040506 1.24 secula WP-1040504 1.24 secula WP-1040503My personal Rambler is finally reflecting the complete vision of what a Rambler is meant to be.  There are a few details like the bottle cages to take care of still.  My Rambler will also be the test bed for rack and bag projects, so matching there may never happen.  Overall though I am thrilled with the way this build came together

1.23 almost FL-1040499

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Re-Stocking Caps

The freshest shipment of Randi Jo Caps hit our door step this week and the storefront stock has been updated.  Getting boxes from Randi is always a little bit like Christmas.


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Farmer’s Market Ride

The first one of the year.  Temps starting in the high 40′s with Santa Anna conditions starting up it started to move between 55 and 75 depending where you were along the coast.  Temperature fluctuations were the least of the drama though with a cross wind gusting to 35mph plus.  That said it was still great to get out and ride, and bring home some food for the week.

1.5  FM WP-11500641.5  FM WP-1040315 1.5  FM WP-1040316 1.5  FM WP-10403171.5  FM WP-1150087 1.5  FM WP-1150100Yes, the bag fits my two dozen eggs perfectly, pictures make it look perfect out, it was.  THe wind kept things exciting, and I have some more “handling in a cross wind” data added to the design journal.

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One More Rambler for the Year

Today I shipped off the last Rambler for 2013, a huge thank you to all of you that have bought into the program so far.  This red 55cm will be the first Rambler on the front range of CO as well as east of the continental divide.  Pictures:

12.22 red WP-1040070 12.22 red WP-1040073 12.22 red WP-1040074 12.22 red WP-1040075 12.22 red WP-1040078 12.22 red WP-1040080And the Stoke comment of the year goes to the new owner who saw yesterday’s pic on instagram:

“The like button has become grossly inadequate. Where’s the 9 year old me “I just got an AT-AT walker, run screaming through the house” button?”

Most of my customers are men, about 35-40, and we all know just how much an AT-AT walker really meant to us as a kids.  Brad is going to be stoked in a few days, and we are stoked for him.

If any of you out there think the red is as awesome as I do, and would love to, I mean need to, have a Rambler in red, hit me up and I will check inventory.  There were a few of these made in the last round and I still need to add then to the storefront.

This may also be the last post of the year, with two munchikins and a bit of travel on the immediate horizon things are going to slow down around OAC.  I will do my best to keep up with email, and most orders from here on out will ship the first week of 2014.  Thank you all for helping to keep 2013 awesome around here, safe travels ad Merry Christmas

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Picnic with Coffee Outside

Today munchikin No.1 and I took the scenic route to school, breakfast picnics will skew their perception of being grown up for ever.

With about 400 feet of climbing in half a mile I was glad for the low gears on the family xtracycle.  About half way up we took a break for the photo op.

12.17 picnic WP-1030988

Once at the top she confirmed that it had been quite the climb up, much more work than in the car, and she too was feeling it in her legs

12.17 picnic WP-1040001I think she was mostly feeling the lack of breakfast.  We found the bench she wanted and set up fast.

12.17 picnic WP-104000512.17 picnic WP-1150015With all the hard work behind us it was time to make time for some real playing, a bit of exploring.

12.17 picnic WP-1040043Fully recharged it was time to get back down the hill and make sure her sister was ok before heading off to school and work.  These are some of the best times, I hope she never forgets.

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Local Coffee Roasting

Since the coffee outside thing began we have bounced around the idea of a house branded blend of coffee.  A few things have held us back a bit, making the time to develop a relationship with the right local roaster, projected volume to make it worth the venture and the basic fact that many of you doing the coffee outside in far away places have great local roasters of your own.  Today I stopped in to visit Centri Coffee, and Dillon and I hit it off right away.  He has a good thing going doing a fair volume of organic beans at some of the local farmer’s markets.

12.14 Centri Coffee wp-1030985We chatted a bit about coffee and all sorts of other things.  He was prepping for the holiday sales as well as tomorrow’s market in Ojai.  There happened to be a large amount of organic Sumatran beans running through the roaster.  One of my favorite varieties, and what I had been stopping by for.

12.14 Centri Coffee wp-1150001They also had all manner of other single source beans, and I can see that my coffee problem is about to step up a notch.

12.14 Centri Coffee wp-1150004With some samples in the bag, literally, it was time to get back to work.  I do know that I will be heading over to their space again once the chaos of the holidays settles down a bit. Dillon wants to boil some water outside, and the possibility of a collaboration in the coming year will work itself in time.

12.14 Centri Coffee wp-1150005

Thank you Dillon of your time today, it was definitely time well spent for me.

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Still Here

It has been a wild ride over the last eight weeks, things have been busy, both work and life.  At the moment it seems things are almost back on track, I made it out for a ride this morning, brewed a cup in the 40′ish degree weather and then back to work.

12.13 Coffee WP-Hats will be here soon, kerchiefs are in stock, wallets are being cat and on the sewing table and there is no better time to plonk down the $$ on the Rambler frame set you have been dreaming about.

I will be breathing a bit of life back into the Blog over the coming weeks – Rob

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Hat Collaboration with Randi Jo Fabrication

Order your hats HERE in time for Holiday delivery

We have wanted to do a hat project, or two, for well over a year now.  The search for vendors, sample sourcing and all the fun that goes with is started a few months before last spring’s Seattle bike expo.  In fact the embroidered patch project was, in part, a baby step towards trucker hats.  The reality is, that I am really picky about hats, let alone ones that will represent out company.  More samples than I can count came out of the box, went on for a few minutes, and were on their way to Good Will.

Then this package came in the mail a couple of months ago, THANK YOU Randi Jo Fabrication:

11.18 Hats BP-1140750Right out of the box I knew this was the direction we were heading.  These instantly became my first choice every day.  We washed them, beat them up, crushed them, and soaked them in sweat.

11.18 Hats BP-1030408

They never let me down, the only catch, I liked the material on the orange and the cut of the blue.  That was the only trouble picking a hat each day.  The Blue hat, and final choice on cut, is slightly different from a traditional “cycling cap”.  it is cut a bit full run the crown and the brim is slightly wider and deeper to give  bit more protection from the elements, but not so big that it requires a stiffener.  In plain english, a perfect cap.

The next step was working up the mock-up for custom embroidery

11.18 Hats BP-114093211.18 Hats BP-1140937With final art resolved, it was time for material selection.  I wanted to go with organic cotton for ease of care, long-term durability, environmental impact and sustainability of the material.  I liked the hand (feel) of the material and how it was holding up to the abuse of repeated trips through the washer and dryer.  Working with a relatively LEAN supply chain model we are able to offer color options with a decent lead time.  The final choices:

11.18 Hats BP--3 11.18 Hats BP--411.18 Hats BP2- 11.18 Hats BP-

The fifth choice while not organic, makes up for the footprint in terms of durability and fun.  The NYCO ripstop multi cam fabric is produced in the USA and commonly used in Military uniforms. It has proven to be the most durable option for soldiers in the field while retaining the hand and feel of cotton….  And camo is fun.

11.18 Hats BP-1030524All of the hats will have our logo embroidered on the front to the left of center in dark Yellow, similar to the mockup I made with a hacked patch above.

ocean air (1)

The third and final option for winterizing your hat is the option of a stretchy merino wool, flip up, flip down ear cover.  Even as spoiled as we are here in SoCal with weather it still gets cold enough that I will be adding one of these to my rotation.


ocean air (1)All of this adds of to what I consider to be a perfect hat.  Priced at $32 ($35 with ear flaps) it is a screaming deal for a truly cottage industry, HandMade in the USA product produced with organic materials.

The initial order is going in this week.  Projections for the quantities and size distributions are going to be strongly influenced by pre orders HERE.  All hats in this order will be made and shipped in time for the holidays.   If you want a hat or three in time for Christmas order now, really.

Order your hats HERE in time for Holiday delivery

Update: I have been asked where these fall relative to Randi’s standard sizing.  Her medium is snug on my 23″ head with winter afro filling in.  Our L fits me perfectly and stays on in a 20mph headwind, the small is similarly offset from the medium in the opposite direction.

If you have interest in a Child’s or New Born version, hit me with an email, there will be one of each heading towards our expanding team, and more can be added to the upcoming order

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Steel Bike Show This Sunday in Orange, Ca

As I am typing this baby No.2 has yet to make her appearance, it could be any day now, and we are planning on bringing three Ramblers down to Orange this Sunday November 17, 2013 for a bit of show and tell.

IMG_4781-2“Plan A” is to be there a bit early, helps on our end with traffic, and be able to facilitate some test rides.  If you have interest in meeting up send me an email and we can set something up.  We intend to be there for the whole day.  That said it is a full moon, and just such a full moon brought out our munchikin No1.   If you are really hoping to see the Ramblers please plan on earlier than later, one never really knows with these sorts of things, but if I get the call I will be heading back north ASAP.

Also, the sponsors of the event will be having a raffle to offset the costs of the event.  We will be donating a set of the new Terra Cotta Soma C-line Tires to help them along.

I know we will see some old friends, and will make lots of new ones, it is going to be a good day.  We hope to see you there.


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Thank You and Apology

First I need to thank each and every person who has supported us through readership, spreading the word and purchases.  Without all of you, Ocean Air Cycles would be a crazy guy making pictures and stockpiling esoteric bicycle widgets on the California coast.

This whole venture has been a process in learning and growing as a business offering products and services I believe in.  Aside from customers I never could have made it this far without the love and support of my family and friends as well.  Some aspects of the venture have exceeded hopes and expectations, while others like actual sales vs. projected are more of an element of stress.  Stress can be a good thing, pushing for better solutions and systems, but it can also wear you down.  The last three months have been  a roller coaster and twice the stress outran my health.  Once around the time that the first Ramblers of the Summer were heading to new homes, and again in the last three weeks.  Having a three-year old in child care, fighting off germs is nothing new.  Generally I just push through, and I did for the last two weeks, was getting on top of it Sunday, and then while processing pictures to promote the kerchiefs, I realized I looked about as good as I was feeling

11.8 sick-1030494That night the fever ramped up to 101 and today I am getting back to the computer.

Even with all of the above mentioned support, OAC is primarily a one man show, and when the man is down things screech to a halt, no sick days or things stop.  With the impending birth of our next daughter (any time in the next two weeks) I had to stop, lay down and focus on getting better, fast.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on this one.  My voice and throat are still shot, phone calls will have to wait until next week.  But I am catching up on emails, direct apologies to those waiting for Ramblers, and all that.  If you have been waiting for a reply, I may have missed something, please do not take it personally and do not hesitate to ask again, your patience is appreciated.

Things should be back to normal by next week.  Projects like hats, shirts, neck buffs, kerchiefs, wallets, scarves and some other surprises will all get back under way so we have things in time for the holidays.  Like wise, there are a few bought Ramblers that need to get to their new homes and another 35 or so that still are looking for their future owners.

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