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.

SONY DSC

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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C Line Impressions and Price Bump

The presale C Lines started shipping out to customers last week and initial impressions and feedback have all been great.

Here it has been a week of true satisfaction on the New C Lines tires.  With time constraints being pretty tight I was able to total up just over 60 miles so far, and the C Lines are perceptibly smoother rolling then the previous New Express Tires.  11.5 c line bump-1140908I have pushed them both on and off the pavement to see just how much abuse they would tolerate.  The sidewalls have faired ok riding through the rocky side trails that parallel sections of our local railroad lines.

11.5 c line bump-1030396

I did manage to get one flat from a significantly large goat head thorn, but is should be considered that I have paired these initially with a set of   super light Q Tubes, again for the sole purpose of establishing the boundaries for these will do in terms of flat resistance.  Also, of note are the numerous patches of broken glass and other thorny areas I have ridden through on purpose, and no other issues.  Thus, even with one flat this week, the ride quality makes the risk of flats well worth it IMO, and if thorns prove to be a problem there are ways to work around that without giving up much on the performance front.  I will follow up on these in a month, but these are going to be my primary tires this winter.

11.5 c line bump-1030514

The presale volume has been good, thank you to everybody who has made a purchase.  As of today all tires ordered prior the start of distribution have been shipped.  The initial sales volume has helped to establish better projections on where we need to price these tires to keep the project sustainable.  The price of $49 a tire is really a bargain for the level of quality and performance for a tire this unique in the market.  To keep things sustainable we will be bumping the price to $55 a tire this weekend, Saturday November 9.

We have a good stock of both colors on hand and ready to ship.  The presale price will hold on all orders placed through Friday November 8 by midnight.  As always shipping will still be free for two or more tires as all sales through out storefront over $75 ship free.

Click Here to Purchase

11.5 c line bump-1030518

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57 Sunflower Porteur

This past week I built up a 57cm Sunflower Rambler as a Portuer.  What is commonly referred to as a “city bike” these days, the Porteur has deep roots as a French newspaper delivery bike.  Optimized for getting stacks of newspapers out to the stands around Paris, the Porteur is optimized for speed and all day comfort in the urban environment, yet still able to handle well with exceptional front loads, i.e. a stack of newspapers.  THis translates into an excellent bike for most people who carry a varying load throughout the day, have a stop and go radius under 10 miles and prefer the comfort and added visibility of an upright position, think commuter.

This build has been well received on our social media channels with requests for more info on some of the details.  The build was a mix of price points, focused on a safe and transportational ride that will see daily use in Santa Clarita as well as longer weekend explorations.  Pictures tell the rest of the story…

11.1 57 Porteur-1030327 11.1 57 Porteur-1030332 11.1 57 Porteur-1030334 11.1 57 Porteur-1030335 11.1 57 Porteur-1030336 11.1 57 Porteur-1030337 11.1 57 Porteur-1030343 11.1 57 Porteur-103034711.1 57 Porteur bar-1140872

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