Our dominant concern here these days is trying to raise enough money to pay for an incoming shipment of Cheviots, right after a shipment of Sams. It never ends, it seems, these cash flow problems, but it IS a luxurious problem to have in the same month as the ebola virus, ISIS, Scotland’s future, and all of that.
BUT in the NYT a few days ago there was a column that’s worth intervening for. On the surface it’s about football player Adrian PetersOn’s beating up on his 4-year old, but deeper down it’s more far-reaching, and there’s some history and perspective that fills in some cracks for all of us. Although the focus is on black people (which include those who are not African Americans), this kind of stuff goes on all over the world, etc.
Here we go:
On a lighter note, we’re working on a handlebar bag for the Albastache bar, and of course it’ll also work for the Moustache H’bar, I’m sure. Three months out, but it’s coming.
And I think we’ve mentioned before that we’re coming up with a new cheaper bike. It’s NOT going to have all the culiqued—curlicued—oh my, how does one spell CURL-EE-Q’d ?—details of a Sam or Homer or any of our other bikes. But it won’t be blatantly bland, either. There will be some points to love in it, things to look at, stuff to trust. The name is — I think we’ve put it out there already, but it’s the Clem Smith Jr. I think we’ve put it out there because we’ve gotten a few calls on it, asking, and some of the guys here don’t know what to say about it. We all KNOW about it, but there’s the concern about leaking too much too early.
Here’s the deal so far:
Who: Clem Smith Jr.
What: A fat-tired towny bike with touring and trail possibilities and for us, a super inexpensive one. Not made in China.
Where: I don’t know what “where” means in this context.
Why: Because lots of people can’t afford $2600 for a bike, and although there are a FEW good bikes that sell for a thousand or more less, there aren’t all that many, and we figure we can do as good a job (+) as anybody. Also, even if you have a more expensive bike, you might want or need a less precious bike for trips to the Dollar Mart, or for locking up in the alley by the Pachinko parlor.
How: How will we get the price so low (shooting for $1500 rideable)? Some tig, but not all. Maybe cheaper pedals, maybe cheaper but still good wheels. It might not even come with a front derailer, so..THERE!
But it will be a special bike, fully in keeping…
We have three unpainted sample frames, and we’re changing one thing on the head tube, and I brazed the changes on. I am not a framebuilder. I design them, but we have pros build them to our specs. But this was an easy job and I do know how to braze, and managed to put the things where I wanted them to go, and now we’ll paint them and will soon show photos of Assembled Clems, but no detailed shots of the flubby fixed area. With luck, two weeks.
Customer Ken made a lip-balm holder, the Beta-version of which is shown here. I BELIEVE it’s all in good fun/tongue-in-cheek, but one never knows. I assume there are fewer than a handful in the world right now, and I’m pleased to have one. Thanks, Ken.
Every time I use the restroom here I see this, clipped from the paper more than 7 years ago and preserved with thick plastic tape.
The caption reads:
Israeli riot police met resistance yesterday as they removed Jewish settlers from illegal residences in the West Bank cit of Hebron. As one settler was carried off near the market, an officer rushed to pick up the man’s glasses from the ground.
So: They’re on opposite sides, and this nice thing. I may have posted this seven years ago, but I forget. Anyway, it’s worth a repost.
Yesterday a really good friend, Japanese guy I’ve known and worked with for 26 years (he imports Nitto for us, and communicated our wishes to NITTO) came over for a week to commemorate:
1. His 50th b’day
2. And the 20th Anniv of Bstone closing and RBW getting off the ground.
And he brought me this T-shirt from the last month of Bstone:
I didn’t arrange for these and I was too nervous to be INTO it at the time—-I was losing a job and just lost my mom and getting a new baby in two weeks, and I was wound up in other stuff, like how’m I going to provide for the family (an ongoing concern…but especially then). So I didn’t even get one of these, but I got one now. And two days ago a Japanese bike journalist who freelances for Bstone came by and shot photos and interviewed, because there’s some interest in RBW’s connection with Bstone. Most of the guys I knew there are long gone, but at least one is not. The story is old news here and not that interesting, and it’s in the catalogue, but he’ll tell some version of it over there, maybe.
He alluded to Bstone having a faint whiff of interest in the US market, but it’s a different company now, so many things different, and if BStone-Japan were to come back, you’d be insane to think they’d have 1989 MB-1s and 1993 XO-1s and all that. I’d actually like to see them try, and I mean that in the nice way, not the snide way. I’d follow it as closely as anybody. There’s a 1-in-100 chance they’d re-enter.
The big bike market is so, so strange weird and nutty to me. I read the trade magazines, and I’m glad we’re not a part of it. Whatever moans I have here, I’m so grateful not to be THERE.
Don’t forget to click on this link: