Into the thick…it’s already February?

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It might be February but someone hasn’t told California. It’s 75 degrees and sunny right now, not trying to rub it in but we were all expecting El Niño to drench us. We’ve had a few days of rain but not that much.. I’ll admit I was pretty worried about the rain. If people aren’t riding they don’t need their bikes worked on. What I noticed though is that if people can’t ride it’s a perfect time to get their bikes worked on, that’s what I get for thinking. Anyway, it’s been a pretty good winter, business is pretty steady.

I’ve had a couple kit preorders go through in the past couple months. If you ordered the Navy kit, please be patient we ran out of some materials so they are running a bit late. It’s not the norm. They should be shipping to you this week. The Spring kits sold pretty well! Thanks to all of you you bought these. Can’t wait to see them in person! I’ll have another kit launch in the summer. Think bold. Bold lines, Bold colors..

On a personal note, it’s been a month of ups and downs. On one hand my parents are in town for a visit, for the month. For some that might sound scary, for me it’s great. For one the stay in Oceanside, they spend an equal time between sight seeing, me and visiting my sister and her family. My Dad has always been one of my best friends so having him around is great, Linda isn’t so bad either.. So far with work being somewhat busy, we’ve met for dinner a couple times. This weekend though we’ll go on an adventure.

On he bad side.. One of my hero’s, a client & a friend committed suicide. I’m not going to bring out all my dirty laundry here but, I would like to say there are people all around us struggling. Struggling in life, struggling with disease, struggling with relationships,.. It’s important to have that friend to talk to whether it’s a professional or your best friend. I’m very fortunate to have so many friends, true friends. They are what keep me going day after day.

 

Projects

  • Working on a new t-shirt as always right? Thinking it will be an original design.
  • New kit design is in the works. The next one will be launched this summer. It’s going to be standard kit unlike the Special Editions like the Spring kit. Theme will be BOLD. As with all my other kits this one will be designed to match the other pieces I’ve brought out in the past.
  • There is another kit in process but, it’s wacky. Way different than anything I’ve done before. Jersey, bib, arm warmers maybe even a vest who knows. Hey if I only sell the minimum I’m ok with that. If it takes shape we’re looking at a fall release.
  • Still working on a retail space. My idea of what I want keeps whittling down. More boutique less superstore. What I’m missing most biz wise is VH branded merch sales. The BigCartel site works but I don’t get the same sell through.
  • Music playing:: Deer Tick “Dirty Dishes”
  • Coffee:: Ironsmith Coffee “espresso”
  • T-shirt:: Viva Velo Hangar
  • Socks:: SockGuy VH checker wool
  • Bike in the stand:: Yeti SB5C (new build)

Thats it for now. Need to get out of coffee shop mode and into the garage.

 

Happy 2016!

We are approaching the middle of January and what a crazy time! Over the holidays I took some much needed time off. Not full blown vacation time, i’d work now and then plus I didn’t leave San Diego. I know now that was a mistake.. Anyhoo I’m rested and ready for action.

With the rainstorm that blew through San Diego last week and it being my first week back in the garage, I assumed repairs would be slow. Wrong. Crazy Town, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Here’s a little update…

Current Projects in The Hangar:

  • I’ve designed a new jersey for the Spring. Online preorder will open soon on Velo Hangar/ Squadra. As with all my kits this jersey is designed to go with the Anthracite bib (dark grey). I updated the bib a touch to compliment the Spring jersey but it still will look great with the other kits. There will be matching arm warmers. Men’s & Women’s  Premier jersey & bibs.
  • Since I don’t have a retail location currently and have lots of VH merch taking up space in the van. I will be having a sale on my Big Cartel Online store in the next few weeks. Make some room for new product. I have a few Trucker hats, wool socks, Rather riding caps, VH bottles, etc.
  • I’ve started working on some new t-shirt designs and will probably be re-releasing some of the originals again as well.

Now for a photo dump of the past month or so…

Sorry for the radio silence…

November & December are usually pretty slow in the bike shop. So filling the void with apparel & accessory sales is what I generally rely on. Takes time & a lot of hustle.. For the first time in 6 years (yes VH is 6 years old..) I had a sale during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. Lots of orders came in! Thanks so much!! BigCartel makes it super easy on the online store side of things.

Lots of bike builds, new group swaps & wheelbuilds lately. I can’t forecast what is going to be popular for the week so it keeps me on my toes. I can say definitively that Felt IA1 builds are gruesome..

Current Projects

  • Working on a new jersey for Spring release (preorder). Design is so new my “design team” hasn’t even seen this one… This one will be with Squadra and will pair with a past bib design that will also be getting a refresh. I’ll rerun the checkered vest from the last order as well.
  • Planning to design a new water bottle with Camelbak. 24oz size, new design & possibly another run of a former design.. (Mixer is back!)
  • Reordering more checkered socks.. Kind of a dark horse, didn’t think those would catch on like they did.. Completely sold out in under a month, 120 pairs.
  • New T-shirts are in the works. VH Transit inspired. In sketch mode currently. My time at Squadoot is split between Squadra kit design & t-shirt sketching.

Reminder that my Holiday Party is next Sunday (12/13) at Priority Public House in Leucadia 6p-9p. Please bring a new, boxed, unwrapped toy for Rady Children’s Hospital.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! See you soon!!

Brain Dump:: 7/14/14

Crazy days. The shop is super fun lately. Late nights, difficult bike builds, stressful deadlines… I love it. Here’s a little of whats going on in my mind right now:

 

Most ridden bike owned: SyCip Javaboy

Beer of choice: Bell’s Oberon

Beverage of choice: Bourbon Revolver

T-shirt on: Culture Brewing Growler

Socks on my feet: VH logo on the left, VH Stripe on the right

Song playing: “Working on a Building” by Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys

IMG_2576 IMG_2511 IMG_2512 IMG_2515 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset IMG_2533 IMG_2531 IMG_2529 IMG_2522 IMG_2602 Processed with VSCOcam with e3 preset IMG_2665 IMG_2670 Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset IMG_2691 IMG_2736 IMG_2723 IMG_2719 IMG_2699 IMG_2694 IMG_2712 IMG_2744 IMG_2746 IMG_2751 IMG_2757 IMG_2760 IMG_2775 IMG_2770 IMG_2768 IMG_2767 IMG_2763 IMG_2762 IMG_2784 IMG_2786 IMG_2789 IMG_2791 IMG_2792 IMG_2798

Hold the phone… 2 posts in 2 weeks? Wow.

Someone once told me good things happen to good people… I must be one of them.

What can I say other than Thank You! Great turnout at the Velo Hangar 1st Anniversary Party last night! Thanks everyone for celebrating with us, supporting the shop and helping us turn Velo Hangar into the coolest little bike boutique in San Diego! I am very blessed to have all the support I do. A special thanks to the besets biz partner anyone could ask for, Laurel (aka @velobarista). I’d also like to thank my interns and special helpers… Tony Berg, Matt Jaberg, Elliot Reinecke & Takumi my “shop kid”.

A quick summary of last nights festivities if in case you could not make it…

  • The Montalban Quintet setup early and played for a little over 2 hours after a stellar performance at The Belly Up the night before. Jim, Carl & Julie all wore Velo Hangar “Stripe” T’s, so awesome. This band is the real deal. You can tell they love playing together, they feed off each other. It shows in their sound. Fantastic.
  • Bull Taco delivered street taco’s to the party. We ordered enough for 150 people thinking we’d have a few left…. not. To this day I still haven’t eaten anything at any of our parties (aside from a hot.dog.on.a.stick at the last party). Several times I noticed the line was wrapping around the parking lot. Awesome.
  • Lots of the regular crew stopped by, loved seeing you all! As well as several 1st timers! A couple people I haven’t seen in 2 or so years even stopped by.. Jeff Menoun from my Quintana Roo/Real Design days, Sean DeGruchy, Jill Hamilton, Lawerence & Mike (from Mirraco) among others.. It was a busy night my apologies if I left you out. Great times.
  • Lots of newbies too. Love seeing the reaction the first time people walk into the shop. The lifts, the high ceilings, the open atmosphere… Beautiful.
  • The keg was drained about 3 hours in… Luckily the bottled reserves were aplenty. I had a few sixers of Leffe, PBR, Old Speckled Hen, Beck’s & Lagunitas in reserve. I believe I counted numerous other cocktails refreshing the crowd as well. Good Times.
  • Josh from Hoehn Audi stopped by at the end of the night in a 2013 Audi RS5. Thankfully I had kept my drinking to a minimum (1 Velo Hangar) and was able to take it out. 450hp, 317 ft lbs of torque, naturally aspirated. Love. it. Took it up into the hills of Del Mar into the twisties. Growl.

Thanks again for a great party & a great year! Looking forward to many many more (parties & years..)!!!

Solana Beach to Vegas and back…

How many times are you going to read on this thing how my week was busy, lots of bikes & loads of new clients… Many many more. Today is no exception. “Be careful what you wish for…”… I’ve heard this a lot lately. When I stand back and look at what I’ve accomplished in such a short time, I do get a touch emotional… Not too much mind you that’s just not manly. All that I wished, all that I dreamt came true. I couldn’t have done any of it without you. With the “637” chapter just passing it’s 1 year mark, I think its time to reminisce a bit. I’m going to add an “about” page to the website, a timeline if you will. Now on with the ramblings…

  • Party: This Sunday is our 1 year anniversary of the Solana Beach store! That was super quick. If you haven’t received an invitation in the mail/facebook/email then think of this as your personal invite! We will be celebrating at 3:30 till 9ish Sunday the 30th. Montalban Quintet will be filling the hangar with jams, Bull Taco will be filling our belly’s with street taco’s (while supplies last..) and friends will be filling our ears with laughter. I am really looking forward to it and I hope you are too.
  • New Product: We picked up a few new products in the past couple months. We are carrying Osprey Hydration packs & Skratch Labs Nutrition. If you haven’t heard of Skratch (formerly known as Secret Drink Formula).. Where have you been? Skratch is the brainchild of Allen Lim, Bike Nutritionist/Training Scientist extraordinaire… Come in to the shop and try some out. I usually have at least one flavor for sample. 40 serving container is $19.50, single serving is $1.50. Osprey Packs should also ring a bell.. Founded in 1974, Osprey has been in the trenches, up the precipices & into the abyss. Like Velo Hangar itself Osprey is the highest quality pack on the market. Super happy to have them on board. We have a few examples of the Raptor Series & Synchro in stock.
  • New Kit: The Pro Velo Hangar kit has arrived and subsequently almost completely sold out… We do have women’s jersey’s & bibs in stock. Men’s kits on the other hand… Well to say I am surprised would be a lie, this kit was one I’ve been working on for many months now (Thanks to Embry Rucker, James Gilbert & Bridgette for all the help!). It turned out exactly as I designed it! The folk at Squadra are true artisans. Men’s Pro kits are diminishing rapidly. As of this exact moment we have 1 XS jersey, 2 XL, 2 XXL & 1 XXXL. You could say I’m into X’s I guess. Small, Medium & Large Pro jersey’s sold out in less than 2 days. Medium bibs sold out in 3 hours, Yikes!
  • Gray Team Kits: All sizes back in stock. This is the go to kit for me. Aesthetically pleasing. This kit will always be produced, it might be updated here and there but that will be a rolling change. We also received a few extra Orange Limited Edition jersey’s in the last shipment. These will be the last batch. I have 2 S, 1 M, 1 L & 1 XL in stock (as of this post).
  • Apparel: Since it is our 1st Anniversary, I thought it only made sense to reissue the 1st T-shirt I designed and produced as well as the 1st cycling sock. We have all sizes of the VH Vertical Stripe sock in stock. We also have Women’s & Men’s VH Stealth T’s in stock. T’s are $20 and socks are $8 while supplies last.
  • Vegas and that thing called Interbike: I went, I talked & I conquered. I use Interbike for networking. The bummer is that Interbike used to be about hearing and seeing the new product. Problem is that all the new bits and baubles are introduced to us month’s before the shows (including Eurobike). Everyone wants to get their product to the masses first, it takes the mystique out of the shows. So instead I use it to meet face to face with my vendors, kiss hands & shake baby’s. Cross Vegas was amazing! Caught glimpses of several VH T’s in the wild, Surprised by an appearance of a VH LE jersey in the Industry CX race (thanks to Bryan Hill of Rehab United) & witnessed one of the most impressive rides by Jeremy Powers. So happy to see Team Rapha Focus dominating CX. Sending good juju to Julie Krasniak, Gabby Day, Jasmin Achermann, Chris Jones, Zach McDonald & Jeremy Powers this season!

T: Gray VH Stripe

Sock: OG VH Stripe

Song: “The Audience is listening” by Cut Chemist

Where: Cafe Ipe

Why: Just finished my root canal with Dr. Howard.

What: Macbook Pro

Few and far between…

Wow just wow. I cannot express how much I appreciate the love I’ve been receiving from San Diego! This crazy little idea I concocted back in 2010 has become a reality. It’s cool looking back at pictures from those early days, funky reading old emails to colleagues or reminiscing with friends. Thanks to you, Velo Hangar is thriving! A special thanks to Laurel (@velobarista on Instagram) for putting up with me and helping me build the business so rapidly. I might still be in my garage if it wasn’t for her.

Velo Hangar has been in our Solana Beach (Eden Gardens) location for just a little over a year now. I have several new apparel pieces on the horizon including a new “Race” kit to compliment the “Team” kit. Several new T-shirts on the way as well. Keep it fresh but not too fresh.

Here are a few pics from the last couple months…

Correlation

It’s no wonder that the sparseness of my posts correlates to the workload at the shop… Please be patient. There is always so much going on. It amazes me how much I actually get accomplished with how little time I have. Needless to say the shop is on fire, figuratively. I’ve brought in a close friend that can help me with some projects that keep getting put on the back burner. It’s absolutely a dream and a life saver to know someone that has a similar  work ethic, attention to detail & unbelievable skill. Very lucky to have MJ helping me part time.

Laurel and I are happy to bring in a few new brands to the shop this early into our tenure. We recently added Kask Helmets from Italy (helmets worn by Team Sky as well as Heather Jackson in the triworld).

As most of you know, I only stock items I absolutely stand behind.  If I’m not using it, I’m not selling it.

We are also now carrying thecouch coveted Tate Labs Bar Fly for your Garmin Edge 200, 500 & 800. Woody Tate is a friend who works in Mill Valley at Above Category. If you don’t know what or who AC is drop what you are doing and drive there immediately! The Barfly (that’s bar fly not barf-lee like Laurel says) mounts to a standard 31.8 handlebar and puts the Garmin in front of the stem which honestly cleans up the cockpit on your bike. Nothing like buying a $270 ENVE Composites stem only to tarnish it by wrapping elastic bands around it to hold a computer…. Yuck! The third product I’d like to introduce is near and dear to my heart.

I’m excited and proud to introduce Velo Hangar Black Ops coffee produced by Revolution Roasters! Back in 2010 when I started the Velo Hangar brand, I wanted to create unique products that were different from the normal bike shop items. I wanted to keep the quality high and the production low, create a demand, create a following, create a unique atmosphere… Not just another cookie cutter bike shop. When I finally saw the passion & detail Rev Roasters put into their product I realized I needed to team up with them on a VH blend. The VH Black Ops coffee is a blend of Guatemalan & Brazilian which creates a very smooth mild coffee. It’s perfect as an espresso but equally as good in a French press or drip. We are offering Black Ops in 1lb & .5lb bags ($15/$9 respectively). If you are in Leaucadia please stop by Cafe Ipe (Revolution Roasters is located inside) and have a taste? Velo Hangar Black Ops is only available from our shop. stop by and we can pull you a sample.

A huge thank you to all who have expressed interest in supporting my brand and especially to those who are!!! Without you I might still be in my small garage in Cardiff, sweating out of all my pores, sweating my next bill, sweating my future…

So the next post might be awhile.. I constantly try to remind myself that I need to write something but, free time is nonexistent.

Huh. Not a single post from December…

Gotta change that. December was a big month. Started riding a bit more than usual, The Campagnolo Annual Toy Drive ride took off without a hitch, our Belgian Holiday Party was a HUGE success (over 200 attendees), spent time with family at Christmas… the list is endless. I keep thinking back to this time last year. I was in a different frame of mind. VH looked good on paper. Finding the capital to make it happen looked impossible unless I was willing to let go of the reins and change the concept… Looking back I’m glad I didn’t.

I started Velo Hangar as a brand. I used what little money I had to make t-shirts and stickers, build a little following. Start the brand underground style. I quickly sold out of the t’s making a little & designed a cycling kit (jersey, bibs, arm warmers, vest..). When I posted the jersey design I was amazed by the response. The 1st kit order exceeded my expectations! Maybe I was on to something…

Now look at Velo Hangar! A full-fledged brick & mortar Bicycle Service Shop… The shop is exactly as I had imagined, down to the layout I had sketched in my notepad a hundred times. I want to Thank Everyone out there that has stood by VH through thick & thin, stayed interested in the “progress” of the shop, continued to refer friends & family, stopped by to hang out & have a coffee. I am super excited to make 2012 even better!