Well, here we all are. We took some time away from blogging but we're back and it feels like we never bloody went away. Hello to all our faithful readers and a slightly more exuberant welcome to anybody tuning in for the first time. So the big questions first: why did we stop blogging and what have we been doing?
We pulled back on the blog for a bit because we realised we were just moaning. ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Nobody needs to just hear people griping about what, from the outside, looks like a dream job do they? The fact is, we were both getting a little bogged down in our individual depressions and it was coming out in the way we interacted with you all. We wouldn't want to read endless whingeing so we assumed you didn't either. That's not to say that we've come back reborn as optimistic Care Bears, but hey, we're trying.
Now to what we've been doing. We've still been building, designing and doing all manner of custom bike goodness, but a little more quietly. We've also been working out how to parent a toddler around two lots of self-employment. That last part has been the real challenge and has seen us working anti-social hours around each other, to always be present. We thought we'd left the days of working until 1 am behind us when we stopped attending shows, but apparently not!
What's new at August Bicycles?
Quite a bit, to be honest! We decided, on one of those lovely relaxing evenings, after a bedtime battle with the bub, we'd give the workshop a big overhaul. At the time it felt like a good idea and one that wouldn't take an eternity to complete. How fucking wrong we were.
What started as a 'let's build out a proper office for Mrs A', then have a mass clear-out and paint some details turned into a monster event. This wasn't exactly helped by the immediate need to rescue all of mine and my Pops' belongings from his house either. Just as we'd cleared the workshops, we had to bring over 30 bikes, an entire garage worth of tools and everything the old man had ever hoarded. It was...challenging. As ever, Mrs A demonstrated the kind of grace and understanding that you all love to assume she doesn't possess and we 'figured it out', like we always do. That hiccup cost us about three weeks, resulting in multiple trips to the metal recycler.
We sold one of our milling machines, found a few bikes new homes and got back to ground zero, which is when we finally built out the office and got down to some painting. Someone remind me next time I say "it won't be that much hassle to paint a band of polka dots on OSB" that it will. Though I enjoyed the process and the end result is an office so nice I keep trying to move all my crap in there. On these occasions, Mrs A does NOT offer understanding.
We are now just finishing up the main workshop, winterproofing properly ahead of the next cold snap and getting ready to finish painting the floor. But why are we going to so much trouble, you ask? Because you are all going to be welcome to come and say hi.
August open house plans
Yes, you read that right. Notoriously private and unsociable August Bicycles is going to have an open house. Everyone is going to be invited to come over and see where we are, what we do and have a chat. We want to see you if you're interested in a custom bike, some handbuilt wheels or just repair work too. We see a lot of value in restoring what is existing and salvageable, so don't think we are only interested in seeing people with blank cheques. That is absolutely not who we are. We think you know this already, but it's always worth a reminder. Fix it, design it, build it: all are equal to us and we do a lot of repairs and services now.
We haven't finalised the details of the open house yet, but that's on the list for the next couple of weeks. if you have an August and live near us, expect an email to see if you'd like to come along with your bike, to give visitors a little look at what we do. Or, if nobody else turns up, what a nice group hang we can all have. Maybe we could shoot out for a ride too. The only definites for the day so far are:
Coffee and vegan snacks will be flowing, especially for local clubs that want to shoot in on a group ride for a nosey.
There will be a noisy toddler running about.
No twats allowed. This one is important. If you've been a cocknoose to us in the past, insulted my wife (can be remedied with a quick email), wasted our time consistently or are wondering, "am I a twat?", this is not a day for you. It's also not really a come-and-see-what-another-framebuilder-is-doing day. We've had industry peers here before and then seen our design ideas on their bikes. So...no offence, but it's a social for potential customers, not a snout-and-steal.
It will be in...you guessed it...August.
There was a rumour we were considering Bespoked...
We were. And then we weren't. We were thinking of having Amy apply for the SRAM diversity scholarship, as she is getting into designing and building, but after some soul searching, we think we are in a much more privileged position than most who would also be applying. Amy has access to a fully operational workshop etc and she decided that her situation didn't warrant support to get started, if she decides to plough in.
We also had to think about the practicalities of bringing a youngster for a full weekend and dealing with show anxiety. Talking to, potentially, a lot of people, seeing them lift our bikes etc. It isn't for us. It never was, but we played the game because we thought you have to. Once a good friend had been a judge and filled us in on a few bits and bobs, after the fact, we realised we are better off just carrying on as we are and not bothering with all the pomp. I don't have any other job, so funding a show is an unnecessary expense and days out of the workshop where we could be productive.
Batch-built August Townies
As we always do, we had an idea, asked you all your thoughts and then got bogged down in the admin of trying to price and finalise details. We've had a few of you asking for more details and we can finally give them to you.
Frame, fork, stem and rack kits will be £1350. This is with a headset, bespoke August drop-outs, eccentric bottom bracket and braze-on downtube logo, finished in a single colour with accent shade for the rack. Fillets will be unfiled.
It is designed to be a close homage to our original award-winning town bike which celebrates its sixth birthday this year. Often imitated, never bettered, in our not-so-humble opinion.
It will be based around 650b wheels and disc brakes and will be easily switched between gears and single speed.
There will be an option to spec a build kit and have us supply you with a full build, ready to ride. Build will be free and wheel labour will be discounted by 50% if you choose a full bicycle.
If you have already registered your interest in an August Townie, we will be emailing you shortly. If you are now thinking "wow, that's a great deal for an expensive-looking bike that I'll be able to keep forever", get in touch. Tech road bikes are fun, but commuters are where it's at for us.
We are currently building a prototype (AKA new bike day for Mrs A), to test a few things out and finalise design details.
In other news
We built a mock-up stem for our favourite artist, Ornamental Conifer. He has set himself up a ripper of a dad bike and while he gets used to the ride, he has an unfinished stem to bed in. The bike shop local to him loved the mock-up and we are talking about sending some stems and other small parts over to them to stock. So if you're in the states, Los Angeles especially, you might be able to get an August hit a touch easier in the future...
We are thinning out the not-built-by-us herd. We currently have our BTR pinner for sale and our manual (Oat) Milk Plus Bullitt for sale. They are both listed on LFGSS in the classifieds but you can message us directly too. Though can we politely ask for no more of the very well-meaning "what a great bike, I wish I could afford it" messages? We get excited that we've found a new home for something and then...we haven't. There are only so many ways to say "yeah, it's great but we don't need it anymore". And for the 100th time...no. We are not selling our Gilles Berthoud cargo bike mudguards separately. Buy the whole bike, take the mudguards off and sell the Bullitt if you want them that badly! Haha.
Right. When we asked what you all wanted to see in the blog, there were a few suggestions, so let's get to those.
You ever do that thing where you see something on Instagram and it looks like it would be good, so you save it and actually give it a go? Yeah, us neither. Except we DID. We covered grapes in lime juice and a little sugar and put them in the freezer to make 'natural' Haribo Tangfastics. They were shit. So instead, we tried again using lime juice and a little malic acid. OH BABY. Not only no added sugar but the most delightfully sour, then sweet, treat in the world. Highly recommend. You can get malic acid online really easily and it is reportedly beneficial for anyone with joint pain (why we have it in), so it's a double win.
Swear of the week
It's been hard to choose just one this week, as Mrs A has been on linguistic FIRE folks. Lots of shite happening has given her multiple opportunities to flex her skills. But we have settled on:
Not just a "drunk death punk" band, also a fantastic description for anybody that is being an insufferable fucking idiot, but most likely thinking they are the living end in innovation, originality and style.
"Fuck me, have you seen this Instagram post? The guy is a fucking cocknoose of the most flaccid order."
August's photo casebook
Nobody needs to see us in our underwear, posing on the edge of an unmade bed, a la The Sun, but we will do a version next week, just for you Chris. We are all too full of the lurgy to do it this week. Snot never looks good in pictures.
Backslaps and call-outs
Richie Sachs for always having some sage and knife-related advice.
Everyone who still bothers to engage with our Instagram posts, it really helps!
Those of you who still buy us coffee, espcially when things have been hard.
Baby Hazel and their fabulous parents.
The guy who told a prick in Tesco that it wasn't an "arseholes anonymous meeting so shut up".
Boris Johnsson. We can't even get into this until the anger subsides.
A prick in Tesco who thinks kids shouldn't leave their houses.
People who wear self-promotional tracksuits to FUNERALS.
See you next week everyone!