You ever sit down to do something you know you need to and then realise that by putting it off and not finding the time, it's become so much more of a mammoth task? Yeah well, welcome to THIS blog!
Sorry it's been a couple of weeks. They say that when it rains it pours but fucking hell. There's been a torrential downpour over here at August HQ. Not that we're complaining even a little bit but come 9pm, we have both been ready for sleep and the blog has fallen by the wayside accordingly. But here we are now and let’s have a chat about what's been going on, what we've been thinking about and general nonsense.
First off, we had a great chat with Colin at AM Bike Co. over in Ireland. We regularly recommend that anyone on that side of the water goes to him for all their wheel needs, rather than shouldering the joyous extra tax and shipping hassles that Brexit, the stonkingly fantastic fuck up, has left us all facing. We were shooting the shit about all things industry and social media when we realised that we were trying to do a photo dump once a week, with details about everything in our blog, but then kind of let that fade out. It was a far healthier and more enjoyable way to go about things though, so as of Monday we will be returning to this format. Maybe the odd story or reel, but honestly, we just aren't thinking that far ahead. It's just social media after all and frankly, we get less social with every week that passes. Is it just us? Either way, thanks Colin! Hopefully you give this format a go too and find it more time efficient.
We finished up a frame for Noah (aka Mrs A's favourite floppy-haired cyclist chum) and it has gone off to powdercoat to be finished in a sexy shade of brown. Did we laugh at selecting 'Nut Brown'? Of course we didn't, we are consummate professionals. Ahem. Nuts. Along with the frame went a stem for return customer and good friend Mark. We had both dithered about the project but it got finalised and built in a couple of days and we can't wait to see it back, all bedecked in dark blue to match his custom August MTB. Hopefully we will have pics of both for the next blog but we've uploaded some nice raw snaps of these already to the 'gram, so take a peek there.
We confirmed two new full bike builds this week and are equally excited about both. We don’t know if it's a case of people following us for a while and reaching out when they have something they know we will want to build or if we are just lucky right now, but everything landing in our inboxes sounds great. Weird and wonderful randonneurs? Yes please! Something comfortable for the tallest guy in the world? Also heck yes. Nothing is like the bike before it and everything is sounding unique, fun and most importantly, like it could be an August, so we have been happy to say yes to a lot more people than usual! Next year is, despite us not ever wanting to do this, looking pretty full already. And yes, we know everybody claims to be super busy, but there's no social media showboating or bullshit with us. We are REALLY booked out and exceptionaly grateful to you all for that fact. You might need to pinch us actually!
We also had a fantastic call with a potential customer this week. Well, Mrs A did. Neurodivergence is something she is passionate and knowledgeable about, while also being a proud bearer of it too. Over the past few years, through lots of research, reading, mental health advocacy etc, we've realised that we are both neurodivergent, in complementary ways (thankfully). While I'm more of a plodder that tends to overthink and scrutinise myself way too much (leading to theose detail-orientated bikes), Mrs A has high-functioning anxiety as well as some Asperger’s traits that have helped her to come to terms with her past behaviour and friendship evolutions. Taking ownership in this way has proven extremely positive and allowed for a lot of healing while also being open to some amazing interactions, such as the one she had with James this week. He has a very specific situation and potential bike build to take care of, with a good helping of neurodivergence to accommodate as well. The project is one that touched a nerve with us (disappointing previous attempts, bad communication and general shittiness in the industry) and recognising someone with a similar brain has also added some extra weight to our desire to work with the customer, either on this or a future project. Thank you so much for the trust and openness James. You probably understand exactly how impactful that can be, but we wanted to extend some gratitude. It's also a lovely offset to the shitty comments about my wife being "mouthy" or "stroppy" that a bunch of chauvanistic twats have enjoyed spouting in the past. Some of them even claim to be mental health advocates. Pretty shameful stuff...
We built a set of 29er wheels this week that felt like a long-time coming. These bike parts shortages are getting sillier by the day but a patient customer, coupled with a fast build once everything arrived made for a fantastic set of wheels that were gratefully received. Set up tubeless ready and with tyres, they were ready to roll as soon as they came out of the box, complete with metallic chrome-effect decals too.
Lead times seem to be evening out a little, at least on the wheels side of things, so if you're looking for a tune-up, a new set of winter trainers or a fancy Christmas gift to yourself, now's the time to start a conversation.
A lot of thanking going on in this blog, because here are a few more expressions of gratitude. First up, Rob English. Always a pleasure to chat via email and bang the world to rights a little, but a box full of t-shirts, vegan snacks and tamper fodder was an amazing surprise. Took the wind out of our planned surprise Christmas box sails a bit but we forgive you Rob!
Next up we have Konstantin over at Drust. An absolute gentleman, he helped us out with a headtube and sent a t-shirt too, which is rocking some serious ACAB energy. Really appreciate the camaraderie and it's great to make a new friend in the EU, even though we have been stupid enough to leave it.
Finally, a MASSIVE thank you to Tim over at Bike Ninja for his help with our Dolly t-shirts. A top service from a great chap, and hopefully those of you that ordered should be taking delivery as we type.
Next week, we should have some pretty things to show you, a Christmas release to announce and something a little bit more exciting than both things put together as well. Don’t want to give anything away yet but if you're not sick of our faces yet, you might soon be able to enjoy them in a new format. And no. We are not joining TikTok or trying to master dance routines. We are old.
Rad peeps of the week
All of our Buy Me A Coffee supporters. This year, you supported not only us and our family, but also a host of amazing causes and people. Thank you!
Andy Ramsdale for getting 10k miles beasted this years and raising money while he is at it. PLEASE DONATE EVEN £1 if you can, HERE.
Casey over at Mars Cycles for letting out his Brooklyn and not taking shit from someone. If more people called out the unwarranted and unfiltered opinions of self-proclaimed experts in this industry, things might be a whole lot kinder and less fucking weird. Remember: doing it the longest or for the most money doesn't give you free licence to shit on everyone else, it just makes you a shit.
Anyone who remembers that this time of year is hard for a lot of people. If you've reached out, checked in and made sure people you care about are ok, take solace that you are part of the solution and a proactive conversation starter. Mental health awareness and support is a lifetime commitment and doesn't only count one day a year, so big-ups to any of you making a regular effort.
Roger Moore for starring in easily one of the worst Bond films, Octopussy, which has inexplicably become a favourite of our daughter who enjoys having it on in the background while she plays.
See you next week!