Hey everyone. Hope you're all having a good week and are finding the joy somehow. It's time for another one of our spectacular blogs, so let's start with Mrs A losing her mind yesterday.
I popped out to take the pooch and bub for a walk around the field (Mrs A is injured at the mo) and I come back to a sheepish-looking wife blurting out that she did an Instagram Live thing and just spent 15 minutes getting upset and angry about the state of the world, as a direct result of Donald Trump Jr releasing some god-awful t-shirt. It was a lot to take in. Then I watched it.
First of all, let me say that I'm not sorry she did it, I agree with everything she said and I think it's fair to say that we all feel a bit of a limp dick in terms of what we can do to balance out the awful people and events in the world. Amy comes face-to-face with the worst of it every single day because her job is to know, write and create accessible news and it's just gotten too much recently, hence the ranting (yesterday was very tame FYI. The house rants are works of art!) and soon-to-be job change.
Secondly, I'm sorry to everyone that thinks we should just make bikes, post pretty things we create and keep quiet or keep it to a personal page. I’m afraid that simply isn’t us and I don’t use social media personally. We have an opportunity to speak to almost 15,000 of you and in our minds, that is significant and can bring about change, useful conversation and maybe a little introspection too. So, we will stay political, we will always care and we will always talk about the big stuff. And if we lose 15 followers every time? That’s a small price to pay.
On a positive note…thank you to the literal hundreds of you that got in touch to agree, lend support, see if Mrs A is batshit crazy or just start really interesting conversations. Seriously, we never thought we’d be talking to a former Republican, a Trump voter or anything like that but there we were yesterday, shooting the shit with so many different people. It was amazing. And a special thanks to the chap that called Amy Rembrandt in terms of her artistic leanings and her desired fate for DTJ. She’s going to print out that DM and hang it in her office. No joke.
Ok. Onto…BIKE STUFF AND THINGS.
We know everyone plays a bloody good game talking about 15-year order books and being so swamped they can’t possibly believe it but woahhhhh. What’s going on with you lot? Our inboxes are chock-full of frankly amazing emails, from people who really understand us, what we do and the way we work. Is this whole ‘being ourselves’ thing actually paying off after six years? Maybe, although we still get blanked when we bump into formerly potential customers we decided not to work with in the end...haha.
As a sneak peak into our emails, this week we’ve been confirming tourer, rando, balance and klunker bikes. They’ll be heading out all over the world, along with custom forks, stems, unnecessary bike bling and one-off light brackets for great peeps and it’s all really exciting. Of course, it all happens when Mrs A is about to start a new job, but hey. We’re not complaining! Let’s get into some details.
We know you’ve all seen the balance bike we built for Nico over in LA and you’re sick of it, but we got some really cool pictures of it sent over this week, so here they are. We promise we will stop banging on about it now. Maybe. It just looks so cool with those House Industries font details! Pictures are courtesy of @jack.berglas on Instagram, so go take a look at his page.
Those cable ends. We’ve decided to call them our Cable Carats, for obvious reasons, but they really were only meant to be a bit of fun and all of a sudden we have messages and emails asking for them! It’s always so incredible when you like the little bits and pieces we dream up in strange moments on the sofa, so thanks! No lie, they take forever to make, so when we whip up a batch, we will put them in the shop and let you know. It’ll be a first-come first-served type thing and anyone that’s a member of our mobile app will get an hour’s heads-up.
We broke ground on a frame project that we are seriously excited about this week. There’s a real meeting of minds with the customer, it’s a fun build and was one of those rogue “fuck buying something off eBay, let us make you a custom one” moments that paid off.
Inspired by 90s cross country mountain bikes but with some modern twists and a hard klunker vibe thanks to the coaster brake, this is going to be a real shit-kicker of a cool bike. We haven’t built anything grown-up sized for a while and though we enjoyed the break, coming back to this is really sparking up the love again. Apart from being asked to choose the finished colour. That’s pressure that just keeps me awake at night so Mrs A will be getting that job! Sorry in advance if you’re not a Parma Violets lilac or sunshine yellow fanatic dude…because she IS.
We did a little retro refurb too this week, taking a 90s Saracen and giving it an ISO disc brake tab on it. Nice little refresh for a frame that's going to see a lot more use from a really nice guy. Cheers Louis, looking forward to seeing the finished build!
We built a stem for Kam a couple of weeks back and it is back from powdercoat and looking great. We usually build these for 1 1/8 but this is a 1” version. Same but different and nice to take on some different dimensions. A nice simple black gloss finish was chosen to keep things classy and it will be heading overseas today, so here’s a peek before it gets swaddled in bubble wrap!
Our barrel nut light brackets are still going strong, so a massive thank you to everyone that has ordered one, two or five this week! We did make a couple of extra special Surly-compatible versions as well though, for our good friend Kurt aka Igluetubulars on Instagram. A few weeks back, Kurt was generous enough to collect all the Halloween mini waffle makers that Target had brought out and shipped them over to Mrs A, who was beside herself. Such a thoughtful gesture to take the time and we were wondering how to repay the kindness when Kurt asked if there was a Surly light bracket in the works. Consider it done!
Finally, a set of new lefty wheels for a Cannondale which has a lefty front and a Cannondale Ai rear. They have the peculiar 6mm offset rear accounted for and Shimano micro spline, so all in all, something a bit different! Also, nice to get a build in with the new MK4 Stans rims, which came together beautifully. The best part though was having a chat with Oliver, our customer, who came to collect. Breaking away from a ‘normal’ job to embrace the world of sustainable electrical engineering, we had some really inspiring chats about passiv houses, ditching cars and just being better people. Thank you so much Oliver, it was really fun and fascinating!
So that’s about it for this week. Hopefully more bike things that you all like to see and what a shock that we aren’t peddling tampers today! Although there are two on sale in our shop. JUST SAYING.
Look. We know we moan. We know we get het up, but we are a household of depressives just trying to find the best and most fulfilling ways to live and bring our daughter up with love and positivity. Thank you for always sticking with us, understanding, engaging and supporting in a myriad of ways. Buying bikes from us is the lowest rung on the support ladder, seriously. Those emails you take the time to write, the private messages, the following of Mrs A on insta just to send her nice messages etc…it’s all amazing. It’s also why we keep going and what motivates us to do better, where we can. Cue the mini applause for us being so awesome, right? If that’s where your mind went…you might not have caught our drift yet or be projecting some insecurities...
Rad peeps of the week
All of our Buy Me A Coffee supporters. Will we ever not be shocked and grateful? Not a chance!
Adrian for sending us coffees to buy Boo Boo birthday treats with! She enjoyed all of her crocodiles and faux rawhide pigs ears!
Everyone disgusted by the DTJ t-shirt and him in general.
Anyone that petitions Jim'll Paint It to turn Amy's DTJ vision into a print. PLEASE HELP US!!
Graham for bossing out his radiotherapy.
Lugs not Drugs for the rad patches and sticker parcel.
Mif for helping sort our van for us ahead of MOT!
So much choice for the token gif this week but we think we'll go with this little number...because we've just started rewatching Dexter.
See you next week!