Workshop Update: Balance bikes, business build-outs and bloody good people

Hey everyone. You know what it's like when you make a plan to pick something up and maintain it properly and then the world conspires to make that near enough impossible? THAT. We promise though, the blog will be regular again now, even if we just have a chat and don't report anything overly fantastical.


We've been quiet on here and on socials but that's not to say that we've been sitting around being bored. More like the opposite and we didn't know if you all wanted to hear about lots of wheels and smaller machining jobs? Maybe you do, but we assume they all come across as a little dull and most of you are probably looking for fancy bikes and blinding paint jobs!

gif

Basically, we've been juggling a poorly bubba, wheels every single day, a few pretty coffee tampers, organising the next bike builds and finalising how we are going to give the company a bit of a freshen up. If nothing else, at least a pandemic makes you reassess what's working, what could use a tweak and what you actually want to do. For us, that's meant unashamedly realising that we enjoy working as a family. Yeah, we're THOSE people that don't even argue at IKEA. So moving forwards, there will be some extra arms at August and some diversifying, but more to come on that later.


The really big news of the week is that the small one's bicycle came back from paint. We were a tiny bit worried that it would be so amazing that we wouldn't really want her to ride it, but in reality, she deserved to razz the hell out of it because it is SO good. Nico at Ornamental Conifer did an incredible job on it and by sending some swag, we don't need to buy any new clothes for a while either, so cheers dude! We're playing it pretty cool but in all honesty, there have been some tears of joy for the finished bike. Being able to build something so special, for our little person, has made us realise just how human we are and how much we love being parents. It helps that she is a full-on natural on the bike as well. She rips around local pump tracks like her arse is on fire, riding through nettles, finding faster lines and giving a total of zero shits, before screaming her head off when we try to leave.

Right. So what's all this about expanding what we do? Well. We love building bikes, but with a few caveats. We only want to work with good people that we feel a genuine connection to, on projects we are fully interested in. In short, this is a crappy business model. Great for our mental health and continued enjoyment of what we do, but it's not going to fund any extravagant living (or forest school sessions more to the point). We still build an enormous number of wheels and that's what we think of as our bread and butter, plus it speaks volumes that so many of you are repeat customers and become good friends. BUT, we have been beavering away with other things too and it's time to start talking about it all.


We have a 3D printer now and have been doing CAD modelling and prototyping for a while. We work closely with a CNC machinist and have a local laser cutter on board too. We have also made custom bike shop fixtures, furniture and pretty much everything else you can think of. Bespoke record weights? Yep. Custom head badges? Not an issue. Custom record shelf dividers? Of course. Suspended kitchen saucepan racks? Those too. So, despite the fact that Mrs A only recently gave the website a tart up, we are going to be having a bit of a change, to reflect the numerous divisions that make up August as a whole and it will look a little like this:


August Bicycles - Still fully operational with projects strictly taken on at our discretion

August Wheelworks - Running at full speed and yes, we WILL start updating Insta (go follow if you don't already, it will spur us on!)

August Design and Manufacture - Full custom fabrication and design services

We are hoping to get our arses into gear to make some fun things for the shop soon too. Just little prints etc that mean you can support us and be part of our family without buying a bicycle. We'd like to do some t-shirts too, but does anybody buy them these days?


And now for something personal. We've made no secret of the fact that things have been tough for us (mental health -wise) in recent months, but we are emerging from the fog now and that's in no small part thanks to the huge amount of support that has come from a lot of you. We don't just mean in the form of buying things from us, though that is lovely and thank you all, but the unsolicited emails of support and checking-in have made all the difference. Hopefully, some of you have appreciated the same from us too. Without sounding like a tacky greetings card, it really is in those darker moments that you realise who your friends are. Those that put you first for a second and their ego or self-concern to one side, to see what's happening. When we stop for a moment and think about the people that we have really appreciated talking to recently, it makes us remember that there is good stuff going on. We've had people with new babies taking the time, fellow depressives and those with really big shit going on getting in touch and it never goes unappreciated, so a massive thank you to you all and a reminder that if you need us, we are here, just pottering about.


Next week, we'll have wheels, tampers, stems, racks and a second balance bike to talk about, all being well. Plus, you never know, Mrs A might have made some prints or something too. For now, have a great week, enjoy some sunshine and here's to a great half-term for everyone!


Rad Peeps of the Week:

  • Chris for always being a supportive fellow parent and obsessive climbing frame builder. Those kids are very lucky dude.

  • The chap who gave us a free wooden play kitchen for our daughter. She loves it and we have been enjoying countless imaginary meals that are still infinitely better than the infamous herby dumplings Mrs A made years ago, but we can still taste.

  • Zipp for making terrible wheels and giving us a metric shit-ton of work this week. Much appreciated guys, keep churning those shitters out!

  • Everyone that bought us a coffee, ever. We never expected it to be a thing but it has genuinely paid for coffees for other people, supported local charities and helped us too. Shout out to Paul Brodie for giving us the idea.

  • Cross Street Union for being worth a weekly pilgrimage to Holt for the best coffee about, delicious vegan cinnamon buns and a chance to buy biodiverse, locally grown asparagus, all while enjoying a good whinge while oat lattes are made. If you are in Norfolk and haven't visited Danny and Sophie yet, what are you doing with your life? This is a great way to support small, but also ethical. We know from personal experience that the two are not always connected but in this instance, they absolutely are.

gif

See you next time!