In today's commercial environment it can be tough for a small, specialty company to make a go of things for very long. Bigger players can make things cheaply overseas, often by machine, with lower standards, ship them back here to the States and sell at a lower price. At the same time the disconnect between means of production and the end product purchased by a consumer has never been greater. So when one of those small, specialty companies makes it to the five year mark it is a valid reason to celebrate.
That is exactly what happened today when Road Runner Bags brought their sewing machines out to Claremont for a little fifth year anniversary party hosted by the guys of Sunset Cycles. Though Road Runner employs a staff of seven to get their products made and out the door, owner Brad, and Ester where the faces of the company during the shindig and were kept busy answering questions, as well as putting together custom bags on the spot. Road Runner bags are sold through select stores across the country and can, of course, be purchased on line as well.
So, why should you buy from Road Runner? First, you are supporting a local (Los Angeles), hand-made in the USA business. Second, their guarantees are good - and far better than what you would get for some similar mass-produced item. Third, you don't have to settle for black fabric, they have a wide range of colors and patterns. Fourth, they make a wide range of bags for various needs - saddle and frame bags, at least two sizes of waterproof backpacks, a small camera bag, and even a camera strap. These are all cycling-specific, but are adaptable to uses outside the activity.
You know some people came from great distances for this party, I think the most dedicated had to be the 70+ year old gentleman who rode his mountain bike - his mountain bike! - from Silverlake. He took the train back - understandable, if you ask me. I don't know if he ended up purchasing a bag, but he did appreciate those tacos and beer.
what are some of the characteristics of the perfect job? Would it involve doing something you really like? Would it involve riding your bike? Would it involve being able to product test what was produced by your own hands? Both Brad and Ester listed these; the pride and satisfaction that they get from doing a good job shows in both the process and the end product. If you need a new bag to carry your gear, or know someone who does, check out Road Runner Bags on the web, and like them on Facebook.
checking the fit of a camera bag
Fairdale and Rocky Mountain
Hey, that's Mr. Charlie Kelly's book, Fat Tire Flyer, by that Tecate can - the best mountain biking book there is.
Thanks go out to David and Sean - they had coconut macaroons, they had cookies, tacos, beverages, there was good conversation, music, familiar and new faces, cool bikes to look at and, of course, bags to buy.
the mrs. bought a burrito handlebar bag, coordinated to match her bike
while I opted for a tool roll saddle bag, in orange, specifically for the Ibis