Friday, March 21, 2008

Arena Baggage

There's a fairly good chance I've been hiding under a rock for a few months. There's not too much time for words (busy as a beaver!) so I'll simply leave you with a barrage of pictures and some sparse explanations. It'll have to do for now!

The Sopo Bike Co-Op of Atlanta once again put together the annual Broken Hearts and Bike Parts alleycat, which they graciously allowed me to help out with again this year. Although I've never actually been to this race (or even Atlanta for more than 30 minutes, for that matter), it's always been one of my favorites, and had a soft spot in my heart. Unfortunately, a busy schedule prevented me from attending, and even dashed my hopes of the gaudy, overly embroidered bag I usually bestow upon such momentous events. Oh well, the plain, understated heart design will perhaps find itself a home a bit more easily.





While on the subject of races... the local boys (and gals) of the Cycle-Logic race team were putting together a three part training series called "Bring It On!" up at Progess Park in Alachua. Flyboy Ken asked me to sponsor the race, and while I was wary at first (this would be my first sponsorship of a sanctioned race, as well as my first time participating in a sanctioned race - quite impressively, I might add) I jumped at the opportunity. We settled on a more-intricate-than-you-would-think wheel design, which turned our fairly well. As people who see my work are wont to do, Ken fell in love with the bag and demanded one for himself. His is an olive bag, without the "Brought It 2008" embroidered under the decorative line.




Continuing backwards in time, we arrive once again at the month of October. We all know this means it's getting time for winter beers, pumpkins, and racing in Tallahassee. The shenanigan-riddled kids up there pulled it off once again with an impressive showing at Talloween 3! I've had to narrow down some of my sponsorship commitments recently, but with Talloween being the first race I ever sponsored, they've got a soft spot in my heart, and I just couldn't say no.






In an unexpected turn of events, Lex of Villin Cycle Works has recently sold his shop Bikes & More to a wonderful gentleman by the name of Paul! The shop is truly growing by leaps and bounds. You should certainly stop by if you're ever in the area, and make the trip if you're not. Paul immediately contacted me and asked if he could stock a few of my bags in his shop. If only he knew what he was getting into. Paul is an extremely patient man, but I do believe he's going to punch me in the face the next time he sees me, as I've been ducking out on him for nearly four months now. Paul, if you read this, I swear there's more coming soon!

I did manage to get two bags to him so far, though. First, we've got a Roman Catholic air freshener inspired likeness of the Virgin of Guadalupe. What could compliment that better than a Brooks saddle sailing over some Midwest farmlands? Nothing if you ask me. The proof is in the pudding.














A while back a delightful bloke named Chad had asked me to make him a bag. After telling him it would be a few months, he went ahead and placed an order for two - one for him, and one for his wife. If you ask me, there's probably nothing cuter in the world, and I was happy to oblige. Chad opted for a large bag with a map of the United States, highlight where he's lived through out his life, while picking up a medium with neon pink stars for his wife. Quite the adorable combination. I hope to see them one day, riding hand and hand into the sunset, wearing nearly matching Arena bags.















A local riding buddy named Joel opted to pick up a large a while back with a design inspired by a fifth grade art project of his (although I can assure you his artistic skills have since surpassed that level, the project still had quite a deal of class). After seeing the design, I immediately told him he wasn't allowed to change his mind. I'm a long time fan of M.C. Escher, and had planned on doing some sort of tessellation-themed bag for myself, but could never quite find the motivation. At last, here it was. Thanks, Joel!






Also of recent note is the coming of age of Camp Cupboard Designs right here in Gainesville, FL. Nathalie started making bags around the same time I did, and has truly perfected the art of making hip pouches. Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, if you need a hip pouch, she's the person to see. You will certainly thank yourself, and definitely thank her for the intense amount of thought and effort she put into the design. I've yet to see a finer hip pouch. Check 'em out!

1 comment:

Todd said...

Mike, you consistently kill it. These new bag images are amazing and a true testament to your craftsmanship. It’s an honor to call you my friend. Here’s to many more bags and a few less drags. Stay Up! -Todd