Saturday, August 21, 2010
It turns out it’s not just muscular athletic guys who run bicycle frame companies who can use a Haulin’ Colin trailer; it turns out that small female musicians who are scientists in their day jobs also can do amazing things with one.
At least that’s what I learned today in my second sale, this one to Dayna Loeffler, vocalist and pedal steel guitar player for the dreamy psychedelic rock band, Half Light, (among other things) who plans to use the trailer to haul around her musical gear to gigs and rehearsals, (among other things.)
I had a great time doing trailer business with her today, in no small part because it hardly felt like business; what a great “job” where you get to ride your bike someplace with a trailer attached, then, after sharing with someone the wonder that is the Haulin’ Colin, riding home without the trailer and a big fat check in your pocket instead!
Dayna was totally game for testing whether she was really up for becoming a fully human-powered band roadie. We loaded her amp, bass guitar, pedal steel guitar case (sans actual instrument), and folding stool into the trailer and took off for her nearby rehearsal space in order to see whether it was actually feasible to do so. Even with (I’d estimate) about a hundred pounds of gear and a decent uphill to navigate, musician and trailer made it no problem.
Granted, the weather was cooperating and we wondered what it would be like in the inevitable drenching rains of winter, but so far, so good. Braking will probably be more of a challenge than climbing, but for those of us who appreciate the slow and steady pace, I don’t imagine it will be too much of a problem.
I can’t believe I’ve now sold two trailers in just three days; at this rate, they’ll all be gone before the end of September; better get yours today, while there’s still time!
Friday, August 20, 2010
I am now officially a capitalist running-dog small business owner—but not yet Republican—as I celebrate my very first sale as exclusive representative for production models of the Haulin’ Colin trailer which, I continue to allege, will save the world, or at least some small part of some small part of it.
I am deeply honored that my first customer is in the bike business himself, Geoff Casey, founder of Seattle’s Baron Bicycles, makers of some of the finest production (and custom) frames in the business. Geoff broke in his trailer a few weeks ago with a 40-mile car-free carry of a trio of his frames to the Sound-to-Mountains Bike Fest, an impressive feat that he chronicles here.
I was all but moved to tears in conversation with him to hear how well he gets the gospel of the trailer; he was talking about how having the ability to carry so much stuff so easily—especially, in his case, complete bikes—completely changes a person’s mindset; no longer do you think that you’ve got to take the car just because you’ve got a load to haul; and what’s best of all, is that you get another free bike ride instead of being cooped up in a cage.
Selling stuff is a little strange for me; I’m used to trading my services rather than goods for money. There’s a part of me that feels like I’m getting away with something to be paid just for providing this thing to someone. On the other hand, I have no qualms about the intrinsic (not to mention instrumental) value of the Haulin’ Colin trailer; it would still be a bargain at twice the price.
So now, I’ve got eighteen more from the initial run; if I keep up the same pace I’m on, given that it’s only been 10 days since I picked up the first finished ones, they should be all gone in six months.
Better order now!
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thanks to the generous assistance two .83 cronies (but lest you imagine they are booze-sodden dirtbags, keep in mind that one is a Ph.D. candidate in neurobiology and the other an expert in the manly art of software engineering), I managed to pull off the first of several scheduled trailer “migrations,” whereby we use human power to transport the rigs from Haulin’ Colin’s shop to my storage unit, and in at least one case, a Distributed Storage location in Seattle’s tony Sand Point neighborhood.
It worked great; each rider hauled a trailer with another trailer stacked on top. As Colin put it, “As long as you’re pulling a trailer, you may as well load it,” and how right he was: all three performed beautifully, cradling second unit above, zip-tied for security and padded to protect the brand-new shiny powdercoat.
It was a beautiful sight as the three of us rode through SODO, Chinatown, and the Central District bringing our precious cargo home. We had a friggin’ convoy, good buddy, and cars—and even trucks and busses—gave us all due respect when we took a lane at necessary moments.
As usual, people stopped at stared at the things of beauty and wanted to know what they were and where they could get one for themselves. I still have to figure out how to translate this interest into trailer sales but it makes me confident that there’s a market out there and that my first run of rigs will eventually find their places in people’s lives sooner rather than later.
One important learning did emerge from the event: the trailer hitch’s hitch-pin should always stay with the trailer itself; I left home with my own trailer’s pin in my hitch; I accidentally left it, then, at the storage unit and so, when it came time to hook my home unit up later in the evening, it wasn’t there.
Good thing the storage unit is only three blocks away.