Thursday, August 4, 2016

Two American Success Stories and a Grocery Store Bike

So, there I was buying a few groceries in Alamogordo earlier this week when I saw a bike, and it was not just any bike - it was the 2016 New Belgium Cruiser. And it was extremely cool- definitely a departure from the earlier models - less of a cruiser and more of a stylish commuter.

Now that is my kind of groceries!
Yes, I know, it's just a bike, it's just more stuff to want and to gather dust and to put me in debt (if it were for sale.) But this thing reverberates with something much more.
Let's check out its origins. a Colorado brewery that embraces bikes in a big way. (Fat Tire Ale!) Since 1999, they have been working with high-quality bike manufacturers (Electra, Felt, Spot, Schwinn) to produce limited edition Fat Tire cruisers for their employees and for promotions and giveaways and such. There have been some beautiful bikes. (I am a big fan of the 2006 and 2011 Felt models.) New Belgium is a company that pursues very green practices for business and for life. Part of that pursuit is the celebration of the bike as enjoyable and healthy transport. Yes, I like New Belgium a whole lot and I want them to live long and prosper!

Detroit Bikes (Number 565 of 2500)
Let's start with their mission statement: To encourage cycling by making an accessible, enjoyable bicycle while continuing Detroit's legacy of quality manufacturing and design. Detroit is a place that has had and continues to have real economic and social problems.  But Detroit is also showing some real improvement and companies like Detroit Bikes are helping to make that possible. (Detroit is also quickly becoming one of America's best cities for cycling!)

The business model is very solid - set up shop in an old warehouse, buy high-quality, second-hand manufacturing equipment, employ local talent, and produce a high-quality product to sell at competitive prices. And they have done a great job of that.
I'd love to commute on an A-Type - $699
I have been following their story for a few years, so it was very exciting for me to get to see one of their bikes in person. And they are simple, clean, and gorgeous!
So, let's sum up:
Eco-Friendly Beer Brewer (They have really good beer too!)
Made-in-America high-quality entrepreneurealshippishness bicycle maker
Trip to the grocery store
A couple of videos
The guy who strives for minimalism finds something else he wants
That pretty well sums it up!
May we see and support more companies like these, and may you be inspired in the grocery store!