Domestic Manufacturing

Maintaining domestic manufacturing of bicycle clothing is a
challenge in today’s’ economy. Each year more and more textile mills close
their doors which means that finding fabrics to make bicycle jerseys, bicycle
shorts, and rain wear more difficult to find in the US. Small production shops are
also struggling to make ends meet and many are closing their doors too. Therefore,
not only do we have fewer options here at home, but each day my email is filled
with enticing offers for moving manufacturing to other countries. They all
offer start to finish materials sourcing, design and patternmaking for any type
of bicycle clothing that you can imagine. They promise to deliver a finished quality
product all for one small price. It seems like the perfect solution since no
one is soliciting our manufacturing here at home. But it’s important to me as
well as to the majority of our customers that we keep our production of bicycle
clothing in the US.  A few years ago
people started choosing to manufacture off shore because it was cheaper. I
don’t think they realized that by doing so they would be helping to indirectly
close hundreds of businesses in this country that needed their support to
survive. Even the New York garment district, which was the largest center of
garment manufacturing in the country, no longer exists because of the popular
trend for going off-shore. Now even if large (or small like us) companies
decide that they want to support our economy and bring their production back
home it would be a bigger challenge than I think most are willing to undertake.
The quality of our bicycle clothing is important to us and so is keeping the
manufacturing of our bicycling shorts, jerseys, and rain wear at home in the
USA. We are committed to doing just that.

It rained in the 1980’s too!

Earlier this month on facebook I questioned that anyone would read or be interested in what I might have to say, so I was quite surprised when someone called me and left a voice message in response to the blog I wrote on March 28 of this year titled, “Staying dry on your next bicycle adventure.”

 The person, who did not leave his name or phone number, called to comment quite vehemently on this seemingly innocent statement, “Without proper rainwear protection, you may arrive at your destination soaking wet. It’s easy to understand how uncomfortable and inconvenient this would be as I personally found out on one 4th of July weekend ride a few years ago.” My caller informed me that it had not rained on the 4th of July in Oregon since the year 2000, and that I should get my facts straight! The message made me smile since the weekend to which I was referring was sometime in the 1980’s! I guess that my “a few years ago” is someone else’s ancient history, and that I need to be very specific when I mention a weather event. So I’ve already learned that while people may not necessarily be interested in what I have to say, they ARE paying attention and will take the time to set me straight.

Staying Dry Head to Toe

I am a big fan of rain wear because I absolutely hate to get wet when I’m out in the rain! You’d think that being born in Oregon and growing up on the Oregon coast would have made me quite unaffected by the rain and probably somewhat waterproof. But I have to admit that the complete opposite is true. Sure I was wet everyday because I loved to be outside, and outside meant rain. When I was older and had the opportunity to visit other climates I discovered that people who lived where rain wasn’t an everyday occurrence didn’t see the point of getting wet when it rained. In fact some people didn’t bother to go outside at all when it rained. Of course that’s pretty extreme behavior, but I do believe that you can have fun in the rain, and staying dry by wearing proper rain gear certainly helps with the experience.

When we think of rainwear the first things that come to mind are rain jackets, rain pants, and rain capes. And those are definitely important items to think about when we’re making plans to get back out on our bicycle in the approaching spring showers. But what we often forget when planning our rain gear strategy is that it’s a very good idea to be covered from head to toe, and not just in the middle, in a downpour. There’s nothing worse than soggy shoes and a wet head to make you feel cold and uncomfortable, and that can happen even while wearing your rain jacket and rain pants. Helmet covers and shoe covers, often the forgotten items, will complete your head-to-toe coverage, and are definitely must-have components of your rain gear. We’re having a special on helmet covers in April and May.

Helmet covers and shoe covers are small items with big benefits.  They are easy to stow on your bicycle because they don’t take up much space and they are easy to put on. And let’s face it; every drop of water your rainwear sheds is one less drop of water on you!

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