Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tour De LeMond: The Prize Bag

So I'd told John of the Demoncats that i'd deliver a prize bag for their raffle giveaway for the Tour de Lemond. And i had all of these ideas swirling around my head: a bunch of little tour jerseys (you know, the world champ, sprinter, climber, etc.) spelling out the name of the event, a crazy abstract line drawing (similar top what chika did for the pedal:reloaded show), and some other stuff. I'm really best under pressure, so of course i didn't even get started on this thing until thursday. On thursday, I had a bunch oif computer work to do, and some packages to deliver, so thursday night i finally started to seriously set up the graphics. My parents wound up stopping through philly on a day trip, and i made plans to grab some dinner with them. Then Stewy calls...and i realize that my team riders are leaving for D.C. on Friday afternoon instead of Saturday morning!! So the "friday all-nighter" plan was put to rest.

Friday morning i woke up at 6am and went to work, finishing up at about 6pm (including an hour for lunch). This is what i came up with. I know I say this a lot, but i think it's one of the better custom works to come out of this studio. That's the best part, to me, about making bags: I'm always getting better, even after almost 9 years. The bags themselves can get a little stale, but the custom work never does. If you look at this bag live, and step back more than a foot, it really looks like a silkscreen...and, for once, i think i matched the font pretty well with the overall theme (Lemond back in the day). Note the "Z" team logos on the jersey and shorts too!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Coney Island or Bust!

The Trackstar crew is putting on a race in NYC. We're one of the sponsors. Check the flyer for info, or go to their website.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Tour De LeMond

John from the Demon Cats is pictured above (i'd put a pic of Kevin too, but he's always the one behind the camera!). Anyway, the Demon Cats are throwing possibly the illest event of the summer in D.C., on Saturday July 22nd. I would write all the info here, but wouldn't it be much, much easier for you to just click on this link? Yep, thought so. By the way, team R.E.Load is gonna take this one, but you can still have a chance at winning a super-custom Deluxe R.E.Load bag by entering the raffle. So you won't feel so bad about our Philly cats riding circles around you. AND, the race benefits the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund!! Go down, race or watch, party, and register with Stewy for the NACCC's - all in the same weekend!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Party in Brooklyn!

This has almost nothing to do with R.E.Load, but i'm gonna be dj'ing a party for my friend Gonzo on Saturday (7/15). Gonzo designed the back end of our website a while back, and is a former member of Space 1026 who moved to NYC recently. He's got some crazy space in Brooklyn; Weez from and I are coming down to play music with a little squad from Philly. If you're around 27 Arion Place and wanna swing by, go for self....BYOB.

Friday, July 07, 2006

New Features and Pricing

Here at R.E.Load, we're constantly looking for ways to make our bags easier to use, longer-lasting, and more expressive of the individual wearer. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it - we like to think of this stuff in a positve light), this means that our product line goes through more changes in a year than most companies' do in five. Case in point: our newest catalog was rendered outdated within a month of it's print date!

Anyway, so we've gone out and made some MAJOR changes this time. Things that will take a minute to update on our site...I'm computer literate enough to deal with this blog, but not really enough to do what needs to be done for a professional [seeming] site. We've been operating with these changes for a few months now, as anybody who's contacted us recently will know, but I thought I'd use this space to put them in writing.

First up: Each and every shoulder bag we offer, with the exception of the Aika bag, now comes standard with an extra cordura base layer. The purpose for this is two-fold; it not only extends the life of the bag by reinforcing the corners (usually the first place to show serious wear after some years), but it also provides a stronger stitch area for the bottoms of our our bellows-style single and double-outside pockets. Happily, it also adds some color to even the most basic bag; you can choose any available cordura color for the base.

Second: We've changed the sizing on a couple of models to try and eliminate some of the huge variances in size, specifically between the Courier/Deluxe and the Civilian. This became and obvious course of action as we watched the 5,000th person struggle to decide between the two sizes only to finally go with a custom-sized option. The new dimesnions for the respective models bring them much closer to each other, which should keep most people from having to go with either "a little too small" or "way too big!". The Civilian is now 13" H x 18" W x 7" D, and the Courier/Deluxe is now 15" h x 19" W x 10" D. The Small Civilian has grown a bit, too, and now stands at 13"h x 15" W x 6" D. This makes the Small Civilian a great "average cargo" choice, with the Civilian getting a promotion to the "i've got a lot of stuff to carry" category, and the Courier/Deluxe still holding down the "who needs a refrigerator delivered?" crown.

Third: Little D-rings. We'd been thinking about this for a fairness, let me first say that this is a feature that has been on Pac bags for a few years. Anyway, so we've replaced the metal hardware on the ends of the base compression straps (shoulder bags) and side/base compression straps (midpack and backpack) with sewn-on plastic d-rings. This is cooler than you think, because it allows you to compress your bag with an incredible amount of ease. (***author's note: we've gotten some emails from people thinking that we are replacing the metal d-rings currently on our main straps with plastic....FALSE!!! We would never do this. we are replacing the thin metal "webbing ends" on the base compression straps with the new plastic d-rings. We chose plastic for tow reasons: weight and noise. There should be no problems as far as durability since this is a low-stress application).
Fourth: New Models!!! We've got the brand-spankin' Minipack

This guy's got two flat front pockets (like the DJ Mini it takes it's inspiration from), an inside front pocket, and a big flat pocket on the inside back wall (good for papers). Retail is $160.

Next up is the slick new Macro (so far this name is leading the competition, but it's far from set in stone)

This baby's a souped-up Messenger Mini with a single outside pocket, two big bellows side pockets (perfect for water bottles or...other liquids in containers...), a flat outside rear pocket (for papers), and a two-part inside pocket that spans the width of the bag. Retail is $130.

Fifth: Our laptop lineup changed a while ago too, and is reflected on the website, but just for good measure i'll mention it here. Check out our accessories page to take a look at our three revamped and completely protective sleeve options, available for any size laptop you might have.

Sixth: Slight changes to the celly holder and the strap pouch: we've squared off the flap of the celly holder -not for any real reason except we think it looks better - and we've changed the attachment straps so that they velcro on and off instead of being slid onto the main bag strap. This means you no longer have to disassemble your whole strap to add them to a bag, and they can finally be used with the mini straps (on our Mini bags). To top it all off, we've added a loop on each respective accessory so you can keep a pen close at hand.

OK, so now to the nitty-gritty...the new pricing scheme. We have been forced to raise our prices a tad bit - which we haven't done in years - due to the rising costs of materials (especially U.S. made goods) and materials transport. And of course due to the aforementioned additions to the bag features.

Shoulder bags are now priced accordingly:
Aika: $35
Micro Mini: $75
Messenger Mini: $80
Macro: $130
DJ Mini: $80
Small Civilian: $95
Civilian: $100
Courier: $105
Deluxe: $168
Executive: $233

Add-on options are now priced accordingly:
Ballistic Base: $5
Double Outside Pockets: $30
Single Outside Pocket: $25
Divider: $15
Handle: $15
Messenger Pad: $16 (regular), $13 (small)
Reflective Tails: $6
Pen Slots: $3

Thanks for bearing with us during this period of transition!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Pre-register for the NACCC's Please!!!

IN case you've been living in a cave, the North American Cycle Messenger Championships are going to be taking place right here in Philadelphia on Labor Day weekend!!! Um...that's September 1-4. Anyway, this is the 9th annual iteration of the largest messenger event in North America! We have a whole slew of events planned, big sponsors, huge parties, and lots of places to stay. Racers will be coming in from Europe and Japan as well as all points on this continent, so you definitely don't wanna miss it! We also have a very large police/street closing bill to pay for all of the street closures we'll need to run this thing, so NOW is the time to register!! It's only $40 to register from now until August 1st. After that, it'll get bumped up to $50. That includes all the parties, free beer from Pabst (one of our main sponsors), art shows, yadda yadda. There's also a huge neighborhood festival going on during the same days a few blocks away. It's gonna be utter madness!

You can go and register now via Paypal at the Philly BMA website. This is also a great event just to watch and be a part of! If you would like to donate anything - anything at all; money, food, beer, your time as a volunteer, whatever - please don't hesitate to email either me or Daily....

Hope to see you there!! Did I mention the bill is REALLY LARGE? So you're gonna go register now, right...? OK, cool.