Looking to check out a Companion Bike Seat before you buy one, and you live in the Bay Area? Head on over to Warm Planet Bikes on Market St. in downtown San Francisco!
Warm Planet Bikes is a full service bike shop, offering sales of new bikes, tune-ups, and bike repairs. They specialize in folding bikes and electric-assist cargo bicycles, and share in the mission of getting people to ride their bicycles for everyday commuting instead of driving.
We're proud to have Companion Bike Seat included in their shop!
We had several orders from people planning to take their bike seat out onto the playa this year. Unfortunately the bike seats were scheduled to arrive at the fulfillment center without enough time for shipping before people left. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. I already had plans to meet the new shipment when it arrived at the fulfillment center in Phoenix, since this is a new partner and it's always great to meet business partners face-to-face. In order to get bike seat orders out to folks heading to the playa, I filled up a minivan in Phoenix and road tripped north to meet them in Reno to give them their bike seats.
The new inventory arrived safely at the new distribution center on Friday of last week and I was able to review it all on Monday after arriving in Phoenix late Sunday night. The shipment looked great and all back-orders have been shipped out this week. I met with the team managing fulfillment now and they're good people and will take care of Companion Bike Seat well. It was pretty exciting to see the rows and rows of new bike seats (and backrests and ebike pegs) ready to ship out!
All in all it's been a pretty exhausting road trip after covering over 1500 miles of a 1700+ mile road trip, but well worth it at the end of the day. Most of our bike seat sales occur online today, so I get very few opportunities to meet with customers face to face, and this road trip has been awesome for that. Plus, bike seat orders are flowing again!
Companion Bike Seat was out at Pedalfest 2016 yesterday in Jack London Square, Oakland, CA. This was our first year attending Pedalfest, and it was quite a sight to behold. In my opinion it is probably one of the best bicycling events in the bay area, lasting all day long, and some of the coolest, craziest custom bikes you've ever seen. Plus, tons of great food, grog, and music ... nothing but good, clean fun.
Towards the main entrance of Pedalfest was Whymcycles, some really cool, functional bicycle-art pieces. I'd be really surprised if one or more of these didn't make it out to the playa later this summer. Not pictured below, but they had a bicycle with a ping-pong table strapped to the top (it folded up to ride the bike), so you could take your ping pong tournament with you wherever you go! And all over Jack London Square there were bicycles "parked" on the light-posts. It must have been a heck of job getting those up, and then taking them down afterward!
We were out offering free test-rides to anyone who wanted to take the bike seat out for a ride. Unfortunately we're still temporarily out of bike seat inventory, but it was still a great opportunity for people who hadn't heard of us give our bike seats a try.
And of course, what type of bicycle event would it be without at least a penny-farthing or two, or what I decided to call "the Pedalfest double penny-farthing!"
Pedalfest is a lot of fun, whether your a hardcore cyclist or simply a leisurely rider, there's something for everyone. We're planning on attending for many years to come. So come on out next year and check out all the fun!
A gentleman in Santa Monica CA reached out to me a couple weeks ago inquiring on whether or not I thought it possible to rig one of our bike seats onto his tricycle. After trading emails for a week or two digging into the measurements of the trike rear end, there didn't seem to be any visible challenges with installation. The pegs weren't necessary as the seat mounts directly to the frame of the trike. The peg clamps required some custom shims once the bike seat arrived, but otherwise it was a perfect fit!
Here's what Giorgio said after taking the bike seat for a ride on the beach in Santa Monica with his girlfriend:
Will type something long later and explain everything but I did 12 miles yesterday with her on my back so big success. Truthfully just between you and I, I never saw her smile and laugh so much in the years that I have known her. I rode from 7pm to 9pm ... and people on the beach said, "wow I never saw that before ... that is the best one I have ever seen ... oh, that looks soooo fun."
Actually kind of funny ... because she is so small, people could not see her behind me until I passed them and everyone thought I was loony tunes and got out of my way because they thought I was talking to myself.
PS: I had some random teen take the pictures and I asked him "dude is this kinda d*%^$#y " and he said " no f*#%ing way ... it is killer".
So there you have it.
PS: Part deux ... met some guy that is the national Firestone distributor and showed some pictures on his phone of your seat and this guy is actually bidding on doing the suspension on the Hyper Loop for Elon Musk and said something to the effect of "you know ... I know they are having problems sorting out the seating on the hyper loop and what this guy (you) has is sort of interesting."
Ya never now...Companion Seat on the Hyper Loop?
I plan on reaching out to Elon next week to start talking hyper loop seats ...
Giorgio also noticed something pretty cool with the bike seat and his red tail light. The way the tail light was positioned on his tricycle cast a bright, red glow off the bottom of the stash box, which made for a great effect riding at night.
Hyper loop seats should definitely glow red, right?! Such futuristic technology deserves nothing less.
Coachella is always about sensory overload - great music and lots of cool, larger-than-life art - and this year's festival delivered all that and more. I wasn't as familiar with the lineup as I have been in previous years, but I found this actually might be a better way to experience the festival. It doesn't get any better than being introduced to new music at such an awesome setting as Coachella. The artwork lit up all around, gorgeous sunsets, everyone having a good time.
As we always do, we rented a house close to the venue and rode our bikes in and out everyday. And of course we brought the bike seats so that we didn't need as many bicycles to carry everyone. Riding a bike is by far the best way to get in and out of the shows. Walking will take you at least an hour (if not longer depending on the crowds) whereas riding a bike cuts the trip down to 20 minutes or less. Plus, you don't have to deal with nearly as much dust in your face, whizzing past everyone on a bike.
Here are a couple photos of some of the artwork that was at Coachella this year. The "Katrina Chairs" (on the left) were great for catching some shade from the hot sun during the day. At night time, they were lit up in bright orange and green, lighting the way towards the main stage of the festival. In the photo on the right you can see "Besame Mucho" as well as "Tower of Twelve Stories" lit up against the sunset, with the Ferris Wheel in the background.
Great music, great art, good clean fun!
I spot-checked the first shipment of backrests as I prepped all of the pre-orders for shipment over the last couple of days, and everything looked great with this first back of backrests, no issues or defects at all with the manufacturing process. It ultimately took me 3 full days of packing and shipping to get all of the hundred or so pre-orders out, but I got it done, with the last shipment dropped off at the post office on Saturday afternoon.
Once that was all taken care of, I finally had a chance to take one of the new backrests out for a photo shoot out on the Embarcadero this afternoon. It was a gorgeous San Francisco Sunday afternoon (gotta love the Indian summers here in the city) with all sorts of folks out walking, running, bicycling, and roller-blading along the waterfront.
The backrest lives up to expectations ... mine anyways. It's easy to install and remove, comfortable yet durable backrest cushion, and more than enough support to lean back against while riding (we do like to over-engineer things here at Companion Bike Seat, just in case). Can't wait to hear what the world thinks about these backrests for Companion Bike Seat once the pre-orders start arriving this week!
I met Doug at ELV Motors in Sunnyvale CA a couple of months ago after he found us online and emailed me about more info on our bike seats. I went down and visited him at the bike shop, and after talking for an hour, decided to dive head first into creating a foot peg solution for ebikes where the throttle plugs into the rear axle.
We decided to use the Sondors eBike as our base model to prototype with (based on their success on Kickstarter last year). After some testing and some modifications, we were able to successfully install Companion Bike Seat onto a Sondors eBike with a modified peg, specifically for ebikes. Included below are pictures of the bike seat installed on the Sondors, including close-ups of the modified pegs used for the installation.
Now that we've proven out the concept, we're working on scaling out manufacturing for these pegs so that we can start offering them on the website. We should have ebike pegs available for ebikes with both 12mm and 14mm diameter axles within the next couple of weeks.
I took Companion Bike Seat out for an early morning ride down Valencia Street in the Mission, and passed a cafe playing some music as they were prepping for the day. Of course I just had to dance!
The latest backrest prototype from the factory arrived today and it looks like we're ready to start manufacturing the backrests for Companion Bike Seat!
The new backrest worked like magic! We took the backrest out for a ride to Dolores Park for the day (just like everyone else in the Mission) and the backrest exceeded expectations. We brought the dog with us for the inaugural bike ride, and she enjoyed every minute of it. The backrest made it much easier to ride as a passenger, such that holding the dog in arms while riding to the park was a piece of cake.
I've let the factory know that we're a GO for manufacturing the bike seat backrests. As soon as we have a delivery date from the factory for the backrests we'll let you know!
Remember, ALWAYS wear a HELMET!