June 2017

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Is there a store that has all the custom bicycle parts we need?

Do they also do custom and on-off projects?

Do they have a website I can order from so I don’t have to talk to real people?

Can I get a set of headset bearings for my 1973 Columbia and a twisted birdcage continental kit all at the same place?

In the bicycle scene, there is one name that keeps popping up when looking for a one-stop shop for all the custom bicycle needs. Believe us; we did a lot of asking.

Clyde James Cycles has been the go to for many home builders in search of standards parts, a gift to the lowrider scene with their extensive inventory and is whipping out some of the epically cool custom bikes in the world. When they rolled out the Volkswagen bike at this year’s Las Vegas show bike people stopped in their tracks, non-bike people stopped in their tracks and Clyde James Cycles could have made their money back by charging a dollar per picture.

Kustomized Bicycle Magazine had a chance to talk to James and before long it was like we were best friends. With more bicycle knowledge than most, a great attitude and willingness to help those stuck on a bike project you couldn’t ask for someone better to deal with. So we asked James the KBM Builder’s Questions……

(KBM): When did your shop form and what is your background pertaining to fabrication and design?

(CJ)- Well the business all started in April of 2012, from copyrights to trademarks, this was setup for long term success from the beginning. We created the logos and t-shirt designs right away with plans for a website on the horizon. A year before that I began working at Cadistrophic Sledfactory for my friend Jason, this is where it really all started. During the day I would help build custom frames for cars and trucks in Jason's custom car shop. This is how I learned to weld and fabricate. Jason let me use a room in his 7500 sq ft shop and this was my lab, I would build my bikes after hours and on my days off spending any extra time I had learning the building process. Most days I would be consumed with work in the shop but in the back of my mind I couldn't wait to start or finish another part of a custom bicycle frame. With a lot of help and encouragement from Jason, I continued to build these frames. The first custom bike I built I have kept for myself and will never sell, it is still hanging in my store today. The second frame Jason and I built together for him, the third frame was for my friend Joe, the fourth frame for my friend Josh, the 5th for my friend Kerry and the 6th was a tricycle for my good friend's Shannon and Charlsa's daughter. These friends and so many more who are not named, believed in me and are a big part of my success today!  One day out at the Red Bull Flugtog I met Chelsey Fairless, who invited us to an event at Strokers in Dallas. So we packed up the bikes and headed out to my first event with the Fairless family. After lots of good feedback and encouragement from Rick, we began building kids custom bikes and donated a couple to Ricks yearly charity event to raise money for Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. This charity does so much for kids and families in need of expensive life saving surgeries. After donating a couple full custom kids bikes to different charity events, Rick purchased one of my custom 12" bikes for his Grandaughter. This was an amazing moment for me, here you have one of the best custom motorcycle builders in the world not only supporting my dream but buying one of my builds for a family member. that's not even all of it, not only did Rick get a bike from me but he also gave me a full year of FREE advertising in his store! We created a poster and had a custom bike with business cards on display for 1 year full year in his store! This is just the kind of guy Rick is, always giving back to the community and helping others around him. We can only hope to help as many people as Rick has over his career. After all of this I was on cloud 9, this is the moment I knew anything was possible! Big thank you to all my friends and family who believed in me and supported my dream, and also to the Fairless family for taking us in and treating us like one of their own. When you surround yourself with good people and work hard anything is possible! 

 

 

(KBM): Who originally got you into bicycles and can take credit for your hands-on interest?

(CJ)- Bicycles have always been a big part of my childhood. My older sister taught me how to ride a bicycle when I was 5 years old. I can still remember the first time I finally was able to ride on my own without the training wheels. This was that first moment of freedom for me, riding around our apartment complex on my bike! The adrenaline the excitement, I was hooked and here was the beginning of what some would call an addiction. Years later, my older brother and I got BMX Bikes for Christmas from Santa. Now this was a big deal, we then lived down the street from Kyle's Bike and Mower, this is where we would go after school and drool over all the new BMX bikes that where coming out in the 90's. We wanted these new shiny bikes and cool parts but needed a way to pay for our BMX habit. So my brother and I came up with a plan, we would mow yards during the summer and during the winter we would rake leaves. Also, we would go to the golf course and wade through the creeks to find golf balls we could resell to the golfers. These golfers would buy every ball we had and we would turn that into BMX gold! This was our first business and helped us fund our passion for BMX Bikes. Behind Kyle's was a place we called The Jumps. The Jumps was a small BMX track built by BMX guys before us. Rules of riding here were that you had to help maintain The Jumps. So the older guys tought us how to build and shape the jumps with shovels and 5 gallon buckets with a creek near by for us to extract water to help mold the lips and berms. All the neighborhood kids would meet up at The Jumps after school and we would practice together learning and pushing each other to become better at a sport we all loved! With a little hazing  and rough housing each of us found our spot in the land of BMX at The Jumps. Today The Jumps are no longer there, the city bulldozed them. Hopefully one day we can resurrect our old stomping grounds for future generations to enjoy. So we lost our local track but found others in cities close by that we could ride our bikes to. One of the local tracks is Cowtown BMX, this is a professional track with a starting gate and complete track. We fell in love with the competition and art of racing BMX! Cowtown BMX track is still up and running today with many kids learning the sport of BMX and keeping it alive for future generations. This is a great place for kids trying to see if BMX racing is for them to show up on FREE ride nights and see what they can do. I still reminisce about the good old days at the jumps and all the guys I got to hangout with and learn from, to the late nights at Cowtown trying to keep up with my brother! Great times!

 

(KBM): What is your favorite bike you have built to date?

(CJ)- My favorite bike to date would have to be my most recent build the VW Beetle Bike. This bicycle was a challenge, I used the original drawing of the EMPI Beetle Bike by Hotaka Saito, an amazing artist from Japan, and tried to create the first ever working model of his art. With a build like this its a lot of create the problem and then create the solution. This is a lot of what I do on a day to day basis, to create unique builds you have to be a problem solver. There's not always a store with the answers for the problems that we create, so you have to be creative and determined to complete complex builds. It also helps to surround yourself with other creative people, that have an eye for detail. With an engineer mindset and an artists eye there's no limit to what you can create! 

(KBM): With the explosion of the custom bike world in the last few years, where do you see this scene going?

(CJ)- The Custom bike scene is growing and it doesn't take someone in the scene to notice. With events like OBC put on by T Flow (Don Thomas Flores) and his OBC team, and others like Shiny Side Up by Dom at The Cruiser Shop, the scene will continue to grow by giving these artists and stores an outlet to show off what they can do. Everybody needs an artistic outlet and these events bring out the best from around the world. Look all around the US, with riding events like Critical Mass rides that go on in most major cities on the last Friday of every month, to the amazing Slow Roll on Monday nights in Detroit, the Bikelife as we call it is exploding in a neighborhood near you. Just get on Facebook and look for local bike groups in your area, if you want to join the bikelife and ride with groups and clubs. Also with veterans like John Brain, the Chopfather himself, and guys like Robert Baylea, HB Cruisers who has been a great mentor for me, and Warren Wong, the master wheel builder. These guys are passing down information and guidance to the younger guys like me to help keep this sport on the right path. The Bikelife will continue to grow and this lifestyle is for everybody, from roadbikes to hybrids, from Custom to Lowrider, from MTB to Beach Cruisers, Bikelife is a way for all of us to share our passion for cycling. Even with celebrities getting in on the fun, from Marshawn Lynch's new SE BMX Bikes, Snoop Dogs Lowrider 3 wheeler, Chip Foose's Micargi Cruiser and Antique Archaeology's custom Cruiser by Felt. Create something unique that shows your personality and style, then get out and get riding.


(KBM): If someone hasn’t seen Clyde James Cycles bike how would you describe its style?

(CJ)- The VW Beetle Bike in person looks like a VW Bug design. We did a thin Ruff Cycles steel saddle to give the design a look of no seat when you stand back and look at it, or see it in a picture. This bug has a lot of detail, from the original VW Beetle taillight to the front VW Beetle turn signal. These features where important to us to keep the VW look from front to back. We also made suicide doors on both sides with working door handles to open them. On the inside we did complete custom upholstery on the doors with door handles and window roll up handles. These are just for looks but helped us create the details of the interior of the VW Beetle Bike. We even installed the flower vase and used a cog off a bicycle to create the flower for the vase, a staple of all VW Bugs in existence today. To make the VW Beetle Bike easy to ride we used a 7 speed setup with a BoxKars Suicide Shifter, this allows the rider to go anywhere around town and enjoy the VW experience, if you can ride at all without people stoping you for pictures. We also did a full custom two tone paint job, off white and turquoise blue, by my good friend Tony Cano owner of EvoTime Customs, also known as GMG Tony for his work on the popular TV show Fast & Loud or Gas Monkey Garage. Tony has painted every bike I have ever created, I am very thankful that he still takes time to help me with his amazing talent and skills, thanks bro!

 

(KBM): Is your shop a one stop shop? Do you build custom bikes that are ready to ride or a series of pieces that can be purchased together?

(CJ)- Clyde James Cycles is a one stop shop, we have a full store front and fab shop on our property. We do everything from full custom frames, custom parts like forks and handlebars, custom wheel builds and so much more. Here you can order complete custom bikes and we will help walk you through the design process. With all the parts and custom frames in stock from Ruff Cycles, TSP and HB Cruisers to the new Warren Wong frames and parts, you can get a prefabricated frame and utilize our large variety of parts and accessories to create your own unique custom bicycle. We also build one off custom frames and other unique builds like our Radio Flyer trailer for your truck. We offer paint, powder coating, chroming, engraving, and stock some of the most sought after parts like Shifty Bastards shifters to Peek Cycles Bars, Chop Shop Customs, Warren Wong Frames and wheels, HB Cruiser Frames, Michigan Built Kickstands, and so much more. We are the Shimano and Brooks dealer in Fort Worth. We sell new Bikes from HBBC, 3G Bikes, Micargi, Felt, Kink BMX, SE Bikes, Fuji, and Phat Cycles these are just a few brands we stock in store. We have our website: www.clydejamescycles.com where you can order direct and we ship worldwide. Or you can just call our store at 817-726-9461.  With thousands of customers served, we are here to help you and save you money on your custom build by getting it right the first time. 

 

(KBM): What is your favorite style of bike to build chopper, bobber, stretched cruiser?

(CJ)- For us, we like all of the styles from full custom, BMX to Road Bikes. All of these give us a great outlet to be creative. Each type of bike creates different challenges and provide us great satisfaction once completed. We don't really have a preference, at Clyde James Cycles we love the art of bikes and will continue to create new and innovative styles on all platforms. No matter the bike we will continue to build unique bikes for unique people.

 

(KBM): When not in the shop building bikes what do you spend your time doing?

(CJ)- I mostly spend time with my fiancé, Caymi, and our dogs Cha Cha and Blue. We love going out and trying new foods, traveling and spending time together just enjoying life. We spend time with our families and friends and enjoy going to the lake in the summer and riding bikes on all of our local trails. We are truly blessed to be able to enjoy our lives this way. We have worked hard and are now starting to see some of the fruits of our labor. Once again we give all thanks to God, without his presence in our lives none of this would be possible. Also our families, they are our rock! Always there to help guide and support us and our decisions. Without there support Clyde James Cycles would have not been possible. 


(KBM): What is your favorite tool in the shop and what is usually playing on the stereo?

(CJ)- My favorite tools in the shop is my mig and tig welders and my grinder. With these tools you can build almost anything if your creative enough and determined. Also my frame table, I have built every one of my bikes on this frame table. For full custom builds you need a lot more equipment, but with these main tools you can get started chopping and welding. Music at the shop is always rap it's all I listen to, it's what I grew up on in the 90's from Bone Thugs N Harmony and all the old NWA West Coast movement to Twista, Eminem, UGK, Pimp C, Machine Gun Kelly, Ritz, Yelawolf, and Lacrea. These artist create music I can relate to, and guide me with their lyrics on days that are harder then others to push forward and achieve my objectives. 

 

(KBM): If a person hasn’t had access to the settings, tools, and skills like welding, fabrication, paint, etc. What is a good first step to take in learning what it takes to build a project bike?

(CJ)- I see this all the time, people saying, if I had the tools you have, I could create custom bikes. Realistically it doesn't take much with just a few basic tools and determination you can get creative and make something from nothing. Every custom guy started off with nothing and job by job invested in himself and his business to create more unique products. You don't need the best tools or shop to get started, with a little creativity and resourcefulness you can jump in and create your first project. Just remember to surround yourself with other positive people who believe in you! Get away from all the negativity and bad influence in your life. Give thanks to God ask him to watch over you and keep you safe while you are in the shop working and pray for him to take your hands and make amazing things. This is what I do everyday before I start fabricating. Don't forget to give thanks at the end of the day for what you where able to achieve, and the food that it put on the table for you and your family.

 

(KBM): What is next for your shop? Upcoming projects, lines of parts?

(CJ)- Next for Clyde James Cycles we are working on some manufacturing deals to bring our unique designs to the masses. We will continue to update our website www.clydejamescycles.com and upgrade our store and fabrication shop to better serve our customers. We are currently working with other top fabricators to bring you collaboration and are excited to see what we can do with other likeminded builders. I will leave you with this, may the Lord bless you and your business, the wind always be at your back, and your wheels always true. To all those who have sacrificed so much to bring their dreams to reality, don't give up! Find your supporters and rally on to do amazing things.

 

 

 

 

May 2017

Michigan built

Kustomized Bicycle Magazine came across Michigan Built owner Tim Sanders a few years ago when he displayed a chopped down retro bicycle with a sidecar added to it drive side. It sounds normal until we found out the sidecar was hinged to pivot while being centered by a gas actuator. Who would have thought that a sidecar attached bicycle could lean into corners and still keep the side care wheel on the ground for added traction.

Since that time, Michigan Built has been fabricating one-off parts for some of the best bikes on the show circuit. In case you didn’t know, Tim is a bike builder, master machinist, and designer. The kick stand he designed and now fabricates and sells is a work of art and has a vast majority of bike builders waiting for the next run. Several of the OBC Build-Off bikes had Michigan Built kickstands this year.

Kustomized Bicycle Magazine has reviewed the Michigan Built Shimano Nexus Aluminum Grip Shift cover as well. Tim was nice enough to let us leave it installed on one of our bikes and for the last 6 months, it has worked perfectly.

We met up with Tim Sanders at OBC in Las Vegas and was able to get an interview. He also handed us a few boxes with new parts that we will install and start reviewing as soon as possible. Keep reading Kustomized Bicycle Magazine for the review of these items.

(KBM): When did your shop form and what is your background pertaining to fabrication and design?

(TS) - Michigan Built started in 2010. My back ground stems from growing up in our family run motorcycle shop, till the early 80's. I then went on to work at a local marina, where I fell for restoring wood boats. Did a small stint in college and that wasn't for me. I then did a 4 year carpenters apprenticeship. During that time, my father and I got the hot rod bug. We have had cars in several featured in magazine. The hot rods were sold off when my son decided he wanted to start racing. During the hot rod times our shop acquired machine shop equipment, lathe, mill, surface grinder and metal cutting saws. If you can't find what you want for your project, you make it.

(KBM): Who originally got you into bicycles and can take credit for your hands-on interest?

(TS) - My interest in bikes carries over from my bmx days in the late 70's. Sucked at racing. I was a fat kid. So I turned my interest towards building wheels and maintains bikes for others. Got bit by the custom bug when my late wife bought me a first year Dyno Roadster for Christmas one year.

(KBM): What is your favorite bike you have built to date?

(TS) - My favorite build to date has to be my Basman. Featured in KBM's first Vegas issue. It really brought out my minimalist style that I’m known for.



(KBM): With the explosion of the custom bike world in the last few years, where do you see this scene going?

(TS) - With the explosion in growth in the past couple years, one can only hope it keeps growing.  I am starting to notice some swelled egos and that is not a good thing in any scene. We all put our shoes on one foot at a time. There is no place for arrogance.

(KBM): If someone hasn’t seen Michigan Built bike how would you describe its style?

(TS) - As I mentioned earlier, my style is minimalist. Clean and simple and as close to perfection as I can make it. Do to my size I only use first class components. Nothing sucks more than breaking down on a ride.



(KBM): Is your shop a one-stop shop? Do you build custom bikes that are ready to ride or a series of pieces that can be purchased together?

(TS) - My shop is a micro shop. I get an idea in my head and then I build it. Then I in turn try to sell them. Most of my sales stem from my one off billet parts. If you have something you need made, just ask.

(KBM): What is your favorite style of bike to build chopper, bobber, stretched cruiser?

(TS) - My favorite style is the mid-stretch/bobber. Something fast and nimble. Easy to transport. Chrome don't bring you home. The bike has to be a rider and able to be ridden by anyone. I love watching others get on one of my bikes and ride, coming back with a huge smile. My bikes are made to be rode, not polished.

(KBM): When not in the shop building bikes what do you spend your time doing?

(TS) - When I'm not in the shop working. I'm usually on the web looking and getting ideas, or in the shop prepping the sprint car for the next race. Also spend a lot of time with the sketch pad.

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(KBM): What is your favorite tool in the shop and what is usually playing on the stereo?

(TS) - My favorite tool in the shop has to be a file. The last thing used to shape something to perfection. Weirdly enough our shop is silent. No music.

(KBM): If a person hasn’t had access to the settings, tools, and skills like welding, fabrication, paint, etc. What is a good first step to take in learning what it takes to build a project bike?

(TS) - Ask lots of questions. Anyone that tells you they knew it all before they started, is full of shit. I try to learn something new every day weather it be bike related or not. Challenge yourself. If someone is teaching .you how to do something, keep .your mouth shut and ask questions when they are thru. They will teach you more then you expected. Interrupt them and you will learn just enough to be dangerous.



(KBM): What is next for your shop? Upcoming projects, lines of parts?

(TS) - My next project is a full belt drive bike. I have a few frames designed also, and am searching for a frame builder that will work with my style and standards.

EXTRA: I've enjoyed my collaboration with Chad Morgan @ Chop Shop Customz on my Schwinn sidecar build, and Mark Deezy from Sutter St Cruisers helping me out with great parts and service. Also to you KBM, for all your hard work. I am great full for your support by getting my products and bikes out to the bike world.

Need custom machine work? You can contact Tim at www.facebook.com/Michigan-Built-817329474969636

 

 

 

April 2017

OBC: the biggest bike party builders

Building custom bike…Parties. An interview with the Builders of OBC

Builders come in many forms. Kustomized Bicycle Magazine has interviewed builders from many schools. We have done the ground up from scratch builders, the parts-only fabricators and builders of bike friendly cities. Building the biggest bike party in North America is a feat that only very few would be able to accomplish.  We were able to corner a few of the OBC staff to ask them questions pertaining to the building of this bike party. Though KBM is a hug fan of this event, we pulled no punches and asked the questions that several have asked us, that we overheard during rides or questions based on comments from those who have attended the event.

First off, Kustomized Bicycle Magazine would like to thank the OBC staff for taking time a month before their event to do an interview.

Brief biography of the players:

Don Tomas Flores or "T" - Been into customizing bikes my whole life but had a revival about 18 years back.  Joined the Chopaderos 14 years ago and haven't looked back since!  

Brand ambassador for HBBC (Huntington Beach Bicycle Company)  One time I was asked if I build custom bikes.... my answer?  "No, but I build custom bike parties and create custom bike memories and I'm damn proud of that!!! 

Amy Krashed - All of Team OBC contributes in all decisions, we are totally involved in all aspects of the event.  More specifically, I juggle the sponsorship, am the hotel / accommodations liaison, and balance the budget.  My official, fancy title is Director of Sales and Marketing.

Chad Majer aka “Peewee” - I got heavily involved in Bicycles while studying abroad in Holland.  I think I sat in a car 3 times in 9 months, and never drove.  After I graduated and moved to Carlsbad Village, I met up with the Chopaderos, and having been riding with them ever since (about 14 years).  I started working for Electra about 6 years ago, and soon after that, T-Flo and I started OBC.  Trek has since purchased Electra, so I essentially work for them as well.  I also have a small custom shop on my property that is ran by fellow OBC team member, Nick “Wiggles” Evans, called Barn Find Kustomz.

 

(KBM): OBC is in its fifth year now. Congratulations on the half decade of a great party in Las Vegas. What happened over five years ago that made OBC? Who originally put it together and what were the thoughts that got the ball rolling?

(Don Tomas Flores) - Yup, year 5! Thank you!  OBC came about around 6 years ago when I was told I needed to put on a monthly custom bike ride in LA.  I knew I didn't have time for that. So, I opted for one BIG ride. I wanted it to model after the FBI, an amazing ride held in Amsterdam 11 years back by a Chopadero club brother.  I attended and loved the idea! With all its comradery, all the bike love and all the rides (up to 60 miles a day, not to mention seeing the very 1st Basman every made) I knew someday I would do something similar here in the states.  In order for me to pull this off I knew it needed to be somewhere with an international airport in case the rest of the world wanted to attend (and they do).  Somewhere that never closed and allowed us to rage all night, somewhere with inexpensive rooms and somewhere the world loves to visit!   Las Vegas was the obvious answer.  When I started to plan this I knew right off the bat I would need help.... especially with the lodging.  So I turned to my good friend and club brother PeeWee.  With a degree in Hotel Management and some pretty good ideas I knew we could kill the bike party scene!   Boom. 

(Amy Krashed) - Although I attended the first two OBC's, I didn't join the OBC Team until the third year, 2015.  I was honored that T & Chad wanted me to join them, especially since I live up in Northern California.  My past includes a career in event planning for small and large businesses and organizations including skateboard demos, conventions at Disneyland, American Cancer Society fundraisers, and bicycle events.  I like to throw parties, and OBC has turned into the biggest and best event I've participated in!  The main piece I work on is the bicycle show, and I love it!  Though I may look a little stressed out on Sunday, its so much fun to see so many people gathered together from all over the country and beyond celebrating bicycles!  I can't express how happy and lucky I am to be a part of such a rad scene.

(Chad Majer) - Over 5 years ago T-Flo was talking about putting on a big ride with multiple clubs, and I have a lot of experience in the hotel and event industry, so we worked together to put on the first OBC, and it took off from there.  The idea was that there were very few clubs around, and they rarely rode or communicated with each other.  We wanted to bring all the clubs together for one big event.

 

(KBM): Kustomized Bicycle Magazine has been to the last three OBC Las Vegas events and have noticed the number of participants growing. What is the percentage of growth per year and do you think it will eventually hit the top of the curve?

(Don Tomas Flores) - OBC's 1st year was about 80-100 riders, year 2 150-175 riders, year 3, 300ish riders and year 4 I was told it was over 700 but we officially only sold 490 something reg. bags.

(Amy Krashed) - I believe 2013 started with 80 attendees, my guess is that 2016 had about 800.   I'm not great with numbers though, just my guess.  Hoping to have a more accurate head count this year, we will even have fancy folks with people counters at the bicycle show gates!

(Chad Majer) - OBC continues to grow every year. It is our responsibility to keep things interesting and building upon previous events so people keep coming back!

 

(KBM): OBC and Las Vegas are synonymous. Las Vegas is the party capital of the country but has there been any thought of moving the event to different cities?

(Don Tomas Flores) - OBC is definitely into taking this show on the road to other states and countries!!!!  That is a dream of ours and something we have been thrown around!  But for that to happen we need the support from the scene, again we aren't looking for a hand out, just buy the OBC gear and registration bags!

(Amy Krashed) - Absolutely!

(Chad Majer) - We have had long discussions about additional OBC events in new locations, and are trying to work those ideas out soon!

 

(KBM): t was posted on the OBC Facebook that “OBC” no longer is an acronym for “Outlaw Bicycle Clubs”. We know that a certain ratio of the OBC followers liked the “outlaw” name while others didn’t think it was fitting for the group? Is the name change official? If so, was there any specific action that happened to cause the name change? Have there been any problems with the establishments that host the events and the club vests worn by some of the attendees?

(Don Tomas Flores) - Yes, it's official.  When we started this thing, I'd say there were about 3 or 4 custom bike clubs around.  I borrowed the "outlaw bicycle clubs" from my club, the Chopaderos.  We called them outlaw bikes because if you were to take them to the local PD to be registered we found the bikes didn't meet the "street legal" policies at the time, and some of these policies still stand. These policies said that our handle bars sat to high, our frames to low and the steering is compromised by the rake of the fork, this made the bike "illegal" so we went with it because it was funny to us and that's what we are all about is fun.  So the name carried over to the event.  

Since then we have changed it because the name itself "outlaw" seems to bring a lot of tough guys around asking stupid "tough guy" questions and I'm over it.  The word carries a negative stereo type with it and I'm not about that.   I knew we had to keep "OBC" because, if you've been to an event and heard the crowd chanting "OBC OBC OBC OBC"  you know we couldn't change that!!!  So One Big Club was born and seemed to be the obvious answer.  It brings everyone under one umbrella. while allowing you to keep your club identity/solo cholo status intact  OBC celebrates the pedal, the polished rim and the custom bike ride.  OBC unites, connects and builds relationships with in this custom scene with people from all walks of life from all over the world.  You want to be a tough guy?  There are plenty of scenes for you!  But this isn't one of them,  his scene brings back that  awesome feeling of riding with your friends through the neighborhood with a big ol smile on your face all while hooting and hollering and setting the streets on fire!!! 

(Chad Majer) - Some of the issues we run into while planning these events has been the name.  Sometimes government officials, hotel and venue owners, etc. take us the wrong way when we told them our name was “Outlaw Bicycle Clubs”.  The name change should open new opportunities to us that were not open to us before.

 

(KBM): OBC lasts for over four days with constant scheduled events for each of the days. How many hours approximately does it take to put on this event?

(Don Tomas Flores) - How many man hours?  Well, it starts out slow after the last event with a once a month meeting with the team members, we set goals and things we want to check out and then about 8 months out we start meeting weekly and as the event gets near we start meeting biweekly.  We also visit Vegas up to 2 additional times, setting up venues, entertainment and talking to clubs hosting rides!   As far as man hours? I honestly couldn't tell you, hundreds?!?  Some time we go till 10pm and sometimes 1am as well as the work we do from home that is assigned to team members at the meetings

(Amy Krashed) - Each OBC is a year plus planning process.  We hold weekly (or more frequent) meetings, trips to Vegas (and SoCal for me), plus our individual positions and assignments for OBC.   The team collaborates on all decisions like colors and logos, designs, entertainment, etc.  From location scouting to ride planning to balancing budgets to marketing and advertising.  Oh yeah, and the actual event!  I kid you not, there is not a day through the year that I am not contacted about something OBC-related.  I can only answer for myself -  I manage the sponsorship and am the hotel / accommodations liaison and balance the budget.  As the event nears, its far more than a 40 hour week.  I’m sure the same if not more is true of the entire team.

(Chad Majer) - OBC has really become a year round job.  There are about half a dozen volunteers that literally spend hundreds of hours each planning OBC.

 

(KBM): Kustomized Bicycle Magazine had participants of OBC2016 send in their reviews of certain rides they went on that we went ahead and published. The reviews were mostly positive.  There were some opinions that some of the rides weren’t as well organized as they could have been. I was told that the OBC staff read the reviews. When planning the rides for 2017 did OBC talk to ride organizers to make events flow a little better this year?

(Don Tomas Flores) - Well as you can imagine hosting a ride consisting of 5-700 people is kinda like herding cats.  People will get separated and the group will get stopped for different reasons (repair, red lights etc) This year on the longest ride (Show Me A Sign Ride) we have enlisted the help of SMASH BROS out Vegas!   A skinny tire group that rides on a regular basis and have the speed needed to keep the "cats" in line!   We have had rides "kidnapped" and those ended up not going to the scheduled stops! So my advice is Stay with the official rides and you shan't be disappointed... 

(Chad Majer) - As part of our yearly recap, we read every review we can, as well as asking dozens of people what they thought of the event, and give our own honest opinion of how things went, and then formulate plans to make improvements for them next event. 

 

(KBM): The OBC event with its growth must be in discussions by much larger companies than the sponsors it now has. Have any top names in the bicycling world contacted OBC wanting to take part in the event?

(Don Tomas Flores) - As far as sponsorship goes we would love a beer company or energy drink company to step in (Red Bull looking your way!!)   but we also love the sponsors we have now.  Lots of start-up companies with cool owners who come out and enjoy the scene, we support those who support us!  

(Amy Krashed) - Top secret!!!!

(Chad Majer) - We try to get as many sponsors as possible that will add to the enjoyment of the event. I am hoping to make the Bicycle Show bigger in the future, so we can get bigger sponsors, as well as have more for the attendees to experience.

 

(KBM): ith four days of constant events there is no time for more things to pack into the event but have there been any ideas floated around the OBC group that we haven’t seen yet?

(Don Tomas Flores) - New ideas?  Plenty of ideas from with in and from outside team OBC!  Lots of great ideas!  But every idea has to go through all the questions like: can it hold 500 plus folks, do they have bike parking, do they allow cuts?  Are they cool with bikes EVERYWHERE?  Many factors are taken when planning this event.  Stay tuned for new rides and ideas!!!

(Amy Krashed) - You will have to wait and see in April....

(Chad Majer) - We have a ton of good ideas, and we evaluate all of them to see what we think would work.  These include parts of the Vegas event, as well as new events in new locations.  We look at different hotels and venues for Vegas every year.  The things that kill a lot of ideas are: wearing cuts inside the venue, bicycles in the hotel rooms, capacity, cost, bicycle parking, and people that were afraid of the old OBC name or hundreds of scary looking bicycle people!

 

(KBM): People buying the gift bag pays for the event and all the bills that come with this type of event. If people want to help more what would OBC suggest they do?

(Don Tomas Flores) - The event registration bag is a BIG way to help.  Staying at the Golden Nuggets/Plaza also helps.   The price of the  reg. bag has not gone up in 3 years, so even though cost of this putting on this event goes up every year the price for the bag has stayed the same.  If you'd like to help us this year, buy registration bag, buy our hats, shirts and patches!  We aren't trying to get something for nothing so your purchase helps us keep going!  Thank you!

(Amy Krashed) - The Registration Bags are indeed, what generates pre-event income, which of course we need in order to host OBC.  Similar to concert ticket sales, this is what pre-pays for the venue's, security, liability insurance, equipment, etc. required for the event.  Unlike a concert ticket, the Registration Bag not only includes admission into the OBC Concert / Welcome Party (this year featuring the VooDoo Glow Skulls) and the private pool party; it also contains the OBC event t-shirt, patches, stickers, buttons and other swag from our sponsors.  PLUS the chance of possibly receiving a ‘Golden Ticket’ - my absolute favorite part of the event!  Totally a good value, in addition to helping us gather funds as we start planning.  Whew!  What can folks do to help?  Everyone loves swag!  Donate items for the bags or Golden Ticket’s.  Spread the word about the event.  Support our sponsors!  Keep the wheels turning within our community.  Hug your OBC Team Members!

(Chad Majer) - The best thing you can do is to buy the OBC registration, stay at the Golden Nugget, and buy some merch.  The other thing you can do is to encourage others to do the same. Remember all of the money goes back into the events!  We could not pull these events off without the support of everybody!  When you see an OBC team member at the event, thank them and buy them a beer.  Remember that they are essentially working for free in their spare time. 

 

(KBM): Where will OBC be in five years? And in ten? With its constant growth over the first five year how will OBC look in 2020 and 2025?

(Don Tomas Flores) - In order for us to be around in 5 years or 10 is for OBC to be successful as a company.  We have run out of favors and people need to get paid for their time, that is a goal for us, we want to employ people, pay them for all their time they put in, pay them to do what they love, which is plan the biggest custom bike party in the Americas!

(Amy Krashed) - Though the event planning is routine, the event itself is not!  So hard for me to predict with so much growth from year one to four.   My hope is that OBC will grow into a few more events per year, hitting new cities and states with employees rather than all volunteers.  T & Chad started something new that has taken off like no one expected - it can go anywhere from here. 

(Chad Majer) - We hope that we can continue to grow in the next 5 years.  We hope to grow the Vegas event with new and exciting changes, as well as produce other events in new locations.  Finding new sponsorship and other opportunities will really help us grow in the future.

 

(KBM): We always ask questions in elevens. So our last question is what does Kustomized Bicycle Magazine have to do to get a prime spot at the bike show?

(Don Tomas Flores) - Most vendors are set up alphabetically unless they are Platinum status!  But the way the show is set up, everyone will stroll by every booth in the show! 

(Amy Krashed) - Get in good with the person in control of the map - oh wait, that’s me!!!

(Chad Majer) - You have to ask Amy about the floor plan for the show!  I am working on getting us bigger and better spaces for the bike show in the future so we can grow the show, have more people from the public coming to check it out, and bring in more sponsors that want to show off their stuff to our scene!