Pedal Strike

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May 19th, 2009

gage & desoto

I love “Zoolander.”

Maybe that’s why designers scare me.

Okay, not really. Designers have always been sort of intimidating. I have this image of them as being self-absorbed and a little crazy. A slightly socially awkward drama queen whose erratic behavior is only forgiven due to the ability to create, cut, and sew beautiful things together. And one that loves to judge.

My limited closet is enough reason to avoid this species of human. But with the hat making thing, it’s getting harder. And yesterday, at NYC Velo, I met one. In person.

An email popped into my inbox last week, a hello from the Big Apple from a designer who loves bicycles. One who wanted to trade. With a trip down to the city planned in two days, packing to be done, and hats for Cambridge in the works, I wasn’t sure I could finish one in time. But it was a request for a “Boston” hat. For a designer in NYC? This was going to be interesting…and worth a late night or two.

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Meet Mike Spriggs. The man behind Gage & Desoto [and those infamous “I *cog* NY” t-shirts], he’s a Boston transplant that picked up and moved 4 hours south for legitimately insane traffic and a city that necessitates biking 10 miles [out of the city] to get to good training routes. And after hearing that he still wears Bosox gear in NYC, maybe this crazy city suits him better than cutesy New England [come on, even Southie has a measure of quaint…Irish…drunken…charm].

A bus ride and a handful of emails later, I met him yesterday to listen to stories about being a courier in Boston, Cambridge Bikes when it was in Harvard Square, the intensity of NYC, and his trip to Beijing, Osaka, and Tokyo. There was no pretension, and I was the sole provider of the socially awkward factor [as per the usual]. And despite my wide-eyed terror at biking a few short blocks, I even got to see the new Gage & Desoto t-shirt design:

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After talking labels and with a promise for a screened t-shirt [of course, it’ll be blogged about, but I’m not telling which one I want…yet], I headed home, with a new friend in the city.

Too bad this isn’t Boston. But I’ll be back down here again.

And it won’t only be for coffee and fabric.

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