When a met a tall, lanky, long-haired boy with "Everybody Poops" tattooed on the inside of his wrist, I never thought that he would be my first ever customer. Back then, this blog was still mysteriously anonymous, and I only had two jobs - hat making and blogging - in addition to school instead of about five. So when Gregory emailed me about purchasing a hat I offered to the Internet, I surprised him outside of the Otherside Cafe and delivered the hat in person.
A year later, he offered to write a post about the hat. And when I read it for the first time after a long, shitty day at school, it made me feel all fuzzy and cuddly inside. So here it is:
I am a fan of birthdays and anniversaries. Not presents or cake or anything, but I think of them as benchmarks. They are a fantastic way to asses how far you have come in one year, and deciding on where you would like to put yourself a year from the day. One year ago today I purchased a hat, and unbeknownst to me at the time, it was the first one pedalstrike ever sold.
I want to write something to honor the passage of time while respecting the timeless nature of it all. I want to laudate the brain, fingers, and sewing machine behind it all. But mostly, I am here to appreciate the hat.
Trying to describe the hat: The ultimate in comfort cool style is what first popped into my head but then I realized what a painfully queer combination of words that is; so I think I will just whittle it down to cool. This hat is cool. From every angle and in every interpretation or disambiguation of the word- this hat is fucking cool; and I knew it right away.
Where did I get it? –people asked.. A friend made it, a friend hand-made it, it’s the only one like it and the only one the premiere the baby the guinea pig the only ever; there can only be one first and this is it.
Unlike other mass production hats- all of pedalstrikes hats have this amazing brim. Soft and malleable- they remind me of my childhood basketball hoop in NH. It has the perfect amount of give; and a year to the day this hat has never stopped giving. Those who own one know exactly what I mean.
When I lived in a camper in New Hampshire I wasn’t feeling very Rapha. Riding a conversion I never feel very Columbus speciale. I ride, now, with some sweptback Wald bars and I don’t feel Eddy Merckx in the least.
But when I was uncomfortably getting into wearing a helmet, my pedalstrike hat was there. When I gave my first bike hat to a girlfriend traveling halfway around the globe; at least I had my pedalstrike. It’s corny, I know, but I’m not that outgoing. I don’t carry an ID because I hate the bars. My friends have to literally drag me to parties and the likes.
But when someone realizes my hat was made by Kaiko and ask me about it- I get a surge of confidence, a spring in my step, daresay a little swagger. I say “Yeah, it’s the first one she ever sold.” It’s my one bike-geek way of saying “Attention, Please.”
Gregory, you're awesome. I'm glad you were my first. Customer, that is.
[Here's anotherRapha Scarf Friday.]