When I went to Los Angeles a little while ago, my friend Jen Abercrombie was a little shy about her new idea. She first explained to me how she was obsessed with looking at her Garmin for a while, and how annoying it can be. Heart rate, power, speed, cadence… what else? If I share with you the pleasure to own one more electronic device as they say, I also share with you the pleasure of FREEDOM. Like really. Like get out there, with a paper map to find my way, and forget about time, distance, elevation and let the only good reason to ride your bike out there take the path on all of that - WILD INSTINCT.
I’m making it overdramatic. I know, sometime if you have to sneak out for only 1 hour 23 minutes and 52 seconds before you need to check in with, a boss, a baby, a wife, or all of them at once, then yes, we need those little handlebar laptops. But sometimes, when the sunshine is high, the free time you get is as much as you can see. Then, get that thing off your stem.
SOLUTION: You put that sticker in your stem. Then what?
1. You show to the world that you are not this frigid strava record hunter.
2. You get exactly the same feeling, you would look down and then, Ta-Da! you will get caught by those little jokers that Jen and Chas are: NO GARMIN, NO RULES. YEAH YEAH. Not funny? Not excited about it? This post is not for you.
The author and Jen Abercrombie stalking the streets of LA with Cole Maness.
Also, we say Garmin but it apply to any electronic device, even those funny one who put an iphone on front of their bike, I mean I’m not going to list all the brands who have been involve in this industry, but it’s a lot, true thing, at this point, Garmin is becoming term more than a brand which could have its place in a dictionary.
Hello Jen, Hello Chas, what’s up? How does it feel to jump in the really select field of all-star of sticker makers? You both ride your bike daily, what is your approach when it come to get outside for a bike ride?
JEN: I ride daily because it keeps my head right. Sometimes I don’t really feel like getting up early and spandexing up, but never ever do I regret it. As soon as I start rolling, I’m stoked. Also, my friend Kyle at Golden Saddle just built up my old CX frame as a grocery bike and surprised me with it on my birthday. So rad! Can’t wait to ride that around town like Angela Lansbury in the opening credits of Murder, She Wrote….anyone? (crickets)
CHAS: It feels like winning a $10 lottery scratch ticket, you are surprised, its pretty cool I guess, but in the end it doesn't really matter.
I ride a bike for a living, so most of the time my approach is to make money, which creates a nice juxtaposition when i want to ride for fun. It forces me to relax and not worry, just ride.
Did you ever use Garmin or Strava? Because you know people who do and love it, and I’m sure you are going to get some super smart comments full of anger. Are you ready for that? Are you ready to fight for freedom? This is not funny Jen. This is not Silverlake and womens underwear. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE MAAAAAAD. (Or are they?)
JEN: I used Strava for a long time, and I have a Garmin too. It’s been awhile since I used either, but I’m sure I will again. I think it’s fun sometimes to see how far you went and how fast, and of course, how much faster you are than your friends, haha. But lately, I’ve just been riding a lot and not thinking about that stuff… except I’m still getting emails about bitches stealing my QOMs. Just kidding, ladies! Love you!
CHAS : I used Strava for a hot minute a few years back, never a Garmin, just not my thing I gués. All my friends use both Strava and Garmin, Its totally ok, you should do what makes you happy. The sticker was never about telling people what to do, it is about reminding people that sometimes its fun to not sweat the numbers and just go for it.
Why such a rebel attitude? You want hurt your parents?
JEN: Yeah the sticker game is a lot more serious that ladies’ lingerie. It’s true that I have a rebel attitude, but my parents are cool with it. I guess that means I’m not much of a rebel actually, right?
Chas, you are a total accomplice, can you tell us what it feels like to have been manipulated as the author of the drawing? Did you expect how big this is could become? I mean, you can already get NO GARMIN NO RULES sticker, on the Athletic and in the Golden Saddle Cyclery – and that’s a pretty BIG DEAL! How successful should we plan for? Crash Maserati’s into trees, or what?
CHAS: It's hilarious, I mean it started out as a drunken idea, some pictures texts of drawings on napkins at an airport. We laugh about how big it has gotten from such simple beginnings. The world should plan for big things... NO GARMIN NO RULES skywriting, tramp stamps... there is no limit
As for me I will suddenly retire from the sticker game to live in a tree house nest in Big Sur, to contemplate the next big idea.
We know bike messenger love Strava. Do you Strava messenger in your company? Do you have a best messenger of the week with a Strava ranking? Because you should!
CHAS : Bike messengers care more about making money, that and instagraming #messlife photos....duh
At TCB we have the "$krilla Gorrila" Award, this goes to the messenger who made the most money while riding the slowest and looking the coolest, extra points if get over 100 likes on your IG posts.
Do you fell totally screwed as Jen have create a little site where people can order them for 2 dollars? Are you ready to sue her in 10 years? I mean, we have seen it with Apple… she have the idea, you design it… who did what??? Who knows???
CHAS : My people are talking to her people, there is a possible merger then IPO, or an extensive litigation. Could go either way, big business you know?
JEN: Chas knows that if he gets lawyers involved, I’ll sue the pants off him and win.
Who is making the design of the TCB Courier designs? Is it your company? Do you have partner, how long have you been involve in this business? Do you draw something else beside "**des compteurs"?
CHAS : The TCB Brand is managed by the hardworking and talented John Daniel Reiss, he sources designs from the international and local courier community. He also yells at me to stop drawing on napkins and start designing t-shirts.
I have been picking things up then dropping them off for 8 years and TCB has been my main jam for the last 4. I produce a zine called SawBlade Smile consisting of various doodles and film photos from travels and everyday life. It comes out every 2nd full moon of every third leap year.. don't sleep on it.
Jen, How long have you been in the lingerie business in LA? Your shop is located by Hollywood hill and we have done some epic ride with some movie star, (Erika, you are a star). Do you get some famous people shopping there? You can also say it’s confidential.
JEN : I’ve been slinging panties to the LA ladies for 11 years now, but I never sell and tell. The beautiful stars we get coming in the shop can count my total discretion. Unless you buy me a couple drinks and then I’ll sing like a canary.
Photo from Chas.
Chas, Are you going to race Red HOOK crit this year? Which one. Is it racing with gears something you also do?
CHAS : I plan on racing the Brooklyn and Milan RH, The North America Courier Campionships are the same weekend as Barcelona so I'm gonna miss that one. I am also leaving on an expedition to ride the Darien Gap in a few weeks, so we'll see how my legs feel after 2 weeks in the jungle,
I raced Elite geared CX, it's pretty rad. I enjoys long road rides with friends but never really got into the road racing scene... too many numbers and rules for me I guess?
I heard you just launched a new app related to your messenger company? Do you want explain us what is it?
CHAS : We are creating a nationwide courier network, built for couriers, by couriers, it is our answer to Corporate/Venture Capital backed same day delivery. We offer a logistics and business management program for courier companies that backs a white label marketplace Itunes App. We also have a Courier Incubation program aimed at helping motivated groups of people start courier services in their cities (BIG shout out to Farwest Courier, LA's newest bicycle delivery service, IGGY you rule!)
I want to keep the courier culture that has provided so much for me alive and growing, we are changing the way people think about same day delivery.
We have seen you involved with Oakley for a special mysterious project last time I have seen you during the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race in La, is it something you are allowed to speak about yet?
CHAS : The Oakley Project is still on the Hush Hush, but soon I think it will be out.. (Ed. Note: actually we found it)
Jen, hot question: You have a really hot Igleheart cross bike since this winter? How did you have get to build a custom bike? Is it something you were planning on since a long time.
JEN: That’s a good question. If there’s a bike builder who embodies the “No Garmin, No Rules” ethos, it’s Chris Igleheart. I feel like getting one of his bikes is owning a little bit of history. I went to NAHBS in 2012 and fell in love with the mixte that Chris was showing, and I really got inspired. The whole bike just looked great and it had a rad dynamo light system with a button in the top cap to turn on the lights. I’m a sucker for details, and it was so cute! I wanted it so bad. However, by the time I got Chris my fit info, he’d moved from the east coast to Portland, OR, and things got a little delayed. At that point, cross season was right around the corner and I wanted a bike to race. Out with the mixte, in with the CX bike. Plus I realized I didn’t want a townie bike I’d be scared to lock up at the bar. It was really fun to work with him on it, and to figure out the build. My road bike is jealous of my CX bike now.
Second Hot question, Jeremy wants to know what is the hottest think you can find at Panty Raid right now? Does doing the buying with underwear fashion companies get you inspired to pick the colors for your Igleheart?
JEN: Jeremy will have to come in to the shop and figure out what HE thinks is the hottest thing at the ‘Raid right now, then buy it for you, Julie. The colors on my bike are definitely lingerie-inspired, and Keith Anderson did a great job on the paint. We called it the “Panty Raid Bike” when I was working with Igleheart, but my friend Sean has rechristened it “Blue Steel”. She answers to both names.
Final ultimate question, what is Rufus (Jen's dog) doing right now?
CHAS : Rufus is yolo'ing (is that a thing?)
JEN: Chas is right. #rufusyolo
Ok. I’m done with silly questions. THANKS you guys!
Note - we have 50 or so of the NO GARMIN NO RULES stickers that we will be including in orders starting with this post - until they are gone. Also, there is much more than just stickers to the NO GARMIN lineup. Make sure to check out their site for shirts and patches as well. NO RULES!
**In France, we don’t like name an object by the name of the brand, ex, for a Coke, we will say ‘’un soda’’, for a Garmin, we say ‘’un compteur’’, which involve any kind of bike laptop, it comes from the same term which is used in the car to record distance, which was only able to give you speed, but we still use it, the force of the habits it sound really old school.