Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Big Red Van

Here are a few photos of of our  FordTransit van that I'm outfitting as a camper van. I chose the Transit van over a Sprinter because it drives and handles better, should be more reliable, and can be fixed in almost any town in the US. (It has the same drive train as a basic Ford pickup truck).
I'm building the interior out of Baltic birch and maple, but with an oak countertop. It will have pressure water, a two burner marine alcohol stove, solar panels and, maybe a refrigerator and marine toilet. Were not sure about the last two items because we want to keep it super simple and be able to dry camp for two weeks at least. The next project is the overhead cabinets and ceiling panels, then the water tank, solar panels and house batteries.
Building has slowed during the winter, but it should be done sometime this spring. If all goes well it might end up as cool as the one below. We're looking forward to the van-life.

My Two Bikes

Now that I no longer own a bike company I have only two bikes.The first is my favorite, a Velo Orange Piolet. The second is a Velo Orange Pass Hunter, shown below.
The reason that the Piolet is my favorite is that I'm becoming less and less interested in riding on pavement. It's almost as fast to walk to most places as to ride in our compact 400-year old city. So I'll use the Pass Hunter on some of the excellent rail-to-trail routes around here and on the C&O canal for the most part. The Piolet serves as my city bike, on the rare occasions that I need one, and as my fun bike. It also makes a great trout bike: Though I've also ridden the Pass Hunter to some nice trout streams:

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I've Sold Velo Orange

By Chris
I wanted to announce that I've just sold Velo Orange. 

The new owners, Adrian and Igor, are longtime employees. Rest assured that the company is in good hands. In fact, except for myself and Annette, the staff remains intact.

I also wanted to share some of my reasons for selling VO:

One of the main reasons I'm selling is that I had this little epiphany when I was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago. I underwent surgery, chemo, and radiation.  (There is no sign of the cancer returning and the odds are that it won't. But there's still a fair chance that it could.) That experience brought home something I already knew. I no longer want to be a businessman; it's time for new adventures.

Velo Orange has always been and remains a very successful and profitable enterprise. It's a company that I'm proud of. It's also a company that I enjoyed building and growing, very much so. I also enjoyed hanging with the VO staff, who are the best group of folks I've ever worked with. But running a company, I didn't enjoy that so much.

I'm also selling because I like being retired. I know this because I first retired when I was 41 years old, after starting and selling Chesapeake Light Craft. I launched VO, six years later. The plan was for a little part time gig based on importing a few odd bike bits from Europe and Japan. It was my retirement hobby, one that I hoped might turn a small profit. Such are the best laid plans... Anyway I've just turned 59 and now I really am retired. Really. Though I do have this one idea...

Our plans include lots of travel (I'm building-out a camper van), catching up on a lot of reading, fly fishing, visiting friends all over the country, and maybe getting involved in local politics. I'll write more about this, and about business and the bike industry later on this blog should anyone care. You can also follow me on Instagram and on Twitter.

Enough rambling; thanks for your support over the years and for making VO what it is. And best of luck to Adrian and Igor.