Back in our lord’s year of 2001 or something, my old compatriot Millionaire Bob and I began discussing the prospect of putting together a kit in conjunction for our friends at Oakland’s FTW Tattoo Studio. I got as fas as completing a crappy drawing, and then the project stalled out.
Then several years later after the launch of the Black Market project, I dusted off the drawings and began making revisions of the original version;
Several dozens of emails were passed between graphic wiz Kim Dow who happens to not only be at my beck and call, but also maintains a full time gig as the art director for Bike Monkey Magazine, as well as being the creative force behind Levi’s Gran Fondue.
She obviously has nothing better to do with her time but to help me out.
On top of pulling this off, and making varying changes for me depending on my level of neurosis on any given day, Kim was also in the process of baby making. (Please note the difference between ‘baby making’ and ‘baby conceiving’. The former is the nine month stretch, while the latter is obviously the two to eighty-five minute precursor. To my knowledge she worked on this project strictly during the nine month part, and not the two to eighty-five minute part.)
In the midst of a design freakout, I then scrapped the white version and came up with something a little more subtle. I would also like to note that this idea sprang to mind at least four weeks before I ever laid eyes on what Team Sky had cooking. Obviously great minds think alike;
As a tribute to my better half’s German heritage (that’s the better half of me, not a cute way of referring to my fiancée. I would also like to mention that this is the first time I’ve referred to her as my fiancée, though she’s a pure blood as well) I opted to splash the name of my imprint across the jersey in Germanese. First all I had to do was figure out how to write it.
Little did I know there is Business German, Children’s German, Contemporary German, or ‘high Deutsch’, Old German, or ‘low Deutsch’. It went on and on, and for every actual German person I spoke with, I received at least two different versions. I was getting emails and phone calls from four corners of the world with information from professional translators, people who worked with people who spoke German, and most notably actual German people, my in-laws included.
The one thing everyone agreed upon was that the word ‘Hail’ would most likely best to be omitted, but far be it from me to question the Motherland. As this process developed, so did the numbers of revisions that Kim was sending back to me.
“Nononononono.. I’m sorry Kim. That last one actually said “everyone kneel at the burnt market” or “all frozen rain to the dark kangaroo”. So she would begin again and as soon as I had the revision, a new version contradicting the last one would roll in.
It was a truly maddening process, but we finally got through it and finalized the piece which after weeks of cramming it down your throats you’ve come to know as such;
‘Es Lebe Der Schwarzmarkt’ was what I finally decided upon, which depending on who you ask means ‘long live the Black Market’.
I would also like to mention that if someone in the audience feels the need to point out an error in that line of thinking, I would certainly be better off not knowing about it.
I realize that these aren’t the glam shots you’ve become accustomed to, but I refuse to take photos of myself in a mirror, and all of my models were otherwise occupied… With the obvious exception of Vinnie, of course. It seems like more often than not, any attempt to take a photo of product is generally highjacked by one of the two animals I share residence with. Come this time next week however, you’ll either be in possession of your own, or you’ll have a good idea of what they look like just by the sheer volume of imagery that will most assuredly be taking over the interwebs.
*Update. Due to demand, a two week window in which you can still order kits has been added. I will be placing one final order on July 6th for delivery the last week of August. Don’t get caught sleeping.
For sizing information, go to the bottom of this post.*
As I have previously stated, there are skin suits in this mess as well, which is a good thing on account of cause according to Brendan, every season is cross season;
I asked my friend Tara Jayne to make me a flyer for this three race cyclocross series that I’m organizing. I suggested it have something to do with mud. This is what she created.
I’m pretty damn happy with it, and think the world would love to see it on your always spectacular weblog.
For those of you who live down unda, you know what to do.
Now to kill a little bit of time, I’ll momentarily dip into the mail bag.
From Amigo #4 I offer you this shot of both him and his lovely wife just chilling at home;
Some people relax in sweatpants, and some people relax in recyclables.
Then from DPow! I get a heads up on your new favorite band;
“As my buddy Cale says, “what ever kind of music these guys play, I’m going to listen to.”
I don’t know what kind of music they play, but I’ll bet whatever it is, it’s good.
On behalf of B’ham’s Bici Coop, Alan sent these flyers on for me to post, thereby alerting anyone in and around the Birmingham, Alabama area to step away from the Cracker Barrel and get atop a bicycle;
I do love me the hell out of some Cracker Barrel though. Which begs the question…. The first and only time I ever went to one, the building’s facade was weathered and worn looking, not a lot unlike that of a barrel, and of the people inside, I don’t recall seeing much of a variation in ethnicity aside from white folks.
I suppose ‘cracker barrel’ sounds better than ‘honky box’;
Finally in closing, I get a thanks from a fellow named Noel to, and about a fellow named Ken;
My friend Ken Barker is an avid follower of your site. He probably sends you a few emails here and there to various links including youtube videos portraying cycling culture and Kung Fu video.
Anyways, our part of the world was just graced with a visit from the IMBA trail care crew. Ken, who is a local trail building hero, a high school teacher whose career is devoted to the most severely autistic students, father of two of most well behaved little boys you’ll ever meet, one helluva bike rider, and a great guy to get drunk with recently worked his ass off and jumped every hurdle imaginable to make this IMBA visit a huge success. Thing is, he’s always the guy going the extra mile for mountain biking in this area and god dammit, I think he deserves some fucking recognition.
I’m not asking for anything free, but I was just wondering if I bought him a t shirt or cap or something if you could write a little something to put in the package in there in the style that all of us who know Ken enjoy thanks to his forwarding to us almost daily the latest updates on allhailtheblackmarket.com. Either that, or I could send you a pic for you to post on your site giving him a virtual tip of the pint glass for all of his efforts.
Point is, I’ve bought him six pack after six pack in appreciation for his efforts. I need to go bigger this time. This guy gives and gives and gives and asks for nothing in return. He’s the guy swinging the Mcleod or running a mower on the nicest days when the rest of us are riding. He’s got topo trail maps out on his kitchen table while the rest of us are watching the superbowl. God dammit, this guy does more for mountain biking than any other 10 people I know and I know he’d really appreciate hearing it from you.
Let me know what you think. Attached are some shitty pics I have of him, but they’re all I have.
I did fill an order that went out Ken, and I think I did do something half-assed like drop a little hand written postcard in the envelope, but I would like to thank Noel for taking the time to offer praise and thanks to Ken, who very definitely deserves it.
This past weekend I spent some time with I.M.B.A. super honch, Jenn Dice and we briefly touched on matters such as trail maintenance and our appreciation for folks who volunteer their time in an effort to maintain what for all intent and purposes is a very precious resource. I thought about Ken and people like him who take time out of their riding schedule to make sure the rest of us have healthy trails to ride upon, and I want to publicly offer my humble gratitude as well.
It’s people like Ken who should inspire the rest of us to act similarly.
With that, the pile of boxes is beginning to lean precariously, and the shipping has to commence directly.
Keep your eyes peeled to your mailbox. Something back and blue that way cometh.