Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cycling Stories

It was my great pleasure recently to add a new mug to the "Mainstay Mugs" section at - The Cycling Mug. This was a particularly rewarding project to take on, as cycling has been and continues to be a very important and enjoyable part of my life.

In the early 90's, I was going through a pretty tough divorce. My kids were very young and I had long periods of time without seeing them, even though my ex and I lived in the same town. The whole concept of visitation rights, lawyers, and the court system were pretty overwhelming and I found myself being pretty bummed out.

The biggest part of the problem for me was that I had moved to Oregon from Toronto, and virtually all of my friends in Oregon had been friends with my wife first...loyalties entered in to the picture, and you can guess the rest. Needless to say, I was suddenly very alone.

As time went by, I started thinking about bicycle racing, but dismissed the notion as I thought I was too old to start racing. (ahh, what I would give now to be back in my early thirties again!) However, the thought persisted, and in time I decided to join a racing club in Southern Oregon.

At first I was terrible, but I found that I had found a fantastic group of new friends, a lot of whom I am still very close with. With the support and encouragement of the cycling community in the Siskiyou Wheelmen, I had a two wonderful years of road racing in the lower categories. My goal was to upgrade to a higher category, which I did after winning the silver medal for the State of Oregon road race in 1994. (Trust me, it sounds a lot more prestigious than it really was.) From that point on, racing was sheer agony for me as I could never make the adjustments and new demands that higher competition demanded. A painful non-cycling related injury cut my second season short, and not long after I moved to Bend, Oregon, and never raced competitively again.

I still love cycling, and often ride my bike around town while doing errands. I even take mug orders to the post office via the bike whenever I can. I've done several week long cycle tours over the years which can only be described as amazing. And I love how much I can eat without penalty when I'm putting in the miles!

Now that you know some of my cycling background, you may be able to understand my excitement with The Cycling Mug. It's pretty cool that I had help from a graphic designer friend on the design, and she just rode her bike across the U.S. this past summer! Check her blog out!

I should market the mug with this tag line: "This mug is designed and made by cyclists, for cyclists!"

Now all I need to do is come up with a logo mug for potters. "Made by a potter, for potters." Or would it be better to come up with a "Passion Mug"? "Made by a passionate craftsman for passionate people!" Hey, not a bad idea...

If you're a passionate cyclist or want to get a mug for someone who is, you can take a look at the product page over at the website. Check over on the Facebook Fan Page for a discount coupon code, available until Oct. 31st, 2010.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"T-shirts are out - mugs are in!"

It's the time of year when I get a lot of requests for custom logo mugs. From comments passed on to me, companies that give key clients and employees logo mugs have been very pleased with the responses. I thought I'd post a few photos of logo mugs that have been done in the studio this year. (Click on the photos to see larger image size.) As my buddy Russ has been known to say, "t-shirts are out, mugs are in!" I think he's got a point!

When the long days in the studio were over during summer and it was time to relax a bit, you could often find me on the deck, gratefully spending some time with a good book, glass of wine, and Kelty!