After eight years of messing about on my little corner of the web, it’s time for a long overdue change. Before I go into it more, here’s a walk down memory lane.
It was sometime in 2003 or 2004, and I was learning this thing called HTML so I could put together a website to showcase some pictures I painted on canvas and wood. Inspired by Lee who likes bikes, and the Drunk Cyclist, I made a little spot on the web of my own to write about the cool shit we’d do on our bikes. It was all started when I moved away from Portland, ready for a change from turning wrenches and fixing bikes forty hours a week.
First I moved to southern Oregon, and scraped by wrenching a bit at bikeshops and with other side jobs. I enjoyed the local trails and shuttled Mount Ashland as often as I could. A year later, I moved to California so I could look into getting a job that paid more than minimum wage and look into this career thing I had heard so much about. Finding myself in the Bay Area, I ended up in yet another shop, again wrenching on bikes. This had to have been bikeshop #8 or #9, and at this point I was pretty burned out on being under appreciated as an underpaid bike shop rat. I was sick of it, hence the name of the site. Either way — in hindsight — and in a lot of ways, it was a stupid name for a website that was clearly about actually riding and having fun on bikes. Half the time people that had never heard of the site really didn’t get the irony of the title. For a long time, I was like, “f-you, don’t really care, we’re punk rock and proud” and brandished my warm and half drank can of PBR in the air.
Fast forward eight years of riding bikes, exploring trails, and I’m older, and hopefully a bit wiser. I still like drinking PBR, but I mix it up a lot more. I don’t work in a bike shop anymore, and actually enjoy wrenching on my gear again. My quiver of bikes has grown and shrunk and grown again, and these days includes a road bike, fixed gear, and rigid 29er in addition to the DH, DJ, AM, and trail bike. (plus I still have my BMX) During the last eight years, I’ve done my best to live the dream, taught trail building and ridden trails from Texas to Saskatoon. I’ve contributed to a few magazines here and there, and documented most of it here. The site has never evolved into a cash cow, partly because of the branding that doesn’t take it all the way. A few folks clicking on the ads have helped pay for the hosting, and while it never actually ended up paying for the computer and camera gear used to make it, the experience of making the site got me paying work that mostly did.
However, for a site that isn’t as punk rock or anti-establishment as originally imagined, the name doesn’t really fit. It also isn’t a great URL for promoting the work we do with our local groups, trying to get some legit flow to the trails where we live in the east bay. If people don’t get it, it doesn’t work. So it is time for a name that does. (and if you’re a surly bike shop employee that wants to take over, let me know)
So after many hours with a dictionary and thesaurus and looking up a million URLs that were already taken, we started putting words together. The name we came up with is Bermstyle.com.
Turns out all this blogging crap paid off in the end, since I have a day job where I do similar things, but in the clothing industry. (I even helped design some sweet jeans for riding bikes) On weekends I coach mountain bike skills for bike parts.
The new title combines some of my favorite things about riding (berms) and our obsession with looking good on and off the bike. When you spend all your time taking photos of people on bikes, I’ve come to believe that style on the bike is a priority. Ironically, when your technique is dialed and you look fast, you get fast. And who doesn’t appreciate a sweet kit, or a clicked trick?
Think its a stupid name? Shit, now you tell me. Maybe I’ll change it again in another eight years. If you read this far and still want to follow the journey, check it out. And thanks for reading.