What a crazy year it has been! Both around the world and within our shop. If this year has made anything clear, it's that there are a lot of diverse cyclists out there who are eagerly demanding our handmade gear.
Miguel, shown above, is working on a batch of Velo-Orange Randonneur Handlebar Bags. He came into the shop with little sewing experience, and after one short year, he is already a master crafter with an excellent eye for detail.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we were all very concerned with how this would affect our small business. It turns out that the pandemic has undoubtedly inspired a lot of people to get outdoors, now more than ever. Despite general anxiety about the state of the world, we were able to pull through and continue making all of the gear you have come to know and love.
We have been blessed with the continued support of our customers this year. To help lighten the load, we have hired two new staff members, Matt Skipper and Candelaria, who have been such a fantastic addition to our team.
Matt Skipper, shown above, is QC'ing a batch of Velo-Orange Transporteur Rack Bags.
When Matt Skipper's not out there on his bike, exploring LA, you can find him at our shop Monday through Friday- cutting webbing, tacking bags, marking patterns, and providing tons of good vibes and laughter behind our masks. Candelaria is a skilled seamstress who has quickly picked up many products in our line. At this point, you may have something that she's personally touched on in your Road Runner Bags collection. She's mastered the art of sewing circles onto Burrito Bags and has built so many of them this year!
With the growth of the business, we have been so lucky to have our staff's talent, new and old. Rosa, Emma, Miguel, and Luis, have been sewing tirelessly this year to keep up with demands. Matt V has been running our cutting machine non-stop, year-round. I can hear it whirring now! Indeed, there isn't a single product that Matt V hasn't touched, considering he is the first step in turning raw material into our unique, handmade bike bags.
Rosa, above, is sewing up a batch of Wedge Half Frame Bags. She's a master sewist whose skills are displayed by her years of experience in the manufacturing industry.
Emma, who is featured above, is our main Jammer sewist. She's such a light in the shop and always has a contagious smile. Check her out, finishing up a batch of Middle Earth Jammer Bags by attaching the lids to their bodies.
Featured above is Juan, helping production finish up a large batch of Velo-Orange Day Tripper Saddle Bags. He coordinates with the crew overseeing that production is running smoothly. He's a human of many talents who also runs the RRB social media and a stellar photographer.
We've all been attached to the machines, and on occasion, you still see the senior crew Juan, Brad, Ester, and myself on the devices, working endlessly to help out production as much as we can. We've been busy all year, and the amount of stitches that everyone has put in has been remarkable.
You can see Luis here delivering orders by E-Cargo Bike during one of many daily postal runs. We haul our products to the USPS/UPS & FedEx with our shop Bike Friday Haul-A-Day outfitted with a 1000W Mid-Drive Bafang. Clean and green!
We are very thankful for our loyal customer base, especially during this unprecedented global pandemic. Thank you to everyone who purchases and reviews our products.
Nothing makes us feel more warm and fuzzy than receiving feedback, reviews, and photos of our gear out there from all around the world. Just check out some of these gorgeous photos we've received this year! It's pretty exciting to see that people are still taking the time to get outside despite all of the challenges and hurdles.
Omri - Toronto, Canada
Sarah (@sarahhockman) - Littleton, Colorado
Magali (@mag_anslm) - Lille, France
Jeff - Scottsdale, Arizona
Susanna (@leino_s) - Espoo, Finland
We're very excited to start 2021 and look forward to bringing more bags to the table as we expand our line even more. We already have some fun new stuff in the works, so stay tuned!
A short bio of our CEO, Ester Song:
I've been working in small businesses since my parents opened their gas station in Alabama in the '90s. My childhood included stocking the shelves, building six-packs of cans, and helping my father assemble chicken biscuits while my mother was frying up chicken gizzards in a small, make-shift kitchen in the back of the store. From a gas station kid to serving tables in the South, it built a work ethic that led me to work production sewing in the Bronx. My experiences with working for small businesses my whole life has accrued skill sets that transitioned to operating a small manufacturing business in coordination with other small businesses, including your local bike shops around the world.
Get to know the author, Ashley Campbell:
Ashley has been with Road Runner Bags since the spring of 2014. She has sewn countless backpacks and bags over the years. As a FIDM graduate, she has applied her design background by refining the RRB backpack line for ultimate function and comfort. Although she's mostly found behind a computer these days, corresponding with customers, incorporating orders into production and packing them on to our cargo bike, she can still whip up a bag for you in no-time.