Let me whisk you back to a year ago when I was frantically scrambling trying to put the pieces of my first bike event, Hell Track 1, together. I had a nugget of an idea, largely “imported” (stolen) from my experiences in Seattle participating in Future Tense, for a bike thing in Toronto that would be a melting pot for all the disparate groups of bike nerds. I took to guerilla advertising and I put spokecard fliers in any set of wheels that looked vaguely like the right kind of bike/person. Anyways, one of these bikes happened to be owned by Tony Mammoliti and the flier in his wheel got him to come and check out Hell Track 1. I was flying around signing people up for events and running everything so we didn’t actually formally meet that night.
Skip forward a few weeks to the Toronto premiere of The Revival, I was socializing and all that when I saw a Swobo with a crazy set of DIY straps. I had to get to the bottom of what I was seeing and that’s how I finally, formally, met Tony. He had been experimenting with various strap designs and shortly gave me a pair to test out as my Hold Fasts were on their last legs. They were as good or better even back then so I was stoked.
Things have progressed quickly since then. I was a ‘test rider’ for his straps until he made a messenger bag with his mom’s help one day. When I saw it I was gobsmacked and excited because it really meant that anything was possible suddenly. I immediately proposed to him that I not just test for him but that I’d like to go into business with him if he was interested. He agreed and the growth has been continuous since.
I will leave this as a ‘Part 1’ of the story, but I think it’s a good start, right?