I get many a kick from seeing friends succeed doing something they love to do. It’s inspirational, and helps put my own lofty goals into perspective, making them seem more reachable, less silly sounding while echoing around the empty space in my brain bucket. Today I get to share one of these success stories, and how we turned an informal Sunday morning shoot into something that both of us came out feeling stoked about.
I’m not a cyclist, or cycler, velo-raptor, two wheel big deal, or however those folk tend to identify themselves (I’d like to think that they have a secret handshake too). I own a bike, I ride said bike, but I know from living in Portland that there are many folks that take biking very, very seriously and I am not quite there, myself. My friend Randall is one of those guys. Randall is an advertising guru by day, and spends much of his non-working time on two wheels. He has parlayed this passion into a business, and one that is building steam with a few thoughtful, well designed products. He has taken his analytical and progressive approach from building brands for other people, and infused his passionate and meticulous design aesthetic into what I can only describe as logical, brilliant products. Enter, Mettle Cycling.
Something simple, elegant, practical and hard wearing, the Mettle Tool Roll comes fully equipped and ready to attach to your saddle by way of a heavy duty webbing.
It’s unique in its design, security and execution. We shot all 4 different tool rolls, and all the goodies that come along with them. Now, again I’m no expert, but if touring, or out on a long ride, and you end up with a flat, the ability to not only replace the tube but inflate it by way of this cool set of tools is pretty rad. The alternative? Well, I guess you end up stranded, hungry, either needing to hitch a piggy back ride from a fellow cyclist, or probably dead. You don’t want to end up dead because of a flat tire do you? I don’t either.
Another unique item that Mettle is providing is what is described as a “Neckerchief” and while the idea of wrapping a handkerchief around your neck isn’t quite groundbreaking, the design of this one is.
With a proprietary design, it enables a quick and easy on/off while riding. Cold, breezy descent? Slide it on and keep your neck and face toasty. Getting warm while climbing? Pull it off quickly with one swift tug. Pretty brilliant.
What cyclist would be caught without a cycling cap? I don’t know, I’m genuinely asking. Like, one with a phobia of snuggly fitting head garments, maybe? For those that aren’t afraid of a little head hug, and solar protection for their noggin, Mettle has some hand built 5 panel cycling caps.
Now, call me old fashioned, but I dig a good seer sucker.
Shooting products isn’t particularly foreign to me. I do quite a bit of it actually, and I had a great time collaborating with Randall and his beautiful GF, lovely lady and my ELK cohort, Larissa on this particular Sunday morning. All the product shots were done with natural light, which is a bit different than what I’ve done in the past for the majority of product stuff I’ve shot, and we were just lucky to have an amazing space with amazing light to shoot in.
For the cycling shots, I’d love to give you a cool story about me hanging off the back of a motorcycle, or one handing it while screaming down a hill, and while I did attempt a few shots while on my skateboard, being goofy footed, while obeying the rules of the road in this part of the world, made for some oddly contorted positioning and the ever forsaken speed wobbles while trying to balance and shoot with gear that I wouldn’t classify as inexpensive. Thank all that is holy that Larissa offered to drive while I shot from the passenger seat, because that made it so much easier and safer, and also, I didn’t have to push myself uphill for the climb shots.
While I’m not much of a cyclist, I am a fan of the marriage between progressive design and logical application, regardless of the industry or pastime it incorporates itself into. I’m especially into it when done by my friends, and I love to see good people creating good stuff. Support the craftsmen among us when the opportunity arises, and keep that creative spirit alive. Check out Mettle Cycling HERE, find Mettle on Instagram HERE, and tell Randall I say hey.
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Thanks for the read.