I don’t really know, its kind of a joke? I think every kid who grew up skateboarding or riding bmx bikes, and has a modicum a creativty, might have/had at one point drawn their own little logo’s on their notebook, and thought about funny t-shirts they could make with inappropriate bullshit or jokes on them. I guess “Bike or Garbage” is kind of that dream thing of sorts for me. Its like a folder in my brain where I can put things/thoughts I find amusing, that may or may not pertain to bicycles.
Where did the idea for Bike or Garbage come from?
It was pretty much just a dumb saying a friend/former coworker/former bike racer extraordinaire Toby came up with at work one day. Working as a mechanic, you see all sorts of different bikes. Some are cool, fancy, expensive, whatever, but most bikes, out on the road, the ones being ridden are old, poorly matained, and thus garbage. We were having a rough day, bike roulette wasn’t going so well (picking which work order to pull from the queue). Similar to actual roulette, where the particpants are hoping they don’t get the loaded chamber, we were each hoping we didn’t have to work on a shitbox bike. The kind of shitbox where the owner doesn’t want to spend the money it needs to actually work, or in some cases even be safe enough to ride. We’d ask each other “Bike or Garbage?”, and I ended up making a weird collage postcard thing, with a 4x6 photo I took of some crappy old bike locked up in NYC. I wrote “bike or garbage” in black marker and glued the paper to the photo. Bike or Garbage was born.
What do you prefer, bike? or garbage?
I prefer bike. I’m not into pedaling garbage, and noisey bikes drive me insane. If I’m unemployed for much longer, I’m just gonna make a career of oiling chains for people here in Portland.
Do you like bicycles?
Yes, I mean I moved to Portland, Oregon to pursue bike nirvana. And I guess it’d be stupid to keep 4 bikes in my small room, and one in the living room, if I didn’t. N+1, even if my girlfriend isn’t down
Whats your favorite to ride?
I don’t know, I just got a new stem for my BMX bike, so I’ve been kinda itching to ride that. My commuter bike is pretty awesome, full fenders keep me dry and I like my bar-con shifter setup. I have a Madone that was pretty much gifted to me, so to ride a fancy plastic (carbon) bike, for next to nothing, is cool too. Since moving to PDX, I’ve done some CX races which have been a blast. Even my fixed gear bike isn’t bad for being a POS.
Do you like drugs?
I like smoking weed, but thats about it. Drugs will probably ruin your life, recreational or performance enhancing. Play it smart folks.
What was the idea/inspiration behind the Bong Water water bottles?
Theres a few levels of inspiration. If you ever seen the bottles that look like a reappropriation of something you may have a personal affinity for, this is my version. Another level being, if you pay attention to cycling, there’s been this thing with taking drugs for performance enhancing purposes; doping. I’ve heard smoking weed referred to as “smoking dope” (not to be confused with smoking or shooting heroin) smoking dope, doping, see the lines I’m drawing here. Its also to be noted, weed is on the banned substances list. No UCI races for me.
And how about the process of getting them made?
I had the BorG Tumblr going for a bit, and naturally wanting to take the next step towards small business owner/brand manager/creative director, that step was obviously get water bottles made of a sharpie doodle I did.
Mentioning an idea you have for a thing you’re not so sure of, to your friends is a great way to get things done/follow through with plans. I didn’t actually have a computer when I did said doodle, showed it to Leland, (BorG Ad Executive) he was supportive. We scanned it into a JPG, created a bottle account with a special bike company who has a sweet water bottle problem. The design sat on Leland HD for about 6 months, while I moved to Portland for a bit last winter, when I got back to MA for summer, Leland said he’d throw down some money to offset the cost on the bottles, so that was a tremendous help. Once we had the funds allocated, we submitted the design. Surprisingly, the design was deemed printable. Stoner Mountain bike guy at special bike company, sent me some emails, took my money and the deal with the devil was done. We now own some water bottles in translucent green, with a shitty bong doodle on them. The IPO is coming soon.
That's right, Secret Awesome is back! Its been a little while but we're back. We've got a new store with some sweet skateboards, artwork, and... water bottles? Check it out, and keep checking in here, we'll be beaming in all kinds weird vibes, good music, art and chaos!