Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sponsorship Quest Update: Much Love to Manhattan Portage!

After having my folding bike stolen and learning that my insurance wouldn't cover it, I hatched the idea of becoming a sponsored bicycle commuter. While the idea (and accompanying blog post) was initially more of a joke than anything else, further reflection made me think that maybe I was onto something. (That tends to happen - I think my own ideas are brilliant.)

And then the internet gods smiled on me: Lauren Hoffman, who does some sort of marketing-type stuff at messenger bag company Manhattan Portage, came across this blog while Googling "Manhattan Portage." (Someone else found us by googling "pictures of elderly woman." Seriously.) Lauren left a comment on my post telling me to get in touch, which I did, and now she's going to hook me up with some fresh M.P. gear, and I'm going to show her company mad love on this blog and everywhere else, starting right now. (I should add that I have been a fan of Manhattan Portage since way back. In my bike messenger days in NYC, some 12 years ago, I used a Manhattan Portage bag. I also used to know a girl who was very petite, whom I could actually carry in said bag, which was awesome.)

Dahon, the company that makes the model of folding bike that some sucker stole from me, was not so into the sponsorship idea. They still make hot bikes, but you know what, I think they may have missed a golden opportunity. I mean, Scott Baio turned down the lead in Top Gun, and where is he now? Then again, Tom Cruise is totally crazy and I read somewhere that Scott Baio is notoriously successful with the ladies, so Dahon will probably do OK. Still, they should have sponsored me.

Now that Dahon said no to the best marketing bargain in the bike biz, I have sent my proposal to Giant, because as far as folding bicycles go, I think their Halfway is pretty cool, and to Xootr, maker of the Swift folder. Anyone else I should contact? Any other brands want to sponsor my commute? Holler at me. (And I don't care if you call me a sell-out - a new bike doesn't pay for itself, feel me?)

And here is the rest of it.


Brendan said...

Are you the only one who gets to sell out and get a bag?

I really love my old EMS backpack, but I never turn down the opportunity to accrue new bags.

El Presidente de China said...

Well, I don't know how many bags the lady's sending or which models (I expressed my preferences, but we'll see). Maybe we can do duelling bag reviews, and as our humble blog grows into a mighty juggernaut, Manhattan Portage will see us for the cash cow that we are and keep sending more stuff. I am definitely a fan of sharing the love / free bags.

But if a finagle a sponsor who provides me with a new folding bike, that ish is all mine!

chillwill said...

i always knew you'd make something of yourself!

ya know, a bag would be a good prize for the upcoming alley cat.

Rich said...

Well I for one will try to support companies that support the blog community. I haven't had the need to buy a messenger bag or backpack yet, but Manhattan Portage just jumped towards the top of the list. Rock!

As far as folders go, you should check out Breezer, the company that made my current commuting bike. That's a small company that has tried to build a reputation of customer service and the selling of bike-as-transportation ideals. Others online have said that Joe Breeze often responds to emails and forum posts personally. They have 4 models of folding bikes, and they also offer bags that the folders can fit into to carry on trains and such. Effectively making your bike into a steamer trunk!

Caitlynne said...

Being a 25 year old woman in 2008, I love anything that has the word "Manhattan" in the name.

You guys want to come over for cosmos and watch sex in the city?

I know this isn't the intention of posts after blog entries, but what do you say you help a new biker out? I want to buy a road bike on a waitress budget- what do you think of this?

El Presidente de China said...

Funny you're trying to buy a road bike on a waitress budget - I've actually been trying to buy a waitress on a road bike budget (no luck so far).

Seriously, that bike looks OK. I'd go see it, act discerning, ride it once and say it needs to have the rear derailer replaced, and offer $75.

Karma said...

OOOOOOOOO Did someone say Cosmos? I prefer apple martinis but twist my arm!

On a much more serious note I would say this is the perfect forum for your question as it is directed towards bike related issues of all manifestations.

As to the traveler I concur with El Presidente, depending on what year that Traveler it could be a good to great ride. The early 70's Traveler frames were made in Japan by Panasonic (a brand close to my heart) and were nice steel rides. If it says "Schwinn Approved Japan" you most likely have decent frame on your hands.

As the women's specific bike market is a bit slower than the unisex if the bike is in good condition and (most importantly) it fits, $75 is a fair price, if you really love it and are dying to get on a bike (and why shouldn't you be) maybe edge a bit higher. After that get her cleaned up and lubed, get rid of the foam grips, throw on some fresh tape, and ride off into the sunset (or the Crit).

Karma said...

P.S. act fast as I've found if I ever wanted something on CL if I didn't jump on it, it was snatched up quick.

Caitlynne! said...

Ok, I put in the email to the seller. I'll keep you all posted (no pun intended).

E.P.d.C.- that's funny, I've actually been trying to find someone on a road bike budget who's looking for a waitress and hasn't had much luck. Call me!

karma-I'm sad not to be able to make it to Critical Mass this week, but I'm working. Fingers crossed I'll have a rad new roadbike for next month.

Karma said...

Its cool, there is always the (imaginary) after-party. I hear its going to be a rager.

Lauren said...

Lady? Oh boy at 26 I didn't think I was old enough to be a lady.
I'll get some stuff out to you tomorrow.

We do sponsor alleycats and stuff, so if you want some stuff to be used at prizes (so long as they are actually used as prizes) I can get them out to you guys.

Brendan said...

I don't know if I'd recommend that bike. For a little more money, you could get a bike that you'd probably have a lot more on and less risk of it exploding.

this is one is pretty good deal and probably your size:

Karma said...

+1 to Manhattan Portage and the girls, guys, ladies, and gentlement that work there.

As to the Specialized, that is a good deal if you can shell out three times the cash. I feel like there is a huge gap in the market under $250 but if you can spend more than that you are in a different class. But if you only have the $100 to drop do what you got to do.

Also am I off or is that Allez a steel frame? Never seen one. Regardless, feel like the price is a little inflated but with full 105 not a bad rig.

El Presidente de China said...

Oh Lauren, don't be silly. I call every woman who seems more or less of my generation or older a lady, but it's not a fancy, English "lady." More like a growled, Brooklyn "lady," like, "Hey lady! Watch where you're goin'!"

Somehow, "girl" seems too young, and "woman" too serious. Anyway, thanks for the stuffs, and we will mos. def. let you know if and when we get the Hartbeat alleycat popping (and we really will give stuff away as prizes, 'cause we're honnest like that!).

El Presidente de China said...


If you haven't pulled the trigger on the craigslist bike, hold off. I might have a road bike you can have. Let's talk.

Karma said...

Ouch, you might want to be careful, those CL posters are like the mafia, step on their turf and they break your knees. I just want to say I have nothing to do with this transaction. That and I like my knees, thanks.