In the mid-’90s a strange and terrible force was terrifying the bicycle industry. Product managers who had grown cozy with stagnating innovation, sourcing parts from the lowest bidder and worst of all, not having a sense of humor, were suddenly forced to look themselves in the mirror and question what they had become. This force of nature was called SOPWAMTOS. It was the Society Of People Who Actually Make Their Own Shit.
The brainchild of Mark Norstad (of Paragon Machine Works) and Bruce Gordon, SOPWAMTOS campaigned for "rudeness and truth in the bike business." The awards the Society handed out at Interbike each year—the Toidys—were spray-painted toilet seats sourced from a dump near Petaluma, California. Categories included "Smoke and Mirrors", "Darth Vader Intergalactic Domination", and "Best Refrigerator Magnet in the Industry."
Now, 15 years later, the Society has returned to wreak havoc upon the industry. Why? Because the time has come to put the focus back on American manufacturing and co-operate to bring those products to the masses. It’s so official they even got T-shirts printed up.
Bruce Gordon is spearheading the movement, coordinating the production of a special SOPWAMTOS road bike hand-made in California with only the finest American-made parts from:
- White Industries
- Wound Up
- King Cage
- Paul Components
- Bailey Bags
- Homebrewed Components
- Phil Wood
- Luce Goods
- Paragon Machine
- Wald Sports
Stay tuned for more from SOPWAMTOS as they have big things in store, and in the meantime, support American manufacturing in your bicycle purchases.