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Planes trains and automobiles

Jamie reports on his journey around the world in 80 days (plus some additional tour dates, in China)...

 This is my first trip to china, and despite  my recent journeys, alone, I was very happy at the news, our head designer Brant would be accompanying me, to visit frame and component suppliers, as well as my usual  clothing and soft goods factories.

On-One Reg Mombassa designed T-shirt in the flesh!

It was a very last minute trip, to say the least. Brant had to fly east, via Taiwan, a decision he made in the office one morning last week. And put straight into place, without even passing home for his toothbrush and clean underpants. But hey, surely these items would be available on arrival. So on route to the airport I received brants text, "I'm off to Taiwan", "When" was my reply. "Now! See you in shanghai in 3 days time".  

Ok, better get things moving then.

Shoes, shoes, shoes...
Now, I can find china on the map. But sitting at my computer with business cards for 10 different companies, in nearly as many different cities, trying to find them on the map, work out how to get from one to another, and arrange appointments, in only 3 days, was a pretty intimidating thought.

Well, thanks to brants previous experience of Asia, the pieces of the puzzle soon started to fit nicely into place. Nicely, as in, we managed to arrange appointments and transfers, but the puzzle was an absolute, precision cut, game, and one hiccup could easily have put us off schedule. I have never taken so many flights in one week, check out our week one schedule.

Saturday: Travel from Milan 05.00 to Shanghai 05.30 Sunday : arrive 05.30 - flight to Hefei 22.00 Arrive hotel 02.00  (quick trip into the city, on the Maglef. 450kph magnetic train)

Monday: 08.30 meeting, casual clothing. Flight to Shenzen 21.30 arrive hotel 24.00

Tuesday: appointment 1: 08.30: Frames. appointment 2: helmets: 11.00.  appointment 3: Frames 17.00.  Flight to Xiamen 20.00. arrive hotel 24.00

Wednesday: clothing factory 09.00

Thursday: 2 hour drive, meeting at 11.00 (shorts and bib tights). Bullet train to airport, flight to Shanghai 20.30 arrive hotel 02.30

Friday: Frame factory 09.00. drive to shoe factory 12.30

Saturday: Merino factory 10.00

Well thats the first week done....Its been very busy, but also very productive indeed.

As you can see from the above schedule, we have some interesting projects on the go, and some very exciting new product in the pipeline.

You can certainly expect to see a notable increase in our soft Goods range. We. Are at an advanced stage with our new, high end,  pro road line "365X".

And a  cool urban riding collection, for riding around town, commuting, and even to wear down the pub.

This trip has also seen some brand new developments, which will see us breaking into the helmet and shoe market. It's been a fantastic experience, seeing  our designs go through the step by step process in all it's detail. It's one thing designing products, guiding the process from across the world via email, and only seeing the final outcome. But this was first class, walking round factories, seeing face to face, the people who carefully prepare and assemble each stage. 

China is definitely very different from the stereo typical view I had been given from far off. Stories of thick smog, dirty streets and 10 year old boys working 20 hour factory shifts, for $5.00 a week. The china I have met, is a super friendly, immaculate country, with very smart, hard working people. Thank you china, I'll be back soon. In the mean time, keep up the good work, so we can get these fantastic new products, out to our customers.

Brant looking over a carbon build process

Brant and Jamie enjoy a well-deserved, if slightly weird, Chinese meal

Flower tea, Planet X style

Brant's adopted office, China style

One of the new Planet X helmets range, perhaps

Nice trail helmet- Brant looks well at home in that one

Creativity in the most unexpected of places

A few clothing samples to look through

It's a nice carbon frame, but somehow there's something missing

Carbon frames ready for QC and finishing

Shoe making kit

Hand-made production of high end road shoes

Brant Richards ala Abba 1970

Tubing cross sections

Brant inspecting an On-One Lurcher frame

22 April 2013

Giro helmet