Funny how history has a way of repeating itself. Here’s a rare article that I came across the other day from the Florida Times Union dated July 9, 1976. I had reached out to the paper or they had heard about us. They had decided to do a piece on products made in Jacksonville. In the article you can see the circled bits that tie the date to our proposed “full production” date slated for the end of year 1976 which is exactly what we are doing again 44 years later. The fellow in the picture, J.J. Green, putting our first product (bicycle baby seats) together, had just returned from a stint in Iceland with the Navy. He and his Navy buddy, Gordon Pesanovski, roomed together at Jax. Beach; a couple of single young dudes, and when we made our first industrial bikes they asked if they could build up some bikes the way they wanted. They painted one blue and the other one green and painted everything else black. They did away with the fenders and replaced the chrome handle bars with black. I thought they looked really neat! A few weeks later I said I’d bring the family out to the beach and maybe ride the bikes. Their mouths fell open and they hemmed and hawed and I soon found out why the hesitation. They had sold the bikes that I gave them for free; upon learning of this transgression I proceeded to throw a conniption fit which was only nipped in the bud when a question popped into my furious mind: “How much did you get for them?” I asked. And that’s how the first ever beach cruisers came into being.
Now, in honor of our new departure making The Best Bicycle Ever Made I prefer the term: “Coastal Cruiser.” It does feel exciting and a bit of Déjà vu but very comfortable; this time with our vertical integration, and absolute control over our own quality products – the future – is better than it ever was!