Friday, October 28, 2011

Update: Fund Raiser for Japan

Our Fundraiser For Japan through the Soma Shop and also from sales to our other distributors, we were able to donate over $11,000 to The Soma City Earthquake Disaster Orphan Scholarship Fund. Thanks to all our customers who helped out.

The city of Soma is one of the most damaged cities because of three major factors. The earthquake caused huge areas of land to sink into the sea, the Pacific sea coast was washed away by the tsumani, and the city is located only 25 miles away from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant #1. Soma has 48 orphans (under age 18.) “The Soma City Earthquake Disaster Orphan Scholarship Fund” aims to give $300/month to each child until he or she reaches the age of eighteen. These funds can be used for education and living expenses. The mayor Hidekiyo Tachiya handed out support money to the children on July 2. Our donation has gone to support one of the orphans for 3 years.

It's been over 6 months since the disaster. Most survivors have settled into newly built temporary housing, but there is still a lot of work to do to dispose of debris and restore farmland. As of last month, the target amount for the fund was only met half way. The orphans are also getting ongoing care from clinical psychologists for PTSD. If you would like to find out more go to J-Aid USA.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Supermarket Street Sweep Poster

We love sponsoring the Supermarket Street Sweep not only because it benefits a worthy local charity, but because the event isn't just about who is the fastest. You'll see it's got a good vibe for all cycling lovers.

Enter for a chance to win a SOMA TRADESMAN:
This year we are throwing down one of our new build-it-yourself cargo frames, the Tradesman. (A apt prize since a cargo race is one of the events.) This is constructed out of Tange Infinity CrMo butted CrMo tubing, not that high tensile stuff. It takes disc brakes and 20" wheels. Pictured is one of only 20 produced. SRP is about $699.

First person who can find our logo on this gets a Soma cycling cap.

We encourage participants to not just show up to race. Please fund raise before, too. Anti-hunger programs will probably be getting cuts next year, so every little bit counts. Last year Matt King raised over $1000 all by himself. Dollars for Dinners, yo!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Soma Anniversary Photo Contest

Soma is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year and we want to take this time to learn more about who our fans are and what they do with their Soma's.
So we are doing our first photo contest.
Fifty(50) entries of our choosing will get a copy of our 10th anniversary poster when it is printed. (We like lots of winners.) We will pick 25 or so of the ones we like best and post them on Facebook fan page for the people to vote on. Top 2 vote-getters get their choice of our handlebars, saddles, tires or racks, including our Porteur Rack worth over $100. There will also be a "staff favorite" award.
Beach in Cadiz, SpainPhoto: Joaquin Sanchez 

Photos we are looking for:

1. Photos of Soma bikes out on the roads, in the 'wild', on your city streets, or in your kitchen...(if you choose "in your kitchen", it better be a stupidly killer picture).
2. Photos of Soma handlebars on your bike (any brand). We really wanna see how you use our bars. (We also will accept photos of our racks or coffee holder in use, but that's it!)
3. Photos of your most memorable bike-related experiences of 2011. 
Looking for beautiful or unique builds, nice composition/color/subject matter/story telling, creativity and "interestingness."

STEP 1. Submit your photo to somainfo(at) by November 20, 2011, 11:59 PST. Images should be between 1200 and 2400 pixel at their longest dimension.(Deadline extended to November 27, 2011)

STEP 2: Like our Facebook Page. Go to the album "2011 Photo Contest". We'll post our top 25  photos there (as soon as we get enough entries)

STEP 3: If your photo makes it, hit up your social network to vote for your photo and other photos they like. Voting also closes November 27, 2011.

THREE entries per person maximum (Must be your own photo, duh.) Descriptions of photos would be helpful for judging.
Your full name and working email address would be helpful in tracking you down if you win something. If photos have faces of your friends in it, make sure they are OK with their faces shown in a public forum. By submitting you acknowledge you are allowing Soma Fabrications (aka The Merry Sales Co.)  to reproduce the images for promotional purposes, which include using them websites, social media pages and other outlets). Photographer retains the full rights to their images. Winners will hopefully will get their awards within 4 to 6 weeks following close of contest. Void where prohibited.

Photo: Eleanor Moseman's portrait of her Soma Saga. 
Taken in China. Copyright Eleanor Moseman

Mona Caron working on the painting for the poster. I was surprised
she doesn't work on an easel, but remember she used to
working on walls of public spaces.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Job Openings

Our "parent" company, The Merry Sales Co. is hiring for some entry level positions. Small company vibe, year-round bicycling weather, just south of the great city of San Francisco, and easy access to some of the highest gas prices in the country.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Checking out the Pumpkin Fest

What else is better than stuffing yourself silly full of pumpkin pies?

Seeing humongous pumpkins weighing almost a ton. They're like pumpkins on steroids.

Only in America, where the pumpkins are overweight too!

This weekend we checked out the Pumpkin Festival at Half Moon Bay, about 20 minutes away from San Francisco without traffic. It's quite a gem in a mostly urban Peninsula as it is the only part where farms exist. And monstrous pumpkins like the one pictured above.

The festival was great. It featured artists throughout West Coast selling their crafts and wares. From glass blown pumpkins to fine handcrafted woodwork, this festival had it all.

Artsy glasswork

Exquisite woodwork

Go Giants!

Whatever these things are, but they look good though.

Tie-dye cloth

And of course, pumpkins of different shapes, colors, and sizes...

It was nice to get out of the city and into the Coastside. Although it was hot and muggy, it wasn't foggy. Hot and foggy (yes, it happens) sucks because of the humidity. We took a lot of pictures but unfortunately, we didn't bring any bikes with us :(

Halloween is coming up, YAY!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting ready for 'cross season

Alrighty! Time to bust out those fat knobby tires for training. Pilarcitos Bay Area Super Prestige Series is coming up soon and the first race is going to be at Candlestick Park on October 23. Hopefully we get more rain this season to make those racers suffer through a muddy course just like last year’s final race of the series at Cayote Point.

Soma Doublecross getting a facial and a mani-pedi

Since ‘cross season is about to start, our friends from IRD sent us some of their barrel adjusters to work with their Cafam brakes. Kevin, one of our employees, thought it was a good idea to get rid of the painful microadjustments for cantilevers by using these barrel adjusters.

Everyone, to some degree, finds adjusting cantilever brakes a pain in the butt since most of these brakes don’t have barrel adjusters like their dual caliper cousins. IRD originally made these barrel adjusters to work with old derailleurs and new Shimano derailleurs without one but it seems to work fine with brakes.


Lonely cable stop


Ta-da! IRD Barrel Adjusters

New fatty tires for training at the local singletrack, Waterdog Lake at Belmont.

IRD Barrel adjusters with IRD extended cable stop.

Instead of getting an Allen wrench to tighten the brakes, reaching for the barrel adjusters is a whole lot easier. Removing the wheels is a breeze. No more undoing the brakes just to get the wheels out.

For those wondering which fatty tire is on the bike, its an IRC Mythos CX Slick 700x40. The sizing is a lie, the actual measurement is 700x45, counting the side knobs. The Double Cross can handle any tire up to 700x45.

Now Kevin's Double Cross is ready for action. With cantilever pain gone and new tires, this cross bike can handle anything. The mountain lions at Waterdog Lake can try their luck chasing this bike at night.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Pick Up Artist Makes a Special Appearance at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

What’s not to like when bikes, beers, and music are combined altogether at Golden Gate Park?

This weekend was the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and we at Soma came over to show off the Pick Up Artist prototype... and enjoy some beers and music. We rode to the park from the BART station and joined a “peloton” of regular folks heading the same way we were. It was nice to see so many cyclists riding on a surprisingly sunny Sunday afternoon.The organizers of the festival thought ahead and set up a long line of bike racks about two city blocks long on JFK Drive that leads into the entrance of the festival. Then again, the bike racks were so full some folks locked their bikes hanging from the trees by the sidewalk.

The Pick Up Artist never fails to attract attention. As we rolled in, people passing by commented on how cool/unique/handy the bike is. In simple terms, it seems like the weird looking bike always gets attention, like this bike we saw locked up by the racks. A freaking dragon bike, how cool is that.

The venue we wanted to see was the Dark Side Orchestra (DSO), a tribute band to the Grateful Dead from Chicago. DSO recreate Grateful Dead shows by following the setlist of a particular concert. This weekend, the DSO played a show from a concert the Grateful Dead performed at Lindley Meadows in 1975. That’s about 100 yards where DSO played. It was like a quick trip to the past where the same type of music and the same type of intoxicants (organic pastries anyone?) were scattered throughout the park. Young people dressed as hippies dancing along to "Not Fade Away" next to old hippies dressed as regular people with their grand kids was quite a sight.