Today I did something a little wacky. I met a guy at a local watering hole, and over beer and conversation drew the cover art for a new book! Ya don't do that everyday. The book is about this guy's personal journey, starting a BMX bike company as a teenager, and the subsequent movie he made documenting the process of tracking down the 30 bikes purchased back in the day. This ambitious multi hyphenate storyteller is Alden Olmsted and you may have heard of this documentary 30 Bikes: The Story of Homestead Bicycles
The brief summary of this journey starts when he drops out of college his freshman year, writes a letter to freestyle guru Bob Haro, then gets a wild hair and starts Homestead Bicycles at the ripe old age of 19.
As with so many BMX start ups, Homestead Bicycles eventually folded. But here's where story get's really good... 25 years later he gets another wild idea and decides he's going on a quest, to track down as many of the bikes as humanly possible and to meet the people who still have them. In the process Alden learns that people really love his bikes and regard his little BMX company as way cooler than he ever gave himself credit for.
After lining up movie screenings in early 2020 at major theaters in Northern and Southern California, even Tennessee where the film wraps, the attack of Covid 2020 hits and you know what the pandemic did to "going to the movies" . Alden's project was grounded like Orville and Wilbur in a windstorm. Not to wallow in self pity, this dude Alden decides to write a book about his journey, about the fledgling bike company, about his experience producing a movie on a crazy low budget, and of course like the title says, about trying to release it in the middle of a global pandemic. Epic, right?
Though the movie never made it to theaters, today it's available to watch on demand right now on Vimeo.
Inspiring, right? So inspiring I agreed to meet him at my local pizza join and bust out the cover. Channeling a 50s sci-fi vibe, I penned my best fork wielding Covid-germ monster ravenously chomping down on a 35mm film reel, complete with saliva drops! I have to admit it was a gas to draw and hear his story unfold over lunch.
Alden took my art, added the title, and ordered a sample copy to proofread.
Turned out pretty rad, no?
Now here's the rest of the story...this book needs to get out there! I'm reaching out on Alden's behalf in case any book publishers are reading this or someone might know of a publisher to help get this in print and available.
Alden's true life story is a great ride.
Any tips send 'em to firstname.lastname@example.org
- and here's to all those dreamers out there - push through the muck and git r done!