Back in the day, when Interbike was smaller and less regimented, Bruce Gordon, Mark Norstad, David diFalco and a few other folks united under the banner of the Society of People Who Actually Make Their Own Shit (SOPWAMTOS) would present the annual Golden Toiddy Awards.

A parade through the aisles would feature dancing girls spinning titanium hula hoops, gents wearing Bruce Gordon fezzes, Mickey Mouse panties and damn’ little else, and Mark and Bruce — the two Self-Appointed Co-Dictators for Life — being wheeled along on a golden litter.

My Golden Toiddy

My Golden Toiddy, awarded for Excellence In Bad Taste. It's always nice to see one's efforts noticed.

The highlight was always the presentation of the Golden Toiddys, cleansed, spray-painted and hand-lettered toilet seats liberated from a dump near Petaluma, California. The SOPWAMTOS motto was “Standing for Rudeness and Truth in the Bike Business,” and the awards always had a strong flavor of a Friar’s Club roast emceed by Jeffrey Ross.

Cannondale’s Joe Montgomery got the “Smoke & Mirrors” award the first two years and loved it. Specialized’s Mike Sinyard got the inaugural “Best R&D (Rip-off & Duplicate)” award and was reportedly less pleased.

I even got one, for “Excellence In Bad Taste,” and was delighted. But not as delighted as I was to learn that SOPWAMTOS is enjoying something of a renaissance as a place where cyclists can buy good old made-in-USA products, among them White Industries hubs, Bruce Gordon brakes and other goodies. Other products said to be coming soon include items from King Cage, Paul Components, Phil Wood, Thomson and Wald Sports.

I immediately bought myself an official SOPWAMTOS T-shirt, as I am engaged daily in the design, creation and wholesale distribution of what some will wholeheartedly agree can be described only as shit.

Didn’t see any BG fezzes in the online store though, dammit. How’s an old bald guy supposed to keep the melanomas off his noggin when he’s parading around in his Mickey Mouse panties?


3 Responses to “SOPWAMTOS lives!”

  1. Libby Says:

    May you receive more award bling in the future, Patrick.
    The t-shirt is a bit subdued. Black goes with everything but it could do with some bedazzling. Say Swarovski crystals?

  2. Larry T. Says:

    The Society is pretty small these days – it’s all about BRANDING stuff made in Asia to max out profits. No surprise Mr. Specz didn’t find his award amusing, precious little was ever made in Morgan Hill. I think one can break it down to two groups, those who follow the “passion before profit” idea and those who simply have “passion FOR profit”. My bet is the SOPWAMTOS folks are the former while the vast majority of the bike biz is the latter. My favorite example of this is the film “Big Night”. I think we’ve all worked for or known a guy like the Pascal character at some point.

  3. Brandon Says:

    Mr. O’Grady –
    Thanks for the shout out. The gang isn’t as small as Larry might think (in a good way), it’s just a matter of finding the right people and the right people finding us. Keeping the lights on, riding bikes and building kick ass shit is the goal. The response has been great so far, but we’re just getting started. Tell your friends, family, fellow miscreants – SOPWAMTOS is coming. And if you know of worthy additions, nominate!

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