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Flo et Paula : des aventures, des sacoches et un peu de boue !

Flo and Paula: Adventures, Saddlebags, and a Bit of Mud !

Flo is a Southern guy, just like us, born between the sea and the mountains, with a bike as his best buddy to explore the trails behind his house. But he's not just a cycling enthusiast; he's a true nut for anything that rolls longboard, Onewheel, you name it. When he's not riding, he's capturing breathtaking vibes with his camera or GoPro.

 

About two years ago, after a cycling road trip, Flo decided to anchor himself in Saint-Malo. We thought he was indulging a bit too much in buttery galettes, so we sent him Paula to reignite his taste for adventure. Even though he has a singular quest : to taste every apple pie that crosses his path.

 


But let's go back to the beginning : it's 2016, Flo spends time on the roads in a makeshift van with Mimi. It's during this time that he gets into capturing images underwater with his GoPro, which quickly becomes an obsession. He dives deeper and deeper, up to 10 meters, to capture apnea photos that would make fish pale. That's when he starts working for himself and follows the abyssal crazies. However, being the eternal jack-of-all-trades he is, Flo quickly returned to his first love : cycling. Even if his old mauve Mercier with cantilever brakes, snagged from La Roue Libre in Nice, had to retire. But nothing stops Flo ; he continues to get lost on the trails with the same joy.



Flo is also Akao Design ! Because the guy also crafts custom bike bags. He learned everything on his own with Mimi's mom's old sewing machine. His first creation : a toiletry bag. Then, he uses recycled fabrics and old backpacks to create bike bags or even the first prototypes of banana bags. Like everyone, he makes mistakes, moving from Mondial Tissus to professional websites to find the fabric that suits him: ecopack ! To achieve durable, sturdy, and especially beautiful bags that you can find on his website today.

 

 

When I ask him to name the bag he's most proud of, he answers without hesitation: the banana bag! It's pure joy, even if it's the bag that takes the most time, it's precisely the one that gives him the most satisfaction. Everyone loves it, even those who don't cycle. It's an almost essential accessory where you can stash anything you want : keys, phone, cereal bars, a small camera, windbreaker, etc. Pretty practical and stylish. In 15 days, he can make 10 banana bags plus some Masaka and custom bags. A real little factory !



For the future, he naturally wants to grow Akao Design, but not too much, just to keep production at his level and also live decently because you have to fund those bakery stops. He already has some projects to expand the range, try new materials, get back to upcycling with boat or windsurf sails. And maybe one day, a workshop !



You get it, Akao Design is one guy. He's in direct contact with the customers. Like us, he's true to his values and, above all, he remains himself, finding a balance between his bag projects, bike rides, and YouTube videos. You can't go wrong with the guy, and he has nothing to prove! If you talk to him about a personal project on the phone, he'll be honest and take the time to chat with you, and all of that takes time. So, if, like the Bretons, you favor local and handmade, then don't hesitate.

Let's not forget that our Flo is also a bit of a celebrity; the other day, he was wandering the aisles of the Decathlon in Saint-Malo when a guy pointed at him and said Akaooooo? He had just seen one of his videos, he was laughing, they chatted, it was too funny.



And what about Paula ? Since he opened the box, Flo can't stop telling us that he's fallen in love with cycling again. When he's sewing, he glances at her, waiting for the next ride. I want to ride all the time. Paula came into my life at the right time. He checks Komoot for paths he can take and tries new ambushes in muddy single tracks. Oh yes! Apparently, he's also fallen in love with mud...hence a quick order of new Pirelli Cinturato tires for a solid grip. 


And if you follow him on Youtube or Instagram you can guess that he always brings with him: his GoPro, of course, but also his faithful Canon 6D for the coolest outings. For the small hunger, Chimpanzee chocolate espresso bars, but also pizza... I didn't ask if it was three cheeses. For short rides, there's always stuff to make coffee : the Aeropress, the stove, coffee, of course, and a stainless steel mug. But his favorite thing is his Massacan hoodie (bootlicking), I'm kidding. We'll remember his red and black checkered shirt and his little mustache. 

 


On weekends, he goes on leisurely rides with Mimi: We leave the house, head to the first bakery. We also bring stuff to make coffee, always. And generally, partly on the Bay of Saint-Michel. It's chill. There are plenty of tracks, picnic tables, and the colors are too beautiful not to take photos.

I'll reveal some more juicy details; Flo is also a geek who loves modular or even self-generated music. He also draws everywhere, on his bike helmets, camera flashes, gliders, planes, anything goes. When he takes out his Pinstriping brush and starts decorating everything, he's unstoppable.

What does he miss from the South? Maybe his old Sunn 5000 R, but especially the mountains, Barbajuans, and everything that connects him to Italian cuisine, he says while eating a Boursin sandwich.

There you have it, Flo, our buddy, dad to Paula, and an artist with multiple talents !

Visit his shop for a unique bag.

 

 

Paula.

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