This is long. If you don't like to read, walk away. Walk away right now, or you could just read the bold sentences and get the short version (you're welcome).
Currently, the Control Freaks General Store is just me - Chuck Brodd.
I attended my first Police Motorcycle Rodeo sometime around 2010-2011 as a spectator, in Pittsburgh. I watched my cousin compete in it and I fell in love with how smooth these folks were and how much control they had over their bikes. I wanted to learn this stuff, but it wasn't available to me then. My cousin, started offering classes to teach these techniques a few years later. I moved back home and took the first class I could in 2015 through ProRider Pittsburgh. I've practiced these things as often as I could every day since then.
I knew I wanted to compete in a rodeo. I practiced hard toward that goal. I thought I practiced enough for it. I believed I had complete control over my bike, and I was going to prove it. I competed in my first rodeo in 2018. I proved I was wrong. That competition kicked my ass mentally. It was brutal for me and it was humbling, but it didn't discourage me at all. It did quite the opposite.
I said to myself, "I need to put a better performance out there next time." I believe I will always say this, no matter how I perform in the competition. The competition is just what brings us together. Being a better rider is what will allow us to keep coming back. I will practice harder. I will come back. I want to compete in every rodeo I can, every year, until I physically can't. Because I love it.
I found out from attending my first rodeo that I'm not the only one who loves it. I'm not even close to being the only one. Every single person at that competition loves it too, and this was a just a small sampling of the people worldwide who share this passion. That was one of the most amazing things about being there. I felt like I belonged somewhere again. I'm a weirdo. I don't fit in anywhere. But I felt welcome and comfortable there - in my new family.
I wanted to spread this love for my new family. I wanted to get more people interested in this sport, but how? It's not easy for a weirdo. I'm not a very social guy, so how do I do this? Well, I can ride in a way that will impress a few folks. I can also wear stuff. Maybe a few of those onlookers may come up and ask me about my riding.
So, I designed a few t-shirts for myself (about 52 of them so far actually). I wanted to wear something that was interesting enough to make people ask questions – because even a conversationally-challenged weirdo can answer questions. I wanted my designs to celebrate the family – not the individual. I'm not the best rider out there, but I'm not trying to promote me. I'm trying to promote my family. The family of weirdos, who think it's fun to ride our motorcycles around in a parking lot doing circles all day in first gear. We're weird that way, and we embrace it, because doing what we do makes us the best riders in the world collectively.
I thought, "Maybe some of those other weirdos might want to celebrate this family with me. Maybe they wear stuff too. Maybe they'll buy a shirt." So, I decided to build a small brand around this idea to help market it. I thought back to a drawing I made years ago after watching the rodeo my cousin competed in. I named the drawing 'Control Freak' because those riders were in complete control of those bikes.
And there was my brand name – Control Freaks.
I actually hoped to get a few competition riders together and name our team the Control Freaks and the t-shirts/brand would have been just for us. I thought again and decided that doing so was being a bit exclusive and that's not what I wanted. So I figured it would be more appropriate to capture every one of us under that same name instead. Any competitor in the cones is a member of this family – professionals, Police and civilians alike. That's how it felt at the Keystone State Competition which will always and forever be remember as my favorite, because it introduced me to you all.
I am not the control freak that I once believed I was, but I am a member of a family of true control freaks who inspire me to improve every day, and I couldn't be happier about that. Thank you all so much.
These t-shirt designs aren't great right now, but bear with me. I have only a few designs of my 52+ concepts shown. There are many more coming (and current ones may change). I have quite a few concepts that are not nearly ready to be shown. I have a few illustrations that are beyond my skill set, so I will have to commission real artists for their help there (my Control Freak drawing would not work well on a t-shirt, but I'm hoping a better artist can bring it to life for me). I will post them all when they are ready. If you want to submit a concept, design or an idea, please do. I am quite happy to hear ideas from folks with the same passion. If you want to have your rider training program, event or business shirts printed at a better price than you've been getting, have some patience. I hope to buy the equipment to produce the shirts myself. I will make an announcement when this happens and if you'd like to check my pricing then, just drop me a line.
All of my products will be made in the USA or Canada right now. I am sourcing providers every day and asking for samples in an attempt to build my product offerings. I am looking for the best quality and price for my products (and I'm very picky about quality). I will always try to keep the prices where I would be comfortable paying them. I hope to be able to bring prices down in the future, but right now I am paying other folks to print my t-shirts and apparel products. Once I know what designs are the most popular, I can have them produced in larger quantities. This will bring the cost down. Once I get my own equipment I'm hoping to bring it down further. I will always be doing what I can to help you guys get the better product at the best price.
I am also designing a number of unique products to add to the line-up. The list of these products is long and the products cover a lot of categories. I can't wait to get them up on the store. Some of them will seem quite odd I'm sure, but I did mention that I'm a weirdo.