Category Archives: Shop Visit
Ante Up! Ride That Trail! Ante Up! Put Time Into That Trail!
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
A little while back, Kyle took Adeline down to Santa Cruz, California to ride some trails and hang out with Amanda, who works for the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz. Currently, the team there is promoting their Ante Up trail campaign, so I suggest you check it out!
After finishing up with all the Grinduro antics this year, Adeline from Mercredi Bikes and I decided to head down to Santa Cruz to see friends and ride mountain bikes for a few days. Amanda Schaper and Scott Chapin said we were more than welcome to stay with them, but they wouldn’t be able to ride with us because they would both be working. Adeline and I were pretty disappointed, but Scott th2:30 PMd us that Santa Cruz Bicycles does a factory tour every day at 2:30PM, and we were more than welcome to come by for a visit. Then it clicked, I remembered seeing that Santa Cruz was doing a raffle with Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC), a trail advocacy group in Santa Cruz! And guess what’s special about MBOSC…that’s where Amanda works! Well…that’s not the only thing that is special about them, but that’s what got me thinking there should a be a story on The Radavist about this bike brand that supports trail advocacy and the people behind building and maintaining the mountain bike trails of Santa Cruz! (more…)
Alberto Masi and the Vigorelli Velodrome
Photos and words by Brian Vernor.
The Red Hook Crit is in Milan for the final race of the 2017 championship series. This race exceeds expectation every year I go. This year we once again had a private pre-race track day at the legendary Vigorelli Velodrome. In the velodrome itself is Alberto Masi’s frame shop, which I visited with many other racers and fans. His crew brought out some vintage bikes and dernies to run on the track. It was an amazing day blending cutting edge contemporary racing with the timeless spirit of Italian Cycling. Much thanks to Trimble Racing and the Red Hook Crit. Now, to the races…
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Size matters, at least when it comes to shops like this. One of my absolute favorite parts about traveling with a bicycle is visiting the local bike shop for whatever location is on my itinerary. During my recent trip to South Africa, I was delighted by their local shop, Woodstock Cycleworks. The first thing I noticed was the scale of this shop. It is massive, taking up half a city block, with giant, vaulted ceilings, exposed brick and wood trusses, with natural light so beautiful, any photographer would take great pleasure in shooting the interior. (more…)
Inside / Out at Oakland’s Rat King Frames
Words and photos by Spencer Harding
Approaching one of Oakland’s industrial area warehouses I am stoked to take note of the impressive lineup of old Toyota pickups and a VW bus. Smith meets me at the gate and I am unsurprised that he is another very tall frame-builder. I have a sneaking suspicion many tall riders got sick of finding frames that fit them so they just started making their own. Anywho, Smith gives me a tour of the large building that is split into smaller studios for painting, ceramics, and glass work. The main area has many kilns and people working various glass projects. The yard is filled with pups lounging and a family gutting some old camping trailers to make them home.
Smith’s shop, Rat King, is quite humble, just enough room for a few tables to weld on, some shelving, and a mill. He keeps detailed notes of time spent on each frame to track his efficiency and still has many hand-drawn frame layouts up on the walls. Smith started pulling out some of his first frames and laying them next to a current batch of thru axel touring machines. If one thing sticks out on most of his frames it seems to be an affinity for very large head tubes, in diameter and length. Those massive 44mm head tubes lead to some really amazing custom fork work as well. The progression appears to have been quick from the first-built-but-never-ridden track frame to his current small lineup of custom frames. My first trip to his shop I caught a few frames in progress and pre-paint and was stoked to return a few weeks later to see the finished product. (more…)
I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with these photos after processing them last night, post-party. Then I realized something: this was such an undertaking for Sean and the whole team at the Cub House. When they first opened their small shop in South Pasadena, they had no idea how long it’d be up. The landlords told Sean they wanted to demolish the building, giving him 6 months in a tentative rental lease. It felt like they had only been open for a few months when they received their 30-day notice to vacate the premises, sending Sean on the look-out for a new space.
That’s when the old nursery in San Marino popped onto Sean’s radar. It was a huge space, but needed lots of work. I can’t emphasize that enough. It smelled of fertilizer and mildew, with all kinds of issues to fix, yet in a few months time, everyone at the Cub House turned it into a massive, open-air retail space, with lots of character and even more product lining the walls.
Last night was the soft opening, filled with food, drinks, and two DJs welcoming cyclists from all over LA county to visit their new space. This is meant to be a short introduction to the new Cub House. There will be much more to come, once the space’s buildout is finalized.
Til then, go by and see for yourself.
The Cub House
2510 Mission St
San Marino, CA 91108
“Today, under smoky skies, in 90-degree heat, I rode (alone) counterclockwise around the Nicasio reservoir. Eighteen years ago today (Saturday of Labor Day weekend) a habitually drunken driver killed Cece Krone. And I won’t forget how the judge dealt with it all (very low bail). The ‘murderist’ (whose ten-year-old boy was with her) was sloppily overtaking the weekly hammer ride, and in so doing rode up the stone embankment, crushing Cece and her bike. She’d been standing by her bike inside the white line, waiting for the group.” – Jacquie Phelan
Last weekend, on the anniversary weekend of Cece Krone’s death, we met up with Jacquie Phelan just outside of her hometown of Fairfax, California. We had just pedaled our way out of Samuel P Taylor, on a busier-than-average day in terms of traffic. Jacquie crested the hill wearing a tie-dye shirt and camel colored shorts. She rode a custom-decaled Specialized Ruby, with matching shoes and began riding next to each member of our touring posse, introducing herself and making small talk. (more…)
There are bike shops and there are bike show rooms, with the latter focusing on merchandising and the former on service. While there are permutations on the two, I really enjoy walking through the doors of a service shop. It’s something about the aromatic experience of chain lube and tires that makes me feel at ease, especially when it’s not my local shop. All it takes is a smiling face to make the environment welcoming. Luckily, at Black Mountain Cycles, that’s exactly what they’re selling: a welcoming and service-minded environment. In a place like Point Reyes, with a population of around 400, there are very few actual locals, so the owner of Black Mountain Cycles, Mike Varley prides himself in making everyone feel at home. (more…)
Inside / Out at Outer Shell in San Francisco
Words and photos by Spencer Harding
When we set out on the DFL the Divide trip earlier this year I noticed a bunch of my bay area friends were rocking bits and pieces by Outer Shell. Kyle’s work continued to pop up in my world and one day I noticed that he had pretty much made my dream camera strap, I emailed him as quick as I could to get in on the next batch. Kyle has been putting his own very thoughtful twist on many now classic bike packing bags for a few years. With a background in engineering and a focus on versatility and durability, Kyle started Outer Shell. (more…)
Monkey Wrench Cycles: “There are some places so beautiful they can make a grown man break down and weep.”
Words and Photos by Kyle Kelley
The quote above is a pretty famous quote from a little book by Edward Abbey called The Monkey Wrench Gang and I think it even better describes my experience at Monkey Wrench Cycles in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Until Instagram, stories of Monkey Wrench Cycles only came to me via people visiting California from the Midwest or friends who’d moved from the Midwest out to California. I’d never seen the interior of the shop, I’d never seen the exterior of the shop. My relationship with the shop was very much like the relationship to your favorite book. Yes, my imagination was piecing together a floor plan, and characters, but nothing could compare me for the moment I walked into that shop. (more…)
Everyone’s welcome at Ponderosa Cycle + Tour!
Words and Photos by Kyle Kelley
Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour was the first stop on my most recent Bike Shop Tour through middle America. Ponderosa is a relatively new shop compared to the two other shops I’d be stopping at on my way back to California, but it sure didn’t feel that way when I got there. Maybe that was because of Vince’s 14 years of experience in bike shops, or it could be Vince’s love of bicycle tourism and many of the amazing products once produced for the bicycle tourist around the time of the Bikecentennial. Or just maybe it has something to do with the build out of the shop. As I looked around I was astonished by many of the antique fixtures and reclaimed shelving in the store, when I asked about them, before Vince could even get a word in, Jessica, his partner, and co-worker at the shop told us all about Vince’s addiction to Craigslist. (more…)