Category Archives: Shop Visit
Free Cycles is a Long Ride from Here
Photos by Kyle Kelley and words by Locke Hassett
“It’s a long ride from here. 80 miles, and the first 20 are uphill. The train leaves at 5pm, and we have to be there at 4, because we have bicycles. It should be a good day.”
That was when I knew that my new job was not your ordinary bike shop gig, and never would be. Bob Giordano, the founder of Free Cycles, Missoula’s community bike shop, warmed his hands with his breath as the sun broke over Logan Pass and illuminated Heaven’s Peak, which was in our view as we stopped for morning coffee on Going to the Sun Road. This was a casual employee bonding ride: Missoula to Glacier, over the pass, catch a train to Whitefish and hitchhike back to open the shop on Tuesday. Pathologically optimistic, barely planned, and wonderful. Our plan was as loose as what got us there and without hesitation, we kept on riding. We were unsure of what would happen, but we knew it would be good, and that is the magic of Free Cycles. (more…)
Faster than a Bullitt at Larry vs Harry in Copenhagen
Photos and words by Kevin Sparrow
Welcome to Copenhagen, the mecca of cargo bikes! Well, at least for Bullitt bike owners.
During the 2013 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Lausanne, I had the privilege of meeting the co-founder of Larry vs Harry, Hans Bullitt Fogh. After returning stateside, I joined the LvsH family by purchasing a Bullitt of my own, and I’ve been wanting to visit their operations ever since. A few weeks ago, I was in Copenhagen and finally got that chance.
The company started 9 years ago with the V1 of the Bullitt. Throughout the years, design changes have been made and an accessory line realized in response to customer demands.
The Larry vs Harry storefront, on Frederiksborggade, showcases their entire cargo fleet in all colors and versions. The shop also sells custom built Bullitts and services local ones. (more…)
When I was in Santa Cruz after Grinduro, I swung by to see Paul Sadoff, the man behind Rock Lobster Cycles. Paul’s always pretty busy and this trip was no exception. He was in the throes of planning the Rock Lobster Cup Two, which is being held at the lighthouse park in Santa Cruz. After talking about the course, why it was moved from Bonny Doon and how he’s planning on making a relatively flat course exciting, I decided I’d skip town yet again and come up to photograph the race. Hell, I might even jump in it.
Because you can’t swing by Rock Lobster and not take a few photos, I documented the shop’s current condition, which I might add, is the best I’ve seen it so far. Check out a few more photos below. (more…)
Todd Ingermansen has been working in the cycling industry for a long time. Too long if you ask him. Since the age of 13 he’s had a presence in bike shops. What began as sweeping the shop floors eventually culminated into being a mechanic, riding bikes and living bikes. Yet, Todd wanted something more. Running parallel to his bike shop jobs was his art school education, where he realized his 2D and 3-dimension eye for details. In his early 20’s he chased his love of singlespeed MTB riding and racing to Oakland, California where cycling completely enveloped his life.
Back then, there weren’t any US manufacturers of singlespeed MTB frames. Or at least none that piqued Todd’s interest, so he began building his own. A few friends helped him out, some frames worked, some didn’t, yet every frame taught Todd something. Eventually he moved back down the California coast, to San Luis Obispo and began fillet brazing. He had built a dozen or so frames before landing a job with Rick Hunter of Hunter Cycles. Under Rick’s torch, Todd began to realize the importance of actually making a bicycle frame, something that stands true even today.
For the past 14 years, Todd’s been building a brand, and a modus operandi to how he believes bicycles should be made. Black Cat Bicycles are unique, arguably unlike anything else I’ve witnessed in my years of documenting framebuilders. Much like his mentor, Rick Hunter, Todd doesn’t just weld a mail order kit of parts together and paint it. He engineers his own dropouts, builds stems, machines metal into whatever he pleases, carves his own lugs and bends his tubing in very unique shapes. For instance, how do you make chainstays that are bent, yet have an ever-so-slight arc to them? (more…)
These days, Stinners are everywhere, even all over the pages of this website and while it might feel like some kind of marketing conspiracy, with loads of money exchanged and bathtubs filled with gold coins, I can assure you it’s not. Since I moved to Los Angeles, I see more Stinners on the road and in the trails. Rightfully so, seeing as how their shop is located in Santa Barbara, just 90 miles north of LA and yeah, they make some pretty stellar bikes. (more…)
Japan. An incredibly diverse country, filled with a rich history, which up until the modernization of the automobile, relied heavily on the bicycle. In fact, from the 1930’s through the 1960’s the bicycle was the most prized possession in Japanese households. Naturally with modernization comes new technology and with new technology came more affordable cars, designed specifically for the Japanese consumers. Soon, the attention of the Japanese people shifted towards the automobile. Alas, the bicycle may have taken a blow in terms of popularity, but it’s hardly fallen off the map. Almost every household still relies on a bicycle. With fuel taxes double what we have in the USA and pricey annual inspection bills, many families still run errands on bicycles. In Nagoya, the wealthiest city in Japan, made possible by Toyota being located there, the bicycle can still be found on the streets and sidewalks in mass numbers. (more…)
Only a Few Months Left for Bike + Book + Hatchet
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
A couple years ago my girlfriend Liz and I were driving back to Los Angeles from Mt. Shasta and we stopped in Walnut Creek to visit Rivendell. Funny thing is, we never made it to Rivendell because we stumbled upon Bike + Book + Hatchet first. We were so completely immersed in the store, which is dedicated to the Rivendell ideology, that we forgot the original reason for our stop. I knew I wanted to shoot some images and share the story of this place, but I didn’t have a digital camera or any spare film with me at the time. It took two years, but Liz and I finally found ourselves traveling north for a wedding and made the detour to Walnut Creek again. (more…)
Photos by Kyle Kelley
Over the years, Eddy Merckx gained notoriety within the world of cycling as the cannibal, a cyclist who would eat his opponents alive on the climb. This mystique was even further amplified as he began racing for Molteni, a sausage company. Soon, Molteni orange would become an icon of cycling’s rich history and to this day, the Cannibal’s legacy lives on.
This history was without a doubt the inspiration behind Culver City’s the Cannibal Beer and Butcher, which began in New York City. Recently, the Cannibal’s new west side digs had a soft opening where their menu items were open for consumption.
Inside this swanky butcher shop, you’ll find musettes, bidons and other cycling accessories mixed in with craft beer and meat. Check out a few more photos below and if you’re in the ‘hood, roll through once they’re open!
The Cannibal Beer and Butcher
8850 Washington Blvd,
Culver City, CA 90232
As cyclists, very few of us make a living riding bikes. In fact, I’d say probably 3% of the readers of this site fall within that category. This is all merely speculation of course, but I will say with great certainty that almost all of you have a job of some sort that you spend time performing. Sure, we all find time to squeeze in bike rides when we can, but unfortunately we spend a great deal of our lives working.
So when you have the opportunity to mix business and pleasure, you probably take it. That’s where Brian Dunsmoor of Culver City’s Hatchet Hall comes into the story. Brian is the head chef of the ‘Hall and a dedicated cyclist. He’s been training for the past few months for a benefit ride called Chefs Cycle, a P2P fundraiser working to raise awareness and funds for No Kid Hungry. Brian, along with other chefs are riding from Carmel to Santa Barbara in an attempt to help put a stop to child hunger. (more…)
Barcelona, at least as far as I’m concerned, is Los Angeles’ European sister city. Not so much in terms of its urbanism, or gracious public plazas, or the seemingly lack of vehicular congestion, but in terms of the riding. Mediterranean climates make for photogenic trails and even in the winter months, this city is a joy to ride in. When we arrived in Barcelona, I had no idea what to expect. Mattia from Legor Cicli and Ken from ENVE told us (meaning myself and photographer Jeff Curtis, who came along to document the trip for ENVE) we’d be riding dirt roads and trails all within the city limits. (more…)