If you can’t tell, the “sickness” has spilled over into the weekend. I hope you’re all out riding and soaking in the summer sunshine. More on this bike next week!
Last week, Mellow Johnny’s had the great pleasure of hosting a frame builder’s happy hour that showcased the work of five local bicycle artisans. With so many talented frame builders in the immediate Austin area, it only makes sense to get them out of their work sheds and together for a party. Icarus, Chumba, Kirklee, Paramour, and Saila all descended upon the shop for a night where they could showcase their work and talk to established fans as well as potential clients.
The energy was rambunctious. Halfway through the night, I found myself surrounded by over 100 people who were enjoying beer, friends, and the company of some beautiful bicycles. The amount of “oh’s” and “ah’s” were uncountable. From someone marveling over the beautiful weld work of Lauren from Saila to an in-depth conversation about carbon frame repair with KirkLee, there was something for all tastes. The amount of support and admiration that was had for these humble local builders was a testament to the tight-knit and passionate community that is evident in Austin’s cycling community.
For myself, the highlight of the night was hanging out with the fellas of Chumba Cycles. After talking with them about their home base right down the road from Pace Bend State Park and witnessing their love of beer, it was clear these guys loved to shred and loved to have a good time. The coolest bike they brought was a fully loaded 29+ rig called the Ursa 29+. Able to fit a 3.0 inch tire, the Ursa is clearly a bike that has the potential to handle just about any terrain you could throw at it. Three bottle cages and the ability to run a Singlespeed, 1x, or 2x set up leads to extreme versatility and the option for fully loaded camping or an afternoon shred session at your favorite local trails. The Ursa they brought was outfitted with their Zulu series bags for handlebar, stem, seat, and frame. Vince from Chumba shared with me his story about taking the bike to Ecuador for a 7-day bikepacking trip from Cotapaxi to Chimborazo and all I could think about for the rest of the night was the plan for my next bikepacking trip!
All in all, the event was a huge success. Good times were had, there was much “nerding out” on bikes, and many Topo Chicos and beers were consumed. If you have a local frame builder in your town and you’re looking for your next bike, it’s so important to see what they have to offer. Check out a few more photos below and see the full gallery at Mellow Johnny’s.
I don’t know what’s more impressive. Winter’s bicycles, or the names Eric comes up with for them. “Picholine” are olives originally from the south of France. The classic era French city bikes have always interested Eric from Winter Bicycles, so when a client requested a commuter, he looked to them for inspiration, while picking up a few modern details. Fenders, generator lamp, racks and other elegant elements adding to the beauty and functionality of utilitarian bicycles. (more…)
Preface: Jacob Smoller recently passed away in Boston. Coinciding with this unfortunate event, Kyle came across a Jacobs track bike in Los Angeles. To celebrate Jacob’s life and work, we reached out to Billy Sinkford, a good friend of Jacob to write a memorial piece:
Try Harder. That was Jacob Smoller’s motto. His creed. Jacob would have turned thirty a few weeks ago and passed just a few days before his birthday. He was a Boston bike messenger, frame builder, beloved member of the international messenger family, and urban cycling community at large.
Be it music, racing, building bikes or riding them, Jacob was an artist with a strong creative drive. His commitment to the cycling community even stronger. Over the past 10 years Jacob had a hand in organizing countless cycling events and races, all with the emphasis on fun and inclusion, he was happiest bringing folks together.
Jacob loved this community, he loved bikes, and he loved Boston. Try Harder, never settle and give your all. He gave everything to the messenger community, his friends and family and we will miss him all the more for it. As everyone does, Jacob had his demons. It’s important to remember our friend for the light that he shined and not the shadow that he cast. He was a beautiful man who didn’t ask of anyone and stood tall with his decisions.
Jacob and I met over a decade ago during my transition from messenger life in Boston. I had some of the best times of my life with him, late night antics, exploring the country by bike, and candid conversations over the years. He is a friend that I hold close and his loss has rocked my world. I miss him with all my heart, ride safe my friend. I will miss our talks.
Lugged, exceptional paint and a classic stance with modern technology propelling it onto banked roads. Henry’s road bike is a elegant example of the work Chris Bishop is capable of. See more at the Bishop Flickr!
For those of you who had questions regarding his personal Rock Lobster cross bike, here’s a video of him walking you through his build… I’m really enjoying these. Keep ‘em coming!
St Petersburg, Russia’s Jam Handcrafted Bicycles means business…
In the world of beausage and bicycles, you’d be hard pressed to find a better catalyst than a street-racing track bike. Or even a bike messenger’s work horse. When you combine the two…
This Legor Cicli track bike was first featured here back in 2011 at NAHBS in Austin. Originally owned by John Taki and was just recently passed down to Chas, it’s seen its share of street wear and tear. Fit with Omnium cranks, a 44RN camo chainring and Essor wheels, it has the mean stance of a race machine, with a lot of that special pista patina we’ve all come to admire.
Chas was in London to do a panel with Oakley at their In Residence space, so in-between his busy schedule, I took this bike outside to document it. There’s something special about a track bike in a city like London… and I love it! Oh and that cup in the spokes? Chas didn’t want to litter when he finished his beer.
A 2015 NAHBS favorite has finally landed online. The No 22 Bicycles Reactor road bike caught my attention this year at the show and still to this day makes me feel all adulterated with lust. Clean, minimal lines, custom hardware and a stance unmatched in the current production frame world. That’s my opinion anyway… Form your own opinion at No 22 and see more photos below.
Quite simply put:
“The Urban Racer is the latest offering in the Speedvagen line, lightweight with nimble handling and dialed race fit geometry. Designed as a super commuter, getting you around town as fast as possible. Minimal, modern and shred ready, the Urban Racer is the answer for the discerning cyclist who wants to go fast and take chances in the city.”
Great video Field Theory Pictures!