A Tour of Ken Wallace’s Bisbee Bicycle Brothel

On my way to crashing the beginning of SSAZ down in Bisbee I made a stop by a place I have been wanting to make an excuse to shoot for quite some time now. Now, Bisbee isn’t on the way to anywhere and you really need to make a point to end up there,  I think I heard a rumor that Paul Price called it “Like a Downieville in the desert.” Bisbee is was a mining town turned that turned into an artist haven when the copper mining started to dry up.  The hours at the Bisbee Bicycle Brothel are loose and you can just give Ken a call if you want him to open up for ya. Now when and if you end up in Bisbee, you probably aren’t expecting much of a bike shop, but oh would you be oh so wrong.

Shooting Ken’s shop is a close tie with Blue Lug for being so hard to shoot by the sheer detail and amazingness of the bikes.  I can’t remember how many times I wandered back in forth, bank and forth, noticing an ever fractal amount of details hidden in each corner of the shop.  Ken Wallace, the owner, uses the shop to house his astonishing collection of bicycles and cycling ephemera.  There is such a staggering amount of cycling history crammed in the shop, I feel even a eighty-ish photos hardly does it a bit of justice, but I did my darndest.  Bicycles from Bruce Gordon and Dario Pegoretti hold a lot of weight in the wake of their recent passings.  I see a titanium Fat Chance that I wish was my size and just marvel a the platitude of lugged beauties. Ken has amassed a true spectacle of cycling memorabilia down in his little corner of southern Arizona, make sure to stop in for chat if you do.

I walked away with two “Bisbee, AZ It’s like mayberry on acid” stickers, one for my dad who I watched the Andy Griffith Show with as a kid.  Bisbee has all architectural decadence of a mining boom town with the acid flashbacks of cracking your neck just a little too hard.  I regularly stop in Ken’s shop when I lead tours down in the area and I always look forward to finding something new every time I stop by.