Category Archives: Shop Visit
Captain + “The Most” Stoker Coffee
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
If you’ve been to the Sea Otter Classic in the last couple years, it’s very likely that you’ve been to Captain + Stoker Coffee. It’s become quite the staple for bicycle nerds making the annual pilgrimage to the event. I’d even say that Captain + Stoker has become a home base for many people attending the Classic. Hundreds of people meet there before and after rides, they host movie screenings and even live stream races in their beautifully converted service station.
It hasn’t been easy for Tyler Ellis and Kelsey Richmond the owners of Captain + Stoker to get to this point, but from what I’ve seen each time I’ve been there, I believe they’ve both found their calling. (more…)
After spending close to a month in Tucson, I got a good handle on what the cycling community is like in that wonderful city. Well, in the winter anyway, summer is another story. One place I found myself stopping by frequently for events is Transit Cycles. With Spencer’s gallery being one of my favorite Shop Visits on this site, I didn’t feel it necessary to completely revisit Transit, photographically. While they did move to a new location since Spencer’s piece, many of the vignettes and textures are still relevant to Transit’s modus operandi. I did, however, feel compelled to check out their new space and hit some highlights, and as the title implies, to shoot the owner, Duncan’s, Black Cat All Road. (more…)
Bikepacking Bags Made in Arizona at Rogue Panda
Photos and words by Locke Hassett
A small, unassuming garage accessed from a residential alley in Flagstaff houses one of the world’s best bikepacking bag makers: Rogue Panda Designs. The folks here pride themselves on thoughtful design, innovation, and blending function and form seamlessly. I visited RP on my way back from Utah to get a prototype bolt-on frame bag, chat with the makers, and snap some photos of the shop. (more…)
Pottery, Stickers, and the Eastern Sierra Dream with Casey Clark
Words and Photography by Spencer J Harding
In an all too familiar series of small world events, I ended up at a small property about an hour north of Reno with Casey Clark. Casey is more known in this bike world for his side hustle of “Camp and Go Slow” stickers and patches, a visual play on the famous Campagnolo logo. Think of this as a Behind the Music if you will, well behind the sticker at least…
Nestled on the side of the road with a large sign proclaiming “POTTERY” lies veteran potter, Paul Herman, and his massive wood-fired Kiln, a centerpiece among the many facets of the property geared toward pottery. Casey wound up as a joint caretaker of half of the property and has been carving out his own little slice of eastern Sierra paradise out of the ruins of the Nursery that once stood there. Throughout the renovations, he is currently living in a canvas tent and commuting into Reno for teaching and other pottery related gigs.
A veteran bike mechanic and avid bike nerd aside from his pottery, he had a silly idea, making the classic Campagnolo logo say, “Camp and go slow” which he turned into reality with the help of a friend and a vinyl cutter. He imagined it would just be a fun thing and he’d hand out a few stickers to his friends. Miraculously, one of those stickers wound up in the hands of Jarrod Bunk, who was so excited he wanted to be a partner in this venture.
Stickers and jokes aside, I was quite lucky with my timing of the visit to be able to witness the prepping and semi-annual firing of the massive wood-fired kiln on the property. The process takes many months to prepare, requiring the sourcing of many cords of wood as well as the creating and packing of the kiln with pottery. The process of firing is incredibly labor intensive, with round the clock attention needed to keep the fires ablaze at temperatures over 2000 degrees for multiple days. It was intriguing to see the pottery community come together for this occasion, with all the pomp and circumstance of a Thanksgiving feast with plenty of communal meals for whoever was tending to the kiln at that time. With so many facets to monitor it is most definitely a multi-person task to manage the huge fire-breathing kiln.
Wood firing is a slow and laborious task, one with results that are very unique to a firing of this type. Casey rarely seems rushed, he just wants to camp and go slow as well as maybe take a week to fire some amazing pottery. He still sneaks in bike rides on missions to cut down firewood, and oh baby look at that sweet Rawland! The dream is still out there, you just might have to carve it out of the ruins and sagebrush.
Bikes have taken me to some truly unique places and now I can add a communal wood-fired pottery gathering, oh the places you’ll go. Thanks for letting me hang out and ask all kinds of silly questions.
Campandgoslow just posted a bunch of new products, so head on over and check it out!
Follow Campandgoslow on Instagram, Casey on Instagram and Jarrod on Instagram
Party Lines to Party Time with Durango Cyclery
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
Durango Cyclery was Liz and my last stop on the Great American Bike Shop Tour of 2017 and I must say it was very much the grand finale I was hoping for. I’m talking a crash course in sustainable free riding, fireworks from every window imaginable, late night shenanigans involving copious amounts of booze, and one of the most decorated shops in all the ranks of local bike shops all over the world.
When you walk into Durango Cyclery, it just feels right. It feels exactly like your favorite bike shop growing up. It even has all the posters from your childhood on the walls still. Which makes me think that maybe I’m wrong, maybe no bike shop felt like this. Maybe Durango Cyclery actually feels more like your bedroom as a young mountain biker, chasing the dream that one day you’ll be riding and racing with the Tomacs, Tinkers, and Gioves of the world. Maybe Durango Cyclery just feels like home! There is absolutely no compliment in the world that could be given to a bike shop that would hold higher regard than your bike shop makes you feel at home. (more…)
Fans of framebuilders, or at least those who have been visiting this website for a few years might remember the work of Cycles d’Autremont landing on these pages in the past. We’ve featured Hubert’s shop, as well as a few of his bikes in the past. Well, Huburt turned a new page in his career, when he moved to Tucson, Arizona two years ago to open a new operation, Madrean Fabrication. I had the pleasant experience of hanging out with this wonderful human for a few days while in Tucson and got to look inside his shop, as well as check out a few of his new bikes. (more…)
The Road to Delcie’s Cup Cake
Words and Photos by Spencer Harding
This past summer I was lucky enough to meet to some truly amazing people in Minneapolis. I noticed a common thread connecting these wonderful humans. It all culminated in getting to ride with Delcie on her über custom Cup Cake…
Erik Noren is a bit of mythical beast in the world of framebuilding. His bikes are outlandish, sparkly, and painstakingly detailed. With his newer venture, Cake Bikes, he seeks to build proportionally-sized, high-performance bikes for shorter riders. Cake partnered with Minneapolis Wheel masters HED cycling to offer fat-bikes built around a 24 x 4” platform and has since moved into building cross and gravel/adventure bikes built around a 650b platform, and some yet smaller wheeled bikes which we will get to at the end. While the bikes’ geometries are focused on smaller humans regardless of gender, the cake race and adventure team is compromised entirely of women/trans/femme/non-binary riders. (more…)
Steamboat Springs is the birthplace of Moots, Eriksen, and other outdoor industry brands. Visit this ski town and you’ll see why. Located in the Northern Yampa Valley the city has thrived due to its proximity to the Routt National Forest and its plethora of trails. It doesn’t matter what your preferred form of recreation is, Steamboat has an abundance of resources for it.
One of the bike shops in Steamboat is in one of the most unique spaces I’ve ever visited. Period. When Jon from Moots took me to pick up some last minute supplies before embarking on our Steamboat Ramble Ride trip, my jaw was on the ground. While most of the outdoor shops in Steamboat are very clean and corporate, Orange Peel Bikes embraced its chaotic beauty. Much like something found in nature, there are no right angles in this bee-hive shaped space. (more…)
Bikes, Bags, and USA Made Tags: Bedrock Bags
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
One of Liz and my stops along the great American Bike Shop Tour of 2017 was Bedrock Bags in Durango, Colorado. A larger than life operation, in a very small space, boasting that they “make the best bikepacking gear on the market.” And when I mean small…I mean small, at first I had no clue how everyone worked in this small space at the same time, but as Joey Ernst, one of the owners, and Tae Hillyer, the production manager, and I chatted about the business I began to understand. This space had been thought out in the same tailored, tight, and clean aesthetic as all of their bags. Just like you don’t want your knees rubbing your framebag, everyone at Bedrock Bags had created a very workable space with no elbow rubbing in a very small, but very efficient corridor.
So you know your knees aren’t going to be rubbing one of their framebags. (more…)
Don’t Fake that Funk with Moné Bikes
Words and photos by Spencer Harding
I first saw one of Cjell’s (pronounced like “shell”) bikes on a tour of Adventure Cycling’s headquarters in Missoula, Montana. His lugged 29+ drop bar Great Divide rig hangs on the walls, in all of its patina’d glory. Over the past few years, we have had a lot of near hangout misses, from a trip to Ecuador to being in Salida, Colorado the same day this past summer. But alas the stars finally aligned and after spending Thanksgiving in White Sands National Monument, my partner and I decided to make a stopover in Silver City for a spin in the hills and a dip in some hot springs.
Cjell sent me an address to the town’s old Post Office which now lays vacant except for the basement which is Moné Bikes HQ and the occasional event that use the main floor. Out back is a 1990 Wonderbread truck that serves as his mobile frame building shop. After discovering the small and remote Silver City on his many Tour Divide rides, he finally decided that he was in love and is now looking at real estate.
But let’s go back a ways to where this all began in an old VW bus parked outside Black Sheep Bikes in Fort Collins. He began apprenticing and working under James at Black Sheep before he moved onto Vail to do his own thing, where traded weed for rent in a pool maintenance room. After having completed a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail all with gear he had made himself, he thought why not make a bike for the Tour Divide in the same fashion. Thus was born the bike I saw at Adventure Cycling HQ. For the next few years, Cjell bounced between Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Asia, and New Zealand. After all those travels he came back and decided to set up in the current bread truck shop where he still does all of his custom orders. Besides his custom one-off bikes, he has a small production run of two frames, El Continente and La Roca. These frames were built in Taiwan where he personally spent time working with a small family factory on the run. There is a lovely piece he wrote about his time abroad here
Though Cjell has many amazing bikes he has built his current love affair is with a 1962 Schwinn Cruiser that he has chopped and screwed. His high-tech modifications include a tukt rear triangle featuring the latest 29er coaster brake technology, custom spun Mr. Tick seatpost, and a Krampus fork squeezed into a 1 inch headtube. I’ll be honest, I still couldn’t keep up with Cjell on this damn thing. He definitely doesn’t fake that funk on a nasty klunk.
He was nice enough to take me and my partner on the usual Taco Tuesday ride outta town. A lovely romp in the hills along a few sections of the Continental Divide route with a few new sections of buff-buff single track. Also, no ride would be complete without a few turns around the local skatepark.
Cjell’s bread truck shop is home to some truly inspiring innovations to make such a small space functions as a full-on shop. His modified lathe for cutting down tubes is unlike anything I’ve seen in any other shop. I had also never seen a flux bucket before, a device for adding flux in-line when brazing. His brazing style, more a bead than fillet, necessitates such specialized equipment. It’s all pretty damn impressive.
Cjell has been there and back, probably on a single speed nonetheless, he’s cultivated a truly impressive style, a perfect brew of old and new. He wants to make bikes with a soul, and he’s gone around the world and sparked up torches alongside the masters, domestic and abroad, to do so.
Check out his production and custom bikes and follow along with Cjell on Instagram