You might recall seeing the half-frame bag from Vernacular Sewn Storage (VRNCLR) on the prototype Super Something gravel bike Adam Sklar had at Ruta del Jefe. VRNCLR is the Oakland, CA – based bag company of maker Tom Gilpatrick. Tom has been working in sew business for some time now, currently focusing on bags for bikes and also Go Fast Campers (GFC). Earlier this summer I was in the Bay Area with filmmaker Justin Balog and we had a slice of time before heading to the airport to catch flights home, so stopped in to visit with Tom and check out his space in the eclectic O2 Artisans Aggregate.
I know everyone has fundraiser fatigue these days but give this one a watch and if you feel moved enough to donate, then you can do so at Cycles of Change:
“Cycles of Change’s in-person programs, the bulk of which take place in Alameda County public schools, are deeply impacted by COVID-19. Activities we do now, support our essential organizational work for the remainder of the year. Like other small grassroots organizations, the cancellation of our programs has had a massive impact on our fiscal stability. However, we are committed to our mission of supporting community access to bikes. We believe that access to just mobility and transportation is an essential human right.
Our mission and work support the directive of the Alameda County Public Health Department that trips should be reduced to only essentials and the need for fresh air and exercise. Bicycles are a key resource for this situation since they are low-cost and low-risk for transmission of COVID-19. Through these challenging times, we continue to provide bicycle education and access to low-cost and free bikes in our community.”
The Bay Area in Northern California is well known to be the reservoir for good times and burly riders. Back in June, the Oakland Tracklocross National Championship took place – where racers would battle out for the first Tracklocross World Championship Title. Racers and spectators came from all over California, as well as participants from Chicago and Florida. The atmosphere took shape once everyone converged at the bottom of a hill. Everyone had to ride up a mile or so to commence the hike a bike. Poison oak surrounded the area, deep rutted and broken up dirt roads gave participants a sneak peek in what the course would entail.
In my groggy state at this year’s NAHBS, I met Casey Sussman, the builder of Mars Cycles, a small frame builder out of Oakland. His bright magenta track bike caught my eye but in a world of mail-order “fixies”, I didn’t initially register the bike as a hand made frame.
Once Casey introduced himself, I quickly realized that was no mail-order, made in Taiwan bike. It’s a legitimate, hand made track bike. Clean fillets, racing geometry, non-nonsense details and that tapered head tube. Mars Cycles’ work, at this point, is focusing on crit-ready track bikes and Casey’s bike is a prime example.
Mars Cycles will have a few racers rolling these frames at this weekend’s Red Hook Crit in Brooklyn, so if you see them, make sure to wish them luck!
Leave a comment in the Gallery with any comments or concerns.
King Kog has gone bi-coastal. Come celebrate with them tonight!
A reader, who happens to call Manifesto their LBS, sent this over and I really enjoyed it. Next time I’m in Oakland, I’ve gotta swing through.
Matt Rice has been shooting video for Snow over the past few months and I gotta say, I really, really enjoyed this. It’s creative, ballsy and a lot different than a lot of the FGFS videos I watch. Snow makes damn good use of the environment and his smooth, 29’r style is fast and precise. Good job dude, I’m diggin’ it!