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Try Before You Buy at Santa Fe’s Mellow Velo

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Try Before You Buy at Santa Fe’s Mellow Velo

“Try before you buy.” It’s not a saying you’d normally associate with a bike shop. Sure, most shops will let you take a bike on a test ride around the block or in their parking lot, but to pull a brand new bike off the shelf and “demo” it for a day, or two, or a whole month, if you so wanted to, is unique. That model was very foreign to me until I walked into Santa Fe’s Mellow Velo.

Belmar Bike Shop’s Beach Front BBQ Bash

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Belmar Bike Shop’s Beach Front BBQ Bash

Belmars Bike Shop’s Beach Front BBQ Bash
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

It was 2002 and Kyle was sitting inside of what was at the time DJs Bikes in Belmar, NJ, 16 bright-eyed and loving bikes. Ten years later Hurricane Sandy shook the eastern seaboard, in its wake not much made it through the winter, not even the bicycle shop Kyle worked at 10 years earlier.  With five grand a hell of a lot of heart, hard work, and surely ramen noodle meals, Kyle, friends, and family built Belmar Bike Shop in what was once his former employer’s space that winter, hibernation can sometimes be a great catalyst for change. Looking back to that first year, and all of the uncertainty Kyle said he’s stoked he took that first step, now in year 7 its been a wild ride and was even the original birthplace of Crust Bikes before moving down the street. My first interaction with Belmar Bike Shop was watching Kyle huck in Tahoe, so when I was invited to spend a few days checking out Belmar a few months ago cause I knew for sure I’d be in for a party.

Captain + “The Most” Stoker Coffee – Kyle Kelley

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Captain + “The Most” Stoker Coffee – Kyle Kelley

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.

Duncan From Transit Cycles’ Black Cat All Road

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Duncan From Transit Cycles’ Black Cat All Road

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.

Party Lines to Party Time with Durango Cyclery – Kyle Kelley

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Party Lines to Party Time with Durango Cyclery – Kyle Kelley

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.

A Slice of Cycling History at Orange Peel Bikes in Steamboat Springs

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A Slice of Cycling History at Orange Peel Bikes in Steamboat Springs

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.

Box Dog Bikes Has a Go Fund Me

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Box Dog Bikes Has a Go Fund Me

Back in August, Box Dog Bikes was broken into and over $60,000 worth of product was stolen, which is more than enough money to cripple a bike shop. To help keep their shop afloat, they’ve started a Go Fund Me. Any donation would help them get back on their feet and onto their pedals.

Loving the Uphill Battle with Roam Industries – Locke Hassett

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Loving the Uphill Battle with Roam Industries – Locke Hassett

Loving the Uphill Battle with Roam Industries
Words and photos by Locke Hassett

“Long time no see!” piped Dustin from a leather chair near a window with grey morning light pouring in through the huge windows of Roam Industry, a backcountry focused bike, climb, and ski shop in Monticello, UT. He sips his coffee as we catch up and listen to Zeppelin. His kid has teeth coming in, and he is a small business owner in a small town. He is tired, but not too tired to laugh, talk, and show me around the shop.

A Randonneuring Paradise in Portland at Norther Cycles

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A Randonneuring Paradise in Portland at Norther Cycles

I met Norther Cycles owner StarMichael back in 2015 here in Portland at the Bike and Beer festival where I shot one of his creations, a beautiful randonneuring frame. As with most of 2015’s content, when our server crashed, we lost the images. Bummer! So when Rie and the Sim Works crew said they were going to a few shops to deliver tires and racks, I tagged along, especially once I heard they were going to Norther Cycles.

Inside Moots: the Masters of Metal

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Inside Moots: the Masters of Metal

One of the hardest things about reporting on frame builders and their shops is doing their operations justice. I’m still buzzing from my trip to Colorado to hang out with the crew at Moots and ride the Steamboat Ramble Ride. Spending a few solid days literally living amidst the operations, riding with the fabricators, talking and photographing everyone behind the scenes brought such great joy that I’m literally gushing as I write this intro. The 23 people that make this company tick are all great people who truly love their job and love cycling, at many capacities. Capturing that in photos and then writing about it is not easy!

Moots began in 1981, from the shop of Kent Eriksen, called Sore Saddle Cyclery, which technically opened in 1980, but the operations of Moots didn’t get rolling for a whole year. Kent began the brand with the help of many others, and eventually sold it off to begin his own company, Eriksen Cycles. Meanwhile, Moots began to permutate into their current state as one of the largest framebuilding operations in the USA. I can’t compare their shop to anyone else, other than Seven in the Boston-area. In terms of scale and organization.

I Never Knew I Had a Sweet Tooth Until I Visited Sugar Wheel Works! – Kyle Kelley

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I Never Knew I Had a Sweet Tooth Until I Visited Sugar Wheel Works! – Kyle Kelley

I Never Knew I Had a Sweet Tooth Until I Visited Sugar Wheel Works!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

I was introduced to Jude Gerace and her shop Sugar Wheel Works exactly three years ago. I saw a few photos of Jude and what looked like a bicycle laboratory on Chantal Anderson’s Instagram, one of my favorite modern photographers. She had shot photos of Jude and her space for Levi’s Commuter, but there was no link to an article or any more photos, so I started Googling. I was immediately taken to my friend Anna Maria’s website Pretty Damned Fast and was pleasantly surprised with more photos and even an interview with Jude, conducted by Anna Maria.

Bike Fiend Moab: Where the Locals get Their Fix! – Kyle Kelley

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Bike Fiend Moab: Where the Locals get Their Fix! – Kyle Kelley

Bike Fiend Moab: Where the Locals get Their Fix!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

Moab Classic Bike was started by Chris Hill back in 2012. It began by selling refurbished bikes to Moab residents and certified dirtbag adrenalin junkies like himself. Later, Pierre Chastain, the man behind Blaze Bicycles, would come on board to refine and reimagine the way the bike shop worked and what they would sell, eventually making Moab Classic Bike more of the bike shop it is today. In 2016 Moab Classic Bike would become Bike Fiend, Pierre would take full ownership, concentrating on Blaze Bicycles and the Bikepacking community at large, all while keeping the “dirtbag” vibes alive!

Inside / Out at the Vanilla Workshop and the Workshop Buildoff Party

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Inside / Out at the Vanilla Workshop and the Workshop Buildoff Party

It’d been a while since the last time I had been to Portland. 2015 or so, if I recall correctly. In that time, a lot has changed in the city, and over at our friends at the Vanilla Workshop.

While I was in Portland at the Workshop Buildoff, I did my best at documenting the space, a few people, and the party scene from the kickoff. Portland’s got a deep cycling culture, and seeing it come out for this party was a great way to spend a Friday night. Feeling the frenetic buzz leading up to the event, only to be released with the first can of beer opening was a real treat and one that I enjoyed watching unfold.

Box Dog Bikes Was Broken Into

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Box Dog Bikes Was Broken Into

San Francisco’s Box Dog Bikes was broken into yesterday and the thieves took a ton of Kona, Salsa, and All-City completes. For shops like Box Dog, this is a huge blow, as the thieves took almost all of their stock. If you live in the Bay Area, keep an eye out for the models, which are listed below. Head to Box Dog Bikes’ Instagram for more information.

If You Build It, They Will Come: Gladys Bikes in Portland

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If You Build It, They Will Come: Gladys Bikes in Portland

If you build it, they will come, and by “they” I mean women. Yet not the women we typically see the industry sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into R&D to make the perfect bike. No, this segment of the industry often gets the back-burner.

Let’s backpedal a little bit. Gladys Bikes is, as their Google profile so succinctly puts it, “a cycle shop for women.” The owner, Leah, felt there was a void in Portland’s current bike shop offering in one key way: they tend to leave out the hybrid, or commuter market, especially for middle-aged women. Particularly when it comes to bike fitting and saddle selection. Leah and her crew cater to this group, dare I say the “forgotten demographic” in the cycling industry.

Portland’s Velo Cult to Close Brick and Mortar to Focus on Online Sales

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Portland’s Velo Cult to Close Brick and Mortar to Focus on Online Sales


These 120 film photos are from the archives, when I visited @VeloCult in 2012

It pains me to post this. Every time we lose a great bike shop, the community suffers and the IBD suffers. It’s scary to witness it happening at such an alarming rate, especially since we really do need bike shops who give a damn. I can’t weigh in too much since I haven’t been to Velo Cult in a few years, but I can say that I wish I would have stopped by earlier this month, instead I figured I’d roll through when I was back in October, to spend some quality time there, rather than drop in, strapped for time.

Writing about this is hard, so maybe the best thing is to leave it with the official statement and a reminder that you, the consumer, won’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone. Support your local bike shop when you can and hopefully shops can adapt to this changing market and economy. To Sky and the team at Velo Cult, I wish you the best of luck with your online shop.

Read the full press-release below…

Steel Cafe: Putting the “Home” in Home Base! – Kyle Kelley

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Steel Cafe: Putting the “Home” in Home Base! – Kyle Kelley

Steel Cafe: Putting the “Home” in Home Base!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

It’s been almost a year since I went to France with Sean Talkington of Team Dream Bicycling Team, Ace Carretero from The Sleepers, Tebow the Enduro Pro (a.k.a Team Dream / Ringtail Intern) and Mavic Cycling to follow the Tour De France. This trip was life-changing for me and not a day goes by that I don’t think about something or a moment from this trip. It’s probably the fact that I have all of these French friends on Instagram now, or maybe it’s because I had the best meal of my life there at Miznon (that roasted cauliflower…I hear there’s one in NYC now!)

Whatever it is or was…holy cow…that was an amazing time!