Paul de Valera does it all, he’s the mechanic, manager, buyer, PR, HR, ride leader, ride organizer, social media expert, designer, illustrator, coaster brake extraordinaire at Atomic Cycles. Paul doesn’t have a cell phone, still uses a yahoo email address, and hand draws every single one of his flyers. While this may be fine for a shop that puts on a handful of events a year, but Paul’s ride calendar is ridiculous. Atomic Cycles host a weekly BMX Cruiser ride, two Coaster Brake Race Series a year, vintage mountain bike rides, downhill racing on children’s bikes, a few long gravel rides, a winter and summer solstice ride across the Santa Monica Mountains, a SoCal Single Speed Mountain Bike Championship, a ride where everyone dresses like ninjas in the middle of the night and spends most the ride in fear of someone jumping out and attacking them, a BMX Sidehack Race, the S.C.U.M.B.A.G Mountain Bike Weekend, a Turkey Day Ride, and a SanFernando Valley to DTLA ride. Try to say that 10 times fast!
Mert Lawwil had already been a legendary motorcycle racer for years and was building and selling Harley Davidson flat-track racing frames with Terry Knight when they got the idea to weld up a batch of BMX bicycle frames. But Don Koski of the Cove Bicycle Shop in Tiburon, California (hangout spot of mountain biking progenitors, The Larkspur Canyon Gang), convinced them to make a production run of “mountain bikes” in batches of 50 at a time instead. Mert and Terry had to label and sell these bikes as “cruisers” because most other bicycle shops didn’t understand or want to sell “mountain bikes”…yet.
At first glance, you might see this bike and think “sheesh, another $8,000 commuter bike made by someone in Portland.” Rightfully so! This is a clean bike but Alex spent $500 on this Miyata before adding some crucial details to keep him rolling safe and comfortable on the streets of Los Angeles, to and from work…
Brooklyn’s Johnny Coast knows how to build a classic randonneuring bike. Every year, Johnny brings a classic example of these elegant machines, with so many details from his custom fillet stem, custom fabricated seat cluster lug, bi-lam construction, custom decaluer, an elegant fork, custom front rack, and as always, a paint job to dream about.
Coast’s randonneur takes a different approach with a 700c wheel in a world dominated and encouraged by the 650b platform. He built this beaut with NOS Campy 10 speed, vintage Stronglight crank arms with new TA Pro Vis chainrings.
The lines are the most striking and that’s thanks to Johnny’s use of Japanese KAISEI traditional 1” tubing.
We got the keys to The Cub House 2.0 in June of 2017. We’d been at our original little shop in South Pasadena for a couple of years and I was extremely nervous about the move to much more “upscale” San Marino, even though it was only a few short blocks away. San Marino definitely has a reputation for being rigid, so The Cub House stands out here. Like REALLY stands out. Have you seen our spot? There aren’t too many multicolor service station turned Bike & Plant Stores in our area.
After a helluva a time getting through all the Tsunami craziness at Grinduro Japan this past fall me and the Salsa crew finally got back to Tokyo. The rest of the posse had to take off around 4 am the next day, leaving me with about half a day in Tokyo to myself! Bené and Patrick had invited me to swing by Blue Lug for a pop up they were having to showcase there oh so éspecial new Ultradynamico Tyres. Having seen the amazing custom builds coming out of the shop for years I was excited to see what the shop was about.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to celebrate something special, the 30th anniversary of Paul Component Engineering. Paul is a close friend, and when asked to come down for the weekend, tickets were booked quickly and preparations began in good faith.
Today is Labor Day in the US, so we’re taking the day easy, and catching up on life’s demands but we wanted to share this bike on Monday, because, you know, it’s Merckx Mondays. When I was at the Cub House a few weeks back, I met Jun, who was out on a ride with this bike. As you can imagine, this bike has quite the story…
The Tour of Ara was a truly unique race, out of South Africa:
“The Tour of Ara, named for the Southern Hemisphere constellation of Ara, was a prestige race ridden mostly on South African-built steel racing bicycles in the proud tradition of the early Italian multi-day stage races. For it’s five year duration, the Tour followed a tough dirt-road route over six days through the beautiful but harsh semi-desert South African Karoo each year. It was as much a race as it was an exploration and celebration of this unique landscape and the people that live there. This 34 minute documentary follows 40 racers as they experience life-changing situations, meet locals, and face some serious race challenges – soft sand, corrugated roads, loose stones, sharp tyre-shredding rocks, rain and mud.”
Were races like the Tour de France harder a hundred-some-odd years ago? GCN looks at a stage from the 1903 edition of the Tour, which started with a 467km route between Paris and Lyon. Can they do it?
Our buddy Cicli Pucci rolled into the shop the other day on this Holland Track Bike, and all of our jaws just dropped. Which is actually quite normal when Pucci rolls through. He’s been painting with Joe Bell for many years now and always has the most fly of bikes, always hand-painted by himself. You all probably remember his Azuki Pro that was featured here about a year ago.
Team Dream took their VW Squareback up to the Angeles Crest to document their new Tie Dye collection with the ENDO CNCPT Team. If this video gets your vintage VW juices flowin’ check out the photos I shot last year when we featured Sean’s Cannondale. The ENDO CNCPT kit is coming July 11th to Teamdreambicyclingteam.com.
I don’t even know how to start this one off. It’s such a weighted story, with so many levels. First off, Bob Allen is in the MTB Hall of Fame for his photography. Then there’s the bike we’re featuring here, the last Cook Brothers Racing frame made in their original SoCal workshop. Then there’s Bob’s own career, which is tied directly to this bike and a specific photo of MTB legend Hans Ray. Then there’s the fact that Bob had only ridden this bike twice in the past twenty-some-odd years until this week’s Supper Club Shred with Alter Cycles where I was able to grab a few shots of him riding the bike… so bear with me here!
Who is Uncle Dan?
Surely many of you know the Heighdealist emporium that has become the Dangle Supply Company, but most folks do not know the origin story of this incredibly popular and successful bong business.
Gateway bikes. We’ve all had one. You know, that first bike that got you hooked on riding bikes and expanded your horizon into the world of cycling. When the fixed gear craze was sweeping cities all over the world, Rawson bought this Schwinn Le Tour while he was living in Ohio. He immediately converted it to a fixed gear, stripping the bike of all the necessary components, as per the norm at the time and rode it like that for a few years before eventually buying a road bike, then a gravel bike, and a mountain bike.
“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.
… made in Eugene, Oregon.
This weekend was the Eroica California and while our story is coming tomorrow, we wanted to give you something special on this Sunday afternoon.
Bruce Gordon made a road bike model called the Chinook in the 1980’s from his workshop in Eugene, Oregon, where he worked prior to opening his shop in Petaluma, California. These bikes bear a branding resemblance to the Chinook camper shell conversions made popular in modern times by adventure-seekers looking to live their best lives on the road. There’s a certain nostalgia to the open road and summer tours on the West Coast and the Chinook frames embodied that. Clean lines, beautiful fastback stays, and thinned luglines were the Chinook’s calling cards.
On display at the American Cyclery booth at Eroica California was where this Bruce Gordon was living, in all its Campy Record glory, with pristine paint, Phil Wood hubs for a little California flair, and a pricetag to match… If you’re itchin’ for a Chinook, not the auto variety, give them a holler!
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Photos by Kevin Montgomery
Bike Jerks has an amazing gallery up from the 1980 Pearl Pass Tour in ColoRADo, shot by Kevin Montgomery. I don’t want to give away too much of the goodness, so you’ll have to head to Bike Jerks for the full gallery! All I will say is what’s old is new again. Check out a few teasers below.