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.
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
l’Eroica Gaiole has always been a dream of mine. Since the early days of Tracko I would fantasize about traveling to Italy with only two things: a vintage Cinelli and a 35mm film camera. I hadn’t yet been outside of the United States and was young, dumb, and thought I could get anything done. Looking back, I probably would have forgotten to bring film. I was most definitely a bit naive back then.
… on an ’95 Ibis Mojo Ti!
The Devil in a Dress; L’Eroica Celebrates Alfonsina Strada
Words and photos by Tenzin Namdol
“The act of remembering is about the future, not the past.” -Dr. Tashi Rabgey
There was a poster on the door of the Jolly Bar in downtown Gaiole In Chianti advertising a one woman play about and dedicated to Alfonsina Strada, the only woman to have competed in the Giro d’Italia way back in 1924. She was called “The Devil in Dress” by the press who sensationalized the story of a woman riding the Giro against pro racers of the time who were very well known and very male. Strada is no doubt a darling of the Italian vintage cycling social scene but completely unbeknownst to me. The play was one of the many official events organized for the L’Eroica weekend of ogling at relics that function as baseline vision for countless daydreams of bike builds, some looking much like the bike Strada rode for the Giro.
Continuing our coverage from the third annual Cub House Bike Show and Swap…
Chuck is a lifelong cyclist. He runs and owns Velo-Retro but spent his life as a graphic designer who worked on many classic cycling logos, including the Eddy Merckx logo and others. That’s a whole different story altogether, hopefully, to be told another time. Right now let’s focus on this beautiful example of a pristine 1960’s Cinelli Super Corsa.
When Sean from the Cub House told me his dream of putting on a bike and auto show, I wasn’t exactly sure how it’d pan out. Now, don’t get me wrong, Southern Californians love their cars and in this social circle, people love their bicycles just as much, if not more. I was worried that the cars would take center stage over the bikes, or it would get overrun with the auto show crowd. Boy, was I wrong!
Today was the Cub House’s third annual bike show and swap. While we’ll look at the show itself tomorrow, I couldn’t wait to share the winning bike from the show, this Medici-built Carnevale Road bike. Now, with all bikes like this, there is a backstory. Ralph Carnevale was a major dealer of Medici Bicycles in Southern California in the 70’s and 80’s. His shop sold so many Medici bikes that the Masi-spinoff builder made a whole line of Carnevale Bicycles for Ralph.
Luciano’s Velo Playa Larga GIOS Torino
Photos and words by Sean Talkington
I’m often drawn to things that are just the right amount of “thrashed”. That includes old cars, buildings, and even people look a lot more interesting with some character brought on from age. Of all the old things that pique my interest, bicycles might be on the top of the list.
There is something really honest about an old, weathered bike, and steel bikes are probably the best suited for “patina.” They’re probably the ONLY bikes that can look just as appealing after a lot of use versus a spotless new version. I seriously doubt it will be cool to see banged up old carbon S-Works in 30 years, but I guess you never know. I mean, as a kid everyone told me to save my baseball cards, so I did, and now they are worth nearly nothing. I’ve been lugging these things around for my entire adult life for literally no reason. I haven’t cared about baseball cards since I was probably twelve years old, yet I continue to drag 10,000 of them around like a 300-pound ship anchor. On the other hand, the Walkman I thrashed as a kid and secondhand Oakley Frogskins my friend Travis gifted me for my birthday are collectible. WTF!?
Grove Gathering: Rody’s Groovy Grove Innovations Hardcore
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk
We’ve all been there, the one bike we always wished we never had gotten rid of. The one bike that transported us to a place of freedom, or perhaps the bike that got us stoked on bikes, this is that bike. After 12 years without his trusty bike, Rody, of Groovy Cycleworks decided to try and find this hardcore, which he sold a long time ago.
With a flyer in hand, his local bike shops help, and some perfectly aligned stars he was able to find the bike, rebuild it, the owner even had the original HardCore fork and Hammerhead stem. I doubt Rody will ever make the mistake of getting rid of this bike again.
This dude can shred anything! Even a 90’s, 71º/73º, long stem, canti brake Ibis Mojo!
If you went to the Bicycle Film Festival last weekend in New York City, you might have caught this Moser documentary. For the rest of us, we’ll have to wait. From the looks of the trailer, it will be worth it!
David’s Merckx Corsa Extra Extra, Read All About It
Words and photos by Sean Talkington
There is something about mixing a classic steel bicycle with modern components that usually ends up looking either REALLY cool or REALLY “meh” for some reason. It’s a definite hit or miss thing that happens whenever mashing two different generations of anything together, but when done correctly it can be great. From an aesthetic standpoint, traditional steel bicycles are hands down the prettiest to look at and modern components offer a much more “civilized” choice of gear ratios. All of that steel beauty can easily be lost when paired with a build that is too busy with space-aged looking parts. if you disagree, then your opinion most likely sucks (in my personal and not so humble opinion.) Regardless of how it looks this trend of old with a touch of new is continuing to grow and understandably so. The idea of modern functionality on rolling piece of art/history does sound quite appealing.
Chuck from Velo Retro’s Vitus Kas Team Bike Built with Mavic
Words and photos by Sean Talkington, with fact-checking by Chuck of Velo Retro
This Vitus Kas Team bike belongs to Chuck Schmidt from Velo Retro. I first met Chuck when we opened the doors to the original Cub House a few years back and am pretty sure we have seen him every day since. He is a graphic designer/lettering artist by trade and quickly became a shop legend when we discovered that Chuck created the coolest Eddy Merckx logo ever. The guy is also responsible for the lettering on some of the most iconic album covers and posters spanning across multiple generations of the world’s best stuff. Take your pick: Star Wars summer release poster, re-design of Hot Wheels logo, re-design of Road & Track logo, Parliament/Funkadelic, John Denver, Donna Summer, Sports Illustrated 25th Anni cover, fonts for ABC and CBS… It’s wild!
On top of his talents with a pencil, Chuck also happens to have quite a wild collection of bicycles that he slowly trickles into the shop for all of us to drool over. He likes to dangle the fancy bike carrots to keep us chomping at the bit (and it works). The most recent to roll through is this Kas Team bike from the late 80’s. The bike was produced in France by Vitus. Kas was a Spanish-based professional cycling team which was active from 1958 until 1979 and again for three years 1986-8 and they have been sponsoring pro teams since the late 1950’s.
Jan from Compass and Bicycle Quarterly takes us on a look through the “Derailleurs of the World – Huret” book, with some incredible insight. If you like to nerd out on vintage bikes and components, head to the Bicycle Quarterly blog for more.
Photos by Wolf Ruck, words by Brian Vernor
“It was my friend Kevin Wilkins, founding editor of The Skateboard Mag and an avid mountain biker, who first came across the film on YouTube and sent it to me. The upload date said 2010 and the quality of the video was grainy at best, a poorly digitalized version of old celluloid that made it hard to view details.
But you didn’t need a sharp image to see the obvious— if dated—skills of the mountain bikers it portrayed. The mustaches, the fanny packs, and cutoff-jeans, the insane bike setups with everything from drop to bull-moose bars, the riders’ radical style; it all added up to a masterpiece both timeless and purely 1980s.
The film was titled Freewheelin’, and was made with a windup 16mm camera by someone named Wolf Ruck. I immediately emailed Kevin back, and our conversation went crazy from there. We scoured the internet for more information, but beyond the grainy YouTube video, Freewheelin’ seemed to be completely forgotten. The original publishing date said 1985, ancient in mountain bike terms—so ancient that, as far as we could tell, the poetic, funny and, by any standard, action-packed romp was the first mountain bike film ever made.”
Check out this story at Freehub Magazine and make sure you pick up a subscription!