Andrew is probably going to kill me. He asked me not to post this picture under any circumstances. All I can say is that I don’t like good photos to go to waste. Not to pat myself on the back, but this is a damn good photo. If this doesn’t make him more popular with the ladies, I don’t know what will. Actually, he’s already got skating, surfing, motorcycling and being super badass covered. In any case, the fact that he thinks this photo will do anything except hurt his image is just ridiculous. Sorry Andrew, you’re wrong. I’m twice your age and you must listen to me. I know what I’m talking about. Now get out there and slay thirty more co-eds before your next session. That is all.
So nobody told me Durago was going to show up to the Velo Vogue fashion show on the first of may. Even though I first caught sight of the bike, the big dude holding it was even more fascinating. I am wondering what a tweed ride would be like with this guy. He would probably upstage everybody. In any case, it was a fun fashion show and a lot of people were there to showcase their bicycle-style clothing and some really awesome bikes. Even though I think fashion shows are silly to begin with, I still cannot say anything bad about this. Anything that promotes the use of bicycles or makes bikes seem cool is alright by me. See below for more pictures.
Bicycles are only part of the person. If bicycles are your entire life you’re probably a weirdo…or a framebuilder. There are more things in life than riding a bicycle. Alex is no exception. I first met him when I started working at the bike shop about two years ago. He’s a lot younger than me by a couple of decades (this seems to be a pattern with me). What he lacks in age, he makes up in life experience. A lot of people would mistake him for your average hipster with a bicycle accessory. I will agree that on first glance he fits the recipe: he has tattoos, a fixie and one damn good sense of fashion. But he’s also a pretty awesome musician, playing drums in his band, Harness. He swears off drugs and alcohol (as most of us should), so he is already leading by example. Here’s what surprised me the most: About a year and a half ago, he left the bike shop to go to barber college. He now works at The Palms Barber shop here in Santa Barbara (37 W Calle Laureles, Santa Barbara, CA 93105. (805) 687-2529). He pulls off some pretty awesome haircuts. Give him a call. I really should go in, they’re right near the Trader Joe’s so it’s not like it’s inconvenient. I guess I am just lazy.
I’m on a kick lately where I have a lot of free time and the opportunity to shoot some of my friends and their bikes. It’s going well. That is all.
Riding a bicycle can be a hobby. It can be a passion or a lifestyle. It can also be the impetus for a promising career. Max is a fellow employee, nay, comrade at Velo Pro. He and I don’t often work together but we have quite a lot in common. Max is a student at Brooks Institute here in Santa Barbara. So he loves photography way more than I do. And by that, I mean where I just own a camera and make it up as I go along, he is willing to pay five figures a year to learn as much as he can about photography. Not only has he built up an impressive portfolio, he has been getting into video and making awesome strides. One of his videos, Van Life 2 starring Ryan Gardner, was featured on Pinkbike and Bike Magazine’s website.
Above I mentioned the impetus for a career. Max has an impressive portfolio to be sure. His photography includes portrait and architecture as well. But it’s the combination of the outdoors and mountain biking where his photography is really impactful. These shots are his best work. Well, the mountain bikes and the climbing photos. Seriously, you can’t keep this guy indoors for very long. There is quite a bit to Max that I will never fully understand. I mean, if you follow his Spotify playlists, you’ll see what I mean. But the fact that he will lug his camera equipment and lighting equipment up into the mountain to capture someone shredding a tranny is pretty rad.
At the risk of sounding like I have some sort of creepy man-crush on the guy, I will stop here. I guess the message Max and others of our kind are trying to convey is this: do what you love. If you don’t love it, don’t complain. Find something that works for you. And above all else: bring a camera and ride your fucking bike.
I first met Dylan about two years ago. He’s from the midwest. Iowa (I never see him eating corn, tho. Weird). He never wears socks. However, he’s the coolest guy with a beard you’ll ever meet. He is one of our bicycle mechanics at Velo Pro. He first got his 2013 Surly Karate Monkey about 6 months ago. About the same time I go my We the People 26″ BMX bike. When I saw that he shod his rims with Schwalbe Fat Franks, I immediately wish I had gotten a 29er for a single speed cruiser/mountain bike.
In any case, it’s because of hime that I cannot just own my Surly Crosscheck. I have to have a Karate Monkey as well. These bikes are just too cool. With all the cruiser culture we have here in Santa Barbara, I think a single-speed 29er is still the way to go. After all, I can’t afford a vintage Cook Brothers and restored Schwinns just do do it for me any more. I can only take so many Chris King headsets and SE Racing Landing Gear forks before I feel like it becomes a uniform for the Cruiser Army. I want to join Dylan’s Army.
Being a bicycle mechanic can be a very stressful job. There’s always someone coming in to interrupt the project you are working on. If you’re trying to build a bicycle for a customer, you have to drop what your’e doing for walk-ins. Flat fixes, brake adjustments, loose derailleur cables. Whatever the case may be, you are still running around while the work order pile builds up.
However, every now and then, it can be weirdly peaceful. You can relax, complete your project with care and maybe even hear the music that is playing. This is cycling’s other half. For the majority of riders out there, it’s days like this and the opposite that keep your bikes on the road. Remember, we enjoy cycling just as much as you do. Please bring your bike to a qualified mechanic to keep your steed healthy. Tip your local bike mechanic, too.
People on a long tour often stop at our shop to stock up on supplies. Ben and Kevin were super nice. They were on a long tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles. That’s about 460 miles (740 km). Pretty gnarly undertaking especially when they are riding road racing bikes instead of touring bikes. Sure, they will do the job, but I would feel a lot more comfortable if they were riding a touring bike like a Surly, Salsa or something of that ilk. In any case, this was a few weeks ago and I am sure that they made it and did what they needed to do.
Richard is sort of a fixture at Velo Pro. He rides in every now and then and hangs out, gets some supplies and tells us some pretty fantastic stories. He’s been everywhere on this bike and it shows. The Surly Long Haul Trucker is a hearty beast. In my opinion, this steel-framed bike is perfectly capable of going anywhere around the world. Many people do that, of course, picking the sturdy 26-inch-wheeled version as their steed of choice because of the commonality of the wheel size worldwide.
Richard has all the accouterments necessary for survival on the road. Of course, he has added all the custom touches that a man who has traveled with his bike would have.
His panniers are probably the best example of his frugality. Over 40 years old, the drive-side bag is tattered and well used. The non-drive side has never held anything and is close to being brand new. Other than the fact that it looks a bit faded, it is in great shape. Richard declined to have his face photographed. No reason why. Well, there were many reasons, but none that I think were important enough to press the issue. In any case, a great bike and a cool dude. Thanks, Richard!
I always think of older mountain bikes the way I think of trucks. You always see a lot more older trucks on the road more often than you see older cars. The same thing goes I think for rigid mountain bikes from the 80s and 90s. They were built tough and the simplicity of the components and builds seem to keep them going for longer. George here is the original owner of this gem from the early 90s. At time when there weren’t that many technological innovations for mountain bikes. Companies like Specialized were making the same bikes from 1985 to 1995. The only differences were the colors. In any case, I’m glad a lot of these bikes are still out there. They give people the means to go farther and that’s what counts.
I ran into Joshua at Velo Pro about a week before Thanksgiving. I was checking out his Nishiki Olympic 12. It’s a really nice steel road bike from the 80s. I thought the color and the way the gold decals looked was really awesome. This was the kind of bike that the well-to-do kids would ride when I was in high school. While I was sloshing away with only 10 speeds on my Univega in crap brownish gold, the cool kids would be riding Japanese steel with a 6-speed cassette.
Joshua mentioned to me that he was just getting the bike looked over before he went to Friendsgiving. I thought to myself that even though our society has its problems, every now and then a gem pops up that makes you feel good about the people around you.