Handmade


Final Build on Kristopher’s Troll:

 

Beefy.

And Kristopher, in a thoughtful act of gratitude, made use of a felled tree by carving us a shop log:

Which is pretty incredible on any day, but today it’s simply mind-blowing because I, too, just brought in a Shop Log:

 

Every shop has a shop blog, but find me another shop with a Shop Log, let alone TWO shop logs. I love a good adianoeta, but this is incredible.

 

 

Mike H, of New Glarus Eleventy fame, brought in a few of his new invention today: Eyeglass mirrors made from recycled spokes and bottlecaps. $10. Get them while they’re hot…

Ari built up a beautiful Gunnar Fastlane this week. Full Sram Apex, handbuilt wheels. What a bike! Lightweight, smooth-riding, abuse-friendly, off-road road bike, handbuilt in the US of A.

Here are a few Gunnar builds we’ve done since last fall.

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We’ve just received our Seafaring custom saddle, hand-carved by Kara Ginther, back from Topanga Creek Bicycles in LA. Topanga was the last stop on the SaddleWorks traveling exhibit we created this winter.  It’s good to have it back in the shop.

The whole experience surrounding the exhibit was inspirational. We at NCC have been inspired to continue incorporating more handmade items in our selection and in our personal use. We’ve also felt liberated to host different types of events that aren’t necessarily limited to typical bike shop stuff. We’re hoping to host a fine beer/wine tasting this summer in cooperation with the local and fabulous Inboden’s Market, to name one.

We’re happy to report Kara’s response to the whole experience was positive as well. In her words: “I cannot thank North Central Cyclery, Salvagetti, and Topanga Creek Cycles enough for coming together to host SaddleWorks.   It has been amazing to leave the impersonal world of web pages and digital images to experience the warmth and enthusiasm of real live people and face-to-face interactions.  So much has opened up for me since my initial online debut last October.  I am thrilled to be working on projects for The Tweed Run in London and Salone del Mobile 2010 for Wallpaper* magazine.  I have been able collaborate with bike builders nationwide, displaying my work at venues such as NAHBS 2010 in Virginia.  I’ve even been in contact with Brooks directly and am so happy to have their support!   I am thankful every day for those who have gone out of their way to promote a beginning (and yes, at times, starving) artist; it is at once humbling and incredibly motivating.  Thanks to you all, I have high hopes for the future of Kara Ginther Leather.”

Now, everybody pony up and order a saddle.

fin

t

Another Frostbike, come and gone.

We’ve made the journey five times now and we’re never disappointed. This year we enjoyed a nice mix of product, people, and savvy. Bike conferences are only as much as you make them. You can go and drool over the goods, glad hand the vendors, awkwardly pilfer energy bars and stickers (c’mon, we’re grown men), and come away feeling like you wasted a weekend. We tend to use those expos as times to put faces to names and spend time with people that can teach us something we don’t know. I learn more from fellow dealers than I do from the seminars (and some of the seminars are great – see also Brett Fleming).

We spent some good time with our Colorado Contingent. iScott from Salvagetti’s and Jason from Pedal Pushers made my trip a great success, personally and professionally. It it weren’t for them, we would never have been able to figure out how to get from point A to point B and discover our B-A levels; that is unless, we just asked someone else or looked at a map or just stopped drinking. Regardless, they have fancy fones and that makes people like them. I kept trying to act like I was cool, too. People just looked at me with disdain and told me to get my camera out of my ear and stop caressing my mp3 player. moving on…

Eric tries to limber up after a long night on the pond

As always it was good to see the Surly fellows. We saw more of them than ever, really. We met all sorts of them. The “Trevor Treatment” was especially nice on Saturday night. He tore us away from our ninja stars to show us dark places with no people in them. It was really quite incredible. We learned the stupifying truth behind Salsa Flip-Offs and we’ll never buy anything else ever again. They’re assembled right here in the USA by whoever gets caught not working.

Salsa Skewers are nuts.

Salsa skewers are nuts

I really failed to take pictures this year. Mostly because of my ongoing coux with the iphone I don’t own. Even though I don’t have visual proof, we met with some other great people and saw some other great stuff.

Salsa Cycles is off and rolling with their new identity: Adventure by Bike. We’re excited to be partners with them. Their direction if quite congruent with ours. Their new racks are smart and have a solid place in the market. Expect more in the store.

Bravo to Continental, Chub hubs, Cane Creek, and Pacific Outdoor Equipement. New Time Iclic and AllRoad pedals will be available at NCC this year, too, along with eyewear from Optice Nerve, new Cateye computers, and new products from Portland Design Works.

We were impressed with all of these guys – they had the right people in their booths with good product knowledge and effective people skills. We were surprised by some other booths with great brand recognition totally fail at those aforementioned qualities, but we won’t name names (we will, however, name nick:names: Bullsnake).

Thank you, QBP, for a good time and a bunch of free goods. You’ve bought our love and patronage for another year.

t

The official opening for the Kara Ginther Saddle:Works Exhibit is tomorrow night from 6:30pm-8:30pm.  

Kara sent me a preview of a few of the new saddles debuting at the exhibit:

See you there.

t

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