Culture

Bikes Are Freedom Get Some

The bike studio is up and running, has been for over a year now. We just did not tell anybody. We were too busy. Riding, and such.

The bike junkyard has been in place for about 10 years. It was started by the Satanic Mechanic and myself. If it (the bike) was made in the last 40 years we probably have it. But you have to go down there and find it.

We are the third generation of culture to inhabit the space. During the 1970′s a bunch of artists moved in. In the 1980′s some musicians and film people moved in that knew the artists. 1990′s a biker, that knew the musicians and film people, that knew the artists, moved in. The stage was set. The 90′s were a whirlwind of biker, music, film and art in the hood.

As some know, Minneapolis was the hot spot in the alt music world. Many influential punk and art new wave bands from Minneapolis and Chicago (Seattle, Austin, SF,CA too) of the 80′s and 90′s passed thru the 2nd and 3rd floors of 117 washington ave N. A lot of good music came out of the building. It was a really good time.

The bikers ruined it, they always do
From 1993 to 1998, Minneapolis had a run of professional bicycle races come thru town. The Norwest Cup and the NORBA NCS races.

Now, at the time California, Colorado and the New England area were the cycling kingdoms. This all changed when professional cycling came to Minneapolis. We were tired of all the talk, that those other kingdoms talk about how great they were. While they were talking, we were doing.

The head of sales for Bianchi, the winning est bicycle company in the world, was based 2 blocks from the bike studio here.

Quality Bicycle Products, the largest parts distributor in the USA is here(actually is in Bloomington, but their major idea people are from here).

Surly Bikes, drinkers with a riding problem, they do all there testing here at the studio. Car-r-Coffins zine and web zine, uh………., something is there, I don’t remember.

Try the web site. Island Cycle Supply, the oldest parts distributor in the USA is 2 blocks away. Kenwood Cycle, Grand Perfomance and the  Alternative Bike and Board, have all produced some world class cycling stuff. Greg LeMond, enough said.

Anyhow, I worked for all of these. (yes, including Greg, how do you think he won the Chequemegon 40?)

So when the pros and the company’s that sponsored them came to town, we showed them what cycling culture was all about. Our riders never  won the races, but we did win the hearts and minds of the pros, and the bicycle industry people that support them. We know how to throw a after race party for 300 people and not get busted by the police. We know how to get certain un-named pros back to their hotel or to the airport after a hard night.

Wrecked your bicycle after a derby? We probably fixed it, but good! Lost or stolen bicycle? We found it or gave you one to get home on.

The bicycle industry types saw that we had more fun and less talk, they liked that. They started to send parts and people here to test and get  feedback. We showed them that you don’t need a mountain or an ocean to ride a bicycle and have fun.

Bicycles are freedom, get some.