Photo: DEEP SEA HARDHAT DIVER #8 "NO EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH", originally uploaded by zero g.
At the Biggest Little Bike Shop in the World, they’ve got an Oil Addiction Treatment Center and it’s staffed by Jim Hopperstad who’s been around forever, since the days of leather chamois, wearing cycling shoes without socks, and when bikes were only made with steel …
As the story goes, back in 1969, his brother smoked a big, fat spliff and came up with the name Bikesmiths – there are lots of Bikesmiths now, but this one is the original. Jim’s featured in Road Bike Action this month and for every possible bike topic, he’s got an opinion. For example, he observed my Rolls saddle was dated and that lead to a discussion concerning hairnet helmets with an additional digression into the quality of Deda components v. Ritchey. Then onto Michelin’s new Pro 3, how Seattle is an anthill, and how riding fixies without brakes can lead to broken wrists.
Truth be told, I don’t follow much bike racing, but there are a few I watch out for every year. Paris-Roubaix The Hell of the North is on the list. I hold the racers up along side the sailors in the Vendee Globe solo ocean sailboat racing in terms of sheer lunacy, bravery, and effort. Check out this classic finish from 1985 to see what i mean – Greg Lemond looks like he’s lost a mud wrestling match at around 6:30 minutes. Tom Boonen won this year, showing some powerful sprinting in the velodrome, some pictures here.
American and NYC product George Hincapie unfortunately did not, having a mechanical with only 56km to go. Bikesnob NYC replays the entire drama for you, with ducks. Seriously. Go check it out, I nearly fell out of my chair.
I have found my new favorite LBS. On my commute home through Kirkland, I found this small little shop that just opened its doors: uBRDO! From the site, U brdo is Croatian for “in the hills, or mountains”. I stopped by when I first noticed the shop was open and talked to the owner Scott Richardson. As soon as I walked in - it was pretty apparent that this shop’s identity is right in the BikeHugger niche. Swobo bikes, lots of commuter-specific gear, simple, elegant - lots of stuff just focusing on the beauty of the bike.
Hey - they’re open past 6! Most nights Scott is open until 8!
I’ve been in a handful of times with my son and each time Scott has something new to show me. It’s truly an adult bike-candy store. He uses all the stuff he sells, and so there is some crossover into the backpacking market.