Magazine: Enjoy the Free Samples


Back in the day, when blogging emerged to disrupt traditional media, David Jacobs and I published blogs together with Movable Type. That was an era that helped change how business was done. Working together to publish a magazine last year, David and I changed it up again with a strongly independent, bike-centered focus. The spirit is the same as that early blog work on mobile devices, and ad-free. Compare us to an indie label that doesn’t want to sell out, but still reach a larger audience. David’s company, 29th Street Publishing, runs the platform that publishes our content for the iTunes Newsstand and mobile devices. Bike Hugger contributors supply it, and today we published a new sampler that includes our best writing from the first 20 issues. The samples are bundled with the free newsstand app that’s just been updated to iOS 8 (as soon as Apple approves it, update notifications will go out) and available on the web.

I hope you enjoy our magazine as much as we did creating it. For us, it’s like a fast new bike, taking us to even more interesting places.

To read the samples, sign in on the web or download the app from iTunes and then grab the Sampler issue.

That Cover

In those few moments when I spin down from the latest tangent that I’m on…talking and thinking a mile a minute, about the next big thing in bikes, a designer and friend Michael Pfaltzgraff articulates in colors and style what I was trying to say.


And when he shared the cover for the samples issue, I replied, “I wanna be draped in that and see women on catwalks wearing it this spring with strappy sandals.”


Michael makes my ideas and our contributor’s content look so good, just like he does bikes in the industry.

The Content


Yep we expect you to pay for our magazine content; well, not the free samples, but the rest of it! Please subscribe on iTunes or the Web: annual subscriptions are $16; individual issues are $4.

Your money directly supports the authors, photographers, designers (like Michael), and editors who contribute to Bike Hugger.

Issue 21 drops this week too.

NOW OPEN: Davidson & Kullaway Custom Bicycles

Grand Opening Party for DKCBikes on Friday night, February 20th!

Last week the brown paper obscuring the windows came down at an address in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, and in its place a small lighted sign made its modest yet glowing declaration for the new Davidson & Kullaway Custom Bicycles: “OPEN”

Forklift Day at DKCBikes

The casual passerby could have easily mistaken last Tuesday as business as usual at the corner of Stone Way and 35th Ave, yet those four neon letters mark the beginning of a partnership between two of the most skilled craftsmen in the Pacific Northwest….even more, they mark the day that Fremont became bike culture epicenter of Seattle. But before that chapter is written, let’s have a little backstory.

Bill Davidson has been a quiet icon of the framebuilding scene for four decades, the last three of which while a part of the venerable Elliott Bay Bicycles retail shop next to the Pike Place Market. As EBB came to a close last fall, Bill was eager to continue pursuing his lifelong passion of building bike frames for riders who appreciate quality. Instead of trying to replicate another full-spectrum bike shop, he would create a studio focused on fitting, building, and assembling custom bicycles, and he would find a location with better access for his clientele and a certain cycling ambience to the neighborhood. With him, he brought some tubing stock and frame fittings, the mechanical guts of the frameshop, and 40 years experience…and his bike mechanic/assembler from EBB.

Max Kullaway started in welding titanium frames for New England’s Merlin Bicycles in the early ’90s and moved on to Seven Cycles along with other key personnel when the former was bought out. Over the years Max would weld literally thousands of titanium frames, honing his skills to perfection. Ten years ago he relocated to Seattle. His talents developed a reputation amongst the craftsmen of the area, who sought him out to augment their own production. In 2007 he founded his own brand, 333fab while providing much of Hampsten Cycles’ titanium framebuilding. Also during this period, Max became the finish welder for Davidson titanium frames at Bill’s shop; in the process the two men would gain a mutual respect for their abilities and goals within framebuilding. When they decided to launch their partnership, Max brought with him his skill as the best welder in the region and a fresh outlook on framebuilding.

The 3425 Stone Way address in the Fremont neighborhood had previously been occupied by JL Racing, which sold both cycling and rowing apparel. The building itself is surely 80 years old, adopting a new character as necessary to suit its tenant, but local lore is that it was built as a machine shop originally. Thus the new framebuilding venture has returned the building to its roots as a house for American industry. Even as commercial and residential developments newly leap from the ground all about, Stone Way’s collection of paint, hardware, and building supply businesses reflect the culture of craftsmen that immediately appealed to Bill Davidson, but the neighborhood also permeates with cycling. The Burke-Gilman Trail, a trail crucial for both commuter traffic and recreational riders, is just one block away, and Stone Way’s wide bike lanes are the preferred north-south link between Fremont and Wallingford routes. Even though the triathlete-oriented Speedy Reedy shop moved out the area last year, four other shops catering to cyclists are either directly on Stone Way or one block off. Bill and Max’s new shop is just one door away the Fremont shop of Recycled Cycles, a full-spectrum retail bike shop. If one were to go east across Fremont Ave, two more independent bike shops, Wright Brothers and Free Range, sit either on or one block off 34th.

Davidson & Kullaway Custom Bicycles are now taking orders for custom bicycles. Unlike other builders who eagerly take orders that they have no hope of fulfilling within a year, Bill waited to take deposits on new orders until that sign was lit, and so far the riders have been steadily streaming in to cue up. Bill expects an 8 to 10 week delivery schedule. Max, who was not invested in Elliott Bay Bicycles, has just made his preparations to switch his production to the new shop; Hampsten’s titanium production will soon continue at the new shop as well.

You might be wondering,”If there are two builders under one roof, each with his own brand, who decides what bike the customer gets?” The answer is the customer. Max is an accomplished cyclocross racer and maintains a close connection to many local road, CX, and mtb racers. Bill has a strong customer base in the PacNW, many of whom have purchased multiple bikes over time or for different applications. However, the customer freely chooses which of the two designs his or her custom bicycle. When you step into DKCBikes, there is a showroom with a few examples of bikes and a large window overlooking the actual frameshop. A mechanic’s station straddles the partition between the showroom and the fitting area, but the shop’s interior and the frameshop are still evolving. Better to open the doors and then let the pieces fit where they need to.

It’s the same with celebrating the new beginnings: better to let the customers in and then have the party. DKCBikes will host a grand opening party on the evening of Friday, February 20th. Stop by and see what Bill and Max have created.

BMW i3 Drive to Ride

Tern and a BMW

Last week, Wired ran my feature story on the BMW i3

Yes, I know mass-market EVs have been around for four or five years, and there are several that are cheaper than the BMW. But the i3 is unlike anything else and it’s made of carbon fiber and it’s made specifically for an urban environment and …. and… Well, let’s just say it was the first EV that really grabbed me.

It did grab me and before that, I shared my initial drive reactions and a ride in the Medium Biycles Collection….

BMW i3 Drive to Ride

Back at Sea Level

Seattle Storm

Back in Seattle, riding at sea level, and wondering where @bokanev and @chrisriekert are climbing in Santa Cruz this weekend. Last Sunday, it was with me, and the bike media.

somewhere hazy in Santa Cruz

I’ll have more to tell you about that shortly, including the ride I did on an S-Works McLaren Tarmac. Vinde’d it, and a before that a few seconds in the Redwoods.

SXSW 15: Best Advice

Best Advice I’ve read about attending Southby is from my friend Shawn O’Keefe

You’ve gotta eat BBQ like there’s nobody watching, drink beer like you’ll never get fat, play in a band like there’s nobody listening… and keep Austin weird like it’s heaven on earth.

We’ve been doing pretty much that for over a decade and iterate each year. Plenty to share about 2015, when all the details are solid. ‘Till then, the premier of Cars v. Bikes is just one of the events going on….

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