Velo Cult, threw open its doors Saturday night for a big grand opening party and hundreds of people dropped in to welcome the new shop to Portland.
The event drew a large and diverse cross-section of Portland’s cycling celebrities, from U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Nutcase helmets founder Michael Morrow, to Chris King of Chris King Precision Components, Stevil Knievel of All Hail the Black Market and at least a half-dozen local framebuilders. There were racers, advocates, messengers, industry types, wonks, families, advocates, activists — you name it! I love when the many different facets of our community come together and it’s a testament to what Velo Cult is all about that they were able to draw this type of crowd.
Owing to Velo Cult’s mission as a meeting place and bike-cultural worship center, the new shop doesn’t try to sell you anything in the first half of the store. It’s all wood and open space. On one side there’s a welcoming bar, on the other are benches in front of the bike repair stands. Over the bar and the repair area is a jaw-dropping collection of vintage bicycles (just a small sampling of what shop owner Sky Boyer owns). Near the front windows is a seating area and a free photo booth whose pictures are automatically sent to the shop’s website (check out a few samples below).
On Saturday night a live band played (unfortunately they didn’t opt to be on the drawbridge stage that folds down from the wall), and I noticed a projector screened rolled up on the roof. Music, movies, a bar, a bike museum, hours from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm — in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is a different kind of bike shop.
Velo Cult owner Sky Boyer, standing behind the bar and looking over the thinned out crowd as the night wore on, said he’s, “only about 20% done with this place.” While there is product on the shelves and new bikes ready for sale, expect this place to evolve over the next few months. While he isn’t completely done moving in, Boyer needed to open the doors and his cash registers. Moving a bike shop (and employees) and completely renovating a 10,000 square foot space can take its toll on a small business; but Boyer’s commitment is rock-solid. This bike shop is more than a place of business for him. “This place is my baby,” he said with a smile.
Big thanks to the Velo Cult crew — Sky, George, Tom and Anthony — for the party and for working so hard to give our community such an amazing new place. Welcome to Portland!
— Check out video from the event put together by Velo Cult…