Velo Cult was a central meeting place for bike lovers of all types. (Photos: Jonathan Maus)
Velo Cult owner Sky Boyer in February 2018.
Velo Cult — a bike shop, bar and community gathering and event space in the Hollywood Neighborhood — will throw one final party this Saturday. Owner Sky Boyer has decided to close the brick-and-mortar space to focus his efforts online.
Boyer moved his business from San Diego to Portland in 2012 and quickly became a major cog in the local bike scene. Velo Cult has hosted all types of events and meetings and the shop changed the bike retail landscape locally and nationally. In 2013, Outside Magazine named Velo Cult one of the top 10 bike shops in America.
In the end, it appears the complexities of running a brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce business, mixed with requirements for running a bar in a 10,000 square-foot space, proved too big of a challenge. [Read more…]
Inside the new Golden Pliers. (Photos: Jonathan Maus)
Owners Kevin Purcell and Becky Newman.
Portland’s newest bike shop quietly opened its doors on Friday. Kevin Purcell and Becky Newman are the people behind Golden Pliers, a small shop and cafe at 1451 N Skidmore (just east of Interstate) that will focus on repairs and carefully selected accessories.
Purcell is a former service mechanic at River City Bicycles and more recently, manager of 21st Avenue Bicycles, a shop that closed its doors last month. Newman is the owner of Makeshifter Canvas Works, where she handcrafts bags, apparel and other accessories — many of which are now sold in Golden Pliers. [Read more…]
We have so many great local bike shops and builders in Portland, and one of our main goals has always been to support them by spreading the word about their business and products.
Today we’re launching a new tool that will take that one step further. We call it the Bicycle Showcase. It’s a paid listing service ($150 per bike) and it’s a simple way for local bike builders and bike shops to spread the word about bikes they have for sale. Similar to our Job Listings, the idea is to get that triple-win we always strive for around here: Help local businesses thrive, support our work, and provide a helpful resource the community.
I personally love visiting bike shops and checking out the latest-and-greatest bikes. My hope is that this new service gives you the information you need to make a good choice about your next bike and/or just gives you an opportunity to ogle something cool during your lunch hour. [Read more…]
Sign on the door of 21st Avenue Bicycles. (Photo: Park Chambers)
Portland’s ever-changing bike retail landscape is taking another turn.
21st Avenue Bicycles, a fixture in northwest Portland since it opened in 2007, will close for good on May 12th. This storefront was previously Northwest Bicycles, which had been in operation since 1975.
Owner Park Chambers says he’s selling the building that houses the 2,000 square-foot shop and he’s decided the time has come to move on. Chambers, 48, told me in a phone call today that he suffered a stroke back in November. “Being paralyzed for a week” gave him time to reflect and he’s decided to simplify his life and focus on the two other bike shops he owns: Both of which cater to his main passion of mountain biking.
Chambers bought Fat Tire Farm, a shop on NW Thurman that specializes in mountain biking, in 1997. In June 2014 he opened Hood River Bicycles. He opened a suspension-tuning specialty shop called Traction Works in Portland in March 2016 and he moved that into the back of Fat Tire Farm last June. [Read more…]
Looking to get back in the cycling swing of things? Metropolis Cycles (2249 N Williams Ave) is hosting a free commuter clinic (that I’ll be teaching) on the first Monday of each month starting in May. [Read more…]
This Lil’ Honey was new in 2012, but is ready for a new owner now. (Photos: Madi Carlson)
Six years ago I scored a free 12-inch kids bike from my neighborhood mom group. It was the start of a journey — not just of riding, but of figuring out how and where to get bikes that work and that fit my constantly growing boys. [Read more…]
“We will no longer purchase products from companies owned by Vista Outdoors. We will be donating proceeds from the remaining inventory we have of Giro helmets to Everytown for Gun Safety.” — Leah Benson, Gladys Bikes
Revelations this week that several major bicycle brands are owned by Vista Outdoor — one of America’s largest sellers of assault weapon ammunition and accessories, and a staunch supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA) — has sent shockwaves through the Portland bike scene.
We’ve heard from several readers who now plan to boycott products from Bell Sports, Giro, Blackburn Design, CamelBak, Raskullz, and Copilot. But for bike shop owners who sell helmets, racks, packs and child seats, the issue is much more complicated. Some say they’ll boycott the brands until ties to the NRA are severed, others say they’ll steer clear of them in the future, and one was in such a moral quandary, they asked to remain anonymous.
Immediately after our story posted we heard from several Portland shops who said they’ll boycott all Vista Outdoor brands.
Clever Cycles, who doesn’t currently sell any Vista Outdoor products, wrote on Twitter that it’s, “Terrible to hear that a company pedaling child seats and safety equipment is also supporting an industry of terror,” and, “We are proud to not carry any products that @VistaOutdoorInc distributes.” Go By Bike owner Kiel Johnson shared that, “We won’t sell those brands either!” Mel Birgé who owns Recumbent PDX says, “I would never knowingly sell products from a weapons manufacturer. We didn’t sell Bell, Giro or Blackburn and now we won’t start.” [Read more…]
We’re very happy to report that that is no longer the case!
George Wilson, a former retiree who we’ve featured in the past for his bicycle advocacy in the Mt. Hood area, is opening Mt. Hood Bicycle this month in the Hoodland Shopping Center in Welches. Wilson is partnering with Kevin McCarthy on what will be a full service shop that will cater to locals and visitors alike. Both Wilson and McCarthy are certified bicycle mechanics and have decades of cycling experience between them.
We contacted Wilson via email today after reading about the shop in the Mountain Times. He said they’ll have a soft opening January 16th and are planning a grand opening in March. [Read more…]
Oregon’s infamous $15 bicycle excise tax goes into effect in just 20 days.
On January 1st, bicycle retailers across the state will have to be registered with the Department of Revenue (DOR) and have systems in place to collect and record the fee. To help make sure shops are ready, DOR has sent notices in the mail and has set up a website with more information.
We’ve been in touch with many Portland-based bike shops to hear how they’re feeling about it. So far we’ve heard a range of opinions. Some shop owners disagree with the tax in principle and/or have concerns about how it will impact their business, while others don’t think it’ll be that big of a deal.
As for the tax itself, the first order of business from the State’s perspective is to educate retailers. In a letter (PDF) sent to shops on December 4th, the DOR laid out the basics of the tax and offered answers to several frequently asked questions. [Read more…]
Holy Spokes on Division is no more. (Photo: Holy Spokes/Instagram)
To sustain a small bike shop has never been easy. If you did it in the past few years during this downturn in the U.S. bike industry, it was even tougher. That’s just one lesson we can take away from three shop owners in our region that decided to close their doors last month: Holy Spokes on SE Division, Portland Bicycle Studio/3928 Bike Shop on N Williams, and Orenco Station Cyclery in Hillsboro.
All three of these shops opened in the past three years.
Tim Ennis openedHoly Spokes at SE Division and 31st in July of 2014. It was the brick-and-mortar version of his Rolling Wrench mobile bike shop business. The neighborhood shop focused on repair, daily riders, and carfree families. On November 10th he announced to customers on Facebook that, “The time has come to close our doors. It’s been fun but it’s time for new adventures.” We reached out to Ennis to learn more about his decision but have yet to hear back. Holy Spokes is now having a closing sale. Check the shop’s website for the latest deals and updates.
If you were a Holy Spokes customer, check out A Better Cycle (2324 SE Division St), Seven Corners (3218 SE 21st Ave) or Joe Bike (2039 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.). [Read more…]