Posted on October 28th, 2009 at 12:11 pm.
[This story was written by Mark Reber]
Portland’s emergence as a hub of bike manufacturing seems new and shiny like the paint on the bikes at this week’s upcoming Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. But the area’s provenance as a leading force in the bike business has its roots, just like the roots of the builders themselves, in its early pioneers.
No one understands this better than Andy Newlands of Terra Nova Cycles (a.k.a. Strawberry Cyclesport). He started building bikes when leather was the preferred material for helmets. I talked with Newlands recently about those early years.
“I graduated from the University of Washington with a Civil Engineering degree in 1970,” he explained. “It wasn’t exactly the best economy for finding a job in Seattle, so I started looking at what I might do to earn a living. Somehow, building bikes came into view.”