I am writing this from super hot Colorado. Roshni and I just spent 6 days in the San Fran bay area checking out bike shops, eating amazing food, trail running and visiting friends and family.
The Mission Bicycle Company - a shop focused purely on custom built urban bikes. Customers can choose all the details and they make the bikes in the apartments above. Not sure how well this would go in Dunedin, but in this sensationally hip fixed gear community neighbourhood, perfect !
Big Swinging Cycles - A downtown San Fran shop selling Yeti and other boutique bikes. Has heaps of character and Brian the owner remembered me from old racing days, as we had come into one of his old stores for a signing session once! He told me the last Yeti demo day they hosted they did over 100 demos !!! Yikes, come on Dunedin - we need to get more of you out on Yetis!
Velo Studio - thirty minutes north of San Fransisco is Mill Valley, which is now a pretty posh little suburb. Sitting drinking a coffee and watching the riders go past, I had never seen so much Rapha clothing, gravel bashers, Moots and other really boutique expensive bikes. And I also never visited such a high end shop as this one... no bike under $7-8K I reckon. Massive range of Moots, Parle, Independent Fabrication and a few others. Full range of MAPP clothing and super nice workshop area.
Spokes - And I have left the best for last. A total random find, we spotted this little shop and I couldn't help but notice the big red Copenhagen wheel from a distance. Entering the store, it was pretty cluttered space and it was full with probably the best range of kids bikes I've ever seen in one shop... and random cool stuff which I'd never seen before. Brian the owner (pictured above) and his wife turned out to be some of the nicest most genuine people ever.
They run a Family Bike Collective non profit aimed at encouraging more families to get into cycling and they had some great brands and ideas on selling kids bikes (stay tuned Dunedin!). They also were at the cutting edge of e-bike technology, being one of the first dealers in USA to sell the Copenhagen wheel (which Roshni and I got to test ride down the streets of Berkley and it-is-awesome). He was also making special bikes to fit very very tall people, like over 7 foot people with 32inch wheels. Recently he had sold one of these to Shaquille O'Neil ! I guess that makes them legit, right ?
All in all, it was an inspiring little tour. We also visited some of Roshni's favourite food places (Tartine and Chez Pannise to name a few).
Next stop, Colorado and the Yeti Tribe Gathering in Crested Butte...