Portland bike shops

I have been here now for 10 days and I am still impressed by the bike shops. The range of products, the level of quality, the service you get, all of that is never to be found in Sweden. All bike shops offer a stand you can use, tools, air, help, coffe, not to mention, parking, safety and everything you need. You can find so many brands but still the level is so high you get thrilled.

I love also the way shops helps each other. As i noticed in SF last year you never get the answer ” no no idea” as you get in Sweden when a shop doesn’t offer what you are looking for. They call, show you maps, go online: they do everything they can to make you satisfied, which is great service.

I also love to you can go the major bike shops just to hang out with geeks like yourself. Have a coffe, read some magazine, chat with somebody. Very nice way to meet people. All bike shops, and i really mean ALL offer also free maps of the bike lanes system and that’s great if you are a tourist.

I have visited around 10 shops, if I wanna see them all I still have 55 ;)

River City Bikes, Portland OR

River City Bikes, Portland OR

Wheel building at Sugar Wheels

Since i heard about Jude at the NAHBS in Sacramento 2012 I have been dreaming of meeting her. I could say from what she does that this girl is an energy bomb and a potential inspiration for somebody like me.
I do not want to twist this to “oh there are so few girl in the business” (even if I think so) i just mean that Jude is such a pro and she is so enthusiastic about wheel building that even if you do not know if a wheel is round or square you are going to love her class!
I was lucky. I just passed by to say hi and she had a spot for the next class. This is a chance once in a lifetime so even if I was doing my trainee at Chris King during the day and my mind was blowing off I just had to do this: a long life dream was coming true!

Three days, 4 hours (sometimes more) per day. And after that you just want to build wheels and learn more. We were four of us plus Jude and everybody made their own wheels, I did a set for a Portland based amazing company Sweetpea Bicycles which is Natalie and Austin Ramsland. (I love the description on their website that tells you that Austin is mostly candy for the customer).

Anyway. We went trough the whole process, all the tools (and when do you have a chance to try them all???) and Jude was around helping and answering questions but she let us do the work, do our own mistakes and on the third day we were done.

I cannot recommend this class enough: just do it! I know it’s in Portland, are you reading this you probably live in Europe men hey you have a chance to learn how to build wheels AND visit this amazing city, no excuses!

For more pictures head to facebook.com/bavabici

Jude the owner of Sugar Wheels and a very happy Bava(bici)

Jude the owner of Sugar Wheels and a very happy Bava(bici)

Living the dream

So what am I doing here in Portland? first of all I am here for Chris King. Chris King has been in my life for many many years before I was even thinking of starting a business. I have Chris King hubs, I have Chris King headset. I always wanted the best for my bikes and that is what Chris King is. So since I started to represent them in Sweden 2012 I decided that I wanted to see how these beautiful things are done.
So this has been a dream of mine for a while now and you know what there is never the right time, you never have enough money so I just decide after Eurobike that this is it, I will go to Portland.

SO now I am here. I have been in the facility almost the whole week and I feel at home. It’s an amazing place, it even better than I imagined it. And I will tell you everything about it when I get home but now I am busy learning how to service those beautiful hubs, headsets and bottom brackets.

I love Chris King!

I love Chris King!

Travelling with a bike point of view

I am trying to understand why this is such a bike friendly town and Stockholm is not. I am trying to understand what we could do in Stockholm to make bikes and cars have a happy life and how difficult could it be? So ok, you can assemble your bike at the airport, you can take your bike with you on all busses and trains. What more? Easy parking is definitely one thing. Everywhere, and I mean it, everywhere, you can find safe bike parking. And in many places you can take your bike inside. Big grocery stores offer free air, and sometimes even a workstand and tools. It rains a lot here so they have closets in the shops to put your wet stuff. Safe space with a lock. For free. If you rent a bike (which is quite easy and cheap) you can reach most of Portland very quick. The bike lanes are big, visible and cars yield for bikes. And bike for pedestrians. And they all live together no screaming, no pling plong on the streets, no unhappy faces in the morning traffic.

How difficult can it be? we need to put money on easy solutions and go forward step by step. We need to be proud to offer a bike friendly city to visitors and proud to use bikes as much as we can. But I get the feeling that most of the people getting paid to find solutions ride a bike maybe sometimes. In Portland everybody ride a bike. And that’s the only way to understand what we need. Take a bunch of cyclists and ask them. First step. The rest will come.

We love cyclists. Do we in Stockholm?

We love cyclists. Do we in Stockholm?

Portland!

So now I am here, the bike mecca of them all: Portland. I though some would find interesting to follow some of my adventures here so I will post now and then what I discover, like, enjoy in this town where bikes are more respected then cars.

You can feel it as soon as you land at the PDX Airport. Five minutes after you have plocked up your luggage you find a sign: BIke Assembly Area. A nice Park Tool stand is there and yes just put your bike together and out and ride. But i didn’t have a bike this time so I took the MAX train (2.5 dollars not exactly like the Arlanda Express …) and I am in town in 20 minutes.

It was dark and rainy so I just had some chinese food with Fabio and Michelle (they came here from SF to visit bike shops, Fabio works actually IS DZR Shoes) and then home. We have rent a small house the three of us in SE 12th street. Nice little house for around 100 dollar per night each. A little bit over my budget but nice to have aplace to start with some friends.

Let’s see if we can find a bike today!

Bike Assembly Area

Bike Assembly Area


Park Tool is there for you.

Park Tool is there for you.


Space for bikes on the MAX train.

Space for bikes on the MAX train.


First bike I see in Portland.

First bike I see in Portland.

Books time!

Yeah at BAVABICI we love books. We are very digital, we publish stuff online all the time but we really love books and magazine. The pleasure of being home in front of a fire (or in a tent, even better!) and read a nice book will never be replaced by a computer or a smartphone.

We thought our customers would like to read Rapha City Guides and plan for spring. We thought they would like to havee a little handbook on these trips, with all the basics of repairing and maintaining their bikes. We thought they would like to play cards with their bike friends and talk about bikes. So here you go with a good idea for Christmas’s presents!

Books Time!

Books Time!

Free shipping to Sweden in november

So, in a week I will leave Sweden for Portland during a 3 weeks period. This means that I will come back with a lot of ideas, energy and I will be able to offer service on Chris King hubs.

Nice people will help me send orders from the shop. It will be a little bit slower than usual but it will be free shipping on all orders to Sweden. This doesn’t include complete bikes, frames and wheels. If you want to buy a complete bike, wheels or a frame please contact me at info@bavabici.com and we will find a solution!

If you want to see what BAVABICI is doing in Portland, see what is inside the Chris King facility, how the HQ of Portland Design Works looks like and other bike related stuff follow my “adventure” on Facebook and Instagram.

Free shipping in Sweden in november!

Free shipping in Sweden in november!