Nike x Levi's 511 Skateboarding Collection with Omar Salazar
Levi's and Nike have released this quick preview of their upcoming 511 Skateboarding Collection. Rooted in the same marriage of style and sport as the popular Levi's Commuter Series, the line will add skate-centric details to the 511. The video features Nike SB pro Omar Salazar, whose ability to mix old school tricks into an aggressive style fits well with the theme of classic brands continuing to innovate. The 511 khaki is my go-to skate pant, so I'm stoked to see what details this collab brings to the table. -Angelo
Levi's Bike Shop Tour: Dominic's Update October 10
The buzz was palpable as the Levi's Bike Shop rolled into Portland for the grand finale—an epic three day stint with the Oregon Manifest, a competition to design and build the ultimate modern utility bike. The who's who from the custom bike builder arena had all come together for the constructor's challenge in the bicycle mecca that is Portland.
The bicycle is worshiped in PDX like Pope John Paul in Poland. Non-believers have no place, and know to get out of the way.
As pious as they are, make no mistake—Portlandians know how to enjoy themselves. Our pre-party kick-off at the super swank Lizard Lounge shop quickly turned into a kegger, brewed by local enthusiasts.
We had to pace ourselves.
We managed to make it out in one piece for the next day's open house at PNCA, an unveiling of all the competing builder's masterpieces, each a unique expression of the ideal commuter bike for the 21st century.
Eccentric ergonomics, built-in locking mechanisms, and cargo carrying fit for a FedEx delivery man. In fact, package pick-ups was part and parcel of the Manifest's Road Test the next day. All challengers had to ride a 50-mile test course on their commuter invention, including a 3,000ft climb.
Levi's was well represented on the ride by Josh, Andreas, and Billy "Souphorse" (all wearing 511 Commuters of course), and they could attest to the intensity of the mountain pass.
The masses flocked to the Chris King Factory on Saturday for the finish line celebration. King's offshoot Cielo Cycles was not only a competitor in the challenge (they placed 3rd), but also the maker of our much adored custom bike on tour with the shop.
As Manifest fever grew at King's, the Shop was mobbed by revelers at the finish line, and we had an excellent view as expectant attendees crowded around for the competitors nearing the end of the long and winding road.
The favorite (and last year's champion) Tony Pereira streamed in ahead of the pack, popping a wheelie as he crossed the finish line, blaring a Led Zeppelin track from his built in bicycle stereo system. The Best of Show award appropriately went to the consummate showman, who accepted his giant check placard in a purple bow-tie to match his electrified commuter dream machine.
Shannon and Jocelyn, masters of ceremony and architects of the Manifest, bid the crowd farewell after all of this year's Manifest awards were announced. (You can see the full rundown here.) They were fantastic hosts all weekend long, and kudos to all the builders for incredibly innovative work.
For us, we too had reached the end of the road. (Sniff sniff…) Through smog, swamp, dust, field, salt, rock, and sand, this crew made the ultimate commute across this great nation. It was a fitting end in Portland. We got serenaded out by Bon Iver in the middle of the woods on the outskirts of town and then cruised down Burnside for one last night out with new friends.
Our tour was over, but the shop is in it for the long haul. We shall ride again. As always, stay tuned @GetInTheSaddle, and keep it rollin'.—Dominic
Levi's Bike Shop Tour: Dominic's Update September 30
After a few days of downtime in LA, the Levi’s Bike Shop Tour was feeling refreshed as we headed up the Gold Coast to San Francisco for a hometown party in Levi's Plaza. Capricia's SoCal nostalgia had been satisfied and Errol and Dustyn's beards had been tuned-up.
Up in the Bay Area, a circus awaited, except it was one filled with fun and sexy people and not clowns. For the hometown celebration, the Levi's extravaganza pulled out all the stops. Many of Levi's own employee commuters got in on the action and the Bike Shop was welcomed by a bunch of new friends with some tricks up their sleeves.
For starters, the SF Bicycle Coalition greeted anyone who rolled up to the party by bike with free bike valet and a bike wash. Everyone left the party cleaner and shinier.
Spinning like mad in the center of it all was Cyclecide's "Cycle Powered Rodeo." Stationary bike peddlers made those brave enough fly around in the air and giggle like they were kids again.
On the tailoring front, Capricia had the support of some extra nimble fingers, and the trailer was bustling with sew happy madness.
Errol and Dustyn also worked it hard all day, and were relieved to have some extra mechanics from Pedal Revolution on hand to help tackle the tune-up hungry crowd.
Next to the shop, the Goldsprint races commanded an audience. A series of competing riders faced off on stationary track bikes, and the top 10 times made it to the finals for a showdown, with a $500 cash prize on the line for the fastest legs in the Bay. The DJ laid down a fresh soundtrack for each race and kept the party rolling.
Dustyn challenged Errol to a race.
The ground rules were simple. No weapons. Our mechanics set their hex wrenches down and prepared for battle.
Levi's Bike Shop Tour: Dominic's Update September 21
After a month since the launch of the tour, with over 20 stops and 8,000 miles, the Levi's Bike Shop rolled into LA for another full weekend—all systems go. It was a non-stop fiesta.
Featured LA artist Geoff McFetridge's winged patch was flying everywhere: on shirts, hats, bags, and pockets. It was a hot item all weekend long
Space 15 Twenty came prepared for the party, and the PUSH/PULL: Art and Cycle gallery show (curated by Space manager Stephen Stonehill) connected the dots between the Bike Shop outside and the courtyard concert events within. It features displays by Flying Pigeon, Golden Saddle, and Micheal Kim's traveling Bicycles photo exhibition.
Inside, the crowd packed in tight, eagerly anticipating the electrifying concert to come from High Places and Liars. They were juiced by Patron's open bar, which came back with custom Commuter drinks and popsicles.
The venue was over capacity and the back to back shows shook the walls. After the bands had left the stage and revelers took to the night, the crowd continued to envelope the Shop and kept the party going even later. The Bike Shop rolled on with a steady flow of traffic, and busy hands tuning and tailoring into the night.
The next day we were back at it again. The Bicycle Film Festival's Street Party downtown brought the noise, and plenty of bikes to be serviced. We had four mechanics working non-stop, as BMXers performed tricks alongside the Shop on sprawling ramps. A crowd of all ages packed the overflowing lot.
Riders were coming straight off the ramp to the Shop and then right back into the arena, working it like a pit crew.
Tricked out bikes sparkled in the sun and bicycle jump rope kept it hopping.
As the crowd slowly retreated, the Shop packed up again and prepared itself for the road to San Francisco, where an even larger party awaits.
Follow along with us for the end of the Levi's Bike Shop Tour @GetInTheSaddle!—Dominic
All good things must come to an end, but that doesn't mean that we won't be going out strong! The final four stops on the Levi's Bike Shop Tour are this week and it's your last chance to experience all the tour has to offer. San Francisco and Portland, it's your turn to Get in the Saddle.
Levi's Bike Shop Tour: Dominic's Update September 15
Salt Lake City was busier with commuter bikers than we expected. We worked it hard in SLC. After we closed up the Levi's Bike Shop Tour for the day, our mechanics demanded that we swiftly shove along to the Bonneville Salt Flats and its international speedway on the other side of that huge salty lake. They had a score to settle.
We took our wheels for a spin out there in a barren expanse of white. The primordial salt crust from this place is still caked on our tires. I like to think its got healing properties.
As cool as the place is, there's something very eerie about the flats. Almost extra-terrestrial. Definitely worth checking out, but we do not recommend staying at any of the hotels in the area. We’ll leave it at that.
After exhausting ourselves on the hard packed salts, we carried on to the Cali coast with many more miles to go. As we sped off, we attempted one parting feat—a land speed record for a 20' trailer. Our shark fin roof made all the difference as we scorched the speedway. The dust is still settling.
Levi's Bike Shop Tour: Dominic's Update September 13
Since we left the flatlands, the stops have come fast and furious on the Levi’s Bike Shop's road West. It’s been an adventure for sure.
Boulder was the first stop in our Western expansion. It's incredible how you can drive for an eternity along the flattest route imaginable and then all of a sudden a vertical wall greets you at the Great Divide. We were ready to cross over and climbed into Rocky Mountain territory.
Boulder natives take their bicycles seriously, and we saw some rugged sets of wheels at the shop that day. We recruited local bike advocates Bikes Belong and Boulder B-Cycle to join the party, and the rowdy Cruiser Ride came through all aglow as night befell the Shop's set-up off Pearl St.
Night biking in Boulder is a sight to behold. Almost everyone in town seems to have a headlamp handy for night rides on the mountain trails. They also bring the mobile party en masse, which was great because we had cause to celebrate—it was Capricia's birthday.
She got her birthday wish.
Biking populates just about every aspect of life in Boulder, including the beer. This signage at Oskar Blues Brewery is a lot like the One on One shop sign we saw in Minneapolis, only swap coffee for beer, and re-direct man's trajectory toward a buzzed, wheelie popping monkey.
Saloons are a tired rider's best friend, and also a wayward traveler's. We couldn't resist this place, and almost lost Errol there.
Just as we were really starting to enjoy ourselves, it was already time to leave. We had a long winding tour through the Rocky Mountains ahead of us, with our sites set on Mormon Country, Utah.
Levi's Bike Shop Tour: Dominic's Update September 6
Visiting Nebraska was a first for everyone on the Levi's Bike Shop Tour, and we didn't really know what to expect other than corn and casinos—which are both plentiful. But in Omaha, people are starting to get pretty psyched on bikes, too.
We set up at UO Saddle Creek, in the famed Saddle Creek Recording complex. Plenty of lively characters popped by with their two wheeled machines, and lots were sporting bikes from Green Street Cycles, a local most-favored shop that's definitely doing its part to spread the good news.
The girls at UO (Missy, Dani and Heather) took good care of us and brought the party—beach blankets spread out and all. They also rocked a couple of mean old twin Schwinns.
Before we knew it, it was time to leave again. We couldn't even stay for this Riverboat Casino gem: "Omaha Steaks presents Meat Loaf." Check out that window of free beer. Our loss.
The Bike Shop is barreling toward Boulder to team up with Boulder B-Cycle and People for Bikes to rock the hills. We’re gonna have to borrow some mountain bikes.
For more on the road updates follow us on Twitter @GetInTheSaddle! -Dominic
Levi's Bike Shop Tour: Dominic's Update September 1
With the Windy City behind us, the Levi's Bike Shop rolled into Minneapolis on Saturday with some hype. Last year Minneapolis was named Best Bike City by Bicycling Magazine, unseating Portland as the assumed favorite. We had to see for ourselves what all the fuss was about and met some savvy locals to help us figure it out.
After we set up shop by the UO Uptown store, the guys from One on One Bike Shop rolled over in loud fashion.
Rubbing it in our faces.
Geno and Hurl definitely knew a thing or two about a thing or two, and broke it down for us plain and simple. Minneapolis is a four seasons bike ready city. When the snow dumps down hard on Minny, they plow the bike lanes first, then the streets. That alone says a lot about the dedication the city has made to support cyclists all year round. And these bike lanes are more like bike highways, set away from the roadways with their own bridge systems, crisscrossing through the city. We took them for a spin, and it is a never-ending tangle of merriment and efficiency.
The guys invited us to their One on One shop the next day to check it out before we skipped town. We were glad we did. Bikes and coffee go pretty well together.
An enlightened evolutionary perspective.
We met up with their elder statesman Namond aka the "Satanic Mechanic" (a name someone called him once and he just rolled with). Sounds scary, but he's really just hell-bent on saving old bikes.
One of the best beards we've seen so far.
Namond brought us down to his lair. The basement of the shop is appropriately his domain—a foundry of bicycle restoration piled high with salvaged frames, parts, and priceless oddities that were very clearly "Not for Sale." I had to pry Errol and Dustyn out of there before it was too late. They were getting sucked in.
As we closed up Shop in Minneapolis, we met a couple of touring road masters heading from Seattle to Nova Scotia. They were obviously psyched to find a free tune-up and a few Clif Bars from the shop. We cleaned them up, tweaked their rides, and sent them on their way. For us, it was off to Omaha on a long, flat journey.
The Levi's Bike Shop Tour has finally reached the West Coast! Catch the crew this week as they being the final leg of the tour.
Santa Barbara: RSVP Here Wednesday, 9/7 Stearns Wharf (1118 East Cabrillo Boulevard) 4-8pm
Los Angeles: RSVP Here Friday, 9/9 Bicycle Film Festival 4-8pm
Saturday, 9/10 UO - Space 15 Twenty (1520 North Cahuenga Boulevard) 5-9pm
All stops are free and open to the public! Stop by for a tune up and some tailoring. Don't forget to check back here for more updates, photos, and stories from the road. Follow along on Twitter @GetInTheSaddle.
The Levi's Bike Shop has already rolled halfway across the country and the crowds keep growing. By the time we reached Austin, TX we realized we were going to need bring on one more to join Errol, Capricia, and I on this whirlwind tour.
As luck would have it, our man was waiting for us at the Urban UT Campus lot as the shop rolled up, asking if he could help the day of our pit stop in Austin. Little did he realize he was about to get recruited.
Dustyn, one of Urban Outfitters' own and a mechanic from Fast Folks, was a natural for the job. Dustyn has jumped right in to work opposite Errol and help sort through all the roughed up bikes. He has an infectious enthusiasm about bicycles, loves helping people figure out what's wrong with them, has a natural gift of gab, and a penchant for arm wrestling.
Dustyn taught this young rider how to put on her own bike bell.
We're off and running now as a four person team in Chicago, and gearing up for a group ride in tonight's Critical Mass.
Today is also Dustyn's birthday. Happy Birthday pal and welcome to the team.
The bike scene is especially curious down in New Orleans, where engines are fueled by the influences of the bayou. It's definitely a scene in Marigny (on the fringe of the French Quarter) where we opened up the Levi's Bike Shop last Friday.
Nola runs real hot and sweaty this time of year. Everything is a beat slower. Swampier. You get used to it, then have fun with it.
As soon as we landed on Frenchman, the tires started rolling our way. Sure enough, the crowd of people flocking to the free shop bloomed as the afternoon progressed to early eve and the night hawker street came to life. The shop was about to get slammed.
To help us out with a large, laissez-faire crowd of free wheelers, we had the support of Plan B, a community bike project who specializes in repairing, restoring, creating and customizing bicycles of all shapes, sizes, attitudes and eccentricities.
Tracey Brown (Plan B) fixin' on a free bell.
Errol stared at the back end of a whip pretty much all day.
Capricia was swamped with patch orders.
Throughout the day, most of the folks who swung through in the lively "locals only" Marigny district were true to form, brimming with character and often toting brown paper bags brimming with other stuff.
The Big Easy certainly marches to the beat of its own funky drum, and many of the bikes there have evolved to cater to the particular needs of particular individuals.
Seamus, and his trusty "Train," which transforms at night into the Sweet Street Symphony. Our brass bike bell was the latest instrument to climb aboard this crazy train.
This father-son tag team had it pretty figured out.
No small child to be found aboard this trailer tri-wheeler, but I'm sure he's got some pretty cool stuff back there.
Amzie and "Fred," a three-wheeled enigma born out of Plan B's bike shop.
This dude came bearing what's known as a "scraper bike," a phenomenon started by the Trunk Boiz in Oakland, which has apparently crept its way south to New Orleans. Errol was pretty psyched to see one of these, something he hasn't seen outside of Cali. We're on the lookout for more.
After a couple days of steeping in the mid-summer New Orleans sauna, the Bike Shop lurched out of the bayou and is drying out as it winds its way through Texas and Oklahoma. Saddle country also runs hot. It's just drier.
Our next stop is Chicago, and we're hoping the winds are blowing hard. We're going to pay a little visit to Wicker Park, where more characters await.
The road has been good to us so far, as the Bike Shop winds its way through the Deep South. So deep. We've officially made our first stop at a Waffle House and we've crossed the line where White Castles become Krystals. We also made a pit stop at the notorious Flea Market on our way through Montgomery, AL. We were amazed to find out it actually exists. And it is, in fact, just like a mini... mall.
Here are a couple other things we've found out on our Southern journey:
1. Asheville, NC is an incredible place to ride. The hilly terrain makes for a roller coaster ride, and the mountains really are "smokey." The mist enveloping the hills on the horizon makes the whole landscape totally surreal.
2. Atlanta has a very diverse bike scene. We saw a lot of action at the Urban store in Ponce de Leon. Atlanta is also just as hot as advertised and we couldn't drink enough water. Our water jug was a vital resource.
We've also met a lot of great people down here. Here are some of our top Photo booth pictures of the week from our Southern leg. And with each image, a Southern value:
Bike T-Shirt of the week:
Currently, we're edging closer to New Orleans, and there's no telling what may happen down there. Stay tuned...—Dominic
"Fresh on the heels of our launch in NYC, the Bike Shop rolled into Philadelphia for a 2-day stint in Urban's hometown.
On a very warm Thursday afternoon, we set-up shop at City Hall as commuters of type pedaled up with their bikes eager for a tune-up. Bravo to the businessmen on bikes, clad in suits and ties.
To manage the masses, the Bike Shop was honored to welcome the legendary Philly bike builder Stephen Bilenky (Bilenky Cycles) who worked the other side of the bench across from our mechanic Errol. Bilenky has been setting the standard for custom building for over 40 years, and he brought along a couple of his cycles for show. I caught Errol staring at them longingly.
The next day we hiked it over to the incredible Urban Outfitters complex in the Navy Yard, with converted industrial buildings situated alongside hulking ships and grassy plots filled with smiling people. Bilenky joined us again for round two, but my eyes had now turned to the lovely gals from Little Baby's Ice Cream—bicycle powered summer treats! I don't know what their secret is, but the Earl Grey Sriracha was the best ice cream I've had in recent memory.
Throughout the afternoon, the Urban denizens came out in full force, and their enthusiasm was infectious. They presented us with some tall orders... a few junkers ("old souls") were brought back to life as best as anyone could. Meg and Mia brought over an Indian rickshaw from Anthropologie. It's a beautiful relic and we had quite a bit of fun with it, but in the end it was best left as "art."
On the DIY side, I found several of the ladies getting innovative with the custom tool pouches, coming up with new designs for cell phone holstering and getting playful with the stencil bin.
The special request of the day came from Urban's Stephen Loidolt, who brought over one of the UO community bikes—we tricked it out.
Thanks for the warm welcome Urban, and for a really fun day. It was sad to leave that sanctuary as the sun went down, but the rest of the tour beckons. On to DC and Asheville, NC."—Dominic
Last week, the Levi's Bike Shop came straight to us in our hometown of Philadelphia. The crew stopped by the Urban Outfitters' Home Office and spent the afternoon fixing our beloved bicycles, giving us the chance to see the shop up close and personal. We got our hands on some stickers, patches and those super cute bike bells, which you could hear ringing throughout the office for the rest of the day.
Don't miss the shop when it comes through your part of town! Here are the stops for this week:
Photographer Jeff Luker's work with Levi's on their newest campaign is finally out! We've been looking forward to it since our UO City Pages: Portland feature with him. See more of the campaign and read about his take on things at his blog, Stealing Horses.