• 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. 

    For more on the road stories follow us @GetInTheSaddle -Dominic