Amanda Batty is a professional mountain bike racer and sometimes freelance writer. A little over a year ago she was embroiled in controversy after calling out a colleague for using a date rape metaphor in his review of a new bike. The fall out was swift and ugly and put Amanda on the receiving end of harassment and death threats. We spoke about her racing life, attempt to break into the highest levels of downhill racing, and the pervasive problem of rape culture and misogyny in the bike industry and culture at large.
The Bicycle Story theme music is by Will McKindley-Ward.
Posted in Bike Industry, Cycling Media, Racing, The Podcast
Tagged amanda batty, bike racing, downhill mountain biking, harassment, mountain bikes, pink bike, rape culture, women and cycling, women bike
Steve Smith, better known as Stevil Kinevil, has been working in the bike industry for over two decades. In that time he’s been everything from a warehouse shipper to bike messenger to pro circuit mechanic to product tester. For the last 10 years of that he’s been chronicling his exploits in bikes, art, music, and drinking … first on Swobo’s How To Avoid The Bummer Life blog and now on his website All Hail The Black Market. Stevil’s experience gives him a long perspective on how the bike industry and bike world is changing for better or worse.
Photo by Forrest Arakawa
Davey Oil in front of his family cargo bike shop in Seattle. Photo by Josh Cohen.
If you ride bikes in Seattle, you likely know a bit about Davey Oil. As co-owner of the family cargo bike shop G&O Family Cyclery he’s played a critical role in Seattle’s family biking boom. As a longtime bike activist, he’s worked for and been involved in Bike Works, Cascade Bike Club, the Bikery, critical mass and more. Having straddled the fence between the radical activist side of the bike movement and the insider-politics advocacy side, he has a valuable perspective on the growth of cycling-as-transportation in the city. I sat down with him at a coffee shop next to the Family Cyclery for a wide ranging conversation about his roots in activism, the rise and fall (and re-rise and re-fall) of Seattle critical mass, the mainstreaming of bike politics locally and nationally, the advocacy world’s struggles with diversity, the family biking boom, and much more.
Posted in Advocacy, Bike Industry, Interviews
Tagged bike activism, bike equity, bike works, cargo bikes, cargo biking, cascade bike club, critical mass, cycletruck, davey oil, diversity in cycling, family bike boom, family biking, g&o family cyclery, longtail cargo bikes, seattle critical mass, seattle cycling, the bikery
Bill Davidson in the new Davidson-Kullaway shop. Photo by Josh Cohen.
A few months ago, custom bike builders Bill Davidson of Davidson Bicycles and Max Kullaway of 333 Fabrication officially joined forces after many years of quiet partnership. One of the cool features of the new Davidson-Kullaway custom frame shop in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood is a picture window in the wall that separates the customer area up front from the workshop in the back. It allows customers to watch the pair at work building beautiful bikes. When I arrived at the shop last week, I did just that. Kullaway was behind a translucent screen welding up a frame. Davidson, looking like a blue collar scientist in his denim shop smock, was standing over a milling machine cutting tubes. Eventually, they noticed me standing there and Davidson joined me up front.
If you know anything about frame building, Davidson likely needs little introduction. He’s been in the business for over 40 years, which puts him in the company of just a handful of other American builders. When he got started in 1973 there barely was such a thing as a custom frame builder in the U.S. We sat down at his new shop to talk about his long career, learning to build bikes in the 70s, the evolution of the frame building business, his new venture with Kullaway, and more.
Posted in Bike Industry, Frame Builders, History, Interviews, Racing
Tagged 333fabrication, bill davidson, custom frame builders, davidson custom bicycles, davidson-kullaway bikes, frame builder history, george gibbs, mark pringle, max kullaway, seattle frame builders
Lauren Trout of Saila Bicycles. Photo from Saila Bicycles’ Facebook.
There’s something appropriate about a relatively unknown frame builder working under the name Saila (that’s alias spelled backwards). But though she’s not a household name, Lauren Trout’s got nearly a decade of experience under her belt building some of the world’s nicest titanium bikes. Those years rival or surpass plenty of big name builders with even bigger “personal brands.” Trout learned to wield a torch after getting hired as an entry-level finisher at Seven Cycles. She worked her way up to the production welding department where she spent years honing her skills building thousands of bikes. Last year she left Boston for Austin, Texas and went full time with her one-woman shop, Saila Bicycles. I spoke to Trout about her experience at Seven, striking out on her own, her long history as a bike messenger, the faddish explosion of custom companies, and much more.
Posted in Bike Industry, Frame Builders, Interviews, Messengers
Tagged austin cycling, austin texas frame builder, bike messengers, custom bicycles, lauren trout, new england frame builders, saila bicycles, seven cycles, women frame builders