A lot has changed for Mission Workshop since I first visited their retail space and design offices over three years ago. In that time, their bag range has doubled and their technical apparel line is growing just as fast. All of Mission Workshop’s bags are and have always been made in the USA, something few companies can claim these days. Most of their apparel is made in California, with a select number of jackets are made in Vancouver.
Balancing this growth isn’t always easy but it’s working. What began as a small nook off an alleyway in the Mission has quickly expanded to a lego-like composition of shipping containers and there’s no sign of the crew slowing down with the addition of their Acre clothing line on the horizon. Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery.
I don’t need to write some clever dialoge about how people love their local coffee shops. Since moving to Austin, the coffee options have grown considerably and one of the first people I met in Austin who really got coffee was Matty B.
For the past few months, he and Sterling have been working on Flat Track Coffee. They went from delivering beans to businesses and selling to individuals directly, to opening a small shop in Austin’s East Side. It’s literally three blocks from my house and has become a post-ride staple, as well as an afternoon pick me up.
Follow these guys on Instagram for some rad bike photos and check out some photos I shot in the Gallery!
Flat Track Coffee
913 E Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX, 78702
Tools of the trade:
Zeiss T* f2.8 28mm
Fuji Neopan 400
It’s hard to be around Shifter Bikes and not want to document what Dan does each day. Over the years, he’s become not only a mechanic for many of his customers, but a consultant. There’s only one way to gain knowledge and that’s through experience, something few people have the time for. While many people have naive opinions, Dan has callouses…
Tools of the trade:
Leica Summicron f2 50mm / Zeiss f2.8 28mm
Fuji Neopan 400
When FYXO moved out of the “hub”, Northside Wheelers moved in. Now nestled behind Shifter Bikes, Mal’s shop has expanded to almost three times the size of the old shop. He’s still stocking a lot of the same brands and even some new ones. In a shop like this, you spend a lot of time asking yourself “what’s for sale and what’s for show?” but that’s part of the charm. Check out some more selects in the Gallery!
This site has featured Shifter Bikes numerous times in the past and since arriving in Australia, I’ve already picked up on a few changes at Dan’s shop. Here’s a little preview showcasing some new accents that just so happen to be orange and black…
I’ll be setting up my desk at the shop while I’m in Melbourne, so swing through.
I feel like this goes without saying but Pearl Velo, Berkeley Supply Co and Avery County Cycles really left a great impression on me and just about everyone else who was visiting for this year’s NAHBS. These three shops have created a really admirable energy through their spaces and the shop owner’s faces.
Pearl Velo would fall into what I’d like to call a neo bike shop. While it is full-service, Tyler won’t hesitate to send work down the street to the larger shop. You walk in the doors and everything is merchandised with thought. Its surfaces are clean and orderly, so much so that you almost don’t want to touch anything, but you do anyway. Tyler sells everyday accessories from brands you trust, he carries complete bikes and frames from the manufacturers you probably ride and as previously stated, his own branded products are worthy souvenirs.
To top it off, Tyler’s father hand-painted each of the wooden signs outside the shop. They’re so beautiful that I had to shoot the first couple of photos in the Gallery with my Mamiya 7ii to capture the color and light just right. Check out more photos in the Gallery and shop info below!
Nestled in between Pearl Velo and Avery County Cycles is Berkeley Supply Co. Having opened last December, Eli has focused entirely on made in the USA clothing and accessories. For someone like me, who usually buys clothing when I travel (not a whole lot of options in Austin believe it or not), I was very impressed with the shop and environment Eli has created. Many of the brands he carries I’ve been wearing for the past few years and have had the best of luck with them. A lot of these clothes are what I would consider an investment, as Berkeley Supply Co’s slogan states “outfitter of things that last”.
Check out some photos in the Gallery. Find shop hours and info below.
The classics never go out of style, they just get a facelift, or in this case, a splash of color. In the years that Denver’s Topo Designs has been in business, they’ve striven for American-made portage that has a modern façade with a classic silhouette. All of their bags are manufactured in a LEED-certified facility at the foothills of the Rockies and while their bags aren’t designed specifically for cycling, they are versatile, durable and innovative.
I had the opportunity to visit Topo’s design and shipping facilities while I was in Denver and was immediately pulling out my card to make some purchases. From a new (out soon) backpack that stuffs into a pocket, padded laptop carriers (out soon), to their classic Klettersack backpack, nesting bags and even their accessories like the Web Belt and Liberty co-branded water bottle, I put a dent in my checking account!
I’ve honestly never purchased them before because I never saw anything Topo made in person. In this case, seeing and feeling was believing. With high-quality, wear-reducing cordura on the bottoms of their bags, you’ll have them for years with no issues.
For me, the best part about NAHBS is being submerged into the host city’s community and getting to know some of the local names. I first heard of Avery County Cycles through a video that I posted about a year ago. Josh seemed like a good guy, with attainable aspirations and a love for frame building. One of the things that struck me in his interview was his commentary on “more frame builders are a good thing”. That’s a weighted statement but in Josh’s eyes, and as something I can understand, having a local framebuilder that serves the local community is important. In today’s world, everyone orders frames from all over. You simply email in your fit information and 6 months later, your bike arrives. It’s great for business and no builder would ever complain about being busy, but that statement really struck me.
In the two years Josh has been building frames, he’s been catering to his local community. Starting out with frames for friends to practice his torch skills and moving up to a full fleet of single speed cross bikes for Pearl Velo. His space sits next to Berkeley Supply Co and Pearl Velo, just up the hill in Denver. The energy of these three storefronts is intoxicating. Honestly, the only comparison I can draw is how the old FYXO Hub and Shifter Bikes shared a space. A couple of motivated young men, looking to just do shit right. Josh’s work is very much localized to the Denver / Boulder area and he’s just one of the many faces building bicycles in Colorado. I honestly believe what he’s doing is legitimate and his community respects him for that. His work won the Rookie of the Year award at NAHBS, so he’s doing something right!
Check out some photos I shot of Josh working during my stay in Denver in the Gallery.
This one’s a bit off topic but I really wanted to share it anyway. While I don’t see PiNP covering content of this nature frequently, I do like to share it from time to time.
Over the years, I’ve met some truly inspiring individuals, especially since moving to Austin. The affordable living, great weather and creative energy harbors some incredible talent (but don’t move here). One of these minds that I’ve gotten to know is Maura Ambrose. I watched her go from working on a farm (literally), to taking a leap into self-employment, ultimately making a name for herself and her company, Folk Fibers.
She works right in her East Austin home and is quickly outgrowing her available space. Her hand-stitched quilts and pillows use natural dyes, drawn from native flora but you’d swear the colors and vibrancy were synthetic. Check out a few photos in the Gallery and see the latest offerings from Folk Fibers here.
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Prolly is not Probably started in 2006 in Brooklyn, New York. For over 6 years it has thrived as John Watson, the sole author, documents multiple facets of cycling. With the boom of urban cycling, Prolly is Not Probably has grown to be the number one blog for the culture surrounding it. In recent years, a large push for original content has spawned a steady flow of photosets, profiles and portraits.
Known for his A Day in 10 Photos, Merckx Mondays, Recent Roll, Shop Visits, and Beautiful Bicycles features, John continues to document bicycles of all kinds and his daily life through photos. Over the years, Prolly is Not Probably has been cited in the New York Times, COG Magazine, Urban Velo and other notable publications. In March of 2011, John moved to Austin, Texas where he continues to cover a cross section of cultural influences.