I work hard because you don’t care to.
Kicking things off, after an exhaustive two minute search, I couldn’t for the life of me find the post in which I declared my fool-proof key to a bike shop’s success, which is also summed up in this artistically rendered black and white photograph of a couple’s burgeoning love affair;
Now while not being a dick seems like a reasonably simple directive, I’ve also not only worked in my share of bike shops, but darkened the door of a few as well. In that time I’ve concluded that as an employee, you only get what you give. More often than not, not being a dick seems well out of some people’s reach.
Perhaps they took heed of my words, or had drawn the same conclusion over the years, but the proprietors of San Francisco’s Huckleberry Bicycles not only subscribe to that credo, but use it as a manifesto.
It was just last week when I finally stopped in to see my old friends Jonas and Zack (who was the assistant manager of the last shop I wrenched at, over a decade ago), and poked around their astonishingly beautiful space;
Besides the environment of the shop being welcoming, (upon walking through the doors, and with four pairs of drop bars strapped my back, I exclaimed in my best crackhead-ese “DO ANYBODY WANNA BUY SOME HANDLEBARS?“, the fellow at the front counter just smiled warmly), the space is open, bright and at the risk of being condemned for being a hippy, packed with positive energy. Regardless of the business in question, you can tell when its employees are apathetic, or worse, miserable.
The folks at Huckleberry struck me as a group who were genuinely happy to be doing what they are.
“So, what’s the secret to their success?” you might be asking… Especially if you happen to be the proprietor of your own shop. Well, according to this article that was recently published in the Atlantic, they’re not even sure.
What they do know, is that they’re truly committed to what they’re doing, and are proud to be a part of the community that (for better and worse) thrives just outside of their front door.
And speaking of their immediate community, while there, I asked Zack if they had been in to visit their neighbor yet;
Which for those who don’t know, is possibly one of the world’s sketchiest strip clubs, and naturally one that I have a story about.
Many years ago, the anti-celebrity known as Loudass had a bachelor party, at which a number of us were present. After a night on the town, we wound up at the Market Street Cinema. Upon entering, the first person I encountered was an individual who looked reminiscent of Three’s Company’s Chrissy Snow, but if you were on six hits of gutter acid.
Wearing a lime green super stringy one piece, and with solid black contacts in her eyes, her measurements were in the neighborhood of 42 22 48. Shaking off the vision, I swiftly scurried into the performance room which held a large stage, and a long catwalk that separated banks of sparsely populated seats.
In a line, five or six rows back, we all sat down to take in the trainwreck that was unfolding on stage. Touching as little of the floor and our chairs as possible, we sat in awe through a performance, and warily eyed the glazed Ren-Fair looking sweat pants guy in the front row. The next dancer came out and immediately locked on to our position. What happened next was nothing short of total chaos, as she came up to whoever was sitting closest to the catwalk and attempted to dip her horrid bits on them.
I don’t know how many of you have seen the animated version of ‘Watership Down’, but there’s a scene where the rabbits are being gassed, and are franticly crawling through the confined passages of their hollow in an attempt to escape the poison. Their eyes are filled with horror, as they claw over the dead bodies of their compatriots in a desperate attempt to find safety.
This is what I saw as I looked to the right, the stripper being the poison gas and my friends being the desperate rabbits, piling over one another in order to get away from it.
Emerging back into the cool night, we shook the shivers from our spines and vowed never to return.
Anyway, with that being said, Huckleberry is an awesome shop.
Let’s get on with other matters, shall we?
Just after exercising the previous demons, I cleansed my mental pallet by looking through Rick Hunter’s Flickr page and I came across the following illustration he got from Chris Wright for an upcoming t-shirt;
You might recognize Chris’s work from various Swobo designs, and more recently my own Ike Lee offering;
Chris does indeed do some exquisite work, and I look forward to proudly wearing the effort which he’s created for Rick.
Finally, in closing, I have a heads up from two people who are both named Ben. The first being one of the two heads from Handsome Cycles out of Portland East;
Their ball promises to be a ball, and if you’re in or near one of the Twin Cities, mark your calendar.
The second notification comes from all the way across the pond and details an event that promises to be both bikey, and dirty;
Any chance of plugging this event?
I’m not running/organising it just riding it, but reckon it will be pretty fun.
I’ve been trying to find a nice online flyer type affair but to no avail. There is a trailer video on the site, for audio-visual blogging purposes;
Take it easy,
So there you have more information that one would care to shake a stick at.