Gestalten’s Velo & Mission Bikes
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Most bicyclists ride for a specific reason—as a mode of transportation, a good workout or just for fun. But others ride because it’s their passion. And for these die-hard pedal pushers, Velo was created. Velo: Bicycle Culture and Design from Gestalten is a striking visual journey into the multifaceted world of cycling and the diverse tribes that inhabit it. The 240-page tome chronicles bicycles and their riders in all shapes, sizes, speeds and styles.
Editor Sven Ehmann, an avid cyclist himself, created the book as a celebration of cycling as a broad, democratic cultural phenomenon. Ehmann’s favorite bicycle moments? “I like observing the bike polo players in Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side, as well as the older Italian men climbing the alps in neon colored pro-gears. I like the fact that the guys who I used to get my coffee from drove a custom-made Hufnagel bike and that all around my neighborhood, you see those massive Dutch family bikes with a large basket for kids and groceries in the front.”
Velo: Bicycle Culture and Design, $45, www.gestalten.com
Zack Rosen, founder of San Francisco-based Mission Bicycle, started his company as a result of the lack of bikes made especially for city-based cyclists. He chats with Design Bureau about how his bikes are made and his favorite place to ride.
How did you come to start Mission Bicycle?
In San Francisco, there is an incredible community of cyclists that build highly customized, light, sturdy and beautiful machines. Those bikes inspired us to start a shop that could get these city bikes in the hands of everyone who wanted one, but didn’t have the know-how to put one together themselves.
How are your bicycles created?
Every bicycle is assembled individually for each customer with the parts and colors they choose. We designed our frame with a local frame builder Eman to be light, durable, and responsive. They come bare-metal from the factory, and we powder-coat them in whatever color strikes our customers’ fancy. We build all of the bicycles up in our shop on Valencia Street in San Francisco.
Do you have a favorite place to ride?
My favorite accessible ride is over Hawk hill and back here in San Francisco. I start in the Mission, bike up through the parks, over the Golden Gate Bridge and then up the big hill to the west. At the top, there is an amazing overlook of the city. Then, you can bicycle down the backside, right into the Marin headlands, passing the ocean and cliffs on the way back to the city. It only takes a couple of hours, and it is breathtaking each time.
By Emily Goligoski
Photos by Robin Chubb www.bricoleurbanism.org