My history on a bike is one shared by many of us; childhood freedom, exploration, then fitness and transportation. I was a bike messenger in the late 80's/early 90's in NYC (for Primetime, and later Meteour, until I got hit by a car on Broadway and 23rd Street). As much as I rode, I shudder to think how little I knew about my bike back then. I got “into” bikes after mine got stolen in 2008.
With great encouragement from my friends at Team Lope in SF, I decided to build a bike to commute to my job as an Architect on Wall Street.
3 things happened:
The first 2 years in my backyard were a blur. I bought a 10 x 10 metal shed (which BikeSnob christened the "Bike Meth Lab")
Work commenced day and nigh, through rain and snow. There was an endless parade of people who felt the same way I did about working with one's hands.
In late 2010, a storefront opened up a mere 1/2 block form my house. we decided that if we were ever going to make this backyard idea into a shop, this would be the chance to do it. The day we moved it, I realized it was too small for the amount of work coming in. In late 2011 we found a great space in Gowanus, which is where we sit today. In 2013 I left my full-time job as an architect to run the shop full time.
I do what I do without arrogance or attitude, and run my shop the way that I would want my family to be treated. In addition to the bike thing, I also teach at Pratt and founded a non-profit that teaches lacrosse to city kids (www.brooklynlacrosse.org). The shop is open full-time, thanks to my good fortune of having the best staff in NYC.
I think that these gigs really round out my teaching/creative/athletic/mechanic life.
Thanks for having a look, it is greatly appreciated
We don't have a sales staff...its just us. We stock the shop with the things that we use and believe in. Sharing these experiences with our customers is our "pitch".
Joe started 718 Cyclery in his backyard in 2008. Joe has been an architect for the last 20 years at some of the biggest firms in Manhattan. He left the office to make the shop his full time thing in 2013. He also founded a non-profit called Brooklyn Lacrosse, The last Van Halen album Joe recognizes is 1984.
Alfred grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and lived there and in Maine, New Hampshire, and Chicago, Illinois. He moved to New York from Cambridge when he was twenty-three and he’s been here since. He’s interested in all kinds of bike stuff. He likes a challenge, and he’s food-motivated. Alfred believes that Michael Anthony is the key to the whole Van Halen operation.
Aaron glides around the shop, whistling classic Van Halen ditties like "Ice Cream Man" and "Big Bad Bill". He says those songs remind him of a simpler time, when Van Halen were just 4 guys looking to make their mark.
Andrew started turning wrenches on bicycles in the golden west in the golden nineties because he took to heart the timeless adage that "a punk's gotta have a trade" and bicycles seemed like the fairest. Many miles and wheel sizes later he still believes a well designed and tuned bicycle is one of life's great joys. He also believes anything by Van Halen from the "Diamond" Dave era is all killer, no filler.
Colin is 27 or like 28. He rides bikes. He works at a bike shop. The convenience of this is not lost on him. Although a "little heavy on the keys", Colin has come to accept Van Halen from 1986 to Present.
"...and he do"
Hope is a record store refugee whose entire adult life's been spent passive-aggressively telling people what to listen to and making self-indulgent playlists to soundtrack every cycling excursion. Believes that while not up to the standard of Van Halen's first 6 albums, there are tracks truly worthy of everyone's time on David Lee Roth's first 2 solo LP's.
Greg has 3 responsibilities at the shop:
Staff Emeritus (aka "Fallen Angels")
Its hard to read Dustin. You just can't tell which Van Halen brother is his favorite (If his notebook scribblings are any clue, its Alex!)
Elori is pretty cool. Waaaay cooler than any of the subsequent front-men Van Halen had after David Le Roth. She's as cool as Michael Anthony.
Steady "Steadman" D'Angelo was left on our doorstep, carefully swaddled. In the ensuing 18 years, he has learned a few things about bikes. No one sells more Schwalbe Marathons or orders more Breakfast Special #108's for the guys than Steady. Steady believes Van Halen is some sort of graphic novel or iPhone app.
Clay is from the norther part of Southern California, and was introduced to mechanic-ing at bike co-ops up and down the coast. His interests include bike camping, vintage Bridgestones, generator lighting, psychoanalysis, and teaching Jackson about heart break. He has been 700x23 free for over 5 years. Clay's opinion on Van Halen is unknown, probably because no one has asked him yet.
NYC Pubic School math teacher by day, Meredith credits Eddie Van Halen's ability to hold a grudge as an inspiration for her focus.
Carrot has been more "paws off" since she became a manager and began working from home. Carrot's favorite toy is an Eddie Van Halen guitar chew-toy.