A man with glasses and an apron walks toward the back of a bike shop, carrying a Specialized kids' bike. He is followed by the boy who presumably owns the bike, and a man, perhaps the boy's father. Minutes later, they return in reverse order, heading toward the front of the shop. Must've been either a flat or simply air for the tire.
go back to my reading. I'm browsing Privateer magazine. This is one
of the few places on the East Coast to carry copies. Maybe the only
one. No matter. I take a sip of my Stumptown coffee. From Portland. OR . Also not available elsewhere nearby. Or on this coast, for that matter.
I look down at a cyclist
standing nearby, and see NYC VELO socks. Y'know who's really into that
shop? Kaiko Shimura, who's been interviewed here before. My eyes rise
from the socks and there she is, in the flesh. Oh. I say hello and
This is the Ride Studio Cafe experience,
and it's a new one for me. I look up to the ceiling a little later,
and see a bike I think I recognize. I ask the aproned shop employee who
carried the bike earlier- is that one of the bikes from the Seven
Cycles catalog? Yes, indeed it is. Different saddle, though (it had
custom painted fenders...). I'm starting to get the feeling that this
place is special. I pick up a copy of Embrocation Cycling Journal-
another magazine that you can't just pick up at your local Barnes and Noble.
yet RSC is unassuming. Customers bring their own bikes in the front
door and hang them up on the "parking lot" rack. Each orders a coffee
or espresso. One person sitting at the bar near me overhears
a conversation about a young cyclist heading to Europe in the summer with a tour
group. 'Hey, I work for them,' she says. And so it goes.
Its location in downtown Lexington certainly doesn't draw
much attention to itself. There's not even a large sign like the
other establishments on either side. As a matter of fact, the stickers on the window
actually come together to say Ride Studio Cafe only once. The door to get in says only "Ride Studio".
as such, RSC becomes just the kind of 'people who know' center of
culture that cafes have been throughout history: In Paris, In cycling
capitols like Boulder, Colorado, and here in Lexington.
and that shop employee helping the young boy with his bike? He's Rob
Vandermark, founder of Seven Cycles, firmly assured of his place in bike
history, and he's interviewed in the elitist magazine sitting in front