Our imaginations were born on bicycles.
The bike was a physical manifestation of our first creative dreams: dragons, rockets, and horses.
The bicycle is the first machine we learn to control. It’s our earliest example of personal style, competition, and envy.
We fall in love with the bike when we are young.
And then we grow up…
And something terrible happens:
We get too cool…
Or too rich… or too fat
Or too busy…
Or too hot or too cold…
Or just Too Adult to ride a bike.
The bicycle fades behind your mental curtain, waiting for you to find a bike and re-engage the engine. To remember what it feels like to ride downhill with a smile.
A LOT of us are trying to find a way to get back on a bike and have fun.
But how do you do it?
Have no fear…. You don’t have to do it alone.
Let me introduce to you the Pusher and the Monks.
The Pusher is the guy in your community who is constantly fixing bikes. Maybe he makes a little money selling a bike every now and then, but he never seems to ask for money.
In truth, it’s not about the money. He might use that as a cover, but it’s really a deeper love story.
He Pushes Bikes.
He Pushes the Possibility, the ease of REPAIR, and the love of maintaining your own bike.
He fixes bikes, in service to RIDING BIKES.
My Pusher got me back on my bike, which helped me return to health and happiness, to the Cruise.
My Pusher’s name is Matt. Prior to Matt, my chain came off my bike at full speed, which sent me to the ER with exposed bone on my elbow.
In response, Matt set GAVE ME and INSTALLED a set of super-bad-ass chain tensioners for my single speed black beach cruiser. I have not had a chain jump off a cog (and no exposed bone) since.
The second time Matt saved me, he took apart my coaster brake on my beach cruiser bike. He explained it with a wizard’s mystery, like he was explaining the artificial heart of a mystical lion.
“These things are so simple.” Wizard smile, “I find them too fun.”
Matt is a legit “Iowa Nice” dude.
Matt is always selling bikes, probably losing money because he loves bikes so much.
He sometimes volunteers at the local bike shop. Not kidding.
Matt fixed every bike we owned (3). He completely redid my kid’s bike.
He’s a Pusher Man.
A Bike Pusher. (Cue the swanky 70’s music)
One day, we were talking about replacing my coaster brake and crappy wheels, he said – like Yoda, “Go see Thaddeus at Goldfinch Cyclery. He’s like a ‘bike Monk’. He can help you where I can not.”
Over the 20/21 winter, I took my bike to Goldfinch and said, “Make it awesome.”
And they did.
And it was The Great Cruise.
They replaced almost everything on the bike: wheels, coaster brake, bottom bracket, cranks, and pedals.
They eventually sold me a new saddle and seat stem, leaving the frame, bars and forks as the only remaining parts from the original bike.
What’s more, they were totally cool to me.
If you go into your local ‘Road Bike Shop’, they want you to get rid of your cruddy bike and buy a $5,000 bike. And that’s fine. Just not my scene.
Often, the bike shop is just an extension of the gym locker, where everyone is posturing, measuring manhoods.
Bro, it’s not your bike that’s fast, it’s the human pedaling it.
They sell expensive bikes at Goldfinch too. The difference is The Stoke.
They are Stoked about bikes, bicycling, and the lifestyle associated with riding bikes for joy.
They are overwhelmed with business. They have very few bikes to sell because everyone wants a bike.
Yet EVERY time I go in there, they welcome me to their church. It’s remarkable.
They want to spread the Religion of the Spokes. The Romance. The Joy. Find your own Cruise, man. Monk-y.
I lived in the mountains of Colorado for a decade, pushing snowboarding. Goldfinch is like a tiny bike shop pulled from Main Street Breckenridge.
It feels like home.
The (Sleeper) Beach Cruiser Bike
I’m not a ‘parts’ guy. I am an experience hound.
I want riding to be fun.
Other people ride bikes for other reasons, that’s TOTALLY FINE. I just want to ride a bike for joy and exercise.
Which is why I loved finding Goldfinch.
If you travel the world, sometimes you stumble upon a local shop that feels different, the vibe is relaxed, the air feels special, and the smiles are genuine. You want to be part of the story of this place.
That’s how it feels in Goldfinch.
It’s like visiting a secret mountain church where the monks are also making kick-ass wine. The monks know everything there is to know about their religion AND wine.
They take it seriously, but they love it in a way they hope you will be wise enough to understand – someday.
It’s like that, only with bikes.
My remodeled Beach Cruiser rides like the fuel-hauler-semi-truck in a Mad Max movie – long and nimble, yet surprisingly fast. It’s brilliant in deep carves, it flies up long hills, and smiles down all hills.
It’s the single greatest thing I own.
If there is a heaven, I hope I get to ride that bike for eternity.
Thank you to the Pusher and the Monks.
In Cruise We Trust
Got the bike back on February 18, 2021. But it was still beyond freezing in Iowa!
- Question: How do I find my own Bike Pusher?
Answer: Ask a friend who is into bikes, “Hey do you know anyone who is obsessed with bikes, but is ALSO a cool person?
- Question: How do I find my own bike shop, like Goldfinch?
Answer: Go visit. The longer the hair of the people working at the bike shop, the more CHILL they are. If you get a bad vibe, leave.
*This is NOT an ad.