In our cyclist of the week, you might have already guessed that we're going to be featuring cool cyclists. We wanted to show you the cyclist behind the bike and a small look into their personal lives as well as how they got into cycling.
For our first cyclist, we have Amy Danger of Portland. She's fairly well-known in the cycling community and has been building some really great builds to drool over. We had the pleasure of getting to know her. Check out the interview below..
Where did you grow up?
I consider Portland, Oregon my home but I’ve spent considerable chunks of my life in Atlanta and New York as well.
When did you get into building bikes and why?
As a kid, my bike was absolute liberation. I had a sweet, sparkle-purple Schwinn Stingray with a flowered banana seat that I beat the ever-lovin crap out of. I lived in an undeveloped neighborhood in Atlanta. We built a BMX-style track on an empty lot (we had no awareness of BMX, just that we wanted to catch air) and we would shred daily. My childhood was defined by bike time, which offered independence and self-sufficiency. It broadened my reach and allowed me to roll deep outside of my neighborhood to explore.
Flash forward many years later, past high school, college and a few jobs, I accidentally rediscovered my love affair with the bike. I was hired to build a bike garage. I knew nothing about storing bikes securely, so I went to a local bike shop. While I was waiting for them to pull some hanging racks out of the back, I browsed the store and noticed a bike that looked really simple and elegant but had an enormous price tag of $2800. I was indignant about a bike with no gears and no brakes selling for that kind of bank, so that night I began poking around on the internet to figure out why. I learned about fixed gear, velodromes and track bikes. One week later, I purchased a Bare Knuckle and that started my slide into an obsession with all things fixed gear.
The bike is for me now, exactly what is was for me as a kid. It’s a break from prescribed monotony. I cycle to dissolve the regimented chaos of a really tough daily grind. It is my lifeline to authenticity and lawlessness (laws of gravity, laws of human flight, gender laws, traffic laws, laws of compulsory conformity) and a continual invitation to look more closely at the world around me. I am enlivened by being brakeless in an unpredictable world that insists upon restraint and control. Auto-pilot: off.
Where would you say is the best place to ride? Where is place you haven't been to, but always wanted to?
Biking is once again central in my life, followed closely by travel. The combination is supreme. I love biking in NYC, in New Orleans, in LA etc., but the most exciting biking for me is abroad. Istanbul, Madrid, Paris, Morocco, Budapest, Barcelona are some highlights. I look forward to exploring more east into Japan Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan. Russia, Ukraine, Romania also on the short list. I’m all about city riding--I’m not a road rider. I like being right downtown in the action. I like running with the bulls.
How do you take your coffee?
I take my small batch, locally roasted coffee with a side of Social Justice and Gender Equality.
What's your current build?
I have a collection of interesting track bikes that keeps me really busy sourcing parts and shifting builds around. I ride all of my bikes (except the few in my collection that don’t fit, like Mario Cipollini’s custom aero tubing Saeco Cannondale Track. Homie is huge). My “favorite” build changes regularly so by the time this is published, I’ll have moved on to something else. As of this moment, I am cycling between a 1995 Icelandic Green Cannondale Track and a 1984 Takhion Super Sport as my daily riders. The CDale is satisfying because every shred of energy you put into the pedal goes directly to the drive train. I love the responsiveness, the efficiency and how nimble it is in heavy traffic. The Takhion I love because it’s such an alien. The Soviet kevlar Fluidisks sound like a drunken drum circle underneath you! I love how low and lean it is. Not my traffic bike, but rides like a rocket on long straightaways. The wind is a bitch on double kevlar disks though…
For more with Amy, check out her Instagram.
We got more featured cyclists in store for you so check in weekly to see what's new.