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  • Minori Sanchiz-Fung

Get to Know Our Crew

In the shop's first blog post, we wanted to take an opportunity to spotlight members of our awesome team. This past month, we all spent some time reflecting on some of our formative memories with bikes, and are excited to share more about why we love what we do.


SAM MOSBY

What is one of your first memories on a bike?

Me and the kids next door would make trails in the woods and build really sketchy features all along them. Anything from little tables made of plywood and old tires to berms that were barely even noticeable. We also would make irresponsibly big jumps and hit them at way-too-fast of speeds. Nothing like massive huck-to-flats on a budget Walmart bikes.


What is one of your most memorable rides?

Riding up near Mt. Rogers in the Grayson Highlands Area of Virginia. I did a 16 mile loop on some beaten up horse trails with members of the NC State mountain bike team. After a weekend of bad racing we decided to do this loop just to get out on an adventure. It ended up being 16 miles of rutted out trails with serious hike-a-bikes. But even with the super technical ascent, the views from the top and sense of getting lost in the woods made it one of my most memorable rides.


What upgrade/add-ons are you looking to make in the next year?

Other than the upgrades made to the drivetrain as parts wear out, the big upgrade I want to make in the next year would be to get a new suspension fork for my Habit. I accidentally scratched my stanchion on my fork this past season and even though it is just cosmetic I would like to replace it with something new. A new set of Fox Factory 36 in the factory orange would be mint as a nice splash of contrast as well as a serious performance upgrade.


BRETT VILLENA

What is one of your first memories on a bike?

Growing up, I lived in a cul de sac full of children, and I have many memories us all spending entire afternoons sprinting to the top of the hill and racing back down and around the driveways on our basic, single-speed kid’s bikes.


What is one of your most memorable rides?

One of my most memorable bike rides is when I rode with Team Hibernian during the 2014 Bike MS 100, in New Bern, NC. This was my first ever century on a bike, which was a big milestone for me at the time, and I got to spend a whole weekend in and around a beautiful city riding with my pop and meeting a ton of awesome people.

What upgrade/add-ons are you looking to make in the next year?

This Spring, I’ll be getting my first adult hardtail mountain bike, and I intend to spend a lot of time getting comfortable riding on that new platform and figuring out what works for me beyond what it comes with out-of-the-box.



LELAND FOSTER

What is one of your first memories on a bike?

When I was 5 years old, my dad taught me to ride to ride a bike without training wheels. We had this Dyno BMX bike from the 90s that we slammed the seat on. At the time the bike felt humongous. Anyways, we started at the top of the cul-de-sac, and he would run with me a little bit and then let go, and I could coast downhill. I remember the exact moment I was upright on my own.

What is one of your most memorable rides?

I took a bike trip to Taiwan with my fixed gear a couple of years ago. One of the days involved a pretty solid climb into the mountains, and I was quite nervous, both for the ascent and the descent. Had I brought the correct ratio? Was I strong enough? Was I going to have to walk some of the pitches? The climb was switchback after rolling switchback through the jungle, overlooking the Pacific during a light mist. It was remarkable, and a day that I couldn’t replicate if I tried.

What upgrade/add-ons are you looking to make in the next year?

My newest bike is all but “done.” In the future I would like to swap the front hub for a SON dynamo to power a front a rear light for long distance bikepacking and racing, but currently I can’t imagine needing another part or upgrade. As for the bikes that I want to build and purchase in the future, that’s a whole other paragraph or three.


STEPHANIE DOUGLAS


What is one of your first memories on a bike?

One of my first few memories of biking would have to be riding around Salem Lake with my grandparents. As a young kid, that 7 mile loop felt like it lasted forever and exploring the wildlife of the lake was always a treat. We would stop halfway for a picnic and that quality time with them is something that I cherish now as an adult.


What is one of your most memorable rides?

One of my most memorable rides wasn’t even on a bike of my own. I was on my first international trip, which landed me in Valencia, Spain. The city had a bike share system, which I had never experienced before, as very few US cities at the time had those implemented. I remember being so thrilled to be able to instantly hop on a bike and go as far as my heart desired. Obsessed with the city’s street art, I cruised around for hours, captivated by every alley and with no real care in the world, (a luxury of the many protected bike lanes, also a novelty).

The sense of childlike curiosity and exploration that I felt made that type of ride more memorable than some of my fastest, longest, or hardest rides.


What upgrade/add-ons are you looking to make in the next year?

I am looking to get a bike that’s more suited to explore the gravel world! Ideally, I would love a carbon Topstone 5 and I'm digging the purple they’ve spec’d on it for 2021. I also think getting off paved roads would be a nice change of pace.




EVAN WILLIS


What is one of your first memories on a bike?

My earliest memory with a bike definitely involves some scuffs - but you’ve got to pay to play, eh? My dad took me to the cul-de-sac and we were going to give the no-training-wheels & push-start thing a good effort. It all started off so well.. I was cruising in a gradually widening circle and laughing my little kiddy brains out. The circle kept getting wider and I kept peddling faster to try and bring myself upright. Suddenly I saw white.. The white of a mailbox.. Sprawled in a flower bed and bawling. That’s when I knew bikes were for me.


What is one of your most memorable rides?

My most memorable rides took place when I was on a big road trip after finishing up with my undergraduate studies at NC State. I was at a coffee shop chatting with this dude in Missoula, Montana and talking about how bummed I was that the entrance to Glacier National Park had closed for the season. This is when he mentioned that bikes could go around the gate and there was no snow on the ground yet! I had a full two days in Glacier and could count the number of people I saw on a single hand. I cruised around the lakes and then I climbed for an eternity up through Crystal Pass to Going-To-The-Sun Mountain. I sat up, took a deep breath, and coasted the whole way back down.


What upgrade/add-ons are you looking to make in the next year?

Twenty-twenty was a whirlwind of cycling upgrades for me! Minori welded me a frame in February and I got my Dura-Ace groupset upgrade in September. The last piece to my lifer is a new wheelset; I've got my eyes on some Ksyrium Pro's or a custom lace-up! Aside from components, I would love to continue expanding in the direction of touring and bikepacking - so hopefully this year includes some light-weight kit for camping!


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