A DAY IN THE LIFE OF STUDIO VELO: 2015 IN REVIEW
- Bike builds, The Jensie Gran Fondo & SV:Travel -
No one needs to tell you that 2015 came and went in a flash. The old adage, “time flies when you are having fun,” seems to be more relevant the longer we thrive in this world of bicycle retail, travel and culture. As we ring in the New Year, we here at Studio Velo have been reflecting back on what made 2015 so special to us, and we hope, you too.
The year began like many others over the past decade, dry and brisk but with little rain. As Tahoe struggled with little to no snow, the Bay Area basked in dry, unseasonably warm days that welcomed lots of miles on the bike. From a record number of custom commuters to countless custom and stock gravel grinders, from Di2 mountain bikes and state-of-the art road machines, Studio Velo hummed with one professional fitting after the next, resulting in world-class bicycles from all genres. By the end of the year, we celebrated these countless gems with the annual Bike of the Year contest and the rest was history.
By the time Spring rolled around, the shop was humming with activity, from the SV/dZi team race-day stories to the celebration of the Studio Velo long-standing Sunday ride, including the Marin Classic Loop rides. The community strengthened further with ASSOS’ sponsorship of the SV coffee bar, where we celebrate all things cycling post ride on Sundays along with many, many espressos throughout the workweek. Have you been by for an espresso on ASSOS? We invite you to come by and enjoy an espresso on us.
As the miles began to add up* so did some important training goals, few bigger than preparation for The Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin.
*Chris Reed, for example, climbed over 700,000 this year, impressive for a guy who works the hours of a tech start up.
By late spring, it was official: Studio Velo would be one of two principal partners, for, and the creator of, the first-annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin, possibly the most important cycling event in Marin County. As many well know, Studio Velo has been a long supporter of The Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC), and it was with tremendous pride to help create an event that directly benefits the organization, both financially and in awareness and promotion.
With a team assembled at our new Sausalito office, working diligently on the Jensie, the SV:Travel division prepared to embark on another season of cycling adventures in Europe. After a private cycling trip to Piedmont, with a focus on drinking fine Barolo wines by night and riding long hilly routes by day, the summer season began with the annual Girona estate trip in early July, followed shortly thereafter with our best trip yet, a 7-day tour to the remote, culturally rich Friulian Dolomites.
To seek out quiet roads, to eat unique regional cuisine and to experience international intrigue is the cornerstone of SV:Travel. 2015 proved to be nothing less than extraordinary. Unlike most years where we rotate from one region to another, from northern to southern Spain and from northwestern to northeastern Italy, 2016 will take us back to Friuli. Like Tuscany and Umbria decades ago, Friuli possesses such ride uniqueness and epicurean rewards that as we approached the end of 2015, we had already reserved the Friulian trip for the summer 2016 cycling adventure of the year.
By mid September, it was all Jensie, all the time. The Sunday ride continued to grow, as riders sought extra miles and new challenges in preparation for the big day ahead. A limited edition Studio Velo jersey hit the shelves and new bikes hit the road and trails weekly. The store was constantly abuzz. Social media continued to confound us, while our focus continued to be on you, our valued customer. The British-American crew worked tirelessly into the final hours leading up to The Jensie and by the time October 10th arrived, it was an electric time around Studio Velo. By the time Chris, Colin and I celebrated a victorious day over one final beer at the expo area with Jens, it felt like the year must be over, as a culmination of efforts by all made 2015 feel complete with more than 2 months left to go.
To the joy of many, by early November it was becoming quite obvious that the much talked about El Nino year was finally upon us, as regular rain and heavy wind became the norm. The “storm door” was open and for most cyclists the focus turned more towards making the first turns of the season and less on wet, cold rides around Marin. Thanks to a large, diverse and hardcore rider base, however, the late season holiday rush continued all the way until Christmas, bringing cheer to all, and helping Studio Velo close another profitably year in the ever-challenging small business of bicycle retails. While some shops came and went, some passing from one owner to the next, Studio Velo stands proud to be under the same ownership and management team since its inception. Read more about our 10-year anniversary here.
As we look towards the 2016 season, it’s hard to forget how many great moments were experienced by bicycle, how new friendships and ride buddies continue to grow and enrich our cycling community, and how our custom and production brand partners continue to push the frame construction business to new highs, bringing us new technologies and designs that awe us and reward us with each mile ridden. To be a part of all of this is to be a part of Studio Velo. We are proud you are part of this family too
From all of us here at Studio Velo, we wish you a Happy New Year and a prosperous and rewarding year ahead.
Studio Velo Crew