Velocult

About

Prelude

We started out as Velo Culture in 2006 but shortened the name to Velo Cult in the summer of ‘08. Our customers shortened it to Velo Cult so eventually we gave in and just changed the name to that. Velo Culture is French for Bike Culture and bike culture is what we’re about.

What all does Velo Cult do?

We are far more than just a bike shop. We work to be equal parts bike shop, venue, and bar. The bike shop you know so I will talk a little about the other two. We have a very large and very active venue space. We have a 80 year old castle drawbridge that we converted into a stage for live music. It spends most of it’s time up against a wall and when we have a performance we lower it down into a stage position. We have a few live music acts a week here. We also have a 100″ projection screen and full surround sound for films. We play a lot of films but we also open it up for other groups to play films and documentary’s as well. In our 5000sf showroom we have the majority of that space available for birthday parties, weddings, company parties, art shows, and whatever else people come to us with.

The bar is another of the major features of the shop. The bar is full size with 12 taps and about 40 bottles and cans. We have beer, soda, and wine. We only serve the best micro-brew beer and have a reputation for working with the best breweries. Down the center of the shop we have a communal table made our of an old bowling alley. That table mixed with the other tables and bar accommodates about 40 seated people. We encourage people to sit and hang out while having business meetings, doing homework, reading books, playing card games, etc.

The coffee bar is a recent addition to the mix and again we set the bar real high. We decided that we would make the best and nerdiest black coffee around. We will always have at least 4 roasters to choose from and they will continually switch up just as our beer selection does. These roasters will only be the best. We chose to do “pour over” style of coffee and really take it to the extreme in how we make it and serve it. We think it’s all in the details which is why we spent 2 months searching the internet for the best coffee cups ever made which were only made in the early 70′s. I won’t go into all the details about what separates us from other coffee shops but I promise you our coffee experience will be unique. Please plan to drink your coffee in house to get the full meaning of this.

About

The story of Velo Cult, where do I start. My name is Sky and I am the proprietor. I started racing on the Velodrome when I was 9 years old. Right after that I started racing road bikes, mountain bikes, cyclo-cross bikes, downhill, single speed and a host of other forms of bike racing. I did that through my mid 20’s pretty much full time and I loved every bit of it. I loved riding, racing and kicking ass. Being a racer the only cool job to have was working at a bike shop so that’s what I did. I started working in shops when I was 15 years old and really never stopped. I started as the wrench and then started working as the head tech and soon started managing bike stores (maybe 10 different shops in all). I can’t say I liked a single one of them to be honest. I did not like the way there were run, the way they treated customers, the way they looked, the way they treated their employee’s etc. It got to a point where I decided I had to be my own boss in which time I started an internet based business restoring and selling bikes online. This was a very fun and challenging time as it was exciting to control my own destiny.

After a few years of this it became apparent that I needed to expand out of my garage. I found a small place to operate out of in La Jolla just north of San Diego. Initially the idea was to run my on-line business in the shop and maybe sell a few accessories to kids in the neighborhood. Well, as it turns out the bike dorks loved this little tucked away shop full of vintage lugged steel bikes. The shop became much more popular than I expected it to.  I tried to run this shop like I’ve always wanted to see a shop run. Two years into this shop the decision was made that La Jolla was just too far from the heart of the bike culture we represented and our space was severely limited. We moved to our next location in South Park, San Diego very close to downtown. With this new space we set into motion all the fun neat things we’ve always wanted to do. Now we have a shop that primarily focuses on providing the best steel bikes, products and accessories available to our loyal customers. Velo Cult mainly represents commuters, tourists, randonneur riders and other subcultures of the cycling community. These specific genres of cycling are generally ignored by bike shops so we took them under our wing. We introduced a discount program for cyclists who use their bike for shopping and various local business’s have joined us in providing discounts to those cyclists who cycle to their business to purchase goods. It’s one of the way’s we tried to inspire San Diegan’s to ride more. More details can be found at SD Bike Commuter.

Our shop was built up in a way that showed permanence with custom counters, display cabinets, a sound system, a large projector for movie nights and a layout that shows we aren’t your typical bike shop. Ever notice how temporary and generic looking most bike shops are?  Regular events are held at the shop and you can find out more information on upcoming events on our Facebook page.

Our move to Portland was a big one. Myself and all my employee’s all felt more at home in Portland and really wanted to move there. Finally in the beginning of 2012 we were able to make that happen. Every last one of us loaded up and made the risky move to a new city. We didn’t have much of any capital but we decided it was something we needed to do. We barely squeezed by with building out the new 10,000sf Portland building by selling pretty much every bike in the shops collection one by one. With that the store only opened with a fraction of the product it needs but we were just happy to have made the move happen when on paper the odds were certainly against us. The shop officially opened March 23rd, 2012 in Portland with a large 400 person grand opening party.

This brings us to this web site. We felt that the culture we were building could be expanded to the rest of the country. We have managed over the years to pull together a nice collection of bikes and where better to display them than our website. We hope to help spread bike culture far and wide.

I myself represent a lot of different genres in cycling and my employee’s share that same passion. We don’t fall into the idea that you can only be a road rider or a mountain bike rider or that a normally spandex clad guy can’t enjoy a ride on a classy city bike on his way to the coffee shop. We love bikes and we ride them all from vintage mountain bikes to modern race bikes.