Pic from defiance bicycles
Since moving to Tacoma last year I’ve been visiting around the Local Bike Shops. Started with Spoke & Sprocket in University Place (which has now shut down), then visited my friend Joe at Performance Bikes, but they’re not so much Campagnolo focused. The crew at Tacoma Bike were amazing, always super helpful (between making fun of my vintage bikes) and even tuned up my Gios for free. Recently a bike shop opened up near my house, Defiance Bicycles. Chris (don’t have a last name) moved down from working at shops in Seattle to open his own store and so far things have been going quite well. I almost always see another customer there when I visit and Christ has been super helpful.
With my recent handlebar issues, Chris was willing to let me (borrow) a couple of extra stems to find the one that fits properly. I have the extra one in my bag right now. I didn’t have to make any deposit (of course he has my Battaglin right now).
I highly recommend giving him a visit with your next bike service. He’s a pro. Visit them at defiancebicycles.com
I’ve been looking for ways to upgrade my Gios. The mechanic at Tacoma Bike told me all the Campy stuff I have on my bike is essentially crap. In spite being Chorus (which is typically the second highest quality in the Campy line – equivalent to Ultegra for Shimano) the brake-levers don’t do anything and the early Syncro shifters only really work in friction mode. If I want to have a real race bike I have to do something to sort this out. My solution: upgrade the system to Ergo levers. This solves the brake lever issue, gearing problems and moves the shifter-controls up to the hand, so I don’t have to keep finding the down-tube. I was shopping for anything basically: 8, 9 or 10 speed, knowing that only the 9 & 10 speed are interchangeable. For a few weeks I existed only on ebay to make other sellers more money. I just couldn’t afford to drop $200+ on a pair of levers, with a derailleur and wheel-set still needed. I found these eight-speeds for quite a bit less, committed myself and now I’m shopping some more.
I found myself sat around the map. A natural gathering place I’m drawn to. Sitting in the Harmon Hub, to my right and opposite me are David and Ken, both local bike activists working with the city to create a bike-friendlier Tacoma. As we pour over the map we’re exchanging ideas, pointing to new routes, discussing issue areas. I learn a lot. I now know enough to brave venturing not just over the Narrows bridge but also beyond. They assure me that the roads over that way are going to be a lot more like the ones I miss from Madison.
The mention a few development points. A bike boulevard running north-south next to Yakima Ave, an extension to the Scott Pierson Trail that will connect to downtown (hopefully) & better bike access along Schuster Parkway (unlikely, but necessary). It’s fascinating seeing Tacoma from different eyes: new commute routes, shortcuts, and leisure rides. Apparently it’s “a lot better then it used to be,” but I find that that’s typically true of all of Tacoma.
Bike Valet Parking
I get a contact for a local morning group-ride. No luck with the Saturday AM Tacoma Bike ride, but one day I’ll just have to figure out my schedule and tag a long. A bit later we have a raffle and once again I’ll have to wait till next time to find my first win. Outside I pick up my bike from the Bike Valet Parking, provided for by REI and watched by the 2nd Cycle guys. Quite fancy.
Spotted this custom-built Pereira touring frame on the way out. Very nice.
It wasn’t the public forum I was expecting, but the Meet-up was valuable all the same.