Hey there, y’all. I’m Ellen, one of the mechanics here at Broadway.
This is the absolute busiest time of year at the most bike shops (especially in New England, where everyone and their mother is so relieved by the warm spring weather after long, brutal winters that destroy bicycles). But, while I’ll be away from the shop for the next month, be sure to visit my incredibly dedicated coworkers — Kate, Tommy, Suzanne, Joe, Colin, Justin, Bettina, Jace, Susanne, and Chantal — who are covering for me. Instead ofwrenching, I’ll be biking down the Pacific Coast with my partner, Erica.
Erica and I met on a bike ride, testing out a route for a bike camping trip with the local femme/trans/women advocacy, wrenching, and social group Femmechanics (they also partners with us to host a free open shop time called Grrrease Time once a month at Broadway).
Erica has just finished her 5-year term as the Director of Fundraising at Bikes Not Bombs (BNB). We at Broadway love BNB.They also serve bike commuters (but mostly on the other side of the Charles River), they pick up all our donations and recycling, and we love seeing their truck full of volunteers roll up outside our shop once a week. To celebrate the end of such a fulfilling job, as well as her 30th birthday, she and I are going to bike camp down the Pacific Coast because … well when else do you get the chance to do this?
Caption: In the Arnold Arboretum testing out our soft goods: panniers, frame bags, and the hammock we’ll sleep in along the way.
Normally it’s a 1,600-mile venture, and most people do it over the course of 2-3 months. We only have a month, so we’ll probably have to hop a few trains and buses to cumulatively skip about ? of the coastal bike route.
We’ve built up our own bicycles from bare frames –she an All-City Space Horse Disc and me a Soma Double Cross — custom painted them and rigged them up using gear at Broadway or scrounged from the BNB donation bin. We’ve put in countless hours at both shops after they’ve closed, and we think we’ve made machines that will get us from Seattle to San Diego and see some rad trails in between.
Want to see how it all goes? We’ll be posting regularly here and on Instagram (@broadwaybikes and @ellenmelooon) with updates from the road: what breaks or wears out, secret trails we find, the humans we meet along the way, and what 8 hours of pedaling every day teaches us about this weird world we live in.