Thoughts on Rivendell Bicycle Works.
Jerry Smith (Producer)
This film is about a small quirky bicycle shop that flies its own flag and navigates the world with its own compass.
A slice of life for those that are interested in local happenings. Those that want a glimpse into the world of newly crafted old style bicycles, and the people that make it happen.
Objective of film.
To show a slow poetic take on the real life happenings of RBW that gives hope and makes you feel good about the people that make up the company.
Acoustic folk, slow and medium paced.
The film’s style will be that of a collection of memories and thoughts, outside of real time, except for the ending, where it is brought to the present situation. Set in a warm, light tone, with melodies of folk acoustic guitar and cheery bicycle sounds. It should be clean, simple and to the point. Default font is Georgia.
It was a late summer’s day and I was thinking about my childhood bicycles. I hadn’t ridden in more than a decade, and decided I wanted to experience the carefree travels that only a bicycle can traverse.
Now older and with knee problems, moving about by foot has been restrictive. A bicycle seemed to be the perfect solution to the summer doldrums.
But I didn’t have a bike. The last one I had used as a kid so hard that it broke down, and I hadn’t replaced it since.
But then I remembered why I left it. The bike was heavy, poorly made, and never rode quite straight.
However I knew that there had to be better bicycles out there, and so I found myself on a journey to find the bike of my dreams. Something simple, beautiful, and easy to ride.
I never knew it would turn out to be so difficult.
I searched the bicycle shops high and low for a road bike that resembled the old roadsters from the past. But the past seemed to want to remain in the past. Everything I was presented with was a mass produced product of extreme modern sports evolution.
Road bikes were now race bikes. Mountain bikes were the new road bikes, and the rest of the bikes seemed to be an amalgam of leftover parts designed to be as strange looking as possible.
On the verge of giving up my quest, I did a last sweeping search and found an odd little bike shop that popped up near my home. It was called Rivendell Bicycle Works.
I dismissed it at first. But on a nagging whim, I decided to view their website anyway.
What I discovered was everything I was looking for, and more. I had found my destination, just 2 miles from my house.
But there was a problem.
The first issue was price. A handcrafted bicycle frame and quality components was something that came with a steep price tag.
I had to go see them in person to see if it was worth it.
In a nutshell, I took a quick ride and was hooked. It was the smoothest, most steady bicycle I had ever been on. They looked even better in person. Emotion and logic went back and forth, but eventually I decided to go forward.
The bicycle wasn’t just a toy I reasoned. It was going to be part of my life. I might as well do something incredible for once, instead of just settling for okay.
I picked the parts, chose the color, counted the dollars and left the work to their capable hands.
But something else caught my senses.
There seemed to be more to Rivendell Bicycle Works than just bicycles. There was something very personable, very distinct about the people and the place. Everyone was proud of what they did, and the way they went about doing it.
Nothing was overlooked, no shortcuts taken.
Then I was handed a free bar of pine tar soap. My mind shifted and refocused.
I was curious—why would a bike shop carry such an obscure… and strange smelling item (really, it smells like a tire shop).
I examined the books and products on the shelf. An eclectic mixture of poetry, advice, clothing, and bags sat in the immediate area.
And then someone mentioned the hatchets. They were selling hatchets at their new bike shop.
Confused as ever, I decided to ask the people of Rivendell Bicycle Works their thoughts on the company.
(Insert interview with Riv people and Grant Petersen here.)
It was then I that I saw that Rivendell Bicycle Works was, and it is, the dreams, hopes, and accomplishments of a person that just wanted to share a bit of his passion for bicycles with others, in his own way. In doing so he has also shared not just his character, but something more with us.
Rivendell Bicycle Works is not just a company. It’s an expression of his life.
These are my memories.
These are my thoughts on Rivendell Bicycle Works.