Cross Bikes

Q&A on CX and BMX


It has been a long time coming, but the following interview is here just in time for your reading. I want to personally thank Tim and Gork from Seattle Bike Supply for their time and their honest answers. Any ‘cross racer worth their canti’s and BMXer’s with their Flight cranks should reckognize these two cycling legends– if not now you will! This is a good read, trust me:

Q: How did you translate your love of bikes into a career in the cycling industry and how long have you been in the business?

Tim: “I have been in the business since 1973, I started at a small shop in Salem Oregon. I translated my love for all things bicycles from the challenge of fixing bikes and started off by fixing any and all bikes I could get my hands on.”

gOrk: “I’ve been working in the bike industry since 1985 – throughout the BMX industry. My first big gig was as Editor of the late, great BMX ACTION magazine. Then after that I went to the ABA – American Bicycle Association, to become Editor/Photographer for their American BMXer membership mag. I feel very fortunate. I think I was just in the right place at the right time, and knew the right people. But it was also a huge dream for me, that fortunately I was able to make come true.”

Q: Are there any trends in the industry that you see evolving that a casual, outside observer may not fully realize? Fixed-gears losing popularity? Cyclocross growing in popularity? Etc?

Tim: “Electric bikes are going to happen, commuting bikes are going to expand, all practical aspects of cycling will grow during these tough times.”

gOrk: “Both of us have seen so many trends come and go. From F-1 bikes to lowriders, scooters to choppers … whatever happens next is definitely going to come from the street. I’m pushing for a BMX revival, myself. Everyone who raced in the 70’s and 80’s – which was a LOT of people, will eventually bring their kids or grandkids out to try BMX racing. It’s due.”

Q: As a former BMX rider and current cyclocross fanatic, it’s obvious that we share similar passions in cycling. What are some other aspects of bike riding/racing that you guys enjoy? Touring? Racing crits 3 or 4 times a week?

Tim: “I still love riding to work—it gives me such a great release, after a day of work. I still love ‘Cross because it is so pure and simple, the cross culture—you are part of a “tribe.”

gOrk: “Have raced BMX since age 13 and now at 45, am still doing it in the 41-45 cruiser class. In fact, I was just dicing for the win last Thursday night at one of our local tracks here in Seattle. Beside the occasional bike ride to work – the second most riding I get done is hopping on the Torker Tandem with my wife and riding the Burke-Gilman trail up to Redhook Brewery for dinner and some blonde ale.”

Q: Anything you dislike?

Tim: “I dislike attitudes of exclusion, I like welcoming everyone to the sport. There really is something for everyone in cycling, from DH to BMX, to ‘Cross … so much diversity!”

gOrk: “What is there to dislike in cycling?! I guess I dislike how we cyclists are treated – honked or yelled at while riding in to work. I’d really like to change the perception of car drivers towards anybody on a bike on the road. Still not sure if it’s possible. I’m definitely not the best example for following all of the traffic laws myself. Suppose I’m as guilty as the rest of ‘em.”

Q: I get a lot of feedback on my daily commute; 15mi (30 round-trip). Most people, even some fellow racers think that’s a lot of miles. Personally, I wish it was about 5 miles longer. What was your longest regular commute?

Tim: “Now it’s only 6 miles. Used to be 15 back when I lived in Portland.”

gOrk: “I’m definitely not a daily bike-to-work commuter – but wish I could. I live 21 miles from work and I try to do the distance a coupla times a month during good weather. We’ve got some hardcore guys in the SBS warehouse who put both Tim and I to shame. Not only for days commuted in, but for distance. Our Redline hats are off to Val and Reo.”

Q: Do you commute to work? If so, on what? How is it commuting in Seattle as far as “bike-friendliness” goes?

Tim: “I use a Redline Conquest Pro ‘cross bike, I am out in the ‘burbs,” so car/bike relations are pretty tough. Some days everyone gets along, some days I can feel the tension of not being welcomed on the roads. I use sidewalks and shoulders depending on the road, but I always keep heightened awareness of what traffic is experiencing around me. Overall Seattle is getting much more bike friendly, things are changing.”

gOrk: “What Tim’s not telling you is about the time he ran in to some East Indian dude with a turban on his head, who was listening to a I-Pod. Tim was blasting down the hill and this dude stepped out right in front of him. Took him out like he was Bin Laden – but also took himself out at the same time. Tim’s got some GREAT bike-accident stories .. like the time we were in Holland on a business trip and I slammed on the brakes because I saw this car about to turn in to the driveway, and Tim was in a full sprint trying to catch up, and just SLAMMED the backend of my Batavus rental bike. He broke off the rear taillight. Total Dutch traffic accident. He’s also gotten cut off by homeless people and busted his collarbone … he could write a book on all of his commuting incidents. It’s crazy.

When I do ride in, it’s on a Redline R-760 .. our stab at a sweet road bike from two or three years ago. And I’m the King of taking short cuts … my fellow co-workers have dubbed them ‘gork-cuts’.”

Q: I know Redline is making some pretty hot ‘cross bikes.’ Are there any other bikes in the product line that the company is particularly proud of, etc? Anything unique about any models?

Tim: “The new commuter/lifestyle bikes such as the Redline Metro Disc, and the Metro 9 are really going well, and are great bikes for commuting and getting around on.”

gOrk: ” …and don’t forget about the newest addition to the Conquest family; the Conquest 20. The birth of our pint-sized Conquest bike for your kids. 20 x 1 3/8 wheels, flat bars, 14 speeds all at under $390! We actually just posted up the new 2010 Conquest bikes on the website – so check ‘em out on RedlineBicycles.com. And they’re all due to arrive mid to late July. And you’ve still gotta love the Redline 9.2.5 .. that bike is still the best bargain for the urban single-speed crowd.”

Q: What are your most memorable race results?

Tim: “Winning ‘Cross Nationals and the Super Cup for Masters in 1999 is hard to beat, but racing in the 67th Giro d’Italia is always most memorable.”

gOrk: “Hmmmmm …. last week at SeaTac was pretty memorable. I pulled a killer swoop in the first corner, because I run platform pedals and was able to do my patented retro foot-off inside swoop on the clipped-in leader, and rode him high in the berm. Took off from there, didn’t case much in the rhythm section, scored the win and about passed out after the finishline. But I guess I’d have to go back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, when my brother and I were pretty unbeatable on a sidehack – took the UBR No.1 plate for Northern California for three years in a row.”

Q: Finally, the question every cyclist loathes: if you could only have one bike what type would it be?

Tim: “The 2010 Redline Conquest Team – versitle and beautiful, all in one!”

gOrk: “Without a doubt – my Flight 24” cruiser. I couldn’t live without a BMX bike.”

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