Saturday, August 4, 2018

potential new bikey hangout: golden pliers

Out and about today on my bike, on errands and scouting out potential hangouts where the atmosphere is undemanding.

Today's exploration took me, on a friend's advice, to a new shop called Golden Pliers.

Steps away from the Interstate MAX line, the shop opened about a month ago, offering a combination of accessories, repairs and a bar serving coffee, alcohol and snacks.

I liked the relaxed, friendly vibe which I felt when I walked in. It helped that seconds after I sat down at the bar, a friend from the bike scene came over to say hi, and we enjoyed some conversation while he finished a beer and I snacked on ice water and peanut butter pretzels.

I walked around the small, cozy space and looked at what they offered. There's a heavy emphasis on bike-packing accessories, including tires, tubes, racks and bottle cages. The single repair stand behind the counter included the excellent clamps from EVT (Efficient Velo Tools), and there was a nice selection of reading material to enjoy with my drink if I wanted.
There were also handmade cycling bags and small items from Makeshifter Canvas Works -- the owner is a partner in the shop -- and I could see the appeal for the younger, fitter bikepacking crowd as well as the urban biking set -- especially the "Snackhole Stem Bag", which I've seen in increasing number on bicycles around town.

Just when I thought I could get away with spending only a couple of bucks on a small bowl of peant pretzels, I turned and saw a stainless steel bottle cage large enough to hold an oversized (3.5" diameter) bottle. I had wanted to convert both of my bikes to hold such a big bottle so I wouldn't have to carry two bottles around town. I gulped a little at the price -- $30! -- but recognized that it was strong and well-made enough that I could expect a number of years from it. So I bit the bullet and bought it. Tonight I affixed the new cage, made by a company called Widefoot, to my All-Rounder, where it fits just fine inside the main triangle.
Now I can dispense with all the smaller bottles and just keep one or two oversized bottles going forward.

I had a nice conversation with the two co-owners, and was invited to taste a sample of some coffee whose roaster was trying to get their product into the shop. It wasn't bad at all.
We all enjoyed the antics of another customer and his toddler son, who grinned like a little imp and flashed those Cheeks Of World Domination -- you know, the kind that, when you see them, you will do anything the child wants you to.
All in all, I spent a lovely 45 minutes there, and would definitely come back when I'm in the neighborhood. It's closer to my home than Velo Cult was, and the vibe is pretty darned nice.
Glad I stopped in.
Happy riding, wherever you go.


LizzieL said...

Lovely post! I think shops like this have got such a lot to offer, not least the sociable side of things as you seem to have discovered. I had a look at the Makeshifter website and they have got some fantastic bags on there - I really like bike bags that are more individual. I've made a couple of my own in the past but seeing these has inspired me to make some better ones.

Harry H said...

I dig that cage. I'm going to pick one up. Thanks for mentioning it.