One day in a small part of LA
Back in 2014, Golden Saddle Cyclery was the first bike shop to believe in a small Japanese bicycle brand trying to make waves in the US market. Our US headquarters is now just a few miles from GSC and a lot of tokyobike's growth can be attributed to the hard work these guys put into their little shop, and the community behind it. On a visit to GSC you can expect to be treated warmly and handed a cold beer—if day drinking is your thing. It’s a special place where people can not only get their bike fixed, but be welcomed into a community of riders without pretense, no previous experience needed.
We couldn’t be more grateful for the community they have built, one that spans the globe and is first and foremost centered around the humans it comprises, with bicycles a close second. A large part of this community is built upon owner Kyle Kelley’s infectious and relentless enthusiasm for riding bicycles in Los Angeles. We asked Kyle to show us some of his favorite places in his corner of LA—the Silver Lake neighborhood, and he answered with some incredible images, all shot on film.
I have people coming into Golden Saddle Cyclery all the time, asking what they should do in Silver Lake. GSC has sorta become the underground Chamber of Commerce for the area. I've called this neighborhood home for over a decade, and I still love it just as much today as I did then. While many of the things I once loved here are gone, there are still some wonderfully eccentric shops and eateries that should be shared with the world.
You won't be able to walk Sunset Blvd to see these sights, I'd most definitely grab a bike. So here's my list of some places not to be missed.
Taco's Villa Corona
A 25 year old taco stand, making a chilaquiles burritos just over the river in Atwater Village. Yep, you read that right, they put tortillas in the tortilla! I usually order mine with nopales and chorizo. There's no seating at TVC, so I usually grab mine to go, and head down to the river for breakfast.
3185 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039
Bloom and Plume
A colorful coffee shop owned by one of the most talented human beings on the face of this earth. Maurice Harris, is an artist, florist, dancer, extraordinaire, that has taken his personality and somehow transformed it into a coffee shop. You'll leave here caffeinated, ready to face the world, and completely comfortable being the best you, you can be.
1638 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
My first memory of being on a bike is of my father letting go for the first time and I hit a curb and knocked the wind out of me for the first time in my life. I mean, how could you forget that!
If you wear your hair on the shorter side, and are looking for the best barber in Los Angeles, look no further than Vinny's Barbershop on Virgil. Vinny's is owned by Omar Romero a Los Angeles rockabilly legend known all over the world for his good looks, beautiful voice, and his "Wild" live performances. But in this small neighborhood barbershop, Omar is just known as the best damn barber LA has ever seen! From straight to kinky, or maybe even some curls, these barbers will know how to cut your hair.
852 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Next to Vinny's Barbershop, is in my opinion the greatest store in all of Los Angeles, Virgil Normal. This is a place that I tell everyone who stops into GSC to go see. While they call it a menswear store, I know my wife Liz can't go in there without buying something. Shirley Kurata and Charlie Staunton have created a space so interesting, and packed it full of the coolest stuff ever, I doubt anyone could leave empty handed. I promise, go see for yourself.
4157 Normal Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
I ride in the city everyday, be it to and from, or just for fun. I absolutely love riding bikes in Los Angeles and the surrounding mountains. I also prefer how easy it is to ride a bike somewhere. It just feels like a headache every time I get in a car. I hear people complaining about parking at Golden Saddle Cyclery all the time, and I wonder why they didn't just ride there.
Rick's Produce Market
If you want something a bit cleaner to eat, checkout Rick's Produce Market. The easiest way to describe Rick's is, think about your local farmer's market before it was overrun with incense, crystals, and vintage clothing. Think about organic local produce delivered to the neighborhood at affordable prices. I'm a huge fan of their immunity booster and I always have them make my guacamole fresh with jalapeños, both of these are quite spicy!
755 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
10 years ago it really seemed like Los Angeles was making giant steps to making this wonderful city more bike friendly, but I can't say that I feel that way anymore. So if they're not moving forward with more bike routes and lanes, we need to combat this with numbers. We need more cyclists on the roads, car traffic needs to know that we're here to stay and we too have the right to be on the roads.
In collaboration with Kyle, we auctioned this fully customized Mini Velo to benefit RADshare—a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and empowering local youth through programs that explore and celebrate the art of having fun. RADshare aims to promote a safer bike culture by offering safety education, free helmets and dependable cycling equipment.
The organization, led by a community of creative leaders, seeks to close the opportunity gap through mentoring and exposure to the arts of fun and action-sports culture. It raises awareness for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), promotes mental health, exercise and nutrition and builds community advocates through a combination of education, advocacy, and equipment, focusing on serving riders with less access to resources.
RADshare empowers today’s youth to reach their full potential through inclusive community-based projects, development of shared spaces and greater access to skills and safety clinics. We believe in empowerment through sharing RAD experiences.