We took some GoPros to a photoshoot with Ritte Sponsored Athlete Ivan Dominguez. We got some footage of Ivan and POC+Ritte rider Dan Green descending Latigo Canyon in Malibu California and Ivan showed off his high-speed side-saddle technique.
1) What inspired you to start Bike Central?
Monte, an ace mechanic, was moving back to the area, Mark was looking to make some changes in his life, and I had a plumbing and heating business with a beautiful but unused showroom (people don’t really care what their water heater looks like, they just want hot water). I've been riding bikes since the '70s and had toyed with the idea of opening a shop for years. So, we emptied the showroom of all the plumbing and heating equipment and filled it with bicycles. We figured if things didn’t work out we could liquidate the inventory with not much lost. Four years later, and I'm spending more and more time playing with bikes and less time unclogging toilets.
2) What are some of the ways that Bike Central interacts and connects
with the local riding and racing scene? We religiously hold a Tuesday night community ride. People meet at the shop, go for a ride, and finish back at BC for a potluck style meal. We also put on Frosty Cross, Northwest Iowa’s only USA Cycling sanctioned cyclocross race, and in 2014 we’re putting together a cyclocross team to compete in the region.
3) What drew you to working with Ritte Cycles as a brand you sell? Before we even had a shop my oldest son saw the Ritte cycles gladiator ad in Road magazine. They seemed to embody the fun, carefree attitude we've always associated with cycling. It was a no brainer when we opened, we had to carry Ritte.
4) Who's your pick for this years Tour de France? Froome.
5) What do you think the cycling community could use more of in 5 words or
less? Equal men's and women's payouts.
6) Do you have a favorite local ride? RAGBRAI. There's nothing else like it in the world.
7) Best CX hand-up you've ever received? I always love a cold Keystone Light. I don't know how they make it so good and sell it so cheap.
8) What are some unique services or features of Bike Central?
Where else can you get a Crossberg and a new garbage disposal? Joking aside, Monte’s bike fit expertise gives us a leg up in the region and offering a brand like Ritte in small town Iowa is a huge source of pride for us.
I'd like to go ahead and say there have been a lot of pretty great Ritte kits. There of course, was the first kit, with its PDM-inspired swoosh and the now iconic red, yellow and light blue. About the same time there was a very rare all-white version of that original design. Then there've been the different team kits, for Ritte Team, Women's Team, Cyclocross Team, Clever's Donuts Team, and the list goes on but I'm too impatient to keep naming them. We've had some different retail special edition kits, like the all-white Summer kit with the stripes around the chest and the "Ritte Los Angeles" kit that's available right now at Ritte dealers around the world.
But one of my favorite special edition kits was the DOS kit featuring an 8-bit Ritte logo with the "R" enclosed by the classic curser from '80s computers you can probably still find at your local public library.
The 8-bit thing was a bit of a phase for us about a year ago. We did a series of bikes painted in 8-bit and a cap named after a popular video-game franchise from the 80s.
I think it all started while training for the 2013 road season. I'm easily bored while riding solo and tempered the lonely training days by listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Among the many not-so-high-brow titles I pedaled to was a book called Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It's a bit of an action-thriller for the ultra-nerdy and it's chock-full of 80's geek-culture trivia, with lots of long, detailed discussions of how to play ET the video game and exactly how many gigs or ram would be required to run a KIT from Knight Rider emulation. So I suppose all those Atari and Commodore 64 and War Games references filtered their way through the strata of my brain until all that came out of me were geeky, 8-bit designs.
Including this "DOS" kit:
In Summer of '13 we offered this kit for a limited time and, like many of our limited-release kits, people who missed out were exceedingly bummed. Frankly, I didn't even end up with one of these kits, and now I'm bummed too. And so I say fuck that. Let's make one more round of these wonderful kits we can let the handsome geek in all of us out in the sunshine.
So until June 22nd you (and I) can pre-order the world-famous DOS kit. You'd be taking delivery around the end of August. I don't think we'll be revisiting the '80s anytime soon, so this is your chance to take advantage of a slight aberration in the universe of Ritte design.