Friday, January 28, 2011

Oakland's Newest Bike Shop of 2011

Ok, technically it opened in Autumn, 2010, but with the Holidays and all it is virtually new. I admire how they changed the original Wesley Cleaners sign to look original, even copying the font, leaving intact the rich story of this storefront and its relationship to its neighborhood.

Welcome Dear Flashblog Reader, to a new year of Flashblog. I resume where I left off last year, which is chronicling every bike shop in Oakland. I still have a ways to go if you can believe thing just leads to another. Today I bring you Homespun Bicycles, over on the Lakeshore Drive side of Lake Merritt. I heard about Homespun through word on the street, which is typically how I am getting my leads these days. Word on the street is good, my friend, and Homespun is something of unusual fare as it surfs the current zeitgeist of a rocky economy, recycling, alternative transportation, the greening of our lifestyles, appreciation of artisanal crafting, and a touch of classic New Age marketing thrown in for balance.
Your hosts at Homespun, Jessie and Ami, this is their baby

If you go to their website, you'll find their establishment labeled "city garden and bike shop". What they have done is combined their interests into a one stop, go-to urban oasis for organic gardeners who ride their bikes everywhere, perhaps carting around boxes of earthworms while dreaming of new home brewed beer formulas. It is getting back to the earth in its various forms. I myself can relate. A few years ago I pulled out my front yard lawn, composted it for a year, then planted a recession garden. The response from the neighborhood was hugely positive, and some parents even toured their kids over to show them what real food growing from the ground looks like. It was greatly empowering for me to make this change, and I'm sure many other people are ripe for the change, all they need is some guidance. So Homespun offers workshops in various natural living disciplines as well as fixing people's bikes.

A doorway view of the mainspace, all furniture including stairs and loft built by Jessie and Ami, mostly using recycled or resourced wood. The current bike selection is as they say, pre-owned and lovingly reconditioned.

This interesting display features an inside the box planter and an above box display of tinctures and lotions such as "Cloud of Protection"

This repurposed piece of wood has become a prep table for organic foods and brewery workshops. The sink drains into a gray water basin.

Oh so cute iPad cubby where the proprietors can read the newest edition of Flashblog

Saddle and bags become artwork

Overall the vibe is very mellow, the Feng Shui flows easily. Personally I love what they have done in the realm of building with recycled woods, their sense of art informed by a sense of experience beyond their years. Jesse and Ari are easily accessed and are genuinely enthused about growing their neighborhood into a showcase of sustainability.

A beautiful Italian Falcon restored by Ami

Homespun is right off Lakeshore at Brooklyn, just a half block east of the lake. Ride on over and say Flash sent you.

Ride on my friends,