Cycling, Its a vibe.


Cycling, Its a vibe.

In the world of cycling, there is a fine line between authenticity and disingenuous marketing and branding ploys. It’s the difference between digging through racks at Goodwill till you find a dusty army jacket that has an abandoned subway token in the breast pocket and buying the same jacket at a J-crew outlet.

Few things embody this idea better than the painting that sits in Steffen’s Office.  It looks like it belongs between the 2am and 2:30am slot on Adult Swim. It bleeds the genuine emotions that every bike brand tries to capture. It's not another “X” or “Evo” added to a bike’s name to make it seem cool. It is by a Cuban artist named Llue Perfume Parati, who is based out of Havana. 

How it landed in the tucked-away office of Steffen Root is cool as well. We often forget the privilege and power that come with leisure. “Fun”, as we see it today, didn’t really come around till the 1800s and only in rich colonizing countries. Owning 3 bikes for fun is something that few people on this planet can enjoy. With that in mind, Steffen and a group of childhood friends traveled to Cuba with a few bikes that they planned to leave behind. After bike packing for ten days, they came across an art gallery. There Steffen traded his bike for this incredible painting. 

I think any bike brand could put 10 million dollars into studying the latest market trends and buy 10 million profiles from Cambridge Analytica and never touch the sense of character this painting has. It really belongs in Mass Moca. Yet here we are, with the pleasure of enjoying and looking at this painting every day. As head tube angles and watt numbers start to consume us, we can’t forget why cycling matters. This is my call to action, to remember what about cycling was cool to you and lean into that. I can promise it's not another product review or helmet specification. When you’re out on your next ride, think a little deeper.