After we spent a week and a half of getting settled into our new Chrome MPLS HUB, we sent out word to the locals that it was time to christen our new spot with a party ... a party that would leave eyes crossed and ears ringing. We knew we had to come proper. The people in the Minnesota rage, so we got enough beer to put down an elephant and enough tacos to feed a small village or enough tacos to feed an elephant and enough beer for a small village. Either one works. Continue reading
The Coveted Jersey can’t be purchased. You must win a race to own one. Have the skills; reap the reward. Wear it with pride. It’s our way of giving a bit back to the heroes that spend thankless hours organizing their races and those who test their mettle and climb to the top step. Like mercenaries sent to battle paid only with adrenaline and endorphins, each week around the globe racers contend in back alleys, busy streets, and city tunnels to claim the glory amid their mass of peers. Battles are fought between friends and short cuts found by the canny. Beers are drank and road rash mended. Street racing is rad. For those with the taste for camaraderie and glory there is no substitute. Continue reading
Is your race coveted? If you’re organizing a race in 2014 and want the winner to get a Coveted Jersey, give us a shout. We are currently accepting requests from race organizers around the world. It doesn’t have to be the biggest race, just rad. Alley Cat, fixed crit, pumptrack jam, gold sprints, it doesn’t matter. They're all welcome, but we’ve only got 100 jerseys, so get to it. Continue reading
What better time to go to Southern California for a month than late November? It's right around the time that other parts of the country start getting frigid, but in So Cal the sun is still out and you can ride your bike around in a T-shirt... just a T-shirt. I believe the term is "Porky Piggin' it". It sounded great to us, so when we got a chance to team up with Orange 20 to build a Chrome Pop-Up Hub in their gallery space we jumped on it. We assembled a small crew, loaded up our good ol' Chrome van, faced the ocean, turned left, and hit the road headed for Los Angeles, doing burn outs along the way. Continue reading
Whoever said "Time flies when you're having fun" must have been talking about 2013. Because just like that, it's almost gone. Rides were had, friends were made, high fives were given, and hangovers were nursed. 2013 was a great year for Urban Bike, Street Photography, Street Racing, and more. We're thankful to all those who rode Chrome in 2013. With the new year upon us, we take a look back at some of our favorite 2013 moments through our year in review:
It’s going to be a good month. We’ve teamed up with the iconic bike shop Orange 20 to bring you a one-of-a-kind Chrome HUB in LA. We call it Chrome_20 and starting November 22nd it’s going to be a month-long party.
Orange 20 is great, the staff kicks ass, and they have been influential in shaping the Los Angeles cycling culture. We’re more than stoked that they invited us into their space; we’re pumped to share some beers (many beers) with the Orange 20 crew over the next 4 weeks.
Chrome_20 is more than just a spot to pick up some bombproof Chrome gear…
First off, we’re hosting a month-long Streets of Chrome photography show. We’ve reached out to our friend Van Styles to curate an exhibition of Los Angeles street photography. Along with his own photoset, Van selected the work of Sagan Lockhart and Jefroe in the show. Van kills it behind the lens and has more Instagram followers than you; Sagan Lockhart is one of the creative geniuses affiliated with Odd Future; Jefroe is the creative director of At Large Media in LA. This show is uniquely Los Angeles and we’re humbled to be showing this work.
Chrome_20 is also home to #Wrenched_LA our interactive Instagram wall featuring favorite local spots. The first interactive edition of our Wrenched city guide, #Wrenched_LA is powered by the people. Chrome_20 features a wall-sized map of LA. Whenever a photo is posted to Instagram with the hashtag #Wrenched_LA, we’re going to print the photo and post it on the map. Next time you’re at a rad spot in LA take a photo and tag it #Wrenched_LA. Favorite dive bar: #Wrenched_LA, killer burrito: #Wrenched_LA, amazing coffee: #Wrenched_LA, best place to watch the sunset: #Wrenched_LA. You get it. We’re asking you to show us your city. At the end of this thing we’ll have a wall documenting the best places in LA. It’s going to be awesome.
Each week you’ll have a chance to win a 2013 Chrome Coveted Jersey. Starting with an alleycat on 11/22 at 7pm, a fixed gear cross race on 11/29 at 7pm, and an uphill sprint race on 12/7 at 1pm. This will be your last chance to get a 2013 Chrome Coveted Jersey - don’t miss out. We’ll get you more information about the ongoing events but for now: the party starts November 22nd at 7pm – 10pm. We’ll have a DJ and beer from New Belgium Brewing (thanks!), you can check out the photographs, and its your first chance to score a Coveted Jersey.
The address is:
4357 Melrose St.
Los Angles, CA 90029
We’ll be there:
Mon.-Sat. 11am - 7pm
Sunday 11am - 5:30pm
Back in March, Chrome Coffee barista and Destroy Bikes team rider, Veronika Volok slayed it at the Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash race across LA. Next weekend is the 6th Street Drag Race, the final event in the Unified Title Race Series and things are looking pretty good for Ms. Volok. We caught up with her to hear her thoughts on riding fixed, philosophy on racing, and why testosterone is highly motivating.
NAME: Veronika Volok
BIRTHPLACE: Pacifica, CA
BIKE CLUB: FWOD
FIRST BIKE: Bight pink Bianchi Fremont
DAY JOB: Barista at Chrome SF & Cento
FAVORITE SUPERVILLAIN: Jafar from Aladdin
3 SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLIST: Mariah Carey "You'll Always Be my Baby," Daft Punk "Around the World," Sabertooth Zombie "Curly Lox"
How did you get into bikes? Have you always ridden fixed?
I got into bikes 'cause one of my friends was riding fixed. He was actually the person that sold me my first bike and I thought it was a weird concept at first, that there's these pedals that can't go backwards, they just go forward. I got into it as a way to get around in 2008, I never thought I'd get so seriously into it.
What bikes do you have in your stable? Your track frame is USA made, isn't it?
Cerberus Pro made by Destroy Bikes, who I currently bike for. My second bike is a Look K6386 road bike, that I'm currently building up. The Cerebus is made in Redwood City. I don't like keeping a lot of bikes around my house if I'm not going to use them, so I limit myself to those two.
You crushed it at the Marathon Crush, and are ranked #2 leading into the final Wolfpack Hustle event. How did you get so damned fast? Have you been racing for a long time?
I actually haven't been racing long. I feel like the reason why I did so well is because I ride with my boyfriend who is not easy on me, so he helps me push push my limits. I feel like even though I'm in a bike club full of women, it's nice to challenge myself riding with men who are hell of a lot faster than me. I feel like that's the only way to improve myself is by riding with people that are faster than me.
It was rad to see you and your man cross the finish together at the WPH Marathon Crash race, how was that? Most people don't get to race with their partners.
Honestly, it was a really overwhelming and heartfelt moment. I didn't know if I won at that point. It felt good just to know that, not only did I finish, but we both had been able to finish together after pushing so hard.
He was with me 80% of the way, we lost each other at some point, but I was able to catch up with him. At the end, he was on my tail saying "go go go", and pushing me to go faster. I didn't even realize he was there with me, I just was looking at that finish line thinking "I want to get this done, let's go let's go!" My legs were so tired.
What type of race do you like best: Sprints or Endurance?
I used to hate endurance because I thought sprints were easy, you just had to get from Point A to Point B. Lately I've been doing a lot of endurance, not just races, but riding. With sprints, it can go either way, either you do really well, or you don't. In the beginning, I loved doing sprints, because it was easy, but now I love endurance because it's such a challenge. You need to not only be physically strong, but also mentally strong. It's not about starting the race, it's about having the mental strength to finish it.
How do you think you’ll do this weekend at the WPH 6th Street Drag Race?
Oh man! It's coming up! Honestly, I feel neutral about this weekend. My mentality is "can't stop, won't stop." When I do something I'm not in it to win it, I'm in it to do it. If I can finish in the top three, that will be amazing for me.
I hate having the mentality of being #1, because if you don't reach that goal, you're really crushed. I like not having any expectations, playing it by ear.
We’ve heard you’re in an all-girl bike club in Oakland called Fixed Without Dix (FWOD).
We're helping the community by inviting women and transfolks to go ride to go have fun to feel like you're a part of something. The bike industry is so male dominated, so it's awesome to have this group of girls that gets together once a week and just ride bikes and doesn't give a f*ck.
How has riding in a dude-free environment increased your skills?
It's different. It's really relaxing. It's fun to have a girls night out, because there's no competition, you're not trying to impress anyone, you can just be yourself. That's the best part. I feel like sometimes when I ride with guys, they're all showing off. It makes you have to ride even harder because there's these dudes full of testosterone trying to beat the next light.
It feels awesome just having a group of women who have the same interests and hobbies and are united by their two wheeled vehicles.
Having won a #CovetedJersey by winning the WPH Marathon Crash race, what advice do you have for dirtbags like you who aspire to greatness?
You can't have the mentality that you're going to win it. You just have to have the mentality that you're going to do your best, try your hardest, and if you can get that jersey, then eff yeah, but if you don't get it this time, there's always next time. There's always next year.
The fact that I was able to win the race and get the jersey, it was like the angels were singing to me.
You’re a barista at Chrome Coffee in SF, go to school in SJ and ride with a FWOD in Oaktown. How do you do to find balance in your life?
I don't even know. My bike is able to give me the balance of doing everything I have. My bike helps me get from Point A to Point B. My boyfriend also lives with me, so that really saves on time, because I don't have to make plans with him, I'll see him in the end. I think the coffee helps a lot too.
You ride for Destroy Bikes, how long have your been riding for them?
I've been riding with them since 2011 or 2012. My second track bike bike was the Lady Death, but it was too big. The Cerebus Pro was actually a prototype, and the first time I rode it was the Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash and it was so comfortable. With guys, size doesn't matter, but with bikes, it makes all the difference.
One of the most epic street races in the country, the Wolfpack Hustle LA Marathon Crash Race went off this weekend. The 4:00 am race follows the LA Marathon course and is part of the three race Unified Title Series presented by Chrome Industries and Redbull.Over 2500 riders from all over the country showed up and were not disappointed. Winners received the new 2013 Coveted Jersey and Wolfpack Hustle dog tags. The Chrome Crew made the trip down from SF with our Van and newly acquired 1976 GMC motorhome. All finished safely near the front of the pack. Continue reading
Photograph by Jacob Winfield
What do you say to a one off, one night only, cyclespeedway-ish race on the unused 4th floor above our Chrome PDX HUB other than, "hell yes"? Nothing, you say, "hell yes". When our Chrome PDX crew saw the raw space above the shop they didn't see future offices or downtown loft apartments. No, they saw a race track. Continue reading