We've tossed together some of our favorite photos of the past year in celebration of another great season with friends new and old. As 2014 comes to a close, we're happy to look back at some big changes at the shop, a fine summer for riding, and wonderful memories packed into 12 short months.
This selection focuses on the quieter moments around the shop and on the trail. It is often the the more intimate events, rides and conversations that make the most indelible impact on our customers, our friends and our bike shop.
We hope you enjoy this small collection and share your own on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #ecdoesit.
Cabin Fever. Much of the spring was spent with some Tim Allen-inspired home improvement, lifting the dropped ceiling and making some moves in the service area. We did find some time to check out the new offerings from all our brands, including the BMC TMR01, which Mr. Lowetz was especially impressed with.
Kick Me. Our annual April Fool's Day Sale was a pretty big hit, in no small part to this simple, clever photo. JW is always a very good sport about our media efforts, and this was actually a second quick shoot. The 'Kick Me' sign is still bouncing around in the back room, just in case it's needed again.
Gravel Beckons. It was the Winter That Wouldn't Die, so when we could finally get onto clear gravel roads in time for the Paris-Roubaix, we were simply over the moon. This early morning gravel ride shows two of Traverse City's great cycling teams cruising together and enjoying a relaxed roll on the There Will Be Blood route. It wasn't quite so relaxing once the road curled to Ranch Rudolf and things heated up perhaps a little quicker than a lazily rising sun.
Smooth. The launch on East Bay is a fixture for our photo shoots, but we tend to sneak over there just to remind ourselves of just how beautiful Traverse City is. When the wind dies down mid-summer, you can see East Bay flat, calm and fading somewhat into a hazy horizon. By June, the summer was consistent enough to ride to work after a hard training ride, and perhaps even take a quick dip to rinse off.
Quoi? This summer, the Ec Crew grew by two. Jake and Dan might have been new, but it didn't take long for them to fit in, thrive and add an lot to the shop. Our super-friend Jim Campbell brought back newspapers from Ireland, England, and France after Le Tour. Jake was getting the jist of it.
Speed of Light. Every week, your best friends ride bikes on the Vasa. From the fastest riders in the state to the newest, SOL sees it all. As hard as it can be, it's also the most fun bike ride you'll be a part of. No wonder SOL blew up this summer, with over 200 unique riders, a points series, 3 Grand Tours, and a World Championship. Here, JW and Ryan "Mr. President" Kennedy discuss the results of the day. Or tell jokes.
How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Boss Man completed Comeback 12.145v2.5 in 2014, taking the NMFBS points title in March, falling off the wagon but riding again into the fall. He also boasted nearly a dozen new bikes, 4 fat bikes, 3 mountain bikes, and this Focus Cayo with generous seat post proportions.
The Chimney Burner. We took Labor Day off to ride together. Over 50 miles, a stop at a dive-bar in Kalkaska, and some incredible views, we discovered a great new route to JW's family cabin. We broke up a bit with Lowetz pulling a Burley with supplies, and each of us rode along in the middle of nowhere for a bit. In the hum of my tires and the rhythm of my pedaling was a sort of "Where Are You?" chant that made the five hour ride fly by.
The Master. Our mechanic Nate is one of the best human beings you will ever meet. A great bike rider and the most knowledgable wrench in the world, people know the real reason he's such an unforgettable person. He is the kindest, more supportive friend you'll have the pleasure of making.
Don't Do It, You're A Young Man. Traverse City has a cycling community that has crossed into being a family. When things much bigger than the bike happen, we all come together. We had over 20 guys join for Wes' Bachelor's Ride on a sunny day in Northern Michigan.