I had a pretty uneventful drive to Northfield, Minnesota on Friday where I procured lodging and hooked up with Ben Witt of Milltown Cycles. He drove me back to Faribault to check in on his remodeling progress. He just finished sanding off the hardwood maple flooring. The flooring is absolutely amazing. Most of it is bird's eye maple and there is even some flame maple happening in that floor. I told Ben there were a hundred guitar necks in there!
<=== Ben showing me Mike's bike, a Mt. Tam veteran.
After that we hauled up to Northfield again to visit the shop where Ben got his start, Mike's Bikes. It is a amazing joint. If you are bicycle lover, and a mountain bike freak. You'd love this place. Check out the green bike. It is a first generation Fisher/Kelly Mountainbikes Montare'. One of the very first Japanese made ones. It has a full Deore XT Deer head gruppo and fillet brazed Bull Moose bars. Awesome! Mike said he put thousands of miles on it before retiring it. Looks like you could sling a leg over it and ride it today!
<===Late 40's/early 50's Schwinn basket case and a rod braked Gazelle 3 speed.
This is just one corner of the back room. I'm telling you, there are bikes with stories in every nook and cranny of this shop. You could literally spend hours in one little area.
I saw tons of cruisers, track bikes, (including a 70's Raleigh Professional 531 tubed trackie) , Mongoose Kos cruisers, (yes....more than one!), and old mountain bikes, like a Schwinn KOM with original gear still bolted on, and odd, one off prototype frames and bikes. Travis Brown raced prototype Fisher Rig anyone? How about a prototype 29"er Reba? Mike's Bikes has it all.
<===Another amazing bike filled corner.
So, Ben showed me around and we eyeballed all sorts of cool rigs. It was a lot of fun for me, that's for sure. Then we hung out for a bit in the mechanics area and tried to decide what to do for eats and beverages for the evening. While we let that percolate for a bit, Mike and Ben took me back to one of the most amazing things I saw all weekend. The back desk where Mike has a bulletin board. But not just any bulletin board, oh no! This one has some pretty cool things tacked to it. Well........if you are into mountain biking and its roots at all!
<===This bulletin board has some amazing race flyers attached!
Here was a bunch of original Repack race flyers and "Appetite Seminar" flyers. See, Mike used to ride with Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Charlie Kelly, and the rest of the Marin crew back in the day. He kept all the race flyers and here they were. Just push pinned into this bulletin board!
I got some individual shots of some of them that I will share in my next post, plus all the other of the evening's hijinx. Stay tuned for Frostbike 2009- Part II on Monday!