Monday, November 14, 2011

Vanilla Cycles | Portland


Every once in a bit, I'll get a chance to experiment with styles I don't typically shoot in, or live vicariously through people (like surf-board shapers). I enjoy both immensely. Seeing people passionate about what they're doing is fascinating/inspiring, and my camera just so happens to be a ticket into pretty much anything I want to explore.

So this summer, I was based in Portland and every once in a while, I'd get a chance to Skype with my brother back home in NC.

Me - "I have a surprise for you when I get back!"

Jason - "A bike by Sacha White?"

"Who's that?"

"Only one of the most famous bike-frame builders in the world. His wait-list has a wait-list."


"Yeah, he's about my age and founded Vanilla Cycles. Their shop is based there in should go check it out."

- Point number one, my brother is an avid cyclist, frequenter of the bike forums, and anything-bike enthusiast.

- Point number two, I'd already been to Vanilla Cycles twice, and met Sacha White (however briefly). Jason had forgotten that he'd told me about Vanilla at the beginning of the summer, thankfully, making my little white lie all the more believable.


I thought it'd be cool to get a picture of the shop that I could frame and give to him...once I called the shop ahead of time, traveled an hour by MAX and shadowed these awesome craftsmen, I realized that one picture wouldn't do it all justice. It more or less ballooned into a photo-essay that I made into a book for him, haha.


Again, these guys were awesome, letting me basically run free like a kid in a candy shop (in a more non-chalant manner of course), and get up in their business. They rocked and I really appreciate them letting me into their world.

Enjoy my fun =P


Sacha wasn't there the first time I went, and even though I'd put together most of the book (yay iPhoto), I knew it'd all be kind of pointless if I never got some pictures of Sacha White himself. So the trek was made again...the MAX > Bus > hop the tracks once on the other side of the river in East Portland. By the time I got there, I saw him there and he was on his way out. He was literally there about 5 minutes before he had to take off for a meeting. Impeccable timing, eh? I snapped a few of him working and his faithful dog, Charlie, and he was off.


This dealio won "Best of Show" at the 2006 North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Jason was telling me he handmade everything (pedals, lugs, etc.) and each part is unique to this tricycle. It helped kick off Vanilla'll see it in a poster in one of the montages. It's been shown at countless places. And for whom was this $10,000 beauty? He made it for his daughter =) You can read Sacha's words about it here, 2nd bike of the 2nd entry down.


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