Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Above Category: A Day with Fausto Pinarello

Bicycle retailing is a tough business. To succeed, a shop needs someone steadfast in their devotion to daily routine. Opening on time, merchandising, assembly, repairs, orders, accounting. It’s not sexy, but the success or failure of any retailer can hinge on the most mundane of details. But what makes us love bike shops, more than our love for the bicycle itself is the passion that some owners put into their shops.

That passion can’t be imparted by adding square feet or more bicycles; instead it comes in ways as diverse as the colors frames are painted. Tributes to favorite pros, sponsored racers, a hall of fame of those who have passed through, each front door is another chance to revel in what makes cycling our sport of choice.

Chad at Above Category in Mill Valley recent held a special—invitation-only—ride with one of Italy’s living legends, Fausto Pinarello. The man who shepherded the Prince to its place beneath kings came to heaven itself (okay, Marin County, same thing) for a ride with the devoted.

Not everyone rode a Pinarello, but they all were fans.

Our ride leaders for the day, Skyler and Spence. They are already amazingly strong. Remember these faces: You'll see them in VeloNews in years to come.

The Above Category team riders rode in the black and white Giordana kits.

Sometimes, good taste starts early, Assos for the cradle set.

Fausto talking to a devoted customer.

A stunning collection of Assos clothing.

Sandy Nicholls of Gita Sporting Goods, Pinarello's importer, Chad's wife Kalara and Chad.


Zhivago said...

An amazing shop owned by a passionate and dedicated cyclist in one of the most beautiful places on earth. When I close my eyes and dream about the type of shop I would like to own, AC is what I see in my dreams. Pinarello's, Pegoretti's, Parlee's, Moot's, Land Shark's, Lightweight's, and a sweet Ducati Testastretta on the sales floor, oh so sweet! Only complaint I have, it's 2000 miles away from where I live!

Dan O said...

Wow - sounds like a very cool shop.

Nice post - as always.