Welcome to 1×10, where we ask 1 inspiring human 10 questions about how they are using cycling as a force for good. Read on to meet Kyle Kelley, 1/2 of the ownership of Golden Saddle Cyclery (my LBS) and global purveyor of stoke by bike! He also works for The Radavist; another favorite site of mine to spend internet time on!
Photo above of Kyle by John Watson
1. How / why did you fall in love with cycling?
I believe I fell in love with cycling as a child because it felt like a magic carpet ride taking me to far off lands. It gave me the ability to fly, in the air and on the ground. How could you not fall in love with that? Today I think I love it because it makes me feel young, especially when I’m flying.
“It gave me the ability to fly, in the air and on the ground. How could you not fall in love with that?”
2. Favorite bike?
I personally don’t have a favorite bike, I love them all! But I could maybe pick three if I had to get rid of all the rest. My Stinner Romero and Tunnel prototypes are definitely my most ridden bikes. The third would be a my Fat Tired Speedvagen Track Bike!
3. What’s the most memorable ride you’ve done, and what happened?
That’s an impossible question for me, I feel like every ride with people or just one other person is just so memorable. The conversations, the laughter, the tears, the close calls, etc. There’s just nothing better. But what just popped in my head first was a recent GSC ride where we rode across the Santa Monica Mountains from Silver Lake and Jordan Haggard had his son on a trail-a-bike behind him, thats just proof to the world that kids don’t have to slow you down. I just hope I can be that rad of a dad someday!
“The conversations, the laughter, the tears, the close calls, etc. There’s just nothing better.”
4. Who do you admire in the cycling world?
The people. I have met the most wonderful people through cycling.
5. Top tip for a new rider, or a cyclist about to take on a new challenge?
Don’t listen to anyone who tries to put you on a skinny tire road bike! Hehehe. All joking aside, you don’t need a lot of stuff to get started, just do what you can, there is absolutely no reason to put yourself into debt for bikes. I once bought a $400 touring bike and rode it from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I broke a few spokes along the way, but I made it.
“I broke a few spokes along the way, but I made it. ”
6. Favorite trend or innovation in cycling?
The dropper post. Like I said earlier, I love to fly!
7. What are you doing to use cycling as a force for good?
The most important thing I’m doing is physically getting people on bikes. The second thing is that I’m inspiring people to ride their bikes more and in unfamiliar territory. Getting people comfortable with the fact that bikes are a safe and easy way to travel throughout the world is very important. Bikes are good for you, if you come away with only one thing from all these questions, it should be that bikes are good for you! I’m just trying to get people to smile more, I personally believe that’s one of the best ways to change this world.
“I’m just trying to get people to smile more, I personally believe that’s one of the best ways to change this world.”
8. Thinking about the work you’re doing, what do you see as the potential change for people or the planet? If you are successful, what impact will you have?
If I was successful in making people happy, I’d be helping fight depression and that’s my number one goal in life.
I don’t think it’s an obstacle for success, but my biggest challenge is knowing when to turn work off. Since my life is so intertwined with work and bikes (fun), I have an extremely hard time turning it off. I am slowly learning how to do this, but I am far from mastering it. I also love what I do and that doesn’t make it any easier.
“If I was successful in making people happy, I’d be helping fight depression and that’s my number one goal in life.”
9. How can people help?
Just stay open minded and ride bikes for the rest of your life.
10. Where can people go to learn more about your work?
Come to Golden Saddle Cyclery, that’s where I really shine. If you can’t make it to the shop, you can also see what’s happening @kylebkelley and @goldensaddlecyclery on Instagram. If you wanna see some photo stuff and read some words of mine, definitely head over to theradavist.com and look up my stories. There’s a lot, so make some coffee first.
Edited by John Kim. When he’s not out for a ride, John uses his expertise in Corporate Social Responsibility to help companies do well by doing good. Find him at firstname.lastname@example.org or VirtCyc on twitter or instagram.