The mountain biking conglomerate known as Fluidride has split up, with Simon Lawton taking the brand and Zeb Tingey and Jerry Knight the shop. They’ll all still do business together and work the Fluidride synergies — Simon reportedly will keep sponsoring Fluidride Cup competitions — but the new setup allows each to do what they love best.
Anyone who’s been around a bike shop for any amount of time knows the huge life suck it becomes. Simon wanted to devote more time and energy to his thriving instruction/DVD/racing pursuits, which have become hugely popular with the boom in freeride and downhill mountain biking. Zeb and Jerry wanted to keep the shop going. Simon sold the two the tools and business relationships, and everyone is good to go.
Renamed Big Tree Bikes, the new shop is at N. 40th and Stone Way N., which as it happens is the major north-south bike commute corridor. Fluidride built a reputation for downhill and freeride but has Seattle-based Evil street bikes on the floor as well. And Zeb can wrench anything on two wheels.
Although Big Tree has only been at its new location since Tuesday, it already has been contacted by Cascade Bicycle Club to host a ride station during Bike to Work Day, the annual commuter breakout in mid-May.
It’s also great to have a bike shop on Stone Way politically, because bike safety, visibility and respect continues to be an issue. Stone Way was originally supposed to have dedicated bike lanes but lost out in a political tug of war with Suzie Burke, a commercial developer who throws a lot of weight around in City Hall. So Stone Way wound up with “sharrows,” which Bike Intelligencer thinks are half a loaf (a sop, really).
The new shop has more room, parking, street traffic and everything else you could ask for. Go by and check it out tomorrow: Hours are noon to 6 p.m., and the guys will have all the bling plus refreshments on hand for Open House.
Oh, and the name? It nominally refers to a tree and trail in the new Duthie Park outside of Issaquah, but as Jerry put it, “The only big tree around here is Zeb.”