Big bike events are on tap for the weekend, starting with the Grand Opening of the new Timbuk2 store in Venice.
After unofficially opening on Abbot Kinney a few weeks back, the new Timbuk2 store is celebrating its arrival in LA this Saturday and Sunday.
The popular bike bag maker was founded 25 years ago by a San Francisco bike messenger who was frustrated that he couldn’t find a decent messenger bag to meet his needs. His designs proved so popular, he soon found himself with a new career making custom bags for cyclists throughout the Bay Area.
Today, they’re one of the leading makers of custom and off-shelf messenger bags, bike packs, camera pouches, seat packs, backpacks, laptop bags and panniers. Even a new line of suitcases made to their own exacting standards.
All still made in San Francisco’s Mission District. And each complete with a lifetime warrantee.
Appropriately located almost directly across from the Linus bike store, at 1410 Abbot Kinney Blvd, the store is just the company’s sixth brick and mortar location, in a chain that stretches from Singapore to Toronto.
Despite the Venice store’s relatively small size, they hope to become a hangout for bike riders, just like the other locations.
As soon as you walk in — past the usually full bike rack on the sidewalk out front — you’ll see a small nook on your left, with seating, bike maps and other assorted materials, as well as a charging station and free WiFi. You’re welcome to hangout there as long as you want, whether or not you ever buy anything.
You’ll also find a free bike repair station with tools and floor pump for minor work, and friendly employees with basic wrenching skills who can probably show you how to do it.
And soon, they plan to offer their own bike share program, with a pair of bikes to loan on a first come, first serve basis. And yours free for a full day, if you can get there before someone else grabs them.
Step in a little further, and you’ll find a full selection of their offerings, including a smartly designed women’s line that goes far beyond “shrink it and pink it.” Like a pannier that converts to an attractive shoulder bag once you get to your destination.
Along with ultra-lightweight backpacks for both sexes, specifically designed for comfort on a bike. Water-resistant messenger bags with built-in laptop protection and straps that adjust for either shoulder. And rolling TSA-complaint backpacks to ease your transition from bike to airport.
Then there’s an entire back wall devoted to customizing your bag your way, with a near endless variety of swatches and patterns to create a true one-of-a-kind piece. And best of all, custom orders are delivered — not shipped, but actually in your hands — within three to five days.
It’s well worth checking out any day. But especially this weekend.
To commemorate the store’s opening, a Grand Opening Weekend Celebration will take place on Saturday, August 16 from 11AM – 7PM and Sunday, August 17 from 11AM – 7PM. In true Timbuk2 fashion, Timbuk2 Venice Beach will not only celebrate their opening, but also embrace their new community by partnering with nearby businesses to offer complimentary libations and bites. Timbuk2 will also offer $5 Miir stainless steel “tall boy” cups to raise funds for a Los Angeles bike advocacy non-profit.
Other Grand Opening Weekend Celebration highlights include:
- Local craft beer + tasty bites from local food trucks.
- Complimentary photobooth.
- Live music.
- Surprise giveaways and discounts.
- Limited-edition Made in San Francisco shopping tote as a gift with every bag purchase.
- Exclusive access to the Timbuk2 Republic of California Classic Messenger bag, available for purchase in-store only. Only 50 were made and they are available in two sizes.
RSVP on Timbuk2’s Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/events/1433582100259747/.
I hope to make it there myself this weekend. Even if I’ll have to pass on the Jack Daniels.
Meanwhile, they sent me home with one of those heavy-duty, laptop-specific messenger bags to review. Something I’ll look forward to once I get back on my bike.
But I can already tell you it’s the smartest designed bike bag I’ve had the pleasure of using, and tough enough to survive just about anything you or I can throw at it.
If they didn’t think of everything, they came damn close.
On Saturday, you’re invited to the Grand Opening Aika Trading, a new urban cycling shop in Santa Monica.
The store, located at the intersection of Lincoln and Pearl, promises the best European brands and designs, including Dutch bikes, Bromptons and other unique brands and manufacturers.
The event runs all day Saturday, from 10 am to 7 pm.
Then on Sunday, Hollywood’s Amoeba Records hosts Hot August Bikes.
The free event celebrating bike culture takes place in the store’s outdoor parking lot behind the Sunset Blvd store on Ivar from noon to 5 pm. Sponsored by Converse, Bern, Sole Bicycles, the LA Weekly and public radio station KCRW, the event benefits the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and features a complimentary bike valet hosted by the LACBC.
You’ll find DJ’s — after all, there’s no shortage of great vinyl inside — bike workshops, prizes and raffles, as well as a limited edition T-shirt from Golden Saddle Cyclery. Not to mention free food and drinks from Hubert’s Lemonade, Roots Hummus, Ice Cream Ian, Hollywood Farmer’s Market, Pure Luck Vegan and Bicycle Coffee.
Sounds like a great time for a great cause.