Some people might know Evan Venditti from the legendary Team Pimpske road trips, or as the guy doing the crazy no-handed fakie transfers at the old FBM ghetto Comps, some people might know him as one of the organizers behind Cycle Slaughterama, or simply as one the guys digging at the trails or helping customers at the bike shop. Regardless of any of that, Evan is a true bicycle enthusiast, and has even managed to tow his BMX bike hundreds of miles while pedaling an "adult" bike, hitting up spots along the way. He is a thrill-seeking adventure hound, active in his local community, an unsung BMX influence, and additionally, another BMXer running a bike shop. Here's more on Evan and Re-Cycles.
Re-Cycles Bike Shop
Location: 2621 W. Cary St. Richmond, VA
Hours: Tue-Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5
Words of Wisdom: "Quality, practicality, and brands that give back to the BMX community is what is most important to us."
Started four and a half years ago, Re-Cycles is a community-oriented bicycle thrift and repair shop that offers full-service repair, used and/or thrift products and a wide selection of new components and accessories.
Evan Venditti, 29 years old, Richmond, VA resident.
Can you tell us about your store, Re-Cycles? What makes this a not so typical bike shop?
Like most shops we offer new parts/accessories and bicycle repair, but we also put a large emphasis on salvaging parts from unwanted/broken bikes, and allowing customers to shop for used parts for a fraction of the cost of new parts. We sell refurbished, used bicycles with the average rider in mind and use salvaged parts in repair (accordingly) to lower cost and reduce consumption. We also have an open stand on the floor for customers to use, and we loan tools (within reason.)
What kind of promotions do you you rely on?
We have done very little print advertising. In four and a half years, we have only paid for one ad, in Born Ugly.We choose direct action promotions, such as in-store events, local contests/jams, volunteer work and donations to local charities. To me, these things speak louder than any print ad ever could.
Why do you feel it's important to give back to your community rather than just offer customer service and bicycle products at Re-Cycles?
I would rather live in a place where people cooperated to achieve greater things. A bicycle is a very simple way to do so, so the shop would rather be known for what we do for the community, not how much we sell to the community.
Can you give us a brief history of the eastern Virginia BMX scene as you know it?
Our trails in Virginia Beach were awesome. They lasted for 7 or 8 ripping years. Hampton Skatepark was sessioned heavily by people like Mike Laird, Jeremy Nichols, Steve Caro, Rob Tibbs, Ash Bruce, Dave Mirra, Adam Banton and Leigh Ramsdell. It also hosted the Hoffman BS and Useless Clothing comps. Since then, not many skateparks have popped up, or lasted, but there has been a ton of backyard ramp action between Tidewater and Richmond to keep us shredding. Most recently, there have been a couple new parks (Anti-Gravity!) on the map and trail building is still alive and well in the Commonwealth.
With the market seemingly flooded with frames, completes, components and accessories, how do you decide which brands to support?
We choose the company with the most color options per item so we can stock outrageous amounts of every item. Quality, practicality, and brands that give back to the BMX community is what is most important to us.
What cycles/trends have you noticed in the time you've run this shop? What constants are there to contrast them to?
Since we opened, the fixed gear bike has become more and more popular. It's almost become a necessity among young, hip city dwellers these days. It is frightening at times when a fixed gear is someone's first bike since riding a beach cruiser in middle school. On the flip side, there will always be the person who no matter what bike they are on, will ride anyways, because they love it.
Who are some of your favorite riders?
My favorite riders are riders who truly enjoy their time on a bicycle and ride how they see fit; not riding to show you how gnarly they are. It is easy to see when someone likes riding so much that it's just oozing out of them. To name a few, Mat Hoffman, Ryan and Shea Niquist , Rob Tibbs, The Guilliams bros, Scott Eisel, Matt Vincent, Darryl Nau, Bob Quirk, Kelly Baker, Jim Cielencki and Brian Foster come to mind.
Any favorites (new and old) in your BMX video library?
1201, ECD Death is Near, Cheese, Live Fast Die, Dennis Enarson's part in the Nike video, Ryan Nyquist's part in End Search, Dead Bang is gnarly, PA Woods.
What are some of the perks of working in a bike shop, and within the cycling community?
Most of our friends ride some sort of bicycle and stop by frequently to hang out and catch up, keeping us distracted from the work we are actually doing. It's great working with and for people that love to ride bicycles.
Some of the drawbacks?
"Hey man, I know you're not at work, and you probably don't want to talk about it, but my bike is making a funny sound down by the pedals, what is that?" That gets old, but for the most part there are none. I don't mind working on things I enjoy.
What is your favorite aspect of bicycling?
It's fun and free.