Inspiration has to come from somewhere. You just don’t wake up one day and say “you know what? I’m going to race a bicycle down trails at ski resorts”. Something must have sparked your interest and I wonder what inspired you? How does one become involved in the sport we love so much?
You probably know already, from reading past articles, that I’ve been riding bikes for most of my life. So what got me started? I lucked out when I was introduced to Bicycle Freestyle thanks to a demonstration by Bob Haro on the Captain Kangaroo TV show!
The Demo had taken place in some parking lot probably in California. A quarter pipe was set up and Bob Haro rode his all white, Haro Master freestyle bike straight up the ramp and into an endo on the platform. He then dropped back into the ramp backwards and rolled back at least 20’ past the ramp in total control. As if this was not enough he hit his rear brake and did two full 360 degree spins on his rear wheel!
I sat on my living room rug in a fog. Bewildered, I replayed the scene back in my head many times over. The demo couldn’t have lasted 30 seconds, but it changed my life forever. I watched Captain Kangaroo most of my life and I can’t remember not one episode, but I remember Bob Haro’s demo like it were yesterday.
Sure, a quarter pipe is still far off from DH racing, but DH racing didn’t exist back then. The only extreme form of biking was freestyle. After that TV show, I subscribed to every BMX magazine and emulated all the tricks in the pictures. Biking was priority in my life and it seems the passion has never died. Hopefully, kids are as influenced by talented athletes today as I was all those years ago.
Enjoy the DOWN Cycles web site! I wish I had access to the world like kids do today. I got involved with bicycle retail not to become a millionaire, but because I have a love for the sport. I can only hope that my shop and web site will inspire people to ride. Bitten by the bug, you are guaranteed to meet the nicest people and ride at the most beautiful places on earth. I will never forget where biking has taken me. All these great memories aside, I’m still trying to spin two full rotations on my rear wheel. Curse you Bob!
Early DOWN Cycles History
A riding buddy recently referred to my shop as a hidden treasure chest. Looking back, I cant believe for the first two years there was no sign on the building, or an overabundance of inventory. I remember begging my friends to leave their bikes so it looked like a shop that has been in business for years. I could close the shop at any time and session the local DH or XC trails. I would crank up the volume on the TV or the stereo all day. I remember three hour hacky sac sessions were the norm. A lot has changed since then, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is at DOWN CYCLES we not only sell bikes, we sell bro.
Since then, the shop has come a long way. Not only has it had a face lift, but we’ve expanded out product inventory. New customers are overwhelmed with our down hill specific inventory, therefore their first reaction is that they are in a strictly downhill only shop. However, we sell all types of bikes which include DH, XC, BMX, road, comfort, hybrids and childrens bikes. We also have a large selection of skateboards and accessories.
Why buy from DOWN CYLES and not from the thousands of other bike shops? Simple, we are always a step ahead of the competition. We personally test the products daily. We land on our teeth so you dont have to. Bike and suspension builders have been using our feed back for development for years. We take pride in every bike/skateboard we sell or service. How many bicycle shop owners can say they raced DH for 12 years or compete at XC or trials? How many shop owners mission for 2004 is to bust a huge front side air out of a pool on their skateboard?
Buy from us and watch killer trails form, ramps and skate parks be born, products become better. Buy from DOWN CYCLES and be part of DOWN CYCLES. Become part of history and stake your place for an amazing future.
For now, check out our existing web site DOWNCycles.com and get ready for our new web site being develop with e-commerce for 2004.
DOWN Cycles is a rider owned bike shop. The owner and operator AJ Picarello raced downhill mountain bikes professionally for over 10 years. He raced in the Norba Nationals series, Norba sanctioned Plattekill Extreme series and Trail 66 series. AJ has competed in many other bike disciplines such as trials (at Motorama and Candy town), XC racing (Norba Nationals and Norba sanctioned) and dual slalom. But most of all, AJ loves to freeride all his products under extreme conditions to insure what he sells meets or exceeds the expectations of his customers, you can see the outcome of his testing in TechTips (reviews). If you are going to recommend a mountain bike it should come from experience and knowledge, thats why I, the web designer and fellow downhill/freerider, have been shopping at downcycles for years with the utmost satisfaction.
DOWN Cycles is an authorized dealer for the following companies: Santa Cruz bikes, Iron Horse Bikes, Avalanche, Brooklyn Machine Works, Azonic bikes, Ellsworth bikes, Nicolai bikes, Hood bikes, GT bikes, Free agent bikes, KHS bikes, Mongoose bikes, Nirve bikes, Fit Bikes, Black Market bikes, Eastern Bikes, Schwinn bikes, Sinister bikes, Orange Mountain bikes, and many of the popular mountain biking accessory companies. Check out our link page to friends and partners: DOWNCycles.com - Links Friends and Partners of DOWN Cycles
DOWN Cycles specialize in downhill bikes, freeride bikes, all mountain mountain bikes, XC mountain bikes, urban and jumping bikes, BMX bikes, road bikes, trail bikes, cruisers, downhill and freeride mountain bike parts, mountain bike accessories, mountain bike forks, mountain bike shocks, mountain bike tires and much more. Come check out what we can offer you: DOWNCycles.com - Home Page
We also sell downhill and freeride videos, mountain biking apparel and much more. Check out our 2005 products: DOWNCycles.com - Products Menu
Take a peek at our closeout sale section to get a great deal on downhill bikes, freeride bikes, downhill and freeride frames, mountain bike parts, mountain bike accessories and much much more. Don’t hesitate products in closeout go fast! - DOWNCycles.com - Closeout Sale - Downhill - Freeride - Mountain Bikes
Our Tech Tips section can entertain you with reviews on many popular mountain bikes and mountain bike parts, such as mountain bike forks, mountain bike shocks, mountain bike tires and much more, check it out: DOWNCycles.com - Tech Tips & Reviews
New Photo Gallery - Users Photo Gallery (Register and post pictures) - Custom Bike Photo Gallery and the Mountain / Riding Gallery in Pics&Vids and Pics&Vids is up and running! DOWNCycles.com was created and maintained by Steve Ziangos from visualmtb.com and many of the riding photos are taken and edited by Steve. Thanks goes out to Brian from gforcephoto.com for some great pictures.
New News Blog