February’s cyclist of the month comes to us from another one of Long Beach’s finest bike shops, the Bicycle Stand. Patrick Estrada is a lifetime Southern California resident who has built an amazing community of friends around the bicycle. He has a huge appreciation for art and music—both of which weave their way into the fabric of his bicycle culture. Patrick has some pretty awesome stories from the early days of his cycling career that he was gracious enough to share with us here!
Pedal Movement – So what got you into cycling in the first place?
Patrick Estrada – Well I was really bad at all other sports but I knew how to ride a bike, haha. So I stuck to that and really enjoyed the feeling of freedom when you ride a bike.
PM – What was your biking inspiration when you first started? How has that shifted over the years?
PE – My biggest inspiration was watching MASH SF’s and Macaframa’s dvd (yes a physical dvd lol) back in 2006-2007 when I was in high school. I just loved the energy and how punk rock it was. It was pure fun. I just wanted to ride track bikes on the streets and play hardcore music. Over the years not much has changed, besides that I got gears and bigger tires on my bike now haha.
PM – What was your first bike?
PE – I’m pretty sure my first bike was a Peugeot road bike that my friends and I got at a yard sale and converted it into a fixed gear. I stripped the frame and painted it black with risers and purple Oury grips. I rode that thing into the ground until I finally saved enough money to buy a real track bike.
PM – What was the sketchiest DIY solution you rode back in those early days?
PE – I’m assuming you mean a DIY solution to fix a bike? [long pause] I couldn’t afford a fixed gear wheel when I was a teenager. So to make do, I would just loctite a fixed gear cog on the freewheel threads. There you go, just pray and hope that the loctite would be strong enough to act as your lock ring! Oh, I also pressed in headsets with 2x4s and a hammer.
Disclaimer : Do NOT do this!
PM – What are you riding now?
PE – Now I have three bikes:
1. Surly Midnight Special as my gravel bike.
2. Surly Cross-Check with Campagnolo 8-Speed as my road/rando bike.
3. FMB The Sword as my track bike
PM – When did you start wrenching, and how did that become a job?
PE – Growing up we didn’t really have money to buy a new bike or actually take my sketchy conversion into a shop. So I just had to figure it out on my own for a few years, eventually realizing that I actually enjoyed working on bikes. Over time and with the help of Sheldon Brown’s website, I learned basic bicycle mechanics and learned more when I worked at shops in my early 20s. And of course still learning more every day!
PM – You mentioned cycling is where you build community—what does that look like for you?
PE – I see it as a community that is constantly evolving. Becoming more inclusive and open to everybody who is or wants to be on bicycle.
PM – What advice would you give someone just getting into cycling culture?
PE – Don’t be shy! Find groups and rides that sound interesting to you, I’m sure that you will make a friend or two. Bike people are generally very friendly people (when it is safer to meet in groups of course).
PM – Here’s a random one—what are your top 3 albums of all time?
PE – Oh dang this is a hard one because I listen to a lot of music. These will be in no particular order.
1. Black Sabbath – Master of Reality
2. Thrice – The Artist in The Ambulance
3. Black Tongue – Nadir
Honorable mention: Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass
PM – What are your goals on two wheels this year?
PE – Hopefully when things get better this year is to go on more bikepacking trips! My friend Danny and I went to Anza Borrego for my 30th last year and it was a nice break from the current chaos of the world. Also maybe learn how to wheelie.