Josh, IBike & Jackalope

Josh, IBike & Jackalope

The IBike shop on Rachel has always been specialized in urban bikes. Photo Credit : Marie Vallières

You ride in fixed gear ? Then you must know the IBike shop !

 

Implemented in this montrealer community since 2010, it is one of the most involved urban shops in the events field.  

IBike is more than a bike shop, it is also a cycling team made up of 25 female and male athletes this year that participate in fixed gear competitions, cyclo-cross and road biking.

We got a chance to see them at Toonie Crit, at the Red Hook Crit , at the Mardis de Lachine and at many other road bike races that are sanctioned by the Fédération Québécoise des Sports Cyclistes. This super van that represents de shop in it’s yellow-orange colours is very noticeable and is now a part of the picture during the races and the various bike events going on in town.

Since its creation, IBike has organized many races and events for the fixed gear community. Some examples are : a numerous amount of open rides for all and the Bikeapalooza. Not to forget the annual collaboration with the Jackalope festival since 2012 along with its famous wall, and since 2013, an unavoidable fixed gear criterium.  

They are also the first to say yes when it comes to encouraging the other bike event organizer’s initiatives by promoting them and by offering prizes for the winners of the races. Most of these races are the Alleycats : races that were initially created by bike messengers, replicating a typical day of work through a series of checkpoints, in a competitive form.

Josh Gieni, founder and part owner. Photo Credit : Marie Vallières

One of the owners, Josh Gieni, known as a salesman, as a mechanic, as a rider, as a racer, as an organiser and also as a team leader, welcomes us in his shop to talk to us about IBike Crit at the Jackalope, an event that he happens to take under his wing year after year.

 

MV : Which do you rather between organizing and racing ?

JG : Racing, no doubt ! This being said, we need people that organize the races in order to have more of them.

 

MV : This year, you will have help from Benoit. Can you tell us how much work it takes to organize a race of this size ?

JG : Of course, it takes a tremendous amount of energy and a lot of time, but all of it is needed. We definitely need more races in order to help this community grow. As soon as the race ends, we already begin to organize the race for the following year : we must contact sponsors, sign contracts, gather athletes, do a follow-up every week and take the time to go into interviews, just like right now ! We have to talk about the event.

 

MV : What do we find in the fixed gear community that we do not find anywhere else ?

JG : One of the characteristics that distinguishes fixed gear from road biking is the whole aspect of inclusion. Anybody who wishes to be a part of a fixed gear race is welcome to ! Road biking races are more exclusive, bikes are more expensive and so are the signup fees. Fixed gear just has something about it. It is hard to put my finger on it, but it is unique. The type of crew that it brings in, the atmosphere that is created in the events, the fact that it has always had and always will have an underground aspect to it, and finally, it does not follow all of the rules. It  is quite special.

IBike is an important stop in the Montreal fixed gear community. Photo Credit : Marie Vallières

MV : Would you happen to have any advice for someone who would want to start participating in fixed gear races for the first time this year ?

JG : Just GO ! For sure, this decision comes with a necessary workout plan, but there are amateur categories in the races that help accumulate experience. It is a good way to start, and we must start somewhere, so just try !

 

MV : Would you say that biking is your favourite sport ?

JG : Now, yes. I have done all kinds of different sports, but since the opening of the store, this is TRULY my favorite sport.

 

MV : As much in your races in fixed gear, than in your races in road biking, what helps you give that last big push ?

JG : It is to think about the reasons that drive me. It happens in every race, in every training. It is what will help you surpass yourself and improve yourself every day.

 

MV : Besides the fixed gear criterium, what is your favourite part of the Jackalope ?

JG : The entire weekend ! Just chilling over there, grabing a beer, eating, seeing the pop up shops, the skateboarding and slacklining. It is a weekend of entertainment.

Josh, the notorious van and a Cinelli race bike. Photo Credit : Marie Vallières

Marie Vallieres

Marie Vallieres

Aventurière sur deux roues.