Val is BRAIN’s newest staff writer. She comes to the magazine with a varied background including stints as a bike shop manager, bicycle tour guide, and race and event director. She also worked as a freelance writer in the outdoor and travel industries. Most recently, she taught women’s clinics and drove a demo van, working with Giant retailers all over the west. An Idaho native who has lived all over the northwest, Val is excited about her recent relocation to sunny southern California, where she can mountain bike, trail run, and garden year round. She lives in Silverado canyon with her boyfriend Brian and their two dogs.
All articles by Val Vanderpool
LOS ANGELES (BRAIN) — Detroit-based watch, leather goods and bicycle company Shinola opened its newest retail store in Los Angeles last week. The 1,100-square-foot shop is in the heart of the city's Silver Lake neighborhood, and is Shinola's seventh brick-and-mortar retail outlet.
ORLANDO, Fla. (BRAIN)—A recent purchase of four bike shops in a one-month period has brought the store count at David’s World Cycle to 12. The greater Orlando-area retailer also has its sights on a fifth acquisition, with a deal set to close in November.
WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — When Katie Lupo went shopping for a bike after relocating to D.C. from Madison, Wisconsin, for an internship, she was shocked to discover there were no used bike shops in the city. After finishing graduate school, Lupo decided to move to D.C. permanently and open her own. Lupo started Gearin’ Up Bicycles in late 2012 as a nonprofit community used bike shop, modeling it after a similar program in Madison called Dream Bikes.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (BRAIN) — When Two Wheel Tango unexpectedly closed in early October, many customers who had purchased bikes from one of its three stores wondered where they would take them for service.
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (BRAIN) — After learning that the strip mall where Race Pace Ellicott City was housed for 30 years would be torn down, owner Alex Obriecht began looking for a new building to rent. Buying property wasn’t something he had initially considered, but commercial rentals were expensive and difficult to find. So in December 2012, Obriecht purchased a 7,000-square-foot warehouse that had previously been used to store excavating equipment. He hired an architect and the building was gutted and remodeled inside and out. An additional 4,800 square feet of space was also added to the building. The process took more than 21 months — nearly a year longer than Obriecht had anticipated.
AUSTIN, Texas (BRAIN) — Take away the perpetually sunny skies, year-round mild temps and the ever-present Southern hospitality, and it might be easy to mistake Austin for Portland, Oregon.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (BRAIN) — Retailer Two Wheel Tango has closed its three Ann Arbor-area stores. In a statement posted on its Facebook page Oct. 7, owner Dennis Pontius said that the dealer agreement with his primary vendor ended unexpectedly last week.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (BRAIN) — Besides gaining a better location and more space, Revolution Cycles also has also added taps to its store following a recent move. Owner Watts Dixon moved the shop about a mile down the road in May, putting it closer to a college campus.
SEATTLE (BRAIN) — Located a stone’s throw from the original Starbucks and the Pike Place Market on Seattle’s waterfront, Elliott Bay Bicycles will close its doors at the end of September. Framebuilder Bill Davidson and retailer Bob Freeman opened Elliott Bay in 1983.
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — Ridley Bikes has partnered with Belgium's LRM and Taiwan-based Ideal Bicycle Corporation, one of the country's largest bicycle manufacturers.