We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Bohnert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, what principle do you value most?
While it is difficult to sum up a value or principle that is paramount in my life and business, I would say authenticity ranks in my top three. I feel like this permeates through all facets of life – from the first time you meet someone to the daily interactions we have with others. When helping someone find a match with a custom bike that will not only be their mode of transportation, but conveys to the outside world their values, priorities, personal style – I find that the process is more successful if they recognize my authenticity and vice versa. Over the past twenty years or so, I feel this has been more difficult to come by as humans connect online in various forums that discourage this trait and in fact encourage a concocted and insincere existence. Authenticity can be a refreshing reminder of our shared humanity in a sometimes disjointed and confusing world.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
RiNoVELO Bicycle Workshop was born out of a need to solve puzzles. Growing up, I was surrounded by “things” that allowed for tinkering and creative expression. Bikes, lawnmowers, tools and cars were just a few of the things that were available for me to work on. I learned through trial and error how things fit together, and how components that were designed for one thing that could be used for a different purpose. I gravitated towards bikes and appreciated the complex inner-workings but also the simplicity of the design and human powered element so I started building “frankenbikes” for my friends and family from my dorm room in college and then my garage when I moved to Colorado. While I am not the first to do such, I found that there was a niche market for custom, stylized bikes built from vintage frames and components. I also saw how wasteful the constant churn of consumerism can be and the how the insatiable need to have the newest thing was harmful to the environment in which we all live. So while my passion is preserving functional vintage bicycles, tools and other items – what sets RiNoVELO apart is helping people fall in love with the freedom of riding a bicycle again. This looks different for different people, be it a $10k Triathlon bike or a $10.00 garage sale gem that needs some TLC. Like most shops, we like to promote the bike lifestyle and we also enjoy creating a passionate community that cares for social justice, environmental stewardship and helping others through acts of service and altruism. To carry out this mission, we have hosted rides like the Tweed Ride Denver, Denver Ride For Justice, Rapids Ride, Le Tour De Zach and others in order to spread the good word.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Colorado has so much to offer, so I suppose my itinerary would depend on the friend that was coming to town and during what season. Mountains of course have a special place in my soul and so experiencing their energy through mountain biking (I won’t tell you my favorite trails), soaking in a remote hot spring (again, not telling), snowboarding, or just watching the transition from light to dark reflecting from the mountains on a remote hut trip will be on the list of things to do. I also enjoy the power of water, thus floating the rivers outside of Golden, followed by some New Zealand style ice cream from Happy Cones would certainly be in the mix. Within Denver, I feel riding gives you the best feel for the flow of the city, so an itinerary-less journey through the city to find new nooks and crannies and meeting interesting people would take up a day….maybe two. Perhaps a Rapids match, jazz-in-the park, self-guided art tour, or wandering the halls of History Colorado or Forney Transportation Museum would make the cut, depending on the mood. I would try to catch Chef Miguel at Brasserie Brixton for eats, and hit up JD’s for some karaoke, cocktails and pool table hustle. Or you could just watch Netflix.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this to my loyal customers who have realized that sometimes you cannot rush or force a one of a kind custom and that it takes time to find the perfect match and have trusted me in that process. I would also have to credit my father for teaching me mechanical principles that translate to so many different moving pieces of life. Furthermore, I find that the day to day conversations with those whom I cross paths with, and learning from different perspectives, cultures and life experiences become a valuable part of my personal and business growth..
Libbie Holmes Photography (only the tweed ride one) Seth Beckton Connor Tieulie