Meet the Staff
“Celebrating” over 35 years in bicycle retail. When I started riding in the late seventies, bikes had five speeds on the rear wheel. Having been a mechanic, sales crew, buyer, and former bike shop owner, the accomplishment of which I am most proud is being a custom frame builder, with over 100 Tamarack custom bikes on the road somewhere. As founder of Randonneurs Nova Scotia, I’m one of those crazy rando’s who rides ridiculously long distances in a day.
My favourite bike? Which one? I have twenty-nine.
My introduction to cycling began in the early 90s when I started work as a bicycle messenger in Toronto. After years of big city life, my interests developed into audax and bicycle touring which led me to the east coast. I joined Velo Halifax and spent a number of years touring, completing numerous centuries, and 'getting roads done'. During that time, my focus changed to bicycle mechanics, and with a newly acquired Bicycle Technician certificate in hand, I was hired by Cyclesmith. The following years were spent commuting, mountain biking, road cycling, touring, and racing.
I took a hiatus from the bicycle scene to explore a new career, however my passion for cycling trumped all that. Three years ago, I came back to Cyclesmith in a new role that allows me to revel in everyone's excitement - it's definitely contagious!
Looking back, I can safely say that bicycles are and remain the most consistent item throughout my life, for as long as I can remember. As a young kid on the farm racing down the freshly harvested fields, as a teenager riding to hang out with my buddies, as a new kitchen apprentice riding my stress away on the Cabot trail. And finally, at the peak of my culinary career, bikes were my daily escape from reality.
Eventually life and its twists and turns took me where I am now: which is to hopefully help our customers introduce bicycles into their lives in the same way they were part of mine.
I can still remember the first time I rode on two wheels. It was my sisters bike, a pink My Little Pony BMX with training wheels. I had a three-wheel GI JOE trike, cause its the eighties and that's what everyone had then. I remember taking her bike, riding it around out front of the house and leaning on the training wheels trying to turn in circles as fast as possible. After getting dizzy from that and trying to get my bearings I noticed I could ride faster if I didn't lean on the training wheels. That was it, got the training wheels taken off and its been two wheels ever since.
When I was younger it was about exploring the neighborhood looking for trails and parks with friends. That took me to the next step getting a dedicated mountain bike and exploring farther. Now we were gone the whole day, going farther and farther. What was next, racing. Planning weeks long MTB trips on school summer vacation going to different MTB races traveling around BC and Alberta.
Being around bikes that much took me to the next step. Working on bikes. I got my first job at a bike store when I was fourteen. Since then I have been working with bikes and that has allowed me to work in bikes shops across Canada.
The one thing has stayed the same along the way, as long as I can ride a bike, I'm happy.
The bike has meant many things to me over the years. First it meant adolescent independence. Then it meant an ill-advised three years as the worst Cat-3 racer in Essex (there were only three categories back then), and an even more ill-advised summer dodging traffic as a bike-courier in London. It then meant triathlon in Scotland with an extremely ill-advised summer racing in a Speedo. Triathlon is still a large part of my life, although now it means standing on the other side of the barricades as an official although occasionally they give me a bike to spend the day patrolling on the run course. Top-Tip from officiating? It's hard to stay in front of a Olympic medalist on a fat-bike!
Nowadays, what the bikes means has changed. Instead of training and racing, it means a way to find a little quiet time in the middle of a busy life. Finally, it means passing my love of the bike on to my little guy. I hope it will mean as much to him as it ha meant to me.
I’ve always wanted to ride bicycles at an early age, started racing mountain bikes when I was at the age of sixteen and still race them to this day. I also enjoy riding my Cannondale CAAD 10 around the Sambro loop or going for a mountain bike ride on my Kona Honzo AL DL around the local trails such as Fight Trail. No matter if I am cycling on my own or with a group of people; to me cycling is about exploring more and adventuring on a bicycle. It’s just so satisfy being on a bicycle is good for the mind and body, and it puts a smile on my face.
Five hours in, riding The Whole Enchilada in Moab, Utah, the Colorado River is another 1000ft down, I’ve got my second flat tire. I am near the end of an epic ride that started near the top of the La Sal Mountains and took us from coniferous forest through to aspens and into the heat above Castle Valley before riding down to the desert in Moab below. A wind gust comes out of nowhere, sandblasting me, forcing me to stop walking and close my eyes tight as I can. The next day riding Navajo Rocks, the tropical storm strength wind is whipping hail and rain at us sideways as we ride to the Vanagon-agon shuttle, all while completely surrounded by constant lightning in the middle of a desert. I don’t regret any of it; it’s all about adventure and experience and that’s what I ride for! Just don’t ask me about the Keji mountain bike story.
My favourite bike is a 1996 Diamondback Topanga SE. It's the one that got me hooked.
After riding cross country MTB for a few years my parents encouraged me to try a race, the Spoke Bender Classic, in Wentworth NS. Not having any expectations or knowing the trail, I knew this race was going to be an adventure. At the time there were about 15 riders in my age class, all pretty new to racing. The course consists of steady climbing, fun but challenging single track, and then there's the fast fire road descents. When the race was over we were muddy, dusty and exhausted but I was hooked. Finishing in 4th place was better than I had hoped for and made me want to return to race year after year.
I've been crazy about bikes since discovering my first mountain bike trail behind my elementary school. I ride year-round for fun and as my exclusive form of transportation. I probably enjoy wrenching just as much as riding and spend way too time in the workshop. Started working as a mechanic in Ottawa in 2009, with a break to finish my degree in mechanical engineering (which I mainly use to bug people when they use the words "tension," or "fatigue" inaccurately).
Favourite things in the shop are wheel building and confusing m'colleagues with obscure references. My most memorable ride is probably the last hour of my first 200k, riding a fixed-gear by moonlight after my lights had died.
My current favourite bike is probably my Velo Sport Prestige, in the middle of a long conversion to a light tourer, but my new Trek Stache is pretty cool.
I started cycling because it was the most efficient way to commute but it gradually took over my life. Riding means something different to everyone that gets on a bike, to me it's the difference between dreading being in a car stuck in traffic and looking forward to riding home every day (except maybe those few days in February). Whether I’m commuting, touring, or going for a weekend ride I always get the same feeling when I’m on my bike and that’s what keeps me coming back to it. Left to my own devices I’d be tinkering with bikes at home, luckily, I get to do that for my job and help keep other people rolling too.
Favourite bike: Holdsworth Professional
Cycling has always been a driving force in my life. As a teen I would spend entire days riding my Kona Pahoehoe (I loved how the decals glowed in the dark on night rides) around Truro and Victoria Park with all of my friends. We would spend hours building dirt jumps when we probably should have been doing homework. As a young adult I spent my time learning ways to help other aspiring cyclists and children learn new skills and cycling abilities. I love all forms of cycling, but mountain biking has always been my passion. I would often spend all my free time in the woods riding trails or maintaining them. I use any excuse to get out riding, I love the freedom of cycling. One of my favourite feelings is cleaning a new section of trail.
Krista’s perfect day
Biking into the sunrise
And then the sunset
Besides writing phenomenal Haikus, Krista is a recent biology graduate, volunteer on the Halifax Search and Rescue team, tea connoisseur and avid adventurer. She believes that a bicycle, rolling over hills by the ocean or flowing through single track, is the solution to 87% of her problems and that butter is the solution to the remainder. She will ride anywhere, anytime and in any condition with a giant smile on her face. She’s convinced that the letter ‘B’ is the greatest letter in the English language; bikes, beer, biology, breakfast, bonfires, BIG cookies, and the list goes on and on... When not riding a bicycle or thinking of words that start with ‘B’, Krista can be found starring longingly out her window waiting for her Hogwarts letter to arrive, storm chasing or building Lego sets.
Cycling down a hill
Is the closest to flying
Us muggles will get
The bicycle has always played an important 'roll' in my life, growing up often without a family vehicle; it represented mobility and freedom, something I could depend on to take me where I needed to go. These values developed throughout university to become a passion, and upon finishing my studies in philosophy, I found myself beginning my career at Jack Nauss Bicycle Shop in Halifax. It was here that I began honing my skills in repair and ensuring others could come to depend on their bicycles for need and enjoyment. Having no desire in owning a car, anywhere I've wanted or needed to go has been by bicycle; to get from home to work, to visit my friends at the Earltown General Store, or to fulfill my dreams of cycling across France.
Cycling has played a large role in my life. I have been involved in cycling and racing from a young age and cannot remember a time as a kid where I didn’t enjoy riding my bike. This was always a fun way to spend time with family and friends outdoors. Through cycling, I have been able to meet some great people and spend countless hours riding in many different places, getting to explore different places to ride such as riding along a coastline or ripping through single track in the woods.
I have been active in the Nova Scotia cycling scene since 2002. Being a past member of most of the cycling organizations locally and provincially. Cycling safety education and advocacy have been my two main areas of concern. I have been working at Cyclesmith since 2012 helping our customers make informed choices on bikes, clothing and parts. When I am not at work I like to ride my bike! Whether it be the short commute or squeezing in a ride before the family gets up in the morning. When I am not riding my bike I usually can be found hanging out with my son Simon and his mom. Swimming in Lake Banook in the summer, reading on the back deck or trying to get to Cape Breton for some camping. Favourite movie would be the Star Wars and Star Trek series. My favourite food would be Thai or pizza. Favourite rides would be in Annapolis Valley or an early morning ride around Peggy’s Cove.
Will first got into cycling as an adult when I moved to the North End in 2011 when he purchased an entry level hybrid with the intention of getting from point A to point B. As time went on he began cycling more and more, beginning with his first taste of winter commuting during the 2012 Transit Strike, as well as expanding his horizons by purchasing a mountain bike. More recently he has dabbled in road riding, as well as getting involved with the trail building efforts of the McIntosh Run Watershed Association.
If he had to pick his favourite bike, Will would have to choose his first mountain bike, a 2012 Kona Splice. It was with his Splice that Will made many memories and experienced several firsts: his first race, his first jump, and his first-time riding trails that he had helped build.
When he’s not helping his fellow cyclists at Cyclesmith or out for a ride Will occupies his time by enjoying a nice meal, local beer, or coffee at any number of locations around town; taking in a documentary or comedy at home; or spending an evening playing board games with friends.
Jamie M.I stopped riding bikes when I was 15 but eight years ago my wife and I wanted to get rid of one of our cars, so I started commuting to work by bike. I quickly remembered how much fun riding a bike is, and started riding on the weekends as well, eventually gravitating to charity rides and triathlons.
I love working in a bike store and helping people discover (or re-discover!) how good it feels to hop on a bike and go for a ride.
Hi there, my name is Daniel. I've been working at Cyclesmith since I moved to Halifax in 2015. I love to take a road bike around the Sambro loop or a mountain bike down fight trail but most of all I just love commuting around town no matter what the weather. I study mechanical engineering at Dalhousie and one day aspire to design bikes, or design some rockets, or design rocket powered bikes. If you have a dog you should definitely stop by Cyclesmith as I'd love to pet your pet, with your permission of course. I promise if you come to Cyclesmith that I'll give you, and your dog, the best service I can offer.