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"We're not too serious about what we do with our bikes...just serious about what we put on them." ~Paul


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Bike stuff and shop cats
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No babies, we swear
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"...when you make a living out of what you love, sometimes those side hobbies keep you sane." ~John Watson

Excerpt from our interview below. But first, videos and random parts...

PAUL CAMP 2017 - A real barn burner

(that's Sierra foothill speak for GREAT SUCCESS.)

There are very few bicycley events that are our first rodeo, so yeah - sometimes we catch ourselves going through the motions. And that's precisely when it's time to do something completely wingnuts just to rattle our own cage.

We've attended Interbike a bazillion times, but it was three years ago that we came home exhausted afterward - maybe a little bored, maybe a little disillusioned - when those two little cage rattling words drifted through the air:

What if...

What if we did things differently? What if we could stay home and do something our way?

A barrage of ideas followed and led to PAUL Camp 2016. You remember all the Surlys, right? We outfitted eight journalists with Stragglers, all complete with PAUL purple components, and we rode and hung out, essentially creating an Interbike where we were the only vendors.

THIS is a quintessential case of taking the bull by the horns and saying, yeah but, seriously though - look at this.

For PAUL Camp 2017 we dialed it up way high, hosting twelve journalists, eleven custom frame builders, and component company, White Industries.

The eleven Frame Builders:

Falconer, McGovern, Hunter, Oddity, Sklar, Blue Collar, Sycip, Steve Rex, Caletti, Speedvagen, and Retrotec.

The twelve journalists:
John Watson from The Radavist, Stephen Lam from Outside Magazine, Spencer Jeremy from Men's Journal, Maurice Tierney from Dirt Rag, Daniel Sapp from Bicycling Magazine, AJ Powell from Gear Patrol, Jan and Natsuko Heine from Bicycle Quarterly, Stevil Kinevil from All Hail the Black Market, Thomas Puzak from Gear Junkie, Tyler Benedict from Bike Rumor, and Andrew Yee from CX Magazine.

Perhaps you've seen some articles? Perhaps you've read about our ride through one of the most technically challenging and unforgiving terrains in all the land, our local Bidwell Park?

We even had an exhibit of all those gorgeous bikes in both brew houses at Sierra Nevada Brewery, which will probably never ever happen again because we were a nuisance to the brewers (they need to concentrate!) - collateral damage for grabbing those horns.

Anyway, it's still a big deal in our world. Not just because of the press but because we pulled it off. Again. And a bunch of wonderful people got on board to help us do it.

Which is way better than standing around with our components in our hands - components we poured our everything into to make - waiting for a chance to talk about them.

The know-it-alls would advise against this

You're not supposed to make a businessy video that lasts over five minutes. Marketing chumps will tell you thems the rules.

Sometimes we cheat and sneak over the line (Paul uhmmms a lot) into the six minute time frame.

But then there's this next video, which is about 20 minutes, which is, of course, a major no-no, which we had to do because it's from PAUL Camp, so if you make yourself some maple glazed bacon, a watermelon salad, and grab a spritzer of sorts, you can watch it and it's just like being there, minus real time and a few edits to shave off five minutes of banter and accidentally unplugging the mic at one point.

We know it's long. We also know that last paragraph was one humongous run-on sentence. We know a lot of things. But we speculate some of you would like to see this. It's informative for fans of the company (kind of a PAUL history speech) and it's heartening for anyone out there with an entrepreneurial spirit, as Paul pretty much confirms that your own business will shank you in a dark alley and leave you for dead (he doesn't actually say that, but still...), but it pays off to keep your friends close and keep working.

If you want to see a quicker video of (most of) the bikes at PAUL Camp, check this out:

Paul Component - Random parts for weird, random people.

Should that be our new tagline?

Because, honestly, some of you are into some nichey, illogical shenans.

Such as single speed Mountain biking.

There was a craze around 2010/2011, so that's when we started getting requests for a fixed gear version of our legendary Word Single Speed Hub.

That's when the
Fixed Disc WORD entered the scene.

Every so often we make a batch when a request or two rolls in, and it just so happens, we got 'em right now.

It's not our hottest seller, as it's only for the few randos out there who're always upping the bar and sharpening their technical skills in unconventional ways that will, in the end, probably make you better than everyone else at whatever it is you're doing.

So yeah...the
Fixed Disc. Which, if you say it fast enough, kinda sounds like Fish Sticks. So maybe we should call it that? The Fish Sticks WORD.

For our more absurd customer with whom, for the reasons stated above, we can totally relate.


7 Questions with John Watson of the Radavist

1. What is your mission behind the publication of the Radavist? Or what's the contribution you strive to make in the realm of bicycle news?
When I started the Radavist, I wanted it to be a venue for autodidact raconteurs to share their stories from their rides and to focus on the vehicles that enable cyclists to explore - That's an attempt to sound smarter than I am. In short, I wanted a venue to share routes and rides, along with a focus on companies who make products that fall in line with the kinds of rides found on the site. Photographing people's bikes is a huge part of that as well. People love to flip through galleries of bikes and bike rides, so each gallery has to be loaded with good photos. There's an amazing community at the Radavist and one that I feel is the best in the industry. It's positive, constructive and engaged. I'd like to think that's the biggest contribution to the industry: constant stoke.  

2. You're an amazing photographer - Can you tell us how you got started with all that and was it a skill set that sort of helped form the Radavist or were those skills more like an added bonus to making the publication so great? 
I went to college for architecture and worked in the industry for 8 years. I took photography classes in college and when I moved to New York to work as an architect, I began documenting bike riding there. Granted, I was horrible at making photos back then. Over time, my skills were honed and now, I feel like a large reason the Radavist is so popular is that we take photography so seriously. Well, not seriously, but we strive to make good photos... and have fun doing it. 

3. How does all the traveling you do for your job work in the grand scheme of things? Do you love it, hate it, both? Does it suit you perfectly or is it something you have to manage to make work?
Ah, that's a tricky one. In the moment, I love traveling. I love meeting people, riding in new places and soaking in the culture as best as I can. In terms of photography, it's a great way to improve your skill of capturing the moment. When you're new to an environment, it takes quick thinking to document it. That said, after two or three weeks on the road, I miss my life in Los Angeles. I miss my home, my rides, my girlfriend, our dog, canned rosé after a ride and my friends. At this point, I only travel for trips that will add to the feel of the website, often turning down press camps that might not suit the website. Or my travel schedule. Or my sanity. I do however love exploring the Mojave and Death Valley. I could do that full-time, easily. My lady and I are desert rats, often joking about how we want a tiny shack in the desert with a palo verde tree as the only form of shade.
4. How do you decide on what you're going to cover - does it come to you, do you seek it out?
It's a healthy mix of the two. Honestly, I'm so busy running the site, editing contributor's work, making sure everything moves along smoothly that my free time to explore new content is so short. I usually just put myself in situations where I know the content that comes from them will be visually engaging.

5. How long did it take you to acclimate in L.A. and come up with a good portfolio of rides?
I had been traveling to LA for six years before moving here, and luckily, I'm friends with the guys at Golden Saddle Cyclery, who showed me a plethora of rides in Los Angeles I could build my experience off of. When I first moved here, I made a game out of finding new places to ride, or at least new variations on those familiar rides so they would feel like mine. There are still a ton of rides, within 50 or 100 miles of my house that I've yet to explore.

6. Are there any events you haven't covered but really really want to?
Of course! Far too many to name. Although I was really bummed out that I got the flu and couldn't travel to South Africa for Eroica, or the bikepacking trip that ensued afterward. 

7. You have a Toyota Landcruiser from Japan where the driver's seat is on the right. Do you ever get confused?
Honestly, it took five minutes to get used to it. I will say I was really confused when I did the math the first time and figured out I was getting 28MPG on the highway for a truck with a 3" lift! The only thing that trips me up from time to time is hitting the windshield wiper when I'm trying to hit the turn signal. Everything about it is easy and it sure draws attention everywhere we go. Mostly from dudes. Lots of dudes love that truck and want to talk about it. Ladies, if you're single and are looking for dudes who are into cars, holler at me and I'll rent it to you. Joking aside, working on the truck - doing everything from replacing wiring harnesses, to tracking down parts for it, replacing rusty components, and keeping it running mechanically sound - has been a great side hobby and when you make a living out of what you love, sometimes those side hobbies keep you sane. :-)
Normally we just inform you that if you didn't attend Lost and Found, you missed your best shot at being simultaneously broken and reborn, and it would behoove you to avoid the same mistake next year because that shit is spiritual.

But due to a rather unfortunate misunderstanding of the way things work, we now need to inform you of a little opposition that's about to get started up in this B.

Mark Weir - a maven and maestro of mountain biking - claims to have run the "BEST" aid station at Lost and Found. So please let the record show that Mark has thrown down the proverbial gauntlet and whatever bravado or preposterousness ensues as a result...just know he started it.

Because, Mark Weir, Paul Component runs the best aid station at Lost and Found, m'kay? Paul Component brings the bacon. Paul Component supplies bike maintenance and whiskey so riders don't crack before they finish.

Pish posh to your gauntlet, Mark. We're throwing down the Hammer of Thor. And we will see you, friend, at Lost and Found next year. May The BEST aid station win.


530-345-4371 ext. 202.

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