Please introduce yourself and the work that you do.
My name is Clint John, and I am the Co-Owner and Senior Mechanic at Velo Star Cafe.
What does craft mean to you?
I define craft as the pursuit of perfecting something that is made by hand.
Why bikes? How did this passion turn into an entrepreneurial venture for you?
I've been riding bikes since I was a kid. I have also worked in bike shops for 20 years, which then led to the opening of my own venture.
You're currently the founder of Velo Star: a coffee shop and bike repair studio. How do you hope Velo Star will impact your community and the bike community here?
Velo Star is growing the cycling community by giving it a meeting space. We service their bikes and we offer a setting for people to share their passions for bikes and cycling with others by having coffee with them.
In addition to repairing and making bikes, you are also a master wheelmaker. Share with us some of the intricacies behind wheel-making. What part of the process do you most look forward to?
To build wheels properly, a quiet and chill atmosphere is ideal. It involves many parts, and accounting for all the parts by laying them out ahead of time – like the chefs do with mis en place. I love seeing the wheel come into completion. It's so satisfying.
To become an expert at anything requires patience, devotion, and skill. Apart from these, what specific qualities did you hone in on to become a master of your craft?
Attention to detail. Measure twice or even more before buying or cutting. Learn about and try new products, but know the classics. And [a] natural enthusiasm [towards the craft] will eventually lead to mastery through years of continued learning.
How do you feel when you’re on your bike? How do you feel when you are around bikes?
I feel energized and free when I am out on a ride. I always look at other bikes and think about how they can be improved upon.
How has your craft shaped your relationship with the world? What is a lesson you've learned / taken away from your craft over the years?
My love of riding bikes led me to getting a job at a bike shop. Anytime I travel, I try to get around by bike, or at least observe the cycling infrastructure of that area to get an idea of what riding would be like. Cycling is the best way to explore a new town. You are moving from place to place effectively, but slow enough to take it all in.
Custom bikes are such an extension of someone's personality. So much thought, research, concepting, and ideas go into building a frame, and always with a purpose in mind . Is there one bike you've seen or built for someone that has stuck with you?
I’m most inspired by my own custom bike. Its frame was custom built and fitted to me. I chose its componentry, built its wheels, and chose the paint scheme and decals. When I look at it, I'm inspired to go out for a ride.