Posted by: Brendan | July 28, 2008


It’s good to be home

Which is what it has felt like up here recently. Candidly, it has taken a while for us to warm up to Idyllwild, or vice-versa… years. More recently, however, we’re finding flow here- Mary’s enjoying her job at IAA, and I’ve settled back into the shop this past week, turning out more & better work than ever before.

But it’s not all about the work. Off-duty time is getting better here, too. The Summer Concert Series is in effect, every Thursday, just a few short blocks from the Siren shop. A lot of locals come out for these shows- with kids, dogs, and picnic baskets in hand. It’s one of the few big community gatherings we have up here, and it’s really fun. Last week we had a bluegrass band, this week it’ll be zydeco.

Town is going through some changes

New, younger businesses are enjoying success. The local organic store, for example, is doing well and growing to more than twice it’s size in the past year. Some of the less traditional art galleries are doing well, despite a recent decline in tourist traffic. I’m hearing great things about the new yoga studio, and I just heard the local acupuncturist set off on her own in the middle of town. (both are just downstairs from the apartment we’re moving in to)

El Diablo- it’s hard for me not to gush about this new place. The brand new coffee shop/ bar/ restaurant/ hangout opened their doors this past week. Good espresso drinks, almost 200 beers in stock (what a challenge!) and a refreshingly unique vibe. I can’t stay away.

The riding gets better every day

Thanks largely to our trail guru’s hard work. If you’re up here riding, you’ll recognize him by the manzanita-colored Siren singlespeed. 😉 The trails this year are in better shape than I’ve seen them before, even the old one’s I’d just about written off.

Ever since Siren became my day job, I’ve found more time to get out for the occasional ride. Lately, I’ve been rolling a fair bit with a motley crew of riders: Chad, a dad & schoolteacher (with a good attitude) who’s been cutting his teeth on a new 29er… Dave, a newly rigid-ized singlespeeder and the y-chromosome of Pedal1Long… and Doug, a longtime local who’s found his way back to two wheels after some hard time off- he shreds with his 26″ Ellsworth up and down the mountain with authority.

We found ourselves “out there” this weekend on a 6 hour trail ride.

…with the occasional break under a shady boulder

Monday morning- It’s time to get to work, hopefully we’ll experience some more of the good times that are rollin’ through the ‘wild. This week, we will be finishing off a small Song 55 going to Ann in Asheville, NC. Then it’s time to get going on the double-secret “Dingus,” a stealthy aggressive hardtail going to Chicago… designed for compatibility with a forthcoming drivetrain.(I like to bury those little tidbits deep into an off-topic blog post ;-))

Ride on!



  1. You don’t have to support El Diablo EVERY day. 😉

  2. Agreed Mary.
    I’m stopping, cold turkey, today.

    ‘cept maybe an iced americano tomorrow?

    Did anyone notice the Hammerschmidt drivetrain reference? I can’t wait to see this stuff…

  3. I agree, it took me a while before I felt I was part of the community. But now it really feels like home, and it truly has turned into a place “where everyone knows your name.” A lot different from the big city San Diego where I’ve lived most of my life. … the y-chromasome of pedal 1 long… clever… I like it. ^_^ The kids and I are off to SD till Saturday, but you might see David at the zydeco concert.

  4. Drat it all, Brendan! I was going to say Hammerschmidt! Then you go and give it away just like that. 🙂

    So much new stuff going on there. Sounds exciting. Makes me want to pick up sticks and go west, it does.

    Maybe you should write for the Chamber of Commerce in Idylwild. 😉

  5. Hammer…..looks exciting!

  6. Idyllwild is looking pretty cool. I hear they have an awesome mountain bike frame builder in town too.

  7. Hey, can we use that picture for our website? And, for that matter, any other pictures of our place that you’d like to share?

    And thanks for the write up! You rock!

    El D.

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