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State your name:

Tom Smith  

When did you start working at Great Northern Bicycle Company?


What are you best known for around the shop?

Uhmm? I suppose the rest of the crew should answer this one. The founder, el jefe, the barista. I'm not really sure.  

Why Bikes?

Bicycles are Freedom Machines! They carry you swiftly and silently around the corner and around the world. They are an extension of your being, your power, your identity. Bicycles are always on the high road.

What was your first bicycle and what do you remember about it?

Our family had a coaster-bike brake with hard rubber tires of about 20 inches. I learned to ride on that bike and to jump it too. The bike was old, probably from the early 50's. It was red and had a squeaky seat. I know my brother got a new bike because I rode the tires of the old one...literally, I rode the tires off.  

What is your favorite local bike ride?

Tall Tower 100. An out-and-back to visit the 2028' TV tower that was, for many years, the tallest structure on earth. 

What is the coolest place your bike has taken you?

Coolest (as in a relatively low temperature) right here in Fargo. I recall riding into work at -35.  

Coolest (as in fashionably attractive or impressive). There have been so many. If I had to pick, I think I'd say the lower switchbacks on the Italian side of Col du Petit Saint Bernard. The road is silky smooth and steep enough to put you right on the edge through every turn. Tunitas Creek climb south of San Francisco is pretty neat too.

What is on the horizon?  Describe your next great cycling adventure.

The north coast of the South Island, New Zealand. 

Favorite shop tool?

The Park Tool spoke wrench. There are few things more rewarding than creating a strong and light-weight bicycle wheel out of a hub, a rim, and a pile of spokes...and then riding the crap out of it.  

What is your favorite kind of pizza?

I like pizza with pizza toppings; chicken is not a pizza topping, tortilla chips are not pizza toppings, Arugula greens are not pizza toppings. My favorite is ham and sausage.

Words to live by?


Current bike stable:

  • Specialized Tarmac S-Works

  • Specialized Globe Vienna

  • Raleigh Cadent i11

  • Specialized Allez - turned into a fixie

  • Specialized Epic Comp

  • Specialized Transition E5

  • Specialized Roubaix S-Works - but it’s for sale now.