Shop sponsored commuter team hits the streets in Portland

The 21 Ambassadors to support urban cyclists

Portland’s 21st Avenue Bicycles is forming a cycling team and looking for riders. Bucking tradition, however, the team won’t race — they will commute.

The bike shop, known for their hilarious promotional videos, will offer many of the same perks racers might receive — including discounts and team wear — however, members will serve as pro-bike ambassadors and assists the city’s urban bike commuters, rather than race and train.

Applications for a one-year spot on the XXI (21) Ambassadors squad will be considered until the August 15 deadline. “We wanted to put together a team that addresses the products that we sell in our shop such as urban commuters to people that use their bikes as a main mode of transportation,” Kyle Von Hoetzendorff, manager of 21st Avenue Bicycles told BikeRadar. “Our team will focus on people who use their bike for commuting and transportation.”

“In Portland there are a lot of people that commute by bike because it is a progressive community, it has a lot of cycling facilities, it is easy to get around by bike and there are a lot of bike shops in town. We want to support the community that supports us. In the end, if knowing that there is someone out there who is specifically going to help you fix your bike if it breaks down, and that is the impetus for you to go out and commute by bike, where you otherwise wouldn’t, then that is when we have accomplished what we are doing.”

The 21 Ambassadors are sponsored with Trusty Switchblade’s custom built tools and tool rolls. Portland Design Works donated 3 Wrencho and Shiny Object repair tools to supplement each kit. The bike shop also provides discounts to team members along with a supply of tubes and tools. Members might also wear ‘team’ helmets so they can be easily distinguished on the roads.

“The riders will carry a tool roll that will have the majority of tools in it to give them the ability to fix bikes on the road,” said Von Hoetzendorff. “We will provide road-side maintenance classes so our members are more equipped with the knowledge to use the tools and to help people. So having knowledge in advance is not a priority, we are mainly looking for enthusiastic people.”

21st Avenue Bicycles is accepting applications on line www.21stbikes.com for the 21 spots available on the team. The deadline to submit applications is August 15.

According to Von Hoetzendorff, the team is looking for applicants who frequently commute by bicycle. Other important factors include the time of day the applicant typically commutes by bicycle and what routes are used. “They need to have flexibility so that they can take the time to stop to help people. We are looking for enthusiastic people who care about helping others and have an affinity to support people who commute by bike.”

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