Amy Danger

In this new series for our saadl blog, we are looking to feature interesting, all-around badass cyclists who are passionate about everything bike-related. Who better to kickstart this with than Amy Danger, a Portland-based rider who has been filling the pages of saadl with her brilliant collection (and leaving us salivating in its wake).

Amy was very kind enough to answer a few questions about her background in bikes and what drives her to ride every day. We hope you enjoy her stories as much as we did hearing them.

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What is your name?
Amy Danger

Where do you live?
Portland, Oregon USA

Is your work related to bikes?
Bike-building/collecting/riding is strictly passion, not work.

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How many bikes do you have?
The number of bikes I own changes frequently but at this moment I own somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 complete bikes.

What are your favourites? Why?
I don’t keep it unless I love it, so each of my bikes has a special place in my heart!

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I love my fork mounted Takhions and my Cinelli Lasers for the ingenuity, history and pure artistry that went into their design. I love the Bianchi Pista Concept and the rare D2 Pista Alu. I love the ease of traveling with my Brompton folding bike (fits in the overhead compartment on a plane! Makes it much easier getting to remote places like Fez, especially into the Medina there).

But I’m probably best known for my appreciation of the 90’s era Cannondale Tracks.

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Which one do you use the most/daily? If you built it yourself, how did you do it and why? Where do you go with it?

My daily rider changes frequently as I really enjoy building up and riding all of my bikes.

Right now I’m rotating between an Icelandic Green 1995 Cannondale Track, the elusive 2009 Bianchi D2 Super a Pista Alu and a Redhook Cinelli Vigorelli (This is 1 of 3 men’s prize bikes made for the 2014 Redhook Criterium in Milano. There were 20 replica prize bikes made but only 3 with the winner’s laurel wreath on the seat tube).

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I try and get on one of the Cinelli Lasers out on the velodrome at least once a week.

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Where in the world have you been to via bike?

Biking is central in my life, followed closely by travel. The combination is supreme. I love biking in Portland, NYC, in New Orleans, LA etc., but the most exciting biking for me is abroad. Istanbul, Madrid, Paris, Morocco, Budapest, Barcelona are some highlights.

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I look forward to exploring more east into Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan. Russia, Ukraine, Romania are also on the short list.

I’m all about city riding–I’m not a road rider. I like being right downtown in the action. I like running with the bulls.

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Where/when did you know cycling was in your blood?

As a kid, my bike was absolute liberation. I had a sweet, sparkle-purple Schwinn Stingray with a flowered banana seat that I beat the ever-lovin crap out of. I lived in an undeveloped neighborhood in Atlanta. We built a BMX-style track on an empty lot (we had no awareness of BMX, just that we wanted to catch air) and we would shred daily.

My childhood was defined by bike time, which offered independence and self-sufficiency. It broadened my reach and allowed me to roll deep outside of my neighborhood to explore.

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Flash forward many years later, past high school, college and a few jobs, I accidentally rediscovered my love affair with the bike. I was hired to build a bike garage. I knew nothing about storing bikes securely, so I went to a local bike shop. While I was waiting for them to pull some hanging racks out of the back, I browsed the store and noticed a bike that looked really simple and elegant but had an enormous price tag of $2800.

I was indignant about a bike with no gears and no brakes selling for that kind of bank, so that night I began poking around on the internet to figure out why. I learned about fixed gear, velodromes and track bikes.

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One week later, I purchased a Bare Knuckle and that started my slide into an obsession with all things fixed gear.

The bike is for me now, exactly what was for me as a kid. It’s a break from prescribed monotony. I cycle to dissolve the daily grind. It is my lifeline to authenticity and lawlessness (laws of gravity, laws of human flight, gender laws, traffic laws, laws of compulsory conformity) and a continual invitation to look more closely at the world around me.

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I am enlivened by being brakeless in an unpredictable world that insists upon restraint and control. Your auto-pilot is forced OFF when you ride fixed in the city.

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Follow Amy’s adventures:

Instagram
Saadl
Pedalroom
Flickr

Words by @adanger
Photos by @adanger