A Farewell to One on One at 117 N Washington

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If you are lucky in this life, there is always a place you can go, where you can show up and find familiar faces. A refuge from the world at large.

For generations of us in the Minneapolis cycling community, that place has been One on One Bicycle Studio. Saturday was the last day in the iconic downtown Minneapolis location. The only purveyor of bicycle stuff in our downtown area, One on One’s fortunes have changed with the neighborhood as the North Loop (formerly Warehouse District before the glossy rebrand) has pushed out the old guard of rough around the edges tenants and ushered in the high-rise condominium, high end retail on the first floor, higher end apartments on the upper floors gentrification set. A story that anyone living in an urban area is surely familiar with.

One on One (or more accurately 117 Washington, as Gene and Jennifer occupied the space long before the bike shop) was a cultural landmark in the cycling world, not only for being one of the first of the coffee shop / bike shop hybrids, but for being the rally point. The diaspora for single speeding, the steel bike renaissance, messenger culture, art shows, and a million hangovers and friendships. A must see for anyone traveling to the upper Midwest.

Also famous for the grumpy, but talented, mechanics, the general chaos that swirls around Gene, and the legendary Junkyard in the basement. What people sometimes miss was the unfailing willingness to say “yes.” This was in my opinion the greatest of all the gifts.

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Photo by Linda Sue Amundson

When I had just moved to town and no one knew me and I wanted to organize a big alleycat (the All City Championships) Gene was the first to say “fuck yeah.” He not only hosted the start of the race, but was gracious enough to host the party as well. There was no hesitation, “you want to do something good for this town?” Gene was in. Giving you not only the space, but the clout of his backing. He didn’t know me, he didn’t care. He saw that I wanted to create some action and he lent his all important blessing and encouragement. This was the go to spot for anyone trying to do anything in this city: Stupor Bowl, Babes in Bikeland, Art Crank, etc. All ships launched from the safe harbor of 117 Washington.

It was the kind of place that you always thought would continue to exist, because a place like this has to exist. It just has to.

What we often took for granted is the blood, sweat, and tears, of the Oberpriller’s who created and maintained it. So a million thank you’s from all of us, for giving us, our events, our culture, a home. You have changed our community, and more importantly our lives.

We can’t wait to support your new vision for OOOBS 2.0.

Here are a few photos from the last day at the shop…

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empty basement

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