MONSIEUR VÉLO: MECHANIC, COLLECTOR, RECYCLING-LOVER
In Vaho and Monsieur Vélo we love movement and we believe in second opportunities. In Vaho we give a second life to waste materials whereas Monsieur Vélo brings to life old bicycles. Monsieur Vélo feels wheels every day and knows how tires smell like. In Vaho we use recycled tires to create our bags and accessories. Every Monsieur Vélo bicycle is unique, has its own history and personality as bags designed by Vaho; you won’t find any other similar in the world. Both of us work with our hands and believe in handmaking. We live in Barcelona, the city that inspires us to move around and create. Now we will introduce Fernado to you, the owner of a nice store in 27, Ronda del Guinardó, Barcelona.We hope you’ll enjoy this interview as we did along half a working day with him.
Why “Monsieur Vélo”?
Because this history started in the south of France where I lived for some time and also I was looking for a name that I could be identified with.
When was the first time you rode a bicycle?
Well, that was when my parents gave me my first bicycle. I remember its solid yellow tires, a little push from parents and I was off to the road.
Mechanic, collector or indie?
Out of these three options, I go for mechanic and collector.
How do you feel working as a craftsman, making things by hand?
It is very satisfying, especially when I restore a bicycle and I see before and after the process. It’s a beautiful and hard job, and my hands are not like before.
Your favorite cyclist?
For all the stories that have been told and because he was one of the greatest, I’d say Eddy Merckx, but also there was a sensational cyclist on the track from my city, Juan Curuchet.
Inspiration is for you…
I don’t feel I get inspired by something or someone. I just try to create something different, or, at least, to look for an identity; obviously, I keep track on works I like. Here bicycles are my inspiration.
Do you think every bicycle has its own history? Is every bicycle predestined to someone in particular?
Every bicycle is a singular item, it would be fun if they spoke. Predestined? Maybe. Sometimes a customer has been seeking for that bicycle for long and when they find it eventually, we might think the bicycle was waiting for them.
Your favorite bicycle model is…
Hard to say, I like many. I like both track and road bicycles, but also mixte frame bicycles. There are big brands I fancy but I prefer handcrafted items made around the 70s and, perhaps, less known.
The best of your job is…
Now it’s communication, image, personalized service, speaking with customers as passionate for bikes as me and who appreciate what I do. As a mechanic and restorer I believe that I’m doing well. It’s been hard to get where I am now and I know I still have a lot to learn.
Beach or mountains?
Difficult to say… I love both. If I had to choose, I’d say beach.
A secret place in Barcelona?
I changed house recently and found a place for breakfasts, Bar Taxi, in a lovely street.
What’s your opinion on recycling?
If we want a future, we have to recycle. It’s a good way to not to produce just for producing.
Vaho in two words.
What are you doing tomorrow?
Do you want to find out more?
Go to http://monsieurvelo.es/and you’ll feel like getting an exclusive bicycle.
Do you want to know what’s Fernando wearing?
Go to Pinyabcn in http://www.pinyabcn.com/, a singular store where you’ll always find that piece of summer, sea flavor and the good vibes of its owners.