When asking a Manhattan islander how to get to Brooklyn proper, most if not all can give you directions to the A train or the C or the F, but when you get specific they shrug their shoulders and say, “I’m really not sure,” or “make sure at Jay Street…,” or the always confidence building, “I usually get off at Hoyt-Schermerhorn…but I think the train is not running on the weekend!”
Nevertheless, Heroes know New York fairly well but we often fail to remember how long it takes to get from here to there and back again, so shortcuts are essential. So if you want to visit the shop and studio of Gage + Desoto located in Red Hook we have a tip. Take the Ferry from Lower Manhattan (free on weekends) to Red Hook Ikea in Brooklyn. Once you get off the Ferry, pull out your iphone or smart phone to navigate the old roads of Brooklyn (takes about 5 minutes) and you will end up at 70 Van Dyke Street.
Gage + Desoto is one part Mike Spriggs and one part Brett Cleaver. The shop is composed of many parts, bike and otherwise: books, frames, magazines, t-shirts, posters fill their storefront location. It is the Dashwood and Printed Matter of the bike world. Mike showed us around the shop, took us to his local café and showed us a bit of old dockside Brooklyn complete with worn cobbles and granite stone foundations. These same roads also host the Red Hook Criterium. Though the rough roads are early American in character and stone, they reminded the Heroes of some of the circuits in Belgium where bike handling skills on 25mm tires require equal doses of courage and caution.
This Gage + Desoto gallery is composed of bike related beauty and still-lifes. Scale, Color, and Order abound in the shop and make this destination, whether by boat, bike or car, one of our favorite spots in the city. Next time we will arrive with a bottle of Rum and a cribbage board made from a Columbus Steel fork.