What We Are
A Fabric of Events: From Cycling Socks to the Split 7-inch Single
Every summer, Tenspeed Hero invites a summer intern and young artists/designers to share in our racing madness. The blog has been a perfect outlet the process-based crew, offering a social platform for cycling enthusiasts, painters, visual artists, graphic designers, writers, and pug-lovers to encapsulate their own takes on our time.
Before TSH, there was “New Catalogue” an artist project by Luke Batten and Jonathan Sadler. This photographic and image-making focus was reincarnated through Tenspeedhero.com and while we may dream loftily of flying helicopters around the world, we have not strayed too far from this original goal of helping artists fulfill dream projects. Our mission has always been to build an implausible empire grounded in the fortitude of young talent.
Tenspeed Hero has bikes, a blog, and bodies. With these we chase down people on the street to model caps, dance to Jonathan Richman, sit in front of Photoshop windows for more time than real windows (some days), and ride through Illinois backwoods (more days). That said, compensation is crucial. Free labor/ free ideas / free internships do not a hero make. We value the hardwork and creative insight of our contributors, meaning the money we make is put back into product as Sock Capital.
Our goal with the sock money is to help generate projects we think are neat –proving that a tenspeed, while hardly the speed of light, can still get you to infinity and beyond, to produce unique stuffs we think are interesting. From breezy mountaintop to warm, crackling vinyl, TSH is as layered as every well-prepared bicyclist (because when you’re going up a mountain temperatures drop at least 12 degrees and when you’re speeding down they drop at least 10 more, AND if you sleep too long, you might get caught in layers of afternoon rain&sun otherwise called sunshowers). Here, we present essential articles – fabricated or not – for those human sunshowers of tears and laughter also known as life.
In 1963, a palace played host to the first Bay Area protest. Estate of burgeoning youth-culture, demonstrators in front of the Sheraton Palace linked arms while breaking laws and lawn for the Free Speech Movement. Implausibly, yet indubitably, this origin of long hair, fringe, and flowers came from students outfitted in other, less riotous trademarks. (Sears & Roebuck skirts and suits we glance at you).
Another fabric – that of space and time – is both looping and limitless. From this understanding, TSH enjoys identifying time’s luminous points of intersection. Featuring girls donning both ski masks and banal banker-wear, our New Catalogue book aims to shed light on the incongruities inherent within the Free Speech Movement’s student-led start – when the power of adulthood was found in adolescence and wrinkles in time lay in youthful faces screaming out against injustice.
Now, TSH adds further strands to time’s infinite swatch – knitting together the New Catalogue project with our thread-based products. Using Illinois plains as our palace for biking prowess, we at TSH hope to continually help artists exhibit, connect, and create. Whereas New Catalogue recollects the 1960s’ wool swaddled start; Tenspeed Hero reconnects our start with you – the fan – providing gun-toting co-eds fresh from the library in a book for your library.
Before taking over your bookshelves, Tenspeed took over your closet. And we’ll continue to do that with our Cat Caps. Printed with a cacophony of fanged kitties, the cat cap might also be described as a thinking cap made to make you dream of cats.
Here’s what happened when we put it on:
Kitty Cat Cap,
O, Kitty Cat Cap,
One kitty on my lap,
A dozen on my cap.
Roses are red,
Violets are Blue,
Gray Yellow White
Kitty Cat faces too.
Meow, says my cat.
Meow, say I.
We all meow together.
And then we eat pie.
We can do this
Because we went biking
We are cyclists
What is hiking?
We recently saw an Instagram post from a boy in England wearing our TSH Summer Club Jersey and he wrote: “Wish it was acceptable to wear cycling clothes in normal life…” We are trying to make this as possible, as possible – starting with the making some practical wear. With summer ending, you need sleeves. While you could snuggle up to your cat or put on your kitty cap, you might also want to try our new Tenspeed Hero arm warmers.
From cassettes to CDS, iPod shuffles to Spotify, music has become so easily obtained and passively-consumed. In an age of invisible MP3s, file sharing, and hashtag album titles, vinyl faces obsolescence. But this is not the case. Vinyl is the music junkie’s ultimate fetish, anchored within this digital downstream. Records beg for engaged listening. It forces you to take more time to set up; it asks you to slow down. It begs you to listen.
We were really excited to turn our sock capital into plastic flexi discs. Our most recent collaboration has been with Kamila Glowacki and Polypsis.
We first met Kamila when she was 18 years old and reciting a Sylvia Plath poem to an undergraduate photo 1 class. There is something arresting to Kamila: something teetering between happiness and angst that we really like. She consumes tragically flawed heroines and she encapsulates something melancholy, sweet and softly vengeful with her sound. We can’t help but love how much she hates her boyfriend or exlover or whomever, and how happy her sad songs are. We’ve been playing “The Bus Home” during our afternoon breaks. These post-breakup, pre-love tracks really fit our end-of-summer vibes.
Pack my bags
Take the bus home
I don’t need to hold your hand
Some layer sweaters, some layer sandwiches. Others layer sound.
Polypsis is an interesting foil to Kamila. Kamila’s music is angsty but we can clap to it; Polypsis is darker and abstracted: it kind of quiets us in a cool way. We need to listen to it another time.
It’s Noise Pop. It’s bizarre synth. It’s an artfully unraveled knit; truffle mustard on your finger from your Graziano sub; it’s the backwards imprint a melty-layer of Gorilla Glue leaves when poured, dried, and pulled from a vinyl.
Sand, Si and O2, cats with canines, organs, yellow lines on granite, arms clutched at your neck, showers, sun, thread made from photovoltaic film strips made from recycled photos of old pioneers, orbits, bursting constellations of veins and Andromeda, rpms, needles & scratches, glances, nods, shakes, tectonics.