“Some folks like to blend in. They strive to look like every other person, dress like every other person, and ride what everybody else rides. They sacrifice desire and passion in order to maintain their mediocrity, and they distrust originality. They refuse to stand out and they will never shine, and that is all right. It’s just not who we are. We are the Blue Line Bicycle Laboratory. Founded in November of 2005, Blue Line Bikes is bringing a whole new attitude to the Houston bike scene.” (www.bluelinebikelab.com)
That’s straight from Blue Line Bike Lab’s website and they are living up to their promise of brining a new attitude to the energy industry rich metropolis of Houston, TX. Brothers Fred & David Zapalac opened the original Bike Lab in Houston’s Height’s neighborhood pre-gentrification. Since 2005, The Bike Lab has benefited from the young professionals that have flocked to the Height’s neighborhood to purchase and renovate the historic homes of the neighborhood. The Height’s store is housed in an old supermarket, complete with an original deli counter now filled with an eclectic mix of anodized tidbits, has become a landmark among the sea of upscale boutiques and restaurants that now dot White Oak Drive.
Head across the street and jump on 10-foot wide, concrete, multi-use bike trail that connects to the University of Houston and other downtown bikeways and you’ll eventually arrive at Blue Line’s newest location at 740 Telephone Road. Learning from experience and having a natural knack for recognizing up and coming neighborhoods, owner Fred Zapalac has expanded into a second location on Houston’s east end.
Walking through the door of the new East End location is reminiscent of Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe fist stepping foot into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The new store, known as Blue Line Bike Lab #2, not because it’s the second store but because it’s the shit, boasts an impressive amount of square footage in a former coffee roasterie turned bike shop. The new space is in the same center as Bohemeo’s Café which on top of serving locally roasted coffee, tasty food, and draught beer; features live music a few nights a week and offers patrons a laid-back and casual atmosphere, great for kicking back post ride for a cold beer or hot latte.
If you find yourself looking for an excuse to push some pedals around Houston, join Blue Line Bike Lab for ‘Dale’s Super Casual Not Fast But Not Slow But No Racing Because We Are Just Here To Have Fun And Not Show Off And Grab A Beer Somewhere Along The Way’ ride or join the crew the first Monday of each month for the Karbach Brews Cruise that journeys to Houston’s Karbach Brewery for pints of free Karbach Brew (with complimentary glass of course).
If you value a brightly lit, homogenized shopping experience where everybody wears matching polo shirts and you love dealing with high-pressure commission based sales staff, or if you only want to ride what your neighbor rides, then this might not be the shop for you. However, if you like to stand out from the crowd and are constantly looking to be the best that you can be, then we’d like to welcome you into our family. Come in to Blue Line Bike Lab and let us help you unleash your inner cyclist. (www.bluelinebikelab.com). Thank you to Blue Line Bike Lab(s) for embodying the Kona brand in Houston, TX.