My name is Mauricio Rebolledo, I was born in California and my family is from Colombia, South America. My parents would send my brother and I to stay with our grandparents in their respective hometowns of Cali and Palmira in Colombia's Cauca River Valley. My paternal grandparents live in downtown Palmira right across the street from a bus station. My grandmother noticed that many people rode their bikes to the station and then took the bus into the larger city of Cali everyday. She decided to start a parking garage for bicycles. The garage eventually became a repair shop where your bike could be serviced while you were at work. The bike shop became a playground for my brother and I.
Colombia is a country steeped in many things and one of the most potent is cycling. My parents grew up listening to the live coverage of the Vuelta a Colombia on the radio. The radio stations would have commentators perched on top of telephone poles along the route who would relay details about the race through the telephone lines. I have recently become better acquainted with the cycling history of Colombia and its heroes. That history fills me with pride and a purpose to honor that heritage. The tri-color bands that you see on my frames are the colors of the Colombian flag. The head badge evolved from an initial desire to use the national insignia of Colombia as the logo for my company. I hope these simple things encourage you to learn about Colombia and its passion for cycling. Kings of the Mountains: How Colombia's Cycling Heroes Changed Their Nation's History, by Matt Rendell, is a great read about Colombia and its cycling history.
After earning a Master's degree in Applied Anthropology, I followed my wife to San Francisco in 1997. My training led me to a fellowship with the San Francisco Foundation, which makes grants to bay area nonprofit organizations. While working on a community-organizing project in the city, I started a bicycle repair program for kids at a local recreation center. I taught them to fix their flat tires and other mechanical problems and eventually hired two local high school students who had been doing bike repair out of their garage to run the program. Working with young people and bicycles led me to a career change. I left the Foundation and accepted a job with Trips for Kids running an after-school program for young people in the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael, California. It was a community bicycle repair shop where we trained youth as bike mechanics who could then serve the community through our shop. I ran that program for five great years, before I decided that frame building was what I had been heading towards. While at Trips for Kids, I started an apprenticeship with Jeremy Sycip. After reaming countless seat tubes, he was gracious enough to patiently teach me the craft of frame building.
I am in love with classic steel lugged bicycles, as these pages should plainly tell. I admire their blend of function and beauty. The bicycle is one of the most efficient and useful tools designed by humans. Melding that singular function with a strong and artfully embellished joint is a unique opportunity that I relish. I hope you do too.