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Risto Kalmre – founding father of a country’s urban cycling scene

As we talked about Lucas Brunelle last time, this time we are going to take a look into the life of someone slightly closer to us.
 
Often referred to as one of the founding fathers of the bicycle culture movement in Estonia, man who has gotten thousands of people to gather up on their bikes, and a man who brought together people across different continents for Simple Session – Risto Kalmre.
 
Risto is definitely best known for organising one of the world’s biggest extreme sport competitions Simpel Session with his brother Mario. Hosted annually since as far as 2001, the event brings together BMX riders and skateboarders around the world, currently with the audience-base of over 1 million people, both at the spot and behind the screen.
 

This event has inspired the brothers so much that by the end of 2015 they opened the biggest extreme sport centre in the Baltics – Spot of Tallinn. Right beside Tallinn, with a great mission to offer better and more opportunities for the young & talented riders across the country.
 
The urban bicycle movement started in 2011 during Tallinn Bicycle Week, when Risto Kalmre, with a few other bicycle enthusiasts, organised a night ride (called Tour d’ÖÖ). Starting off as an event of organisers and their closest friends it has now turned into mass rides with over 2000 participants. This amount of people cycling on the streets directly shows the growth of the urban cycling culture in Tallinn. Events like these are a good way to show the growing existence of cyclists and through that have a louder voice in the future of city planning.
 

 
Seeing the growth of the urban cycling movement, Risto, back in 2014, made the next obvious step – opening a bicycle studio (called JOOKS) in one of the fastest developing parts of Tallinn. A studio, which serves purpose as a store for dapper urban bikes, serving coffee and is also known as the headquarters of Tallinn bicycle movement. Furthermore, it is used to host variety of events, for example few smaller concerts from Tallinn Music Week.
 
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At the end of the day, Risto is a graphic designer by profession.  After all of this organising he still has time for running an agency.
 
Risto is truly a person, who “takes the bull by its horns” – if something isn’t right, he makes it right. He truly wants to make this place better and more liveable for all of us.
 
Where to next, who knows, but with the Simple Session coming right up, lets wish them all the best.
 
Sweet sixteen Simple Session! Watch it live this weekend at – http://session.ee/2016/otse/

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Berlin Bike Show – part 2: The Show

Having finished putting together the last bike a few minutes after the show officially started, we were ready. From the moment door opened at 18:00 until they closed at 23:00, it was on. And not just a people wondering around, but ON. We managed to take a moment to have a quick look around and we understood why it was so busy for us. It is best put by a set of maritime designers who visited us on the 3rd day – ‘you guys have the best ideas here.’ I’m sure not everyone thought that, but there must have been at least a few more.

Day 2 was largely the same, a lot of people, cool ideas bounced around, The Bike Hangers continued to sell good, and we continued to enjoy attention. After Station Berlin, the venue, closed its doors at 19:00 it was time for beers, and time to witness a mad race on a go-kart track. It was a criterium type race with fixed gear riders blasting around in heats, leading to a superfinalé. Event boasted a great atmos and we really started to go from liking Berlin to loving Berlin. Check out a short summary here:

The last day – day 3 – could be summed up as the most productive one for us. We nearly sold out our hangers and got some exciting interest from other companies. Having personally followed the growth of Berlin based Steel Vintage Bikes team, with their truly rare restorations, having them as a reseller in Berlin feels very heartwarming. And there is more news to follow on reseller front soon.

Steel Vintage Bikes at Berliner Fahrradschau 2016
Steel Vintage Bikes booth at Berliner Fahrradschau

As the show was slightly slowing down during lunch hours, it also gave us a nice moment to reconnect with friends. Having met Pelago folks during last year’s Tallinn Bicycle Week’s alleycat race, it was god to see their new lineup for 2016, and hearing that they have now reached as far as opening a shop in Japan. Over the weekend we also enjoyed our personal tour guides , and ex-berliners from Czech – SegraSegra. They are the ones who can also be blamed for our participation, after talking us into it during 2014’s SPIN London show. If you’re not only into nice bikes, but also want to look good when cycling, then give them a look – they have off-shelf and made to fit clothing for cyclists.

Pelago Bicycles at 2016 Berlin Bike Show
Pelago Bicycles booth
SegraSegra at Berlin Bike Show 2016
Friendly picture with SegraSegra people.

Over and out. Berlin, thank you for treating us well, we’ll surely be back next year.

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Lucas Brunelle – a living legend in urban cycling

At KP Cykler, we have many friends in the cycling community across the globe. In this series of articles, we will be profiling just some of them, to give you an insight into some of the exciting developments going on in the cycling world right now.

Lucas Brunelle in NYC Traffic

Lucas Brunelle is something of a living legend, a film maker focused on urban cycling. He began cycling aged 15, but soon found that the conventional racing world just didn’t provide enough of a thrill for him, so soon he moved onto something more – taking cycling to the extreme. Lucas has built up a dedicated following thanks to his videos of bike stunts and intense alleycat races.  He has been featured in some of the most well known publications in the world, including Rolling Stone and Vice – a testament to his skill as a film maker and his passion for cycling.

Lucas Brunelle 3

Because of his huge reputation, Lucas was one of the first people we got in touch with when we set up our Kickstarter to get KP Cykler up and running. From first moment you meet Lucas, you can see that he has a huge heart. We are eternally grateful that he was willing to play such a big part in our success, spreading the word of what we’re doing wherever he went. Having Lucas behind us let people know that we provide an excellent service, as he only works with the best, and it is largely thanks to Lucas that we are up and running right now.

Lucas Brunelle

We have continued to keep in touch with Lucas, and to closely follow his career. From Africa, to South America, even to Chernobyl, he travels the world in search of the next big thrill. You can check him out for yourself at www.lucasbrunelle.com – an absolute must for anyone with an interest in cycling on the edge.


Lucas’s films and videos: https://www.lucasbrunelle.com/shop/