(11….hard hitting questions with Jenn Levo. OG Speedvagen designer and customer service manager)
1. Where are you right now?
1735 SE Powell Blvd.
2. Road or CX?
My favorite race is a crit. When I first started racing here in Oregon, every weekend in the summer from June to August we'd have a crit on Saturday and then on Sunday. You spent all summer going fast in circles around city blocks and people would come out to watch and cheer you on. It was a good summer if you won enough money to pay for all of your races, buy some beer for your teammates, and you still had all of your skin left.
3. Give us a cycling "Pro Tip" that has made an impact on you?
Skate deck grip tape on my CX levers for better tactile advantage in wet muddy conditions with gloves. Hat Tip KFC!
4. Tater tots or Fries?
Sweet potato fries.
5. What do you put on a bagel?
Did you know that a proper crispy but chewy bagel is my favorite food? It's my favorite because it's such an easy thing to get anytime you want. I figure, why have a favorite food like a fancy restaurant steak that you only eat once and a while, when you can eat something simple and amazing and it can make you happy every day?! It's so easy and affordable! But... at the same time, if I ate a bagel everyday it might get old real quick. That's why I only have one bagel a week. It's a rule. And, I always get the chive spread, but if I wanted to treat myself I'd get lox, capers and tiny little slivers of red onion. *Also, if I have poppy seeds in my teeth please tell me.*
6. Last book you read?
I'll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara. (It's about the Golden State Killer. I actually borrowed it from the library twice; however, the first time I chickened out of reading it because... murder. The second time I borrowed it, I polished it off in about a week. It was that good!)
7. Favorite race you have ever done?
My favorite race was also my favorite day on the bike ever, and also the hardest day on the bike ever, the 2013 Rapha Women's Prestige. We had a really solid crew of Ironclad ladies together for the 123 mile race, but at mile 30 we had some mechanical issues on Mt. Tam that put us in last place pretty quickly. There were so many opportunities in the remaining 90ish miles for us to quit, but we pulled together, problem solved and finished before Rapha shut the clubhouse down at sunset.
8. Favorite Cyclist all time?
Tina Brubaker. ;) LEGEND!
9. Whats next?
10. Soup... true or false? Why?
False. I like chewing my food while I still can.
11. Favorite bike we have made since you started
I'd have to say that while there have been a lot of really super nice builds that we've put out the door in my almost seven years at Vanilla, it's hard to pick. I help everyone with their orders, so I've most likely seen slightly under 1000 bikes go out the door. I think picking my favorite of those would be like Charlotte (from Charlotte's Web) picking the favorite of all her spider children. As a result, I'll say my favorite bike that we've made was my first Speedvagen, a geared CX bike. In my first year here, I spent a lot of time day dreaming about my bike... especially what paint scheme and colors I wanted to use. When you can do "almost" anything you want, it's harder to decide than having a limited amount of options (the struggle is real). I loved how it all turned out and every time I look at that bike, I smile. It fills me with so many warm fuzzies. Which, that's what I want all of our customers to feel when they look at their Speedvagens. I understand.