Let me start this off by saying Steve is one of the more genuine people I have met in a long time, super positive guy. It might be just his youth, but I hope he stays optimistic and doesn't turn in to a Cynic like most of us.
I mean come on, the kid was on his way to visit his parents right after we shot the photos for this interview. Who wouldn't like the guy?
Peep that yung profile below and Happy 2 year anniversary TCB Courier!
what do you ride?
My whips include
Track- 2009 and 2011 Mash Cinelli Bolt, 90's Nagasawa, 2006 Surly Steamroller
Road- 2007 Specialized s-works tarmac(for competitive racing), 2000 something Waterford
Cross- 2008 Specialized Tri-Cross
How long have you been riding/ what started you?
Ive been riding since 2005. I started working at REI in SF and a co-worker had told me after i bought the Steamroller that i was going to be like all the other hipsters and buy a fixed gear then give it up..Five years later im still going strong! No longer working at REI though..
Do you wear a helmet and why or why not?
I always wear a helmet! Its stupid to not wear one! One car can change the whole game of riding and life. Ive knows too many people that have gotten in accidents for doing stupid ish in traffic or just not having enough riding experience. I guess its the uncool thing to do because wearing a fitted cap is 100 times better looking that something that will protect your brain?
Favorite Shop? Why?
Favorite shop is a toss up between MASH and Pedal Revolution. The guys that work at Ped Rev are really down to earth and its a chill atmosphere. Also they're the main sponsor for Team Chica Sexy (The competitive race team for Road and Track). And the MASH store I always have a good laugh with Mike, Al and Dylan.
Clip or clipless?
Clipless and Cages for sure!! When I race alleycats I usually go Clipless just for that extra jump. But I do like the safety of cages for skidding when I really need to. And for a more comfortable ride also. On the Steamroller I have some re-load tarking straps which are a different feel but still help to get the job done.
Ride with headphones/ music?
When I work I keep one headphone in just to hear traffic. I think that's the law, right? I dunno, I think its stupid to see kids disconnected from the world when riding and not being able to listen to the things happening around them. That's just me though..Get some YDM if your sour aboot it. I like old school Hip-Hop and alot of new stuff too Lil Wayne and the new Jay-Z album have been keeping me going. I do visit Hype-Trak every morning. I also listen to a good amount of oldies too.
Sponsors or teams/ gangs/ clubs you are a part of?
MASH, Team Chica Sexy, Team Murder and POMB are the peeps that keep me going on the racing tip. And Thee Shredderz Krew.
Favorite race...hhmm It has to be QCR (Quake City Rumble). Its the biggest race that SF throws every year and it always has a really good turn out of messengers and non-messengers. Its just a great weekend because there are parties every night with alot of free PBR and friends to share in the scumbaggery and good times.
Fav. place to ride or route(s) in SF?
I love myself a good ol fashion city loop. The city is only 7x7 so usually a down and back loop is good enough. Plenty of hills and flats to go around. I grew up in the Sunset so riding through that part of town is always chill for me.
Fav. person(s) to ride with?
Peeps that make riding fun have to be the OG POMB crew. Non POMB affiliates though would be thee Ferg Dawg and the other Chica Sexy dudes, Hernan and the DTLA dudes, Trev Dawg, Chas, Walton, Kyle. Also anyone with TCB Courier except for Jeremy hes a ginger but Sean Martin is cool id ride with him any day. Oh and Beaver Beavs only because he knows bad ass strippers. And you too Joseph.
Dope Chill spot?
Chillest spot has to be my ladies crib. But MASH Transit would be the second place because they have a mini fridge stocked with mexican Coca-Cola and coconut waters. Oh and good people hang out there too!
Why not SF?! Ha! I grew up here its my jam and i dont really see myself leaving for anywhere else anytime soon. The riding is really chill but competitive when it needs to be and everyone has a good vibe. It isn't LA but I love the weather here. The hottest it gets is high 80s sometimes mid 90s and I'm cool with that.
What do you do for work?
I work Full time for TCB Courier (Taking Care of Business). I am the SoMA Manager these days and its been alot of work to get my side of the company to where its at meow. Its a really gravy job but watch out SF were spreading!
What else do you do/ projects/ hobbies?
I really enjoy watching spaghetti westerns and old school samurai movies. Graffiti is cool. Im a HUGE Samurai Champloo fan also Cow Boy Bee Bop. So i guess sitting on my butt watching movies/ cartoons would be my jam for this question.
My dream bike is any bike i cant and will never be able to own! ha Full carbon everything sram red from head to toe hella kitty deep dish rims on any 4000 $ whip sounds like a dream come true for track road or cross..aww man well now my keyboard is sticky thanks Joe.
Best/ worst about riding in SF?
Best part are the cutty lines you can find to get from one part of the city to the other real quick! Worst part of riding in the city are the commuters. A lot of them are afraid of their own shadows when they ride. I'm not really into the "Big boy gear" riding. If you ride a stupid big track gear in SF your asking to get hurt. Track gearing is meant for THE TRACK. And a lot of the peeps out there have never experienced what their bikes can really do unless they get out to the track and see what a 59x11 can do when you really try...Ha! I don't think anyone really rides a 59x11 but your picking up what I'm throwing down right?
Any SF secrets/ tips you want to give out?
Loose lips sink ships Saul. SF secrets are SF secrets. Tips are be aware of whats around you when riding in SF, or anywhere for that matter!
Shout oots to Paul and Saul Upinya, erryone with MASH, all my peeps in Berlin, Basil, and Milan. My girlfriend that wont be reading this.. Ha! umm The Tortorelli family and your mother.
Be uncool wear a helmet and Rubber side down.... IM OOT!
- photos by : Joseph Lobato