Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Roll Model: Sharif Hassan

Kirkwood resident Sharif Hassan wears many hats, from mixologist at TOP FLR and Argosy to doorman at the Tabernacle. His photographs from the streets of Cairo during the Arab Spring are a tribute to both his eye and daring. Now he has partnered with his brother, Ezz-Eldin, to test and market clothing for commuter cyclists. Called The Spindle, their venture began “in April 2013 as a blog, a pre-interview, to become a resource for community and manufactures to give them feedback for what works and what doesn’t, like the placement of a seam.” A former bike messenger, he knows from frequently blowing through pants and once took five pairs of jeans to bag maker Dustin Morado for stitching.
Hassan relishes riding in bad weather because “We test all the clothing we carry. Here it’s snowing one day and 70 the next, so I just dive into the bad weather when we get it. It’s nice to see how other people are decked out and what works for them. There’s no such thing as foul weather. There are only unprepared people.”
“Swerve makes a pair of jeans I pretty much live in,” he says of today’s outfit, which includes a jacket from Mission Workshop and DZR all weather clip-in shoes for his “urban assault vehicle”. Of its fixed 52x15 gearing, fat tires for the potholes and no brakes, he explains, “I like to build up death traps. I like to ride things other people won’t.”
The rest of us benefit from his hard won knowledge. “The whole idea is to create a new community of riders who are not hardcore. Introducing them to commuting apparel opens that door as a viable option for a new category of people who bike to festivals, art shows and bars.”

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