Jake Gilchrist Rad VYNL Rider - Meet Him

Our goal at VYNL is to make the bikes we want to ride, but didn't see out there. Along the way, we meet some amazing people who share our point of view. Jake Gilchrist is one of those people. We talked to Jake to learn more about his life on the bike, his take on music and design, and what brings him to the VYNL fold.

#JOSHDURO Rig - Ready to roll

How did you get into cycling?

I wanted a skateboard for my 12th birthday and my dad talked me into getting a bike. We had good trails near our house. I spent the next 6 years racing BMX and riding street. My dad drove me everywhere. I finally bought a road bike about 16 years ago. Pretty late to the game on that one. Started racing cross almost immediately after buying a road bike.

What's your favorite part about riding bikes?

Climbing. I've loved it for almost as long as I can remember. But riding is really about being outside with friends.


What's been your cycling journey, would you say, from where you started to where you are now?

I had to learn to become more patient as I moved from BMX to mountain to road and finally to cross.

Racing used to be everything to me. It was my identity. To race BMX is to be on the edge for 45 seconds. There is no room for a split second of hesitation. A cyclocross race unfolds more slowly but is ultimately more challenging because your brain is so taxed and you still have to hold it together with the skills and strategy.

I don't really understand mountain bikes anymore.

At this point I just try to get out as much as I can. The riding around here is too good to take for granted. I don't have a Garmin or really pay attention to my training anymore. It's super fun to just ride a bike for a few hours. Is that obvious to everyone but me?

What's your favorite ride?

I am mildly obsessed with Gazos Creek Road.

So music has been a big part of your life as well. What parallels if any do you see between cycling and DJing or music?

Oh man. I guess both have lots of tragic heroes. Somewhere in here is a comparison of Marco Pantani and Ol Dirty Bastard, right?

Racing and DJing are similar because competition is competition. Preparation is everything. Don't force the game. Learn from mistakes and move past them. As with most things, in both worlds it can help to find a spot where you feel comfortable as you develop your skills. For me, it's always comes back to funk and cyclocross. For some, it's dirt jumping and rap-metal. You know, whatever works.

Aesthetically, I think I avoid the equivalent of pop tunes in both realms. I'm skeptical of big shifts. Trends and I broke up a long time ago. Computers are kinda ruining both right now but I'm ignoring that stuff.

For sure with both, new music and new bikes get me stoked all over again.


I appreciate design that rides the line between the proven past and a better future. It's why I still love RB-1s, and singlespeed cyclocross bikes, too. I like diamond frames with good lines. Also, custom paint opens up all kinds of fun options.

Both bikes, my road and my cx, climb like crazy and were immediately familiar in their handling. The road bike quickly became my daily rider and I miss when I ride any other bike. A great frame is a great frame regardless of material.

I just built my CX bike and immediately began a 3-day semi-loaded credit card dirt tour from Santa Barbara to LA. Even loaded to over 30 lbs it was a complete joy all weekend. It's a simple, elegant machine.

I also think the value is pretty remarkable on the frames. I love my road bike but the cx might be my favorite bike ever.

UNLoaded. Still sessy

What's in your earholes right now?

The new A Tribe Called Quest LP, a modern funk mix that I made, Shiro Schwarz and everything else from the Star Creature Universal Vibrations label, a ton of Beat Junkies edits of mid-80s LA stuff like Ice T and Rodney O, and Dam Funk's DJ Kicks mix. Oh, and a lot of Public Enemy. Obviously.

Jake can be found on Instagram @Cyclofunk - Give him a follow. We do.

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