Blue Collar – Life On Wheels

NameРLatan̩ Claiborne Coghill
Age-27
Location-Richmond, VA

What kind of work do you do for a living?
I have 2 jobs. I work at Richmond Recycles bike shop as a bike mechanic. I also work for Lamplighter Roasting Co. doing bicycle coffee delivery.

Can you give us a quick day to day rundown for both?
Days that I work the bike shop consist of opening the doors in the morning, and then solving the worlds problems one bike at a time. Fixing flat tires and servicing bikes for any number of different problems. We don’t cater to only one type of rider or bicycle so I see a little of everything at the shop.

Delivery days are always fun. I ride over to the “lab” where all the coffee beans are roasted and prepared according to how the customer specifies. I pick up all the invoices and load the coffee onto the awesome cargo bike they got for me to ride. I ride around to the different restraunts and residential locations and drop off the coffee.

What kind of bikes do you have/ ride on a regular basis?
I personally own 3 different bikes. I have my FBM bmx bike, a FBM Sword track bike, and I have a Jamis cyclocross bike. When delivering coffee I get to ride a awesome front loader cargo bike made by Civia. The bike has got a 26′ rear wheel with a 20′ front wheel that has a flatbed cargo bed over top of it. Real cool.

What are some of the benefits to the less traditional job structure, to the typical 9-5?
The benefits almost seem endless sometimes. Being able to take time off to take trips and travel is what helps me keep my sanity. With an open schedule its easy to live a more spontanious lifestyle. I really can’t thank my employers enough for the opportunities they’ve given me.

What are some memorable delivery/ bike shop stories from interacting with the public?
Bicycles and bike shops in general attract some interesting characters. One evening at the shop a man walked in with a baby in a stroller. As soon as he came through the door I could hear him grinding his teeth and he definetly looked kooked out on some drug. I asked him what he needed and he mumbled something about looking for the pool and going swimming. He went charging toward the back of the shop running his baby into everything in his path. Thankfully just then his wife showed up and screamed at him to get out of the shop. Weird.

One morning on my way to the lab to pick up coffee, I hear a lot of honking going on behind me. I don’t pay to much attention to it until a van pulls up next to me. In the van are a passenger and a driver both wearing neck braces, one of which is holding a baby, and a kid in the back with no seatbelt on just jumping up and down. They begin screaming racial slurs at me and telling me to “get the hell outta the road”. I yelled back and they get stopped at a red light. As soon as the light changes I hear the van speed up behind me and a loud buzzing sound. I turned around just in time to see the passenger leaning out the window, still holding the baby, with a tazer in his hand. They swerve the van and they try to taze me. I hop up the curb and stop while the van runs up onto the sidewalk almost hitting a lady. I yell at them for being crazy and everyone on the sidewalk is stunned at what they just saw. The van sped off into the entrance of a hospital and I just finished my ride to work. It was wild.

What are your favorite types of riding?
I definetly like riding street the most. Just cruising the city with friends finding new spots, riding old ones, and just goofing off. Those are the best sessions. Nothing can beat being out in the streets all day meeting all kinds of weird people and seeing the sights. It’s something that alot of people don’t get to expierence.

What/who are some of your influences in your two wheeled lifestyle?
At the risk of sounding cliché, I’m most influenced by my friends. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who have the right idea about bikes and life in general. Bike riding isn’t something to take too seriously no matter what king of riding you’re into.

Any notable drawbacks/Benefits to a life on wheels?
I would not have the lifestyle I have now if I didn’t ride a bike. The friends I have, the jobs I have, the great people I get to meet, it’s so awesome. Any drawbacks usually don’t come from riding a bike, they usually come from people that don’t get it. Idiots in cars yelling at you, telling you to grow up and get a car. It can be a bummer at times, but the good out weigh the bad by far.

Any shouts?
My mom, dad, and the rest of my family for understanding and supporting me in whatever choices I make. Evan V. for being an awesome friend and boss. Noelle, Zach, and Jen at Lamplighter. Steve Crandall and all the guys at FBM. All of my friends old and new for being awesome people, you know who you are. All the cool people I’ve met in my travels. There are just so many poeple who have helped me and inspired me, thanks to all of you. Peace!











Steve Crandall

Coffee sipping pilot of a red FBM frame and a Nikon camera.