Hi Josh, we’re really excited to have you as our USA dealer, can you introduce yourself a little?
What’s up?! I’m Josh. My middle name is Leroy.
Gotta ask it, Angry Catfish is an excellent name, where did it come from?
Lol, well, as the stories goes…. we were in need of a name, we had a bunch of names written down that included our location, and bike parts, and all the normal kinds of bike shop names, none of which emulated what we were feeling or going for. Then one night, we were out on a ride with some friends hopping around and found this interesting party in a basement. There were “stuntmans” going down, which if you have to ask you should consider yourself lucky as this was our first experience with them. On our way out a woman stumbled and approached me saying, “you look like a catfish….an Angry Catfish…” we all laughed, but somehow it just clicked, this was going to be our name. The night ended with a foot going through the rear wheel of a tandem and the rest as they say is history.
ACF is one of the best bike shops in America and has a worldwide reputation, how did you get to be so awesome?
Hard to say, maybe something in the water? But really we strive to do our absolute best, to stay relevant and nimble when it comes to our product offerings and arrangements. We hold ourselves to an extremely high level of service both when it comes to repairing and building bikes, as well as with customer interactions and providing information to folks. We try to interact with our community and be involved with and host events.
"I think the best part is that you get to see, talk to, and meet a lot of like minded people that have interesting stories and life experiences"
What’s the absolute best thing about owning a bike shop?
While owning a bike shop is certainly a lot of work, as is owning any small business, I think the best part is that you get to see, talk to, and meet a lot of like minded people that have interesting stories and life experiences. Some of my favorite people in the world are other bike shop owners or people in the industry and I would likely never have gotten to know them if it were not for bikes.
What’s your fav bike? Or current fav bike if it’s too hard to choose.
Oh man, actually a pretty easy question right now. At this moment I am really in love with my Wilde Supertramp. We have been partnering with Jeff Frane to bring his dream of a “Love Letter to Cycling” to a reality and this is going to be our first production model. It’s really an ode to a do anything mountain bike, urban assault, bike packing inspired whip. I have a big 139 Wald basket on mine and look forward to throwing an Alakazam in there soon.
What’s the riding like in Minneapolis?
There is a pretty significant variety of riding in Minneapolis. The urban riding is of course there with a really great network of off street bike trails that wind around the city, the lakes and follow the river. There’s also a bunch of protected bike lane streets. If you’re willing to put in the work there’s built out single track that can be ridden to and then ripped. There’s the ever famous River Bottoms which is a network of trails that follows the Minnesota River where you feel like you are far from the city and can see all kinds of wildlife. There are also ribbons of bandit trails sprinkled throughout the city that you can jump on as you are cruising around town. One of our favorite rides that we look forward to ever winter is riding the frozen creek to grab pizza several miles up stream.
When we come to visit, which we totally will, what’s the top 3 things on the agenda?
Boludo Pizza. River Bottoms Ramble. I would like to get you up north to see the big lake and ride and hang out at my cabin.
Best bike trip ever?
I have fond memories of being on the Space Horse Disc Launch Ride. It was a short bike-packing jaunt in California during the since expired QBP Saddle Drive event.
"Eric at the shop has an Alakazam and it just seemed like the best dang basket bag we'd ever seen!"
Next trip on the horizon?
Not bike related at the moment, I’ll be headed to Idaho to do some Steelhead fishing. I’d actually really like to also do the Idaho Hot Springs Bike Packing Route out there though. I also need a little California in my life and hope to see some friends out there and ride near Nevada City sometime this winter.
Go to on the bike snack?
Big fan of traditional trail mix on the bike. Or grabbing a burrito, burger, or pizza and rolling somewhere pretty to eat it.
You also own a couple more businesses, tell us about your other projects?
Well, we used to be fully integrated with our cafe, but we’ve since moved a block away. Northern Coffeeworks is a specialty coffee shop and we roast our own beans and continue to work on developing fun new coffee products. We’ll also be introducing more creative retail offerings there after a quick remodel next Spring. I have an ownership stake in Mend Provisions – which is primarily a Fly Fishing Shop, but we also carry some nice apparel and outdoor goods. And as I mentioned above we are also working on Wilde Bicycles.
Why do coffee and bikes go so darn well together?
I think it is just about the experience. Whether at a shop or having adventure coffee you get to add taste and smell to the feeling of movement. Using all your senses. I don’t talk that much on the bike, so sitting with a good coffee gives me chance to talk to my riding partners and slow down.
What made you want to be a WW stockist?
Eric at the shop has an Alakazam and it just seemed like the best dang basket bag we’d ever seen, then once we dove in and got to meet y’all and hear your story it really seemed to parallel our own which is a lot of how we like to pick our partners.
Finally, what tunes have the highest rotation at the shop?
Oh boy, it’s a pretty eclectic mix depending on who’s in control or gets into the shop first. There’s a pretty heavy rotation of Grateful Dead by a couple folks. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Willie Nelson. Rose City Band. And a lot more when our Sonos wireless speakers are working properly.
We’re so totally stoked to be part of the Angry Catfish story and already scheming plans to visit…
You can shop Wizard Works at the shop in Minneapolis or their online store – if you’re in America, that means get your bags faster without the international phaff! #supportyourlocalcatfish