Randall Levere | Artisan Profile
Michael PiazzaSome people walk the walk. Randall Levere? He rides the ride. The founder of Boston-based Erba Cycles builds bikes–by hand, with frames made from bamboo–and he uses them. A lot.
“I probably ride 10,000 miles a year,” Levere says. That includes training rides, Saturday morning rides with the Charles River Wheelmen, accompanying the wheelchair athletes during the Boston Marathon, and many more miles just getting around town. “I don’t have a car,” Levere explains. “Even when I’m shipping out a new bike, I bring it to FedEx by bike. People look at me like I’m nuts.”
Cycling is Levere’s longtime passion. The Maine native started a regular riding habit at around age 12, when he’d head out for 24 miles a day, in rain, shine, or snow. “I loved the idea of getting somewhere under my own power,” he says. He built his first bike frame at age 17, but it took time before that became his profession. After earning a degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, he worked as an engineer and Internet consultant. All the while, Levere’s passion for bikes was beckoning: “I was waking up every morning thinking about bikes. I decided I had to see if maybe there was a business there.” Now he’s almost two years into running Erba Cycles full-time, producing bikes that make him proud.
Levere loves riding all over New England, but for now he’ll stick to living in Boston and working out of his Albany Street studio in the South End. “The population density here means I run into so many people doing crazy and diverse things professionally–and that inspires me to up my game a bit,” he says. “And,” he adds, “there are more people to ride with.”