Hanging Out With The Captain
Drew Walker is a man who has always loved bikes. Getting a job in a bike shop straight after leaving school, he has quietly worked away at building up his knowledge and expertise before opening the doors at Captain Walker’s in Fremantle. Quickly becoming a Fremantle icon, Drew’s gorgeous shop is filled with a balance of practical and beautiful things makes even the bicycle apathetic fall a little bit in love (and one day that red Papillionaire WILL be mine).
Being an entrepreneur is in Drew’s blood, with his family running the successful John Walker Chocolatier business however his easy going and approachable manner is something that can’t be taught. Whether he is working on a custom project, fixing the brakes on a ‘ride in’ customer or not rolling his eyes when I said I liked the red one like colour was an important feature that would improve performance, his passion for what he does shines through and makes it always a pleasure to stop by and say hello!
What inspired you to start Captain Walkers?
Inspiration has solely been my love for bicycles. I saw the potential to do things in a very personalised manner, so I grabbed my great grandfathers workbench and set-up shop. When you help someone who usually wouldn't cycle to throw themselves behind a set of handlebars it can change their whole lifestyle. It can only be positive. To help someone achieve this is the ultimate payoff.
What sets you apart from commercial bike stores?
We don't judge or criticise people for the way that they want to ride their bike. We understand the love people have for their bicycles regardless of whether they have a roadside pick-up or a $5000 racing bike. When we are working on either of these they desire the same amount of love and attention. We pride ourselves on offering the best customer service we can deliver. We get a great amount of satisfaction when helping to educate people about cycling and making their cycling experience more enjoyable. Equally as satisfying is when someone comes into the shop with an idea of their dream bike and we help create it for them.
Have you ever had a challenging moment with Captain Walkers and what made you keep going?
All the time. That's the brilliant thing! With almost 200 years of evolution the cycling is a world within itself. We often have people seeking us out for the more difficult requests and repairs. With this comes the most rewarding jobs. There's nothing like building a set of timber wheels at 3 in the morning or soldering a custom cable for a 1930's caliper brake. I feel like it's the challenges that keep you going.
Favourite thing about working in Fremantle?
Freo! It's pretty much the best place in the world. What a community, full of vibrant like minded people. Go you good thing!
Most exciting moment with Captain Walkers?
The most exciting moment at Captain Walker's so far.... Hmm so many to choose from. The recent construction of the bike shelter by Moore and Moore Cafe and the Fremantle Men's Shed is super fantastic! Going to Geelong to set-up Little Creatures bike hire at their new Brewery was an awesome experience. Everyday is absolute gold, keep the good times rolling!
Top bike recommendation for our readers?
The type of bike someone needs depends on what kind of riding they would like to do. You could have the best bike in the world but if it's the wrong size or the wrong bike for the application it will never be nice to ride. One of the most important things when choosing your bike is getting fitted correctly and making sure you feel comfortable. If you are unsure of what style of bike you need come say hi and we can give you some helpful insight.
Best kept secret spot in Perth?
Best kept secret in Perth... well that's a secret..
Any upcoming events that you are excited about?
I'm exciting about everything. I'm excited for nurturing Captain Walker's, I'm excited for Dismantle, i'm excited for Fremantle as a whole, the new skate park, riding my bike, always learning new things, i'm excited about the 'Copenhagen of the South', riding my bike and working on some really cool custom projects.
What is the one thing you could not live without?
One thing I couldn't live without. I'm going answer this in a real pragmatic way. Food... really good food.
Check out more of what the boys have been up to on their instagram @captainwalkersbicycles or pop in and have a chat! Located at 1 Paddy Troy Mall opposite the markets, make Drew your new 'go to' guy for anything bikes in Perth!