Share this:Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0

“I’ve lied, bullshitted, exaggerated and fabricated some incredibly ridiculous stories about the creation of the Pentabike design in order to lend some sort of dark credibility to the question,” says Dave Strunk, a Denver, Colorado resident and the focus of my interview, “but the reality is that it started in about 1989 or so when I was working in a book warehouse here in Denver.” According to Strunk, the book warehouse afforded him the luxury to begin seditiously, if not somewhat subliminally, planting subversive images, such as the good, old-fashioned pentagram, in many popular book titles being shipped to what he refers to as “religious propaganda stores across this great land.”

“Having cut my teeth in the first and second wave punk rock movements of England and the U.S., I naturally had a tendency to sway to the left and to appreciate cynicism and anything that caused people to pause and question what is worth believing in and what is not,” Strunk says. As previously described, Strunk had become accustomed to inserting pentagrams into religious literature, and as a result of this, the first Pentabike design was scribed into Strunk’s messenger bag when he left the book warehouse and began working as a bicycle courier in Denver. It was in effect forgotten about until years later, when Strunk began spotting the logo in various places around Denver, at which time he reclaimed the design and noticed it garnering a somewhat cult following, both in Denver and throughout the rest of the country, showing up everywhere from bike shops to trash dumpsters and even as tattoos without any help or persuasion from Strunk himself. “In reality,” he says, “the logo was a modification of something that was started to simply raise eyebrows and rile up the middle-of-the-road establishment, but it was never meant to become an official logo or brand, as such.”

Strunk did not, however, create the design as an indication of his support, interest, affiliation or interaction with any specific groups, agendas, beliefs or mantras. “I’ve always been sort of a devil’s advocate on most anything you’d ever care to discuss,” he explains, “and the logo, while stemming from some apparent icon that most people identify as being affiliated with a ‘satanic’ agenda, was simply a stupid little tag that was utilized by me during my years as a courier here in Denver and happened to be noticed by a somewhat small and subversive group of people.”

Having first gotten into cycling in the late 70s and early 80s, Strunk’s first experiences were with BMX. “The late 80s brought the purchase of my first real ‘adult’ bike,” Strunk says. “It came in the form of a totally shitty, secondhand mountain bike with a six-speed Shimano groupo and an early Tru Temper frame. I called it the ‘Cheetah Chrome Mother Fucker’ (anyone who understands this reference, you‘re a true punk), and I rode it for miles and miles around Denver and the surrounding areas.” Strunk got his first real road bike around this same time and logged plentiful miles, leading, inevitably, to his courier gig in Denver.

When asked about the fixie craze that seems to be in full-effect nationwide, Strunk’s answer is stunningly poignant. “I get it, but I don’t buy into it,” he says. “It is pure and un-cluttered in a world full of impurities and clutter, but like so many other things, it has become a cliché.” He continues, both posing a question and answering it. “How many people can buy a Chrome messenger bag, drink PBR, cut the legs off their Dickies work pants, get full sleeve tattoos, listen to Kyuss, wear skinny jeans and ride a fixie?” Way too many. On the other hand, I had a spiked leather motorcycle jacket with a painted back panel, chains and braces with combat boots, a spiked belt, a flannel shirt around my waist and a huge punk rock record collection. So really, when you think about it, what’s the goddamn difference?”

That being said, what Strunk does like about the fixed scene is the persistence of the D.I.Y. attitude. “Family, culture, brotherhood and the willingness to take it to the streets no matter what the middle aged guy in the Benz thinks” are the things Strunk finds positive about the fixed scene. “This is a real movement with real inertia behind it, and I support THAT all-the-fucking way for sure…however, the only fixed bike I’ve ever ridden is a 1890s James Starley high-wheel bike in the parking lot of a bike shop where I almost went over the bars,” he says.

“Punk rock was the music of my childhood, and although I only listen to it every once in a blue moon, I could never turn away from it because of what a huge part of my life I spent within the fold,“ explains Strunk. Apparently, it’s this punk rock ethos that has inspired him, and helped allow his seemingly innocent and simplistic design to blow up into a legitimate underground phenomenon. As far as Pentabike goods, Strunk has several things currently available and more products on the horizon. “Pentabike ebbs and flows as far as the mail-order side of things go, but the development of more designs and products is constant,” Strunk says. “Currently, we have a few items that are going through the final stages of R+D, and will be rolling them out to the public in the next few months if not sooner.” Strunk was schooled and trained as an Industrial Designer, so the future for Pentabike as a business is going to focus on hard-good PRODUCTS rather than simply a clothing line. The shirts and stickers and socks were devised as a vehicle to promote a name-brand recognition, so according to Strunk, when the “real” shit is released, there is a familiarity with the logo and the ethos of the Pentabike agenda. Keep an eye on Pentabike, and contact Dave Strunk via the web to order Pentabike good—and don’t eat the brown acid.