Greppers of Gaia - Jimmy Tofu

Greppers of Gaia - Jimmy Tofu

Welcome back to our blog format, "Greppers of Gaia." It took a bit longer this time to get this written onto digital paper. In short,... time is a bitch.

I don't want to bother you with lame excuses, so let us dive into it right away.

In this post, we are talking with a friend of ours or, let's say, a very close friend of Jan and a treasured friend of Grepp and a person who has been riding along with us from pretty much day one.

Say hello to Jimmy.

Vicious Cycles Athens

Photo: Ilias Tsantos


Jimmy is not only an co-owner of a bike shop in Athens. He is the first shop in the whole world starting to sell our handlebar tape Gripper. On top of that, he was involved in our pre-testing and was, therefore, an important person for helping us finetuning our tape to the best. So what is there more to say in an introduction? Well, many things, but we'll focus on the area of bikes. Jimmy is a significant contributor to the bike scene in Athens and just a wonderful human being with dry humour.

Sound like a good set of features. 

J- Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

P- I'm Jimmy Tofu but also better known as Peio.

J- Race or partypace?

P- Mostly partypace but sometimes I'm down with the fast cats.

How did you end up riding bikes?

P- Nothing deep and meaningful to share here except the fact that walking is really fucking boring.

J- What motivates you to ride a bike?

P- Well, it's a bit the same than the previous answer. I hate walking. Also its the best and fastest way to get around in my city. Why would you want to waste your lifetime in a traffic jam?

J- Describe how the optimal bike looks like and what it stands for in your very own words.

P- Something to paint three times a week and poof there goes my monthly pay check again. Optimal bike would be anything from bicycle pubes.

J- What's your current bike setup? 

P- Two wheels running vaguely true and GREPP olivine bar tape. Looks pretty much like this.

Jimmys bike sketch

J- Are you listening to music while riding?

P- Does the sound of my chain and shitty derailleur counts as music? If not than I rather listen what's around me when riding. 

J- What would you want to change about the cycling scene?

P- Less talk, more rock. Less boring people on lycra on a Sunday morning. More flannel and tees, scrapes and bruises.

J- What do you think about Grepp handlebar tapes?

P- Grepp is what was missing from our industry. Excellent quality, reusable, washable and plant based. Being sustainable is the only way and we have to teach ourselves to care. This is one more step towards caring. Thanks GREPP! 

One think I want to share with you is that I would love to see more colours. The brighter the better!

J- Tell us something about VICIOUS CYCLES ATHENS - VCA?

P- Well, we are twined with VICIOUS CYCLES SPRINGFIELD...We are focusing on trying to remain vaguely sober within working hours. 

Jimmy Tofu and Gareth Jones "G"

 J- Where is your shop and why is it there?

P- Melanthiou Street, Downtown Athens. A sunny place for shady people. 

J- How long are you in business?

P- Feels like an Eternity but our account says 11 years.

J- What is the "thing" you are most proud of when thinking about VCA?

P- Having built a community and given a home to the cyclists of Athens. We’ve had some fun all together in our little street…<3

J- Can you tell us something about the cycling culture in Athens?

P- There are some amazing beautiful people cycling in Athens, trying to build communities and scenes and that's exactly how we like it. 

J- What change have you observed over the years in the scene?

P- Colour, no colour, colour. So basically everything is a cycle which is good. 

J- What has changed in your shop since you started?

P- Used to be big with loads of bikes. Now bloody paint is cluttering up the place.

Bike shop

J- What's on your to-do list for this year?

P- Not kill G from Spray.Bike.

J- Since you are one of the founders of Spray.Bike do you wanna tell us something about it?

P- Don’t huff it!

J- How was Spray.Bike affecting your bike shop?

P- It's a lot of work besides the bike shop. Passion is sometimes the good and evil at the same time. 

J- Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own LBS?

P-  Its all about building a community. In these days of E-commerce and online shops, bike shops are really important for keeping cyclists on the street.

J- Anything else you like to share?

P- Downhill is better than uphill.


J - Thanks, Jimmy, for being part of Greppers of Gaia. For everyone visiting Athens, go and say hello at the shop and if your with your bike,  I'm pretty sure you will find bike messengers, fixed gear enthusiasts or racers up for a spin right there in front of the store. 

And remember to stay childish. 

Jimmy (VCA) and Jan (GREPP)

Jimmy and me enjoying the evening sun in Athens

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