Away from the commercial areas of Barcelona, there’s a hidden place for those who are truly passionate about the cycling world’s past.
As if trapped in a time bubble where everything around it started to evolve and change the same way plants and fungus grow around a very ancient tree in the need for survival. Everything adapting to its actual conditions, layering over the past until you lose track of what was actually there in the beginning.
Somehow this place exists, as if we peeled back those layers of time to reach the center, the beginning of it all. This past that once flourished and somehow got overshadowed and forgotten. It is here where its owner, Fernando Tome Giulietti and his project, Monsieur Velo, lie. More than an idea, it was a necessity from within to bring the past back to life and make it shine once again.
How and when did your passion for cycling start?
It began at a very early age. I remember all the bikes I had since the first one I got from my parents as a present. During my adolescence in Mar del Plata, Argentina it was quite normal to use a bike to move from one place to the other, carrying our boards whether it was for surfing or skating. Bikes were unconsciously forced into our way of life back then, as it was our only means of transportation available at that age. As a cycling fan, the Curuchet brothers were our biggest idols. They are Argentinean track champions who represented our country worldwide.
For different reasons after a few years, I distanced myself from bicycles for a while until I arrived to Barcelona in 2009. It was the perfect city to move around with a bike so it was a natural thing for me to step back into that world. My passion for them grew even more when I moved to France for one year. I got automatically immersed into the cycling world’s capital.
Where does the name Monsieur Velo come from?
The name emerged in France and I thought it would be right to choose something representative of its place of origin along with my philosophy about bikes. I wanted this name to sound like it was a single man’s craft and not a company. As of today, I’m the only one working on this project.
Talk to me about the origins of Monsieur Velo. How did it all begin?
I started buying bicycles in antique shops and little markets in France. Knowing that the main idea was to go back to Barcelona, I took everything I acquired and began my project in Spain. Once I settled, I started posting my products through social media by combining bikes with my other passion, which is photography. After a while I opened my shop and this lead me to new opportunities that enhanced the potential of my work. I was able to obtain unused old stock of bike parts from the best brands in their original package along with old bicycles that have never been used. This was a pivot point for Monsieur Velo, and I was able to access some old warehouses embedded with a lot of history behind them. Although I can’t give much information about those places, getting there was probably one of the most exciting things I experienced so far since I’ve started. Now I was able to get to know the story behind each object and that for me was what Monsieur Velo was all about.