Baltimore Motorcycle Collective
by Greg Carloss
Sometimes our passions don’t quite fit into our everyday lifestyles. And, now if you’re a motorcycle gearhead living in a city apartment you know the feeling. Well, this week our Over the Edge guy, Greg Carloss heads to a garage that can help keep that passion burning.
GREG CARLOSS: There’s something about living in the city that makes the idea of owning a motorcycle all the more appealing. Of course if you need the space to tinker on your bike or store it for the winter, you may just be spinning your wheels. But here in East Baltimore, there’s a place where you can lay your kickstand. Let’s check it out.
This 2,500 square foot garage housed in a 100 year old industrial complex is where Ethan Pritchard spends most of his time these days as the founder and owner of The Baltimore Motorcycle Collective.
ETHAN PRITCHARD: We started out as a DIY garage and were forced very early on to expand to doing repairs and from that we’ve grown to storing bikes to taking on bikes that had no future anymore.
GREG CARLOSS: Before Ethan opened “The Collective” in 2018 he thought he had invented the idea of a Do-it-yourself garage. But his research proved it had already been done...in Baltimore City even. Still, riders like Tony Ayigah were in need of his help.
TONY AYIGAH: My bike is a 1979 XLCH 1000. It’s a Harley Davidson Sportster Iron Head. When I first got here, Ethan was just so supportive on sitting down and talking to me and trying to figure out what’s going on and the fact that I can work on it on my own and he’d basically be here looking over my shoulder.
ETHAN PRITCHARD: What you see around you, is just a result of me being here for 70 hours a week and getting in over my head and needing to bring on some of the awesome people I’ve met through opening the garage.
MATTHEW MAHLSTEDT: I’m Matthew Mahlstedt and I’m one of the mechanics here at the Baltimore Motorcycle Collective.
I did do a lot of work on my Suzuki in like a Baltimore alley with hand tools but there’s kind of only so much you can do there and once I discovered the collective, a place where I could ride my bike in and then have all the tools and the space...The Collective is just invaluable for that.
TRAVIS BOZEMAN: My name is Travis Bozeman and I got to the Baltimore Motorcycle Collective out of pure necessity.I had a 2005 Suzuki SV650 S I needed to do some transmission work on.I called down here and I asked to talk to Ethan, told him what I was trying to do. I wanted to get it done myself and he talked me through it and we set up a date, picked up my bike and the rest is history.
GREG CARLOSS: Like a local barbershop or coffee bar, this garage is more than the sum of its services. It’s a place to work, it’s a place to learn, and perhaps most important it’s a place to build community.
TONY AYIGAH: The reason why I bring my bike here to work on it is not only the camaraderie of the wonderful people that work here and the community that they’ve built. But the access to the tools...it’s an endless amount of access to equipment, knowledge and most of all friendship and community.
GREG CARLOSS: Whether it’s motorcycles or marketing, vintage is The Collective’s preferred style, so it’s no surprise that they use a good ol’ fashioned bike show to promote the business.
ETHAN PRITCHARD: The other key facet to the show is bringing together local rider owned businesses, so businesses primarily in Baltimore city where the owner is there showcasing their product but they also have their bike and you get to meet them. There’s nothing like going into a coffee shop and you know the owner. You can talk to them about their bike you can talk to them about their product, how they got started, whatever.
GREG CARLOSS: Ethan, Matthew and Travis are still writing The Baltimore Motorcycle Collective’s start-up story and making sure to enjoy the ride along the way.