I sat down to write this rapport roughly 7 years ago, when Metier was just opening its doors, and then 8 years and a few kids happened and here we are. I’m using the word “rapport” instead of “blog”, simply because it sounds more 2022.

And speaking of blogging aka Rapporting, I started my first blog in 2000-ish while living in NYC and sometime around 2003 that fact was made public during the TT stage of the Tour of Georgia while I stood sweating and shaking on the start ramp, that I was considered the first US pro cyclist to have a blog. Announcer Dave Towel made the announcement that I was considered the first US pro cyclist to have a blog – I’m pretty sure no one cared. I’m not sure if it was actually true that I was the first but I was living in NYC during that time period and I wrote about my day-to-day life as a full-time bike rider and trainer, and posted pics of the food I was eating. It earned me zero dollars and I don’t have any metrics nor the old URL to prove that the blog existed but it kept me writing, something I’ve always loved doing. And now on a somewhat selfish journey to rediscover the written/typed word, I give the world Metier Rapports. If you remember the Tour de Georgia, you’ll know that my result in the TT was not worth writing about.

Over the years since Metier opened a lot of people have asked how and why I decided on the name Metier Racing and Coffee for the bike shop. This is the long version.

I moved to Seattle from New York City in December of 2005 and rode my last season as a domestic professional cyclist in 2006 on the Colavita/Suter Home Pro Cycling Team. In October of that same year I started “HSP”, Herriott Sports Performance LLC, which is still the name of the company. I had been doing personal training and coaching in NYC since 1997 and the plan post racing was to: open up a small office that offered one-on-one training, coaching and bike fitting and that’s what I did. However, had you told me back then that it would be in Seattle I would have not believed you. How did I end up in Seattle? A girl, it’s as simple as that.

In November 2006, I moved into a shared office space in downtown Seattle on Western Avenue. I was subleasing from the guys who owned the Institute of New Medicine. I literally took over the office space of Dave Jordan, who had a coaching business called Momentum. Dave and I were old friends from my NYC days and shared a real love of coaching and training. Sadly, Dave passed away years ago due to a brain tumor. There’s a lot more to that chapter and someday I need to dive a little deeper into it.

Fast forward, I wanted to move into a bigger space, bring in a few more coaches and expand the HSP offerings. That took me over to Nickerson St at the base of Queen Anne where I spent 5 years. It was during that time that the bike shop piece of the business came into being. We called it the PRO Shop. Hindsight is 20/20, I most likely would have not called it that today but live and learn. Entering into the world of bicycle retail in 2008, during dicey economic times, was an eye opening experience. It’s easy to love riding awesome bikes and wearing a sweet kit but it’s an entirely different animal to provide that to the general public. It took some time to get our wheels turning so to speak but we carved out a piece of the local bike shop pie and focused our efforts on premium performance bikes and frame sets. There was a racing team, lots of testosterone and some hit and miss business practices. “Growing up pains” would be a nice way to describe those times. In an attempt to heighten the customer experience I bought an espresso machine and started offering complimentary espresso. But that wasn’t enough, I needed to offer a full coffee shop experience! Of course I had a friend and client who thought my idea of having a coffee shop/bar/training space/ bike shop was a good one. He of course had a building he was trying to lease that would be the perfect spot for such a business. Fast forward to signing a lease at 1017 East Union St. There’s more to that part of the story too but the headline is I wanted to move, rebrand and grow out of the bro bro shop with the cool guys racing team. It was a massive physical, mental and financial challenge challenge to move from 5000 square feet with 5 people into 12,500 square foot with 19 people (we were that big when we opened on Capital Hill). But I am SO glad we did.

Metier Racing and Coffee. We hired an agency, right here in Capitol hill, called Creature to help rebrand and rename HSP. The process of creating a brand deck and all of the included assets was a very involved learning experience. At one point there were 10 or so names in the mix but Metier just made sense. What’s a good name for a bike shop that has a cafe, bar, training gym and cycling club? Metier is a French word meaning an area of activity in which one excels, aka “one’s calling”. This thing was my calling. I knew that people would have a hard time pronouncing it and would mostly have no idea what it meant. And then there’s the Racing and Coffee piece.

Racing. I fell in love with bike racing in the early 80’s. Watching the 30 minute TDF broadcasts on NBC with John Tesh breaking it all down blew my mind and I had to be apart of that sport. I grew up in Omaha, NE and the cycling scene in those days was…. Hard to find. But I found it and became part of it. From my local racing days in the Midwest to having the opportunity to ride the biggest events in the US and the 100’s of amazing experiences and people that have enriched my life – racing has been a part of my evolution. And the actual racing part wasn’t the best part, I can hardly remember the actual races. It was the preparation that really excited me, the build up to game day. And then when racing was not the focus of my life, it became my job preparing others for the day. I went from pinning the number to being an experienced spectator/weekend strong man (I didn’t say fast). I watch racing on TV and on the laptop as often as I can, it’s as exciting to me as it’s ever been and It’s still very much a part of my lifestyle, it’s just not the only part.

And the coffee. Coffee is so many things. It’s complex, it’s fragrant and it’s energizing. It has marked the beginning of my days for decades. Pre ride, post ride and on occasion during the ride, coffee connects me. Meeting with friends, teammates, colleagues and clients over a cup of coffee has defined my adult life, how could it not factor into the name of the shop? Racing and Coffee, there you have it.

Thanks for reading!

The image above was taken by Chris Miliman in the mid Summer of 2015. I’m pictured with teammate and roommate, Davide Frattini. We’re sitting in front of a coffee shop just off of Central Park, doing coffee.