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Boutique Peek: Rivendell Bike Book and Hatchet

Popular Walnut Creek bike shop expands into the hatchet business.

Rivendell Bicycle Works has been in business in Walnut Creek for nearly two decades, producing world-renowned bikes of the highest quality that sell for high-ticket prices.

The broadside of a hatchet. Courtesy of Rivendell.

The store thrives, but owner and bike expert Grant Petersen wanted more. So, Rivendell Bike Book & Hatchet was born. The store, which has a large hatchet selection, is now open for business in downtown Walnut Creek. I popped in there to see what it’s all about.


From the classic Little Bear children’s collection to novels, shoppers can find a wide variety of reading material. One of Petersen’s favorite authors he carries is Ann Patchett—there are even a few books signed by her in the store.

“I had read her book State of Wonder, then met her on a book tour,” says Petersen. “She is the one who got me hooked on fiction.”


All Rivendell bikes are made with traditional methods and materials. They start at $2,500 and go up from there, but you get what you pay for.

“These are not carbon fiber bikes, but they’re not cheap cruisers, either,” says Petersen. “They’re also not racing bikes, but are very durable and vigorous.”


The back wall of the store is full of these bad boys (with covered blades, of course). Most of them cost upwards of $100 and are made by Gränsfors Bruk, a Swedish company.

While in the store, I learned a hatchet can be used for everything from chopping wood to chopping poultry.

“I’m not a master; I am just an outdoor jock,” says Petersen. “It’s fun to interact with physical tools.”

If the idea of putting down the electronics for a few hours and chopping your own firewood sounds like a great family bonding experience, the store will soon offer classes to teach hatchet instruction, usage, and safety. There will also be a sharpening class. (Contact the store for more info.)

Outdoor Clothing:Wool hats by Katie Mawson

You can buy gear to wear on your adventures at the store, too. Check out Merino, 100 percent wool T-shirts for $60, or wool scarves and hats from England (Katie Mawson) and New Zealand (Possum and Merino). If you can splurge, check out the $430 woven Italian jacket with handmade toggles by MUSA.

Other Fun Finds:

Want something whimsical? Find everything from tiddly winks to a sampling of Kentucky fudge. Like girly soaps? Fleischman’s handmade soaps, made in Berkeley, will set you back only $10. If you’re looking for something a bit more manly, pick up some pine-tar soap made in Kentucky.

1601 N.Main St., (925) 937-7224, rivbike.com.