Fire in Paradise – Update on Mitch and Alistair and Ways to Help


Alistair Spence and Mitch Pryor have been my friends for a long time. They both live in Paradise, CA, which was devastated by fire last week. Both are OK; they got out just in time. Their homes literally were burnt to the ground, but what counts right now is that they are OK. I’ve spoken with them, and while shaken, they are moving forward to rebuild their lives.

Mitch Pryor doesn’t need an introduction to readers of Bicycle Quarterly and this blog: He is one of the best-known constructeurs of randonneur bikes in North America. I saw Mitch not long ago, because he dropped off BQ‘s latest test bike. We had to coordinate a tight schedule: Just one week after traversing the crest of the Cascade Range twice in a single night (above), the latest MAP was due to be shown at the Philly Bike Expo. (That bike safely was delivered to its customer just before the fire.)

I’ve known Alistair even longer than Mitch. He’s been part of our Seattle crowd forever. He’s helped me with many projects. In recent years, he’s assembled our Compass taillights. He moved to Paradise a few months ago. He just had set up his workshop again and sent us a batch of taillights.
To help Alistair and Mitch while they figure out the next steps, friends have set up GoFundMe campaigns. Mitch and Alistair have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, and they asked to cap the campaigns. Many in the cycling community want to do more to help, and both Mitch and Alistair now have reopened the campaigns to help other victims. All donations beyond the (already attained) limits will go to fire relief causes. Being on the ground, Mitch and Alistair know where the donations will make the greatest positive impact.

At Compass, we’ll do what we can to help both Alistair and Mitch while they rebuild their lives and their workshops. We’re grateful that they are OK, and the rest will work out. And we’re glad that we’ll continue to enjoy the work of these great craftsmen in the future!
In the mean time, please donate to Mitch and Alistair’s campaigns to help other fire victims. Thank you!

3 Responses to Fire in Paradise – Update on Mitch and Alistair and Ways to Help

  1. Ryan Martin November 16, 2018 at 9:50 am #

    Thanks so much for this update. I’ve been wondering how Mitch was holding up and hoping he was ok. A really good guy, and of course amazing builder. What a tragic event, I’ve been holed-up inside hundreds of miles away for a week in SF due to it and just can’t imagine all the harm this is causing to so many. Agree, it will all work out with the help of others. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Gugie November 16, 2018 at 11:08 am #

    Reading through the list of people who have already contributed, I recognize many that I’m fairly certain follow BQ, even many that have been at un-meetings.