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Lisa Morgen - if you ride a bike, you deserve a good one

Almost all of Copenhagen's shops have ground floor entrances, peeping out of the street, lowered off the sidewalk by a handful of steps. Each door closes a microcosm hidden in the basement of a building, under the floor of its inhabitants.

On the corner of one of these streets, there is a bicycle shop, perhaps one of many, but that stands out of the rest for its name, which resembles more that of a punk rock band than of a workshop: Thunder Fist. Within those walls, dozens of bicycles have been sold and repaired by one of the few women with the vitality to run such a business in Copenhagen: Lisa Morgen.

This name is not out contest by mere chance, as Lisa promptly explains:"I played the guitar in a group a long time ago. I would have liked to name the group Thunder Fist, but the others didn't think it was a good idea. Then I set that name aside, wrote it down on a piece of paper, as I was sure I would have used it for something else."
Lisa worked for a long time as a mechanic in other bike shops, and over the years cultivated the idea of wanting to do something a little different in Copenhagen. In fact, there are a lot of bike shops there, but they all seem to be the same. As she lived and worked in Australia for a long time, she noticed a different focus on customers and on the quality of service. She wanted to bring those things back to Denmark.

There are so many people in this city who use a bike here every day, and I think they deserve a good one

As it often happens, we tend to choose a place mostly because of the people who inhabit it. Lisa has taken this concept to the extreme, shaping the environment to her own personality, thus creating an incredibly familiar and welcoming atmosphere for what is basically a workshop. The result is a place very difficult to forget, and to which you easily return.

The love for bicycles, and the desire to infuse her care and attention into what she does, resonates into the need to live and work in an environment as dear to her heart as possible. Entering in the early hours of the day you are immediately struck by an intense smell of filtered coffee, left on a small table and available to anyone who wants it; a scent that blends with the music that constantly plays all around the shop.

I listen to music all day long. One of my favorite things about working here is that I can listen to music for eight hours in a row, and I decide what music to listen to [...].

The confusion that reigns in the store has a somewhat homelike feeling, and if it weren't for the dozens of bicycles scattered around the store, perhaps it would be mistaken for a proper home. Not surprisingly, the neighbours upstairs occasionally ask her to take care of their son, who is happy to spend a few hours playing the mechanic.

The good vibe clients have as they step in her familiar and welcoming environment is not lost to Lisa, who tells us: “I think most customers come here also because I am here. I would like to open another shop in the future, and talking about it, I was advised to find a younger version of me, who was able to run it. The people who work here with me are already quite similar: a bit strange, but authentic.”

It's perhaps the little things that make Thunder Fist a place unlike the others: for example, the thick wooden handmade shelves, crafted from some of the trees on which Lisa climbed as a child in her backyard. In reality the whole place, including the sound of music, the smell of coffee, and the touch of grease, is a puzzle made with pieces of her childhood, which keep her company every day.

Her passion for bikes started at a very young age:“I don't know if it's a real memory, or if I just built it in my mind, but when I was very young there were two twins in the street where I lived, and one day I saw them cycling without wheels. Then I dragged my bike upstairs home, asking and almost ordering my parents to remove the wheels from my bike as well. It was a small blue bike.”

For some reason I remember very well the bikes I had, and less the places I went with them.

Inside Thunder Fist nothing is perfect, nothing seems to be in the right place, and this is exactly why everything works in perfect harmony. Even Lisa's smile is slightly chipped, yet incredibly powerful. A small bit of tooth lost after a fall and left on the road, a place where Lisa religiously returns, obviously by bike, especially when she embarks for long trips around the world.

 I like long trips, where you ride your bike all day, sometimes for two weeks straight. I spend maybe six months planning a trip, and then I pack my things and my tent, I take my bike and I leave.”

For some people, both in Copenhagen and around the world, cycling is a necessity, a choice dictated by the environment they live in. For many, it is a way of life. These are the people who choose to follow a different path from that of the big city life, who try to cherish the little things of life a bit more.
What makes Lisa stand out from the crowd is her awareness of what she likes and loves. What makes Thunder Fist different from the rest is the idea of selling a passion, rather than a bike.
C 41 Studio is a collective approaching creativity throughout multiple disciplines. It is built out of young directors, photo- graphers and content creators. We have great ideas and we develop them. K48 is our associated production company.

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