Bicycle shops of the past: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.
A final posting from me on the final night of 2004. Name some bike shops of the past, for your given area. Talk about good ones, bad ones, or the ones you fondly remember.
Laughing Alley: Actually, a decent shop, located in Allston. I bought a Trek 560 there, in early 1985.
No one seems to know what caused them to vanish. I heard it was just a matter of not paying their bills for too long, and the creditors shutting them down. Anyone know anything?
A Worthy Bicycle: There were two, one in Waltham, another in yuppie newtonville. It should have been called "A worthless Bicycle shop". Sort of like the bike department at K-Mart, Their "trained mechanics" used automotive tools and WD-40, and not much else.
Waltham Bargain Center: Take a walk into the back room, where all the work was done. Smell familiar? Yes indeed, that would be stale booze and cigarette smoke. Gone and forgotten, and that's a good thing.
Hi Roads: Warehouse store marketing applied to bicycle shops. Famous for the "indoor test riding track, where you can test ride your bike in safety and comfort". Their "knowledgable staff" suffered a huge turnover problem. Bad idea.
Lincoln Guide Service: I miss this one. It closed in January of 2000 I think. The owner even welcomed cyclists who just felt like a "stop and talk" time on Sunday afternoons. What I heard: The owner literally owned the building and land it sat on outright. It was worth a lot, and he was given an offer for it that he could not refuse, as he had been thinking about retirement. Alas.
I'm from the Atlanta area but about fifteen years ago when I went to LA on business you could visit Two Wheel Transit (I think that was the name) in Huntington Beach, Performance, Supergo and another big store I can't remember the name of....all in five minute drive. It was way cool. Alas, they did not all survive.
Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
Covebike - not really local but about as hardcore as you could get. At any time you could walk in and see a pro hanging out. All of the newest bikes hanging on the roof, place was always slightly disheveled and the smell of bike lubes and greases permeated the through the building. The riders all rode, if they talked they could walk it to.
dizzy cycles - likely the polar opposite of cove. The riders all still rode, but this place has the atmosphere of clean. Everything is bright and colourful. The sales people are sales people, you don't have to hunt them down.
John Henry - The wallmart of bikes for bc. They have everything and everything on display. First time I saw a rohollf ripped apart. Big, bright, every kind of bike under the sun.
Really I don't shop locally, to expensive, but if I do go to a lbs it is 3 hours away in vancouver and above are 3 of them.
About 20 years ago or so I lived just outside Montclair NJ for a while. I remember a couple of old style shops in that area that were really cool. I can't recall their names, but their images will always pop into my mind whenever someone mentions bike shops. They were small, with wooden floors and glass cases under the cash register where the shiny Campy parts (that I could never afford) were displayed. Packed with bikes on either side of the store and smelling of rubber, grease & chain lube. They were great.