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Old 01-05-07, 02:23 PM   #1
urbanknight
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Bike shop memories

Spinning off from the Favorite Bike Shop thread, I noticed a lot of people recalling their favorite shops of old time.

I remember Criterium in Reseda as the place that actually stocked a road bike with 24" wheels so my 10 year old brother could start riding with the rest of the family. He road that thing in the Solvang Prelude before growing into a full size bike. I also remember Bikesport in Canoga Park sponsoring my race team, Warner Velo. The owner was very nice, almost to a fault. It was a curse and a blessing that his manager was more of a hardcore business lady.

So, what shops do you miss?
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Old 01-05-07, 02:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Spinning off from the Favorite Bike Shop thread, I noticed a lot of people recalling their favorite shops of old time.

I remember Criterium in Reseda as the place that actually stocked a road bike with 24" wheels so my 10 year old brother could start riding with the rest of the family. He road that thing in the Solvang Prelude before growing into a full size bike. I also remember Bikesport in Canoga Park sponsoring my race team, Warner Velo. The owner was very nice, almost to a fault. It was a curse and a blessing that his manager was more of a hardcore business lady.

So, what shops do you miss?
Criterium was owned by Bicycle John and his partner, Kent. BJ now has stores in Acton, Northridge, and the main store in Burbank.
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Old 01-05-07, 03:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
So, what shops do you miss?
I'm from Rochester, New York. There was a bike & fitness place that I liked. They tended to cater to the popular (read: less expensive, less chic, less high-end) crowd. But, I got along with the manager--down to earth guy and always cared about making sure my needs were met.

I bought some new Matrix rims that promptly suffered spoke pull-through. He took a look at (very large) me and said, "Oh no problem, here's some replacements that are stronger so you won't have that problem again, no charge." And then I road/raced them until the sidewalls wore out 5-6 years and 15-20,000 miles later. (They were touring rims I believe, Matrix Titans.)

He even let me borrow a (very expensive) Polar Heart Rate monitor back when they were first introduced. I used it for collecting data for a college physical education course. Got an A+ on the paper.

The biggest thing about LBS's is just going in and looking around, touching all the stuff, pestering the mechanics with questions, etc... I still do at my local shop here in SoCal.
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Old 01-05-07, 03:15 PM   #4
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Two Wheeler Dealer, Brea when Sam owned it and Mark and Paul worked there. The shop is still there and the folks are nice enough but it's lost its heart. Also at one time, before Jax, Irvine became the Trek shop and long before I knew better, they had the best mechanic (his name was Paul). I sure wish I knew whatever happened to Paul. Years and yars ago I used to shop at Helen's in Santa onica but alas that shop has also changed hands and is not the same. =sigh= nothing stays the same!
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Old 01-05-07, 03:26 PM   #5
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I Martin was awesome before Helens bought it. Hopefully it's still awesome, but I haven't been back since I moved a couple of years ago.
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Old 01-05-07, 03:37 PM   #6
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It'll have to be my childhood bike shop just around the corner from where I lived while I was growing up in Yokohama, Japan. I would go in there for air mostly. Since I was not strong enough to use the floor pump the shop owner always pumped up the tires for me. I used to drool over the Panasonic and Miyata 10 speeds (actually 8 speeds....2x4 cogs) in the show window.
My little brother and I used to tinker with our bikes and I still vividly remember the time when he accidently lodged his finger between the chainring and chain, screaming in pain. My mother quickly called the corner bike shop and the owner rushed over to our house with a chain tool. How's that for a bike shop house call?
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Old 01-05-07, 03:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ronjon10
I Martin was awesome before Helens bought it. Hopefully it's still awesome, but I haven't been back since I moved a couple of years ago.
When did this take place? I was in there like 2 months ago and it was still I Martin. I didn't see any sign of Helen's while I was there.
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Old 01-05-07, 04:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Spinning off from the Favorite Bike Shop thread, I noticed a lot of people recalling their favorite shops of old time.

So, what shops do you miss?
Wow,

Well my favorite shop has to be the one that introduced me to bicycle racing back on Long Island in NY. Vito's Bike Shop in Westbury was famous because Vito Perrucci had the bike shop on one side and a barber shop on the other. I never did get a haircut there but I did buy a lot of bike parts.

After moving to SoCal, one of my favorite shops was Carnevale's Bike Shop owned by Ralph Carnevale. I worked there on weekends (while being a McDonnell Douglas engineer during the week) for parts and discounts. Ralph also sponsored Coast Velo which lasted for a few years. I bought a couple of Medicis from Ralph including a red, white, a blue one.

My other favorite shop was Two Wheel Transit Authority on Main Street in HB. I ended up working there for about a year (1984-85) when I decided to take a sabbatical from responsible adulthood. It was in the building that is now Jax. It got really big really fast and eventually moved into the building that now is Performance in Fountain Valley. It got big too fast because it eventually folded a few years after moving into that building. I bought way too bikes during that period. No more bike shop jobs after that.

That's my bike shop trip down memory lane.
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Old 01-05-07, 04:45 PM   #9
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all of the shops i used to go to as a kid are still around and still overpriced. alan's in oceanside, pacific coast cycles, etc. i guess that's not really a memory, though.

alan's is where my parents bought my first few bikes. an old cyclepro bmx bike, then a GT performer freestyle bike. my first road bike came from there as well - centurion lemans rs. i miss that thing...
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Old 01-05-07, 10:17 PM   #10
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Briese's Schwinn in Yucaipa, CA.

Moved to Yucaipa when I was about 15. Had a mountain bike that I'd had for a couple of years but didn't ride off road. I bought it the summer before I moved out to CA from a small CO town. There was no, real cycling scene in town. there wasn't even a bike shop! So lacking any knowledge of local off-road trails (If there were any. Mtn. biking was still reasonably young in the late 80s, and it wasn't popular in this particular area of CO.), all i did was ride it on the road 'cause I didn't know any better. I did compete in the town's annual 4th of July road race, a non-sanctioned 14 mi. race around "the mesa". My "training" consisted of going out every day, usually after a post swim-practice nap, and riding the route as hard as I could. Pretty much won that by default, 'cause none of the local 12 - 14 year olds were really into cycling. I was still disappointed though, 'cause my goal was 45 min. or less, I didn't pull it off, and didn't even manage to beat my previous best time, which was somewhere in the neighborhood of 47 minutes.

Spent a year in hell (Rialto, CA) before my parents relocated to Yucaipa and my brother and I started hanging out at the local bike shop.

I had a mountain bike (Trek 830 Antelope), and no idea how or where to ride it off road. The mechanics at the shop took us, and a couple other shop rats, under their wing and showed us all the local trails, gave us riding tips, and even tolerated us using the tools/stands, when things were slow, to fix our bikes. Learned a lot working on my own bike under the watchful eye of the wrenches there.

The owner, Ernie, was a somewhat crotchety but lovable old guy who put up with a lot more than he could rightfully be expected to, from a bunch of rambunctious teens and pre-teens. I spent a good portion of my early high school years bumming around that shop, and credit the mechanics there with introducing me to *real* mtn. biking. Though I probably woulda found it on my own eventually, it definitely helps to have mentors.

Often wonder what happened to Ernie. He sold the shop sometime around my Jr. or Sr. year and moved to Santee with a woman he met through a bicycle touring club and married. The shop is still in town under a different name, and new owners, and is a decent enough shop, but it's just not Briese's anymore.

Maybe they're the same thing to a new generation of future bike junkies that Briese's was to us. I hope so.

Last edited by TrevorInSoCal; 01-05-07 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 01-05-07, 10:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dog hair
all of the shops i used to go to as a kid are still around and still overpriced. alan's in oceanside, pacific coast cycles, etc. i guess that's not really a memory, though.

alan's is where my parents bought my first few bikes. an old cyclepro bmx bike, then a GT performer freestyle bike. my first road bike came from there as well - centurion lemans rs. i miss that thing...
Pacific Coast Cycles has to be one of the coolest shops around. Their collection of funky older road bikes and old parts is fun to look through. If I were to have wheels handbuilt (e.g. if I weren't cheap ) I would go there.
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Old 01-05-07, 10:59 PM   #12
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When did this take place? I was in there like 2 months ago and it was still I Martin. I didn't see any sign of Helen's while I was there.
Helen's bought I Martin when about 4 years ago (right around the time I got my bike there.) It's still called I Martin. I know Helens put some money into the place and they were remodelling. I haven't been back since the construction though, so I don't know what's its like anymore.
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