Shout-out to Santa Monica's Bicycle Ambulance.
While I was on the hunt for a used bike, I popped in there with another BikeFo SoCalian. The proprietor, aka the Fastest Wrench in the West, 2005 (see here http://www.parktool.com/whatsnew/readarticle.asp?type=parktoolnews&id=22)
was just the coolest cat ever.
BikeFo friend asked him if he carried any Brooks saddles, which led to him pulling his own Brooks off his bike, bringing it out to us, and regaling us with stories about it. Tony also dug around to find an old French bottom bracket he had squirrelled away, when BikeFo friend mentioned she was looking for one of those as well.
While we were there, Tony and co. fixed something on a customer's bike free of charge (can't recall what it was); then, he worked very patiently with a couple who were renting bikes for the afternoon, encouraging the bike-shy woman that she would do just fine, and letting her go out and practice before renting; and he then spent lots of time with a woman who was looking at low-cost used bikes, and offered to fix several up for her to try, no charge, no commitment.
How the heck do these types of places stay in business? Beats me. But Zeus bless 'em.
It's a small, dusty, cluttered shop, not for those who are in search of a squeaky-clean shop experience, but it oozes soul.
When I asked Tony if he could work on my omafiets (Amsterdam) bike, he said he can work on ANY bike, and I believe him. I'll put him to the test and report back soon.
Last edited by Allez Oops; 08-31-07 at 12:35 AM.