11 June 2012

The Only Attitude Is In The Name Of The Bike

I hadn't ridden along that stretch of Metropolitan Avenue, or in that neighborhood, in at least five years.  That, in spite of the fact that it's only about twenty minutes' worth of pedaling, if that, from where I live.   

The area has the feel of an old-style New York blue-collar neighborhood.  That in itself is not a reason for me not to ride there; in fact, my old Brooklyn neighborhood was very similar, so I feel somewhat comfortable in it.  Plus, that stretch has one of the better pizzerias and a couple of really good Italian bakeries, as well as a few pleasant family-owned stores of one kind and another.

One of those stores is Twin Bicycles. Eric, who is now one of the part-owners, looks like one of the kids who'd come into the shop to buy BMX bikes or accessories, or simply to hang out.  He's actually very friendly and articulate, and wanted to know as much as he could about Arielle, the bike I rode today.  Back in the day, the shop sold bicycles like the ones I saw in the window:

They are Klein mountain bikes, made in the USA before Trek took over the company.  The one in neon sunset colors is the "Attitude" model.  It, and the other bike belong to a longtime customer of the shop.  In fact, that customer bought the bikes new from the shop.  Although the Attitude's paint job could have come from the period, it was re-painted when the bike was re-fitted with the Rock Shox front fork.  

Here is another shot of them:

With those paint jobs, I felt as if something like Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence" should have been playing in the background.  I have always liked that song, but thought it was a little odd because the lyrics include these lines: "Words are very unnecessary/They can only do harm."  That may be true, at least in some instances.  But how would the song have been written without words?

But I digress.   Those of you who have '80's and '90's mountain or BMX bikes might want to get in touch with Eric, for he has some new-old-stock parts from that era.  Among them are a dozen sets of SunTour XC roller-cam brakes that are still in their original boxes!  

Anyway, our conversation reminded me of how long it had been since I'd visited the shop, or ridden that stretch of Metropolitan Avenue.  I asked about his father, who owned the store.  "Oh, he died five years ago."  That surprised me, for I thought he couldn't have been more than about five years older than I am.   Complications from diabetes claimed him only two years after his father (Eric's grandfather) died the same way.

Right now, all of the bikes in the shop (the ones I saw, anyway) were repairs.  "Lots of people want to fix up their old bikes," he said, confirming what I've seen and other shop owners and employees have told me.  Still, he plans to sell new bikes again:  He said he's just made arrangements with Trek.  Given the neighborhood and Twin's history as a family-oriented shop, it makes sense.  

I might take another ride over there soon, as I saw at least one item I might use.  Plus, Eric is a pleasant fellow.

1 comment:

  1. I also love being on a bike but usually I’m just strolling and enjoying the views. I recently decided to go up a notch and bought a new one using online comparisons of the best bmx bikes.