Life In a Bike Shop

I see all kinds of bikes pass through the hallowed doors of The Bikery in Montclair. Everything from state of the art bikes better suited for riding grand tours than the streets of NJ, to bikes that have no monetary value, but the owners have been to hell and back on them. I love a good story before I send the customers down to our service department where I’m sure the story gets repeated again with maybe an added embellishment. Not only do I sell bikes, but am like the other people on the sales staff the unofficial greeters. Sorta like the old guy in the Home Depot that’s just happy to be something with his remaining years besides waiting for that old triple bypass to finally fail.

I don’t just value cycling as a way to ramp up the speed, put on hot pants and talk bullshit about the European pro circuit . That’s just one minor piece of the whole 2 wheeled puzzle. I like bikes. For the last 25 year’s of my life they have fed me, got me laid, kept me in shape and gave me a reason to shave my legs and blow snot rockets. You just can’t get that type of love from playing squash.

A guy came into the shop with his bike for repair. I saw him and thought nothing of him. There was nothing remarkable about him. Your average Joe. Just another guy in between beers. I looked at what he was holding and walked outside to get a better look. This guy had a US Postal Team Edition Trek 5200. The bike that delivered Lance Armstrong to the mountaintop of nothingness. The bike that helped guys feel a little less gay about shaving their legs up to their balls. Some guys go for the entire mane, but for me….Its just not that serious. The guy was having it tuned up to give to his son. I told the kid just how lucky he was. To him the US Postal Team is no more important than the actual US Postal system. To his dad and I, US Postal was the shit. Seeing Lance destroy his rivals and then miraculously do it again the next day? It almost seems to good to be true. That team was as much a part of the 90’s as was steroid use in foosball. For cycling in general in this country that team is owed a debt and that bike was part the reason. I don’t know if the other staff members quite understood the importance of that bike on their current existences, but I couldn’t not appreciate in part what that bike has meant for me.