***5/19/08 – Update / correction… Maybe there is a shop on the west side. Bike Improve I plan to get over and visit soon. They are having sort of a grand opening this coming weekend – 6/1/08. Its a bummer for me, as I’ll be out of town, up in N. Cal.***
Ok, I’ve posed about this on places like STR (Socaltrailriders.org) and MTBR, etc. Living in west Los Angeles, it is hard to believe that I can’t find the type of shop I’m looking for. I mean, tons of people, tons of local riders, plenty of money, but no shop. I don’t mean to say that there aren’t any bicycle shops at all, there just aren’t any that I’m looking for. I won’t use any names, but we have plenty of “off the shelf”, and beach cruiser shops, and these have their place, and do a good business. There’s a shop down in OC that seems to be the kind of shop I’m looking for, but that’s more than an hour away. I’m not sure if I can exactly put my finger on what I’m looking for, but it would be a little smaller shop. One that has a feel, or mojo to it. One that you could just go hang out at. For me at least, their prices wouldn’t be the reason I’d go to, or not go to it. I’m willing to support a shop that has what I want, and has the kind of vibe I’m looking for.
I guess it just feels like there is no cycling culture here in WLA. I guess that shouldn’t surprise me, there isn’t any real, real people culture here, cycling or otherwise. Its just sort of too bad. I’ve been to smaller towns, on cycling trips, where you can walk into a shop and immediately strike up a conversation with someone that truly wants to talk to you, not just sell you something. I’ll give you ALL of my business if you don’t act like a car dealership, or any attitude. We all love bikes, love to ride and work on them, I don’t need any attitude.
Anyway, I just felt like a little rant today.