Sunday, June 14, 2009

Great Used Bikes

vintage bike poster RaleighEvil bastard sticky fingered immoral thieves have stolen my beloved bicycle from outside my apartment whilst I've been travelling. And I am FURIOUS. I'm now down $260 after replacing not just the bike, but the basket & locks too.

I’ve had to replace way too many bikes here in Manhattan. There was the one taken by the police when they (illegally) decided to remove every single bike chained to a lamppost in the East Village & the one taken when I was at a press appointment because I had forgotten to put both locks on*. I sold this flea market buy on after this incident (it was a cruiser with pedal brakes, which was asking for trouble with a malco like me riding it), but this is the first bike, I think, that has just disappeared for no good reason.

And I’m pissed off. It was the best bike I've had here: super well-constructed, with a brilliantly comfy saddle & lovely padded foam handlebars, but I didn’t have anywhere to leave it when I went away apart from the street, and so I took the gamble. And lost.

Anyway, the lovely John from Great Used Bikes delivered its bright blue replacement today.

Great Used Bikes vintage bicycle New York

It has Free Sprit emblazoned across the body, which makes me chuckle. I think this is the third bike I’ve had from John, and I can’t recommend his service enough. He delivers the bikes to your door on a Sunday, properly tuned up, which is more than you can say for the hot boneshakers sold on street corners and in the flea markets here. He attaches baskets, and an I Love NY bell and, if the bike doesn’t feel quite right, he will bring you a different one the next week to try out.

And if you have a disaster he can help too. When evil bastard putative bike thieves did this

bike thieves East Village

to the first bike I bought from him, he brought an acetylene burner into town and removed the busted lock for me. And then brought a new wheel in for me the next weekend when he noticed that the original one had been buckled in the incident.

I can't recommend his service highly enough. Sure, you can buy a shiny new bike for maybe a little less in K Mart or elsewhere, but there's no service, or after-care, &, most importantly, something shiny & new will get stolen within seconds on Manhattan, so that's just a false economy in the long run. (My first bike from John lasted 10 months, and the second 13 months.)

*thus proving my theory that you don’t necessarily need expensive locks, just plenty of them as deterrents.