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Friday, July 20, 2018

Bucephalus Bikes - A Gem of a Bicycle Shop!

And now for something completely different...

You may think I'm obsessed with our Political Clusterfuck, and well, of course, I am. But at the same time life goes on. I try to fill my life with Love and Laughter, and anything besides the meltdown of our Democratic Dream.

In the 1930’s, Fred Birchmore, a man from Athens, Georgia, traveled around the world on a bicycle. He named his “two-wheeled companion” Bucephalus.

I found an amazing Bicycle shop, Bucephalus Bikes in Evanston, IL. It is a gem of bicycle shop. I own an old DBS cruiser-type bicycle, which I bought a few years ago off a deaf and dumb kid in the neighborhood who fixes old bikes and sells them cheap. This is the 3rd bike I've purchased from the kid.

The DBS is a classic. Sort of clunky, heavy, but it's perfect for getting around town. Over time it has sort of fallen into disrepair: a broken seat, a broken chain, pedals disintegrating and falling off.

I have taken it to a couple other bikes shops in the neighborhood and I have always gotten that 1000 yard stare, it's like I'm bringing an ancient Ford Model T into a car dealership. I have been told I should just ditch my crappy old bike and buy something new, get in the modern era.

Almost by accident I discovered Bucephalus, which happens to be the name of Alexander the Great's famous horse: "A massive creature with a massive head, Bucephalus is described as having a black coat with a large white star on his brow. He is also supposed to have had a "wall eye" (blue eye), and his breeding was that of the "best Thessalian strain." Plutarch tells the story of how, in 344 BC, at twelve or thirteen years of age, Alexander won the horse by making a wager with his father:[4] A horse dealer named Philonicus the Thessalian offered Bucephalus to King Philip II for the remarkably high sum of 13 talents, but because no one could tame the animal, Philip was not interested. However, Alexander was, and he offered to pay himself should he fail to tame it."

I brought my old clunker into Bucephalus and it was like coming home. I was welcomed in by Alejandro Anon and his wife Cecelia. Of course they could fix my bike, of course they could replace the pedals and the saddle, of course, they completely understood why I'd want to restore this old classic instead of giving up on it. As their website tells us: "Bucephalus Bikes is known for its excellent and conscientious service and repair. And we welcome the opportunity to service older bikes, giving them new life. At Bucephalus Bikes, we believe that repairing and rebuilding bicycles revitalizes, not only the “machines”, but also the people riding them."

Yes, well, they fixed my DBS up, it really does feel like it's restored, recharged, "good as new." I highly recommend  Bucephalus Bikes! So good to know there are folks out there doing excellent work. Folks who know what they are doing. Folks who care.

"Additionally, Bucephalus Bikes’ practice of refurbishing bikes and selling them at reasonable prices reflects the shop’s commitment to sustainability. As in other industries, many new bicycles are poorly designed and manufactured cheaply. Therefore, they cannot be repaired effectively, are “thrown away”, and a new one is purchased. Bucephalus Bikes aims to break this vicious cycle that disregards our resources and our environment.

Shop owner, Alejandro (Alex) Añón, who is an architect by profession, has a passion for bicycles and a commitment to getting more people out riding them. He and his wife with their four sons, have been living car-free for over 20 years. Bucephalus Bikes grew out of his desire to promote the bicycle as a valid method of transportation. He believes in supporting the individuals and the families who see bike riding as a means to greatly improve the quality of life in our communities."

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