Back on Wheels: International Bicycle Gives Me the Hook-up

Filed in Lifestyle, Sports by on August 23, 2009 2 Comments

An infinite amount of epic high fives are in order for the great guys at International Bicycle in Allston after they, out of remorse for having accidentally finished off my old bike frame in a regrettable seat post debacle, threw an enormous amount of discounts my way toward setting up a new bike. Though my old frame was on its last legs—sometimes I feel like it was on its last legs even when brand new, the damn thing was so cheap—the staff was generous enough to float a free, brand new frame my way. All I was left responsible for was a new, compatible fork and headset to go with.

Sometime mid-afternoon yesterday I got the call I’d been waiting two weeks for; my ride was ready, waiting, aching to roll out of the shop and through traffic with deft precision and maximum speed. Like a laced drink at a nightclub, the new bike had me dancing on Cloud Nine, an emphatic dance, something akin to the Charleston, all flapping and waving, a total expulsion of kinetic energy from every appendage and organ at once. Being back on wheels has been, in short, totally awesome.

International Bicycle Center in Boston

Rewind two weeks: my faithful yellow frame, a mammoth steel clunker of a bike, goes into the shop to have a seized seat post popped out. A winter of snow, grit, and rust have inevitably fused low quality steel to other low quality steel. The seat won’t give a millimeter. After hours of repeated assaults by clamps, torches, and a tag team of professional wrestlers—the spandex and collapsible chair kind—the post, out of spite, decides to snap in half, a jagged spear of metal protruding up from the frame. It was instant death, quick but unbearably painful, and the bike was no more.

I’ve been going to International since I started riding in the city, when my knowledge of bikes consisted entirely of: a) They had wheels, and b) They were fast. When I first went into the shop, they were always prompt in solving even my stupidest questions (Me: I can’t make this bike go. Mechanic: Have you considered pedaling?) Eventually, as my knowledge of and interest in bikes grew, the shop helped me customize a frame to my liking. One mechanic and I used to joke that, with his help and guidance, the only original piece of my bike left intact was the frame itself. The expertise and friendliness of the staff there kept me coming back, and, until the frame disaster, they never disappointed me. But they then immediately saved themselves in my esteem with an unbelievably generous offer on a new bike, and once again I feel as if I owe that shop something in addition to my gratitude and thanks. Maybe I’ll make them all cookies one day.

Or, and this, I think, is the far more logical option, I will continue to support their shop. Without indulging in a point by point comparison, I will say that International remains the best all around local shop. Prices there are middle of the road, but the service and staff are by far the best I’ve found in the city; checkups are thorough and professional yet quick, and they’ll set you up nice without ripping you off on some newfangled yet ultimately worthless equipment.

My new bike is propped against the wall opposite me. It gleams like polished onyx, the deep black contrasted by freshly wrapped, white handlebars. If it wasn’t for the rain I’d be taking it out for a spin; late summer rides in the city, when the air has cooled and the streets are empty, instills a euphoric feeling of vitality and victory. I can wait until the weather clears, but until then, thanks again to the guys at International for the extreme hook-up. Without you, I’d b walking. Or worse, I’d be riding the bus.

Photo credit: Jasonwg

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  1. Flossip says:

    Love it! I have been that person in the bike store as well. The one I go to tends to make me feel a bit like an idiot, so I am envious!
    .-= Flossip´s last blog ..Tapas for Tennis =-.

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