Community on wheels / Jerusalem in the ’60s

Haven Cycles bike shop in Bushwick, Brooklyn
Image: David Corbet

Today: David Moore, co-founder of Sludge; and Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún, Nigerian linguist, writer, translator, founder of Olongo Africa, and writer and producer of the forthcoming documentary, Ebrohimie Road.

Issue No. 83

Neighborhood, Bike Shop
David Moore

Àjàlá in the Holy Land
Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún

Neighborhood, Bike Shop

by David Moore

The rarest of things happened on my street in Brooklyn: my local bike shop returned to the neighborhood after a year away. Booted from its previous space by a rent increase, it re-opened last year in a former dog daycare just down the block.

Through the open garage door, customers and DIY repairers pick their way through the maze of bike frames: the road-hardened city cyclists you might see at the annual underground Bike Kill event mingle at ease alongside the well-heeled commuters to Manhattan with their gleaming rides. The space is still unheated, so gloves are fingerless in the winter. The music system is a properly hard-handled workshop speaker. The computer is perpetually buried in a heap of tools.

I always biked around, but about a decade ago, I embraced year-round biking, making do with thermals in the cold and quick-changes out of sweaty t-shirts in the humidity. Along the way, there was plenty to learn about fixing the machine, especially for someone like me who is not mechanically inclined. I’ve been glad to have a friendly place to pick up on the habits of my fixer-upper bike. Plus, no matter how carefully you ride, the abundance of broken glass on city streets means that every year you’ll need to swap in a few new inner tubes after tire punctures. It’s a rewarding errand to walk my bike down the street to the bike shop, attend to a new tube, and ride away.

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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