Convinced yet? If not, send me a personal email explaining yourself, titled “Why I’m Not a Lunatic.” For the rest, here’s your guide to getting your ride.
So You’re a Broke Bloke?
Bike Chain – Cumberland House at 33 St. George Street: (416) 978-6849
OMG. You guys are about to shit a brick. Want a bike but got no cash to spend? About a minute ago I would have told you the world’s smallest violin was playing for you. But now, now I’m just going to tell you get in line. And not the hypothetical Get-Over-Yourself line. A real-life line, where UofT students can rent bikes for free “to get around campus”. Where some of that mystery ‘Student Fee’ money goes, I guess. You need $100 deposit, but deposit money is like fake money, so you’re all good.
Bikes: Didn’t you hear me?! It’s FREE!!! Cue running into the night screaming. Also, a totally legit selection of cheap parts ‘n’ accessories. But no bikes to buy for real, sorry.
Tune-ups: Supah-dupah cheap.
Check ‘em out: http://bikechain.utoronto.ca/index.php/shop-information (also known as the world’s worst organized website)
Uncle Jacob’s – 355 Spadina Avenue: (416) 340 2715
This, friends, is your China-town dollar-store equivalent of a bike shop. It’s cheap, it’s random and no one’s really sure where any of this shit came from. Probably not China though, since dear Uncle Jacob’s– moral compass alert – is rumored to be is one of the few well-known stores supplying stolen bikes now that Igor the Terrible has gone under. How badly do you want a cheap bike? And since rumors are usually true (at least a little, don’t lie) either don’t shop here, or do at your own moral discretion. Or go and try to piece together the parts of your long-lost stolen rides and then beat them with it.
Tune-ups: I wouldn’t trust them.
Not Bad, Not Bad
Fuck if I know what the store is actually called, but I do know it is nestled between two vintage shops on the east side of Kensington Avenue, and manned by Shannon (dude), a fave amongst me and my crew for any bike-related repairs. Don’t be alarmed by his heroin-chic allure – the hooded stringy hair and obscurely colored lenses (are they blue?!) are just masking a dude that knows a thing or two about bikes, and cares a helluva lot about your safety. Actual conversation – Me: Can you fix this piece of junk so I can walk as little as possible, please? Shannon: I can try, but I will not be able to sleep at night if you keep riding it. Have this sweet Panasonic for $100 instead. Me: Cut your hair and then marry me. Also, actual event – Shannon walking by my house after fixing my bike to inquire about how it’s riding. Peach, I say!
Tune-ups: $30+parts/accessories (+ free chillin’ on the stoop) Check ‘em out: umm…physically check ‘em out by, like, walking there
Mike the Bike – 5 Oxford Street: (416) 595 5596
You’re not gonna believe this, but his name is…Mike. Gasp, right? Well, as most Mikes I know, he’s a peach. An honest, skilled, down dude – and if you play your cards right, you might get a private invitation to celebrate herb and play pool upstairs (as my bestie did with her sweet farm-girl charm.) Before all that though, come here to get your freakin’ ride sorted.
Tune-ups: $40+ parts/accessories
Rent: Mike rents them out daily/weekly/monthly, for cheaper than a metro-PASS. And they look pretty damn good too. Check ‘em out: http://www.mikethebike.ca/
Bikes on Wheels – 309 Augusta Avenue: (416) 966 2453 / 779 Queen St. W: (647) 352 6550
Who wants to sign my petition to rename the store Babes on Bikes? Because, honestly, I don’t even know what goes on in there because I’m too busy drooling over the tatted-up grease balls that work there. And it’s not just me; many a female friend has stopped by to browse the goods. They do actually have some bike goods too, I think: an alright selection of parts and accessories and a hell of a lot of nice bikes, if you have money.
Bikes: They sell bikes? Just kidding. They start at $335 and go waaay up.
Tune-up: $60+parts/accessories (+free loin tune-up) Check ‘em out: http://bikesonwheels.ca/