What a great thrill to find this relativity new vintage bike shop in my backyard. Run by Eric and his son, Alan, they have a seaside location and a line-up of classic bikes that is eye-popping. With bike art on the walls, and rolling bike art on the floor, this shop should be on your list of favorites. Let’s look a little deeper into this Cardiff gem.
Eric has been collecting bikes since about the time his son was born. Picking out the beauties and making them look and ride just right seems to be his forte. Cruisers—light, medium, and heavyweight are his passion. You will also notice some Stingray bikes make the list. About two years ago, Eric realized it was time to go public and open this shop. If you have a hankering for an old time classic, this is the place for you.
Of course, the reason I went to see them was to pick-up some needed tidbits for my Schwinn Continental project. Along with his bikes, comes lots of spare parts collected over the years. He picked through the bins and came up with almost every piece I needed. Very much like a time machine in action. These kind of bike shops are getting harder to find, so I think supporting Eric and Alan is vital.
The photos I took don’t do justice to the incredible line-up of bikes available. If you stop by, you will see what I mean. You can see some of them on his website, but a close-up look is called for if you are in the market for a 40’s -70’s special. His site also lists some of the other things they offer. Have a look.
You will find bikes that have been stripped, repainted, and lovingly reworked to like new condition. Also, bikes that are as cleaned, mechanically overhauled and all original. Custom builds are among the bikes on the line. These are bikes that are rare, hard-to-find, and at your fingertips to hit the road.
The Cardiff Bike Shop has rental classic bikes for a cruise at the beach. What better way to spend an afternoon then to see the surf from the saddle of a bike out of the past. And if that special someone wants to tag along, a Schwinn tandem is at the ready for twice as much fun. Just one more reason to stop by during a visit to San Diego.
The walls of the shop are covered with all types of bike art. Most of the art is open for purchase, so if you don’t find the bike that stirs you fancy, some bike art might be your best bet. I love making my bike art and I was creatively moved by the variety and colors of the pieces that grace the bikes on the floor. So if you don’t want the wheels, but want two-wheeled images and the such, they have you covered. I will look into a story on the artists who are on display.
Like any beach town business, they are ready to help your seaside experience. Weather and water reports come easily. References to local places that can help your fun quotient are standard fare. Eric and Alan are locals and know the area well. Beaches and bikes go together well. Almost as good as a surf shop, and in my mind, way better.
As Eric and I looked over his selection of bikes, I could tell that there are some he would hate to part with. Many have a special meaning for him or bring back memories of a time he’ll never forget. He had brands I had never heard of and bikes with the coolest accessories on them. The stand-out colors of the bikes is another thing that was amazing about my visit to the shop. Each bike is like a child that is nurtured and eventually ready to go out in the world on its own.
I came by on a weekday and found many of the bikes lined up tightly in the shop. Eric said the weekend is the time to come by as most of the bikes are out on display in the parking lot. I will make sure to come by when I can really see and appreciate each bike and its uniqueness. I am looking forward to it.
So there you have it. Although not listed as a museum, that’s what the Cardiff Bike Shop is. You can touch, feel, and ride the vintage pieces. You can buy, rent and ride the past. You can enjoy the art and soak up the sun at your leisure. Even though I didn’t buy a bike, Eric and Alan have helped to bring my childhood memories back to life. When my 1960 Schwinn Continental is back in one piece and riding, I will be thanking them for all the help.
You two rock the vintage bike world. Thanks, Turbo Bob.
“Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”—Grant Petersen.
You can find the Cardiff Bike Shop on the beach in Cardiff, CA.
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