A cyclist makes his way down Ocean Park Boulevard. (File photo)

Biking in this city is becoming more and more a way of life for those of us that call Santa Monica home. The city is creating additional bike lanes and trying to foster a city that is biker friendly. I applaud this as someone who likes to bike ride as a form of great exercise that is not knee destroying.

The city is making bike lanes around the high school to increase user safety. This is an initiative that the city should put a concerted effort into with public awareness on buses and bumper stickers on city vehicles. I’ve been on the receiving end of bad driver behavior and lack of awareness oftentimes and I’d like to see it end.

We’re lucky in this town to have many great bike shops, whether it is Bike Attack where I bought my current around town cruiser eight years ago, to Performance or Helen’s or Westside Bike, Cynergy or Bike Effect and many others; we have access to a wide range of choices for purchasing, maintenance and accessories.

I’ve been very satisfied with the bikes that I’ve bought from Andrew at Bike Attack. They’ve serviced my bikes over the years and they’re reasonable and honest in their service pricing. They’re convenient for bike service and repairs, especially when you can bring the bike in to them. For me, that’s always been the case, I have always been able to ride my bike to them, drop it off, and catch a ride back to my office.

The one thing that I’ve found is annoying in dealing with having a broken bike is the inability to easily get it in to the repair shop. My current bike has had a flat tire for three months now, and since it was the back tire with all the gears it makes removal of it, a messy affair for a man of my genteel sensibilities. I’ve wanted to get it in to the repair shop but I don’t want to put a dirty wheel in my car and get grease and grime all over the back seat.

Friday I was driving down 25th street and I saw a bright red Mercedes Benz truck that had been outfitted as a mobile bike repair. Its back doors were open and I had to stop and get a business card. The name VeloFix was emblazoned on the side and soon appeared a man named Lucas Holzman who is the franchise owner and lead mechanic. We set up an appointment for him to come to fix my bike the next day at 10 a.m. Since he lives just down the block from my office it was a convenient trip for him to come fix my bike.

Saturday came and we started chatting about what needed to be done to get this bike back in good form. I thought it was fine, but once Lucas started taking it apart he found a few things that need to be attended to, like the brakes, they’re kinda important so I agreed.

Lucas has been an avid biker since he was 18. He’s been working on and repairing bikes for most of that time, even when he was a respiratory therapist. Finally he had enough of the medical world and decided to make the leap into being his own boss. Like many of us, he wanted to open his own shop, but then came across the idea of a mobile bike repair. In researching the opportunities Lucas foundVeloFix.com, a Canadian franchisor that puts newbie entrepreneurs in business after a month long training on bike repair and business practices. He probably didn’t need all the training, but with the way that bikes have changed in the past decade it probably didn’t hurt.

Lucas and Velofix (www.velofix.com) made a problem, a memory for me, having a bike that I can now ride, is a benefit to me, and not having to haul it anywhere to get it fixed made the process pretty much painless, and I’m very grateful for that. This bike is probably going to last me another season, and then it’ll be time to upgrade and I’ll most likely be heading back to Bike Attack when that time comes.

It’s nice to have another resource in town that makes biking easier and more enjoyable.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached atdpisarra@pisarra.comor 310/664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra


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