High Park Cycles

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I have been visiting High Park Cycles now for a few years. Jan, the owner, has a reputation for being abrasive with potential customers, sometimes driving them away. I once watched him get irate with a kid for touching the bikes that line the outside of his shop.

"Don't do that please!" in a heavy Eastern European accent. I laughed uncomfortably and reassured the kid's father that he is harmless.

For whatever reason, Jan has always been very kind to me, gives me discounts on his products and lets me take pictures inside his shop. These are from my last visit to the store. I hadn't been for a while because from what I can gather, Jan was having financial trouble and had to pull off a bit of magic to get the chain and lock off the doors. But he managed and I stopped by. His shop is an accident waiting to happen, with all manner of bikes and related gear jammed into every available crevice, to the point where you have to be mindful to not cause an avalanche of rims and old frames while walking around. And by the way, I seem to be the only one that he lets walk around in the shop.

Everyone else is halted and kept waiting just inside the front door. On this particular visit, I emerged after a good half hour of wandering, Jan spots me and says "You're still here?". I chuckled a bit.

I am grateful that he considers me to be trustworthy and continues to humour me despite the fact that I haven't bought something in months.

And I'll keep going back as long as he lets me.