John Barous; there's a name that I haven't heard in a very long time. In a strange way this brings me to introduce myself to the group and tell a story…
When I was in High school the bike I had, a Schwinn Continental, was stolen, and my bike riding (as a kid) came to an end. When I was in college a friend had a Specialized Expedition. That bike was an eye opening experience, the first really nice bike had ever seen. This was in the early 80's, maybe 82, another common friend had also been bitten by the bike bug. He worked at his dad's hardware store in Astoria. He was haunting a local bike shop and that is how I came to know John Barous. John was the owner and over the next few years I bought first an Astro Daimler Vent noir and then a Colnago Super from him. John loved bikes and it showed. I bought that Super bit by Campy bit. Every payday another piece would be waiting for me. John had some very cool bike stuff in that little dump of a store. The bikes that stick in my mind where two Mike Melton areo frames made around the time of the Olympics, they where so cool. His mechanic Steve, showed me how to maintain my bikes, and went as far as to teach me to build wheels. None of this ever made John a dime, it was just a generous thing to do. I fell away from bicycles for a time, but by the early 90's I was back in the swing and went as far as getting into the local racing scene.(I was the worst cat 4 ever!) After slowing down I really discovered classic bikes. For the most part I am very happy, to just look and enjoy these bikes.(owned by others)
None of this would have happened with out John Barous. I wish that I could say that none of what has been said on this list about John is true; but it sounds like John has left more than a few people in a spot. Mike Kone was one of my favorite people to buy vintage stuff from, so to hear that he was ripped off is especially hard for me.
I write this just to point out that there is more than one side to even the worst people.
Everyone seems to have a story of the bike that got away. For me that was a Jim Redcay touring frame that I had a deposit on at John's shop. I asked for and got that deposit back. I used that money for the security deposit, on my first apartment, where my wife and I first lived together.
Luckily for me everything worked out for the best.
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