I have been reading the lost for the last week to get a feel for the discourse and decided to jump in.
I own an idiosyncratic used bicycle store in Los Angeles called Coco's Variety. Almost all used, lots of CR on-topic bicycles, mostly pre-index shifting, though mostly towards the low end. We try to be a no-attitude, DIYr type of neighborhood bike store for riders, not necessarily cyclists. We get lots of donations and trade-ins, which we rebuild or recycle. We will strip the straight bar off a Pacific mountain bike for a kid's single speed conversion or pull a white Tektro lever off a kid's bike for somebody's classic BMX project. The only new line of bicycle that we sell are Linus. Not OT, but definitely a keeper of a different flame aesthetic and function.
I have bought and sold to list members and count many as my friends. Randy Dugan is our bicycle consigliere and has been instrumental in getting us to where we are. Matty, Charles, Rich, 'Devotion' have all been friends of the store.
Curiously, I was not really into bikes. In some ways, I think the reason that Coco's has been successful is that I don't know what a bike store should be. I don't have flooring from Trek, don't sell arm warmers and don't stock cycling shoes in all different sizes and colors. Our parts bins are the customer's part bins. When that other bike store has mushroomed your cottered crank pin and then abused it with an angle grinder, we will still take a crack at it. And usually get it.
When I was a kid, during the bike boom, my uncle was into racing at the Northbrook, IL velodrome and I had a 24" Gitane. Then later, I got briefly into BMX in the 1980's. But largely my interest has been from doing this for the last couple years. I didn't totally 'get it' until I started riding my swap meet sourced De Rosa. Now I am pretty hooked, but my knowledge comes from looking back, not living through it like a lot of the folks here.
At any time I have about 100 bikes.
What I have now, that are mine, that I intend to keep:
De Rosa -
What I am looking for?
More about me: http://www.misterjalopy.com
Peter "Mister" Jalopy Los Angeles, CA http://www.cocosvariety.com