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Spring Cleaning: Flying Kite's guide to local bike shops

This is a public service message from your friends at Flying Kite: Beat the rush and take your bike in for a tune-up. 

Yup, spring is right around the corner and for many Philadelphians that means brushing the dust bunnies off your derailleur and getting reacquainted with the idea of leaving your neighborhood on two wheels. (We are aware that many folks bike all winter long. We are impressed.)

Philadelphia continues to get more bike friendly, what with the Spruce-Pine bike lanes, the 10th-13th Street bike lanes and the upcoming Fairmount bike lanes. Sure, no one will listen to my suggestion that they ban cars from Passyunk Avenue and turn it into a cycling superhighway, but progress happens in fits and starts.

And, as we all know, more bikes on the streets means a safer ride for everyone.

Getting a tune-up is an excellent bang for your buck. You'll get a bike that runs like a dream (safety!) and, hey, maybe you can even pick up a new rack, a more comfortable seat or (safety!!) bike lights. And it's always to your advantage to get to know your neighborhood mechanics -- they might just pump your tires for free.

Here is a list of some of our favorite spots. Call ahead and schedule a tune-up. You will be doing your part to will spring into being.

Via Bicycle, 606 S 9th St.
Hundreds of vintage bikes and even more quirky parts make this the place to get your old-school ride tweaked. My bike has an irregular seat post and they still managed to jerry-rig an old rack onto the clunker -- it's still going strong two years and many six packs of beer later.

Bicycle Revolutions, 756 S. Fourth St.
This shop has an in-house cat and dog. Sometimes they wrestle. They also have an incredible helpful staff and a great selection of affordable bikes and gear (including Bern helmets and ReLoad bags).

Fairmount Bicycles, 2015 Fairmount Ave.
Ever helpful and charming owner Shelly Salamon will fix whatever ails you at this Eastern State Penitentary-adjacent little shop.

Bicycle Therapy, 2211 South St.
This Graduate Hospital spot has a bit more in the way of spandex and high-end components. They're also incredibly friendly.

Bicycle Stable, 1420 Frankford Ave.
If you're up in the Fishtown area, head to this shop housed in a gorgeous historic building.

Neighborhood Bike Works, various locations
Or you could learn to tune up your own bike. The non-profit Neighborhood Bike Works offers opportunities to local youth and classes for adults.

Want to get more involved with biking in Philadelphia? Click over to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

LEE STABERT is managing editor of Flying Kite.

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