Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dukes Cycle burned down..

If you're a cyclist and if you've spent any time in Toronto then you know 'Dukes'. Dukes Cycle has been a family owned/operated business for almost 100 years and in the same location at 625 Queen W. since 1914.

However, early this morning a huge fire on Queen West in Toronto destroyed several buildings including that which housed Dukes Cycle.

Apparently the building has totally collapsed so needless to say Dukes on site inventory has gone to the parts bin in the sky. ..I don't remember feeling a disturbance in the force exactly (perhaps Ottawa is too far away) but knowing Dukes and the sweet gear they always had on hand it was and is a tragedy.

Dukes location on Queen was always a 'must stop at' location whenever I was back in T.O. and that regular stop will be missed. The place was all about bikes bikes and more bikes. Cutting edge, retro, anything you could think of and the folks on the floor knew their shit too. No attitude, no 'urban-scenesters' more concerned with the logo on their flat brim ball cap or rudderless kids educated by the adverts in Mountain Bike Action like so many bike shops then and now, just friendly bike folks dishin' out solid information on how to make your riding experience better.

Lots of fond memories of that place including buying my first suspension fork, a cutting edge 1992 RockShox Mag 21 with 6 stiction settings ranging from
waaay too much stiction
jeezus this thing won't budge
and on to
why don't they just call it a lockout?
In all fairness to RockShox, the thing was fairly light even by todays standards and was very nearly indestructable. It lasted (and worked o.k.) for around 7 years. ..but I digress.

Anyway, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Dukes, but if the same people pull a phoenix out of the ashes on Queen St. you can be sure it'll be a place worth going to.

No comments: