People travel thousands of miles to hear the Dalai Lama speak. You only have to drive an hour or two, maybe much less, to achieve cycling enlightenment. In fact, you don't have to drive at all. We'll tell you, right now. LIFE GOES BY AT JUST THE RIGHT SPEED ON A BIKE.

That's our universal truth. It's why we ride. It's why we're excited about you riding. It's why it's more important to us that you get the right bike, that bike you can't walk past in the garage without wanting to go for a ride, than something that might cost a bit more, might seem better to someone by spec, but it's not your soul mate.

The right bike... it's not Ultegra vs '105 or carbon vs aluminum bars. It's getting a bike appropriate for the cycling opportunities where you live, and fit so well you'd rather spend 4 hours on your bike than half an hour in a comfy chair. It's about making sure you feel comfortable bringing it back in for adjustments any time it needs them. We understand your dream. 37 years of the same owner/management, always on-site. We're not confused about the customer- it's you, coming in the door. No on-line shipping to distract us. We're proud to be your local bike shop.

That's us. Chain Reaction Bicycles. Your local bike shop.

I could quit riding anytime I want to... (No? Maybe you can't either!)

IMG_7467wolh_panoOnce in a while, climbing Old LaHonda at the start of a Sunday ride, or Kings on any given Tuesday or Thursday morning, and I'm not quite feeling it, yes, I wonder, why am I doing this? Why am I struggling up this hill, why isn't it fun yet? That feeling can persist for a while, sometimes half the climb, until I first get to that point of no return (half-way there, can't turn back now!) and it becomes habit. Something you're used to doing, one foot follows the other, keep at it and you'll get there. It might not be pretty but you'll get there. 10 miles down, 47 to go. Sounds awful when you put it that way, and feels not-so-great thinking it.

And then, you get to... the top. You don't pause to think about it, you just go down the other side, through the upper forest on West Old LaHonda, past that incredible view of the coast, and everything changes, your mindset shifts, you're on your way. You look forward to the detour past the LaHonda duck pond, wondering if the turtles will be out (they were), and by the time you hit Haskins, that nasty hill between where you are and where you'll be, you're thinking about stretching your legs and seeing how fast you can go in a pleasant way.

On to Pescadero, mild headwinds, not bad, decent speed on a pleasant road shared with a very small number of cars and motorcycles plus a few cyclists in the other direction. Stopping for a drink and pastry at the Pescadero Bakery and I'm a completely-different person than the guy struggling up Old LaHonda just over an hour ago.

And that's when it hits you, that's when you realize cycling is a drug, a drug that offers the hangover first and the extraordinary high later. So no, I couldn't quit, not today, not tomorrow, not as long as I'm able to get past the early-ride blues, not as long as my brain remembers and reminds my legs and lungs how awesome it's going to be in just 30 minutes or so.

It's also cool to come across other cyclists that know me through my writings, like Marty from Modesto, whom I came across at the base of the second climb on Stage Road. I slowed my pace for a bit and rode with him; he thought he was holding me up and said to keep on going, and I'm thinking... why? Killing myself on each climb is just one way to ride, and if I've got a good excuse to ease off a bit and enjoy good company, why wouldn't I? Later in the ride, descending Kings, I flew past someone I thought I recognized, on a bike we sold. And I'm thinking... why? Why fly past? So I slowed down and waited at the wide clearing and we rode the rest of the way down together, and I got to show her the alternate route through the park.

There's a lot more to cycling that just data on Strava. It's the people you meet and the magnificence of getting places under your own power. I could no more quit riding than you could pry that rifle out of Charlton Heston's cold dead hands. --Mike Jacoubowsky, Partner, Chain Reaction Bicycles


Chain Reaction Bicycles is your local bicycle shop for the San Francisco Bay Area! Unlike some other shops, we are dedicated 100% to serving the needs of local cyclists; our offerings are exclusively available for in-store pickup. Our "northern" store is located at 1451 El Camino Real, Redwood City CA, 94063. 650 366 7130. Our "southern" store is located in Foothill Crossing Shopping Center, 2310 Homestead, Los Altos CA, 94024. 408 735 8735. Our hours and directions to our stores may be found here. We look forward to taking care of all of your cycling needs, including service! Mike & Steve Jacoubowsky, Partners, Chain Reaction Bicycles. Serving you since 1980!