Every time I am in the neighborhood, which isn’t very often, I stop off at All Bikes in Rye, Arizona. Rye is sort of near Payson. Not many people live there. The town has a cafe/bar and a bike shop . . . of sorts.
I’d never been there when they were open until last week, when my friend L and I stopped through. She had heard me talk about this place and was eager to see it.
It is definitely a site to behold. There are thousands of bikes there, piled hurdy-gurdy and ten feet high, with narrow little rows between. Recently the folks there seem to have branched out into motorcycles, electric wheelchairs, baby strollers, and other wheeled contraptions. Here’s one row of the place:
Unfortunately our experience there was dampened by the irritating behavior of the proprietors. They followed us around like we were going to steal something (even though there is only one exit to the place), yelled at us whenever we touched anything, and when we asked the cost of something, they invariably did one of the following:
1. Told us it’s not for sale.
2. Asked, “How much will ya gimme for it?”
3. Quoted a price astronomically out of proportion to the item’s value.
I always felt like there was something a bit off-kilter at that place, and now I’m pretty sure. I think a whole lot more bikes go in than come out. It’s a pity, too — in among the piles of Huffys there are a few real gems, rotting away in the yard. But I fear they will never see the light of day.