558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Making old bikes like new
he owner of Back?Alley Bikes also likes riding bikes and keeping active
February 18, 2013
The wheels on the bike go round and round… and when they don’t, it’s time to pay John Malpass of Back Alley Bikes a visit.
Malpass obtained a certificate of completion of coursework in bike mechanics from the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Ore. He repairs any make or model bike and also does tune-ups at about a third of the cost of comparable repair shops in Bend.
“I looked at this market and thought, hmm, there’s a lot of old bikes running around. This one,” he touched one of the bikes in his shop, “is 37, 40 years old and this one has been in a garage for 25 years,” Malpass said.
He explained what he does when someone brings in an old bike to get fixed up. “I take it all apart and I take the axles out, bearings, and clean everything, and make it all shiny, and it’s really like new when it leaves.”
Sometimes he has to replace tires, cables, and chains, as well. He makes sure it’s in good shape and ready to ride when it leaves his shop.
Organizing bike rides this summer is something he feels is a must, so he will be preparing for those opportunities to reach out to the local biking community in that capacity.
“I think a bike shop almost has to do that. On a Saturday morning or a Sunday morning, say we’re going to do mountain bikes today. And we’ll just go X number of miles or something,” he said.
He is interested in all kinds of bike sports, and is beginning to develop relationships with the large community of BMX bikers in Prineville.
His love of bikes doesn’t stop with repair and maintenance. Malpass also likes riding and keeping active himself even though, as he put it, he’s pushing 70 years of age.
“My son, in his 30s, races and is a big-time endurance athlete. He’s going to Norway [this summer] to do an Extreme Iron Man,” he said.
This marathon requires participants to have a support person with them, and his son asked him to be his support person.
“I’ll have to run with him the last six and a half miles uphill,” he explained. “My hope is that he’ll be real tired. We’ve done a marathon together before, but this one is extreme.”
Malpass, always is looking for ways to expand and diversify, intends to enlarge his service options to include a facet of another popular sport in Central Oregon.
“I went to a class in Bend last night to learn how to hot wax skis,” Malpass said. “It’s kind of late in the season for this year, but for next year, I think I’ll very definitely add that,” said Malpass.
Back Alley Bikes
Located at 311 N.W. Beaver St., across the street from Nature’s Bounty.
Malpass can be reached at 503-705-0903 or email email@example.com. Shop hours are Mon. through Fri., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sat., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.