Few feelings are better than coasting through the streets of Los Angeles via a bicycle. Few feelings are worse than the one you get when your wheel suddenly pops out of its bracket and you find yourself withering under the intense scorn of a standard bike store employee. Enter Orange 20 Bikes. Now in its sixth year, this offhandedly hip bike shop is staffed by low-key, non-dickish employees with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things cycling. A typical afternoon will see the staff patiently setting up a kid on his first ride, changing a flat tire for a 40-something couple enjoying the day, and getting into the nitty-gritty of carbon components with a gearhead looking to take some weight off her frame. For those lacking wheels, the store carries a modest but well-curated selection of fixies, commuters and higher-end road bikes. Good bike stores make good neighbors, too. Orange 20 has anchored the transformation of the corner of Heliotrope and Melrose from a slew of abandoned storefronts to the “Hel-Mel” Bicycle District — now the starting point for L.A.'s celebration of all things two-wheeled, CicLAvia. 4351 Melrose Ave., E. Hlywd. (323) 662-4537, orange20bikes.com.
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