South of the San Francisco bay and nestled tightly in Silicon Valley, sits Los Gatos, the quintessential California small town: quaint, streets lined with independent shops, cafes with delicious food and coffee, and the laid back feel that causes an East Coast resident to squirm.
Perma-summer gives residents of Los Gatos an excuse to dive into cycling with a full-on commitment; rewarded by roads that represent some of the best riding in the country. And for all those who have a love for the bike, herein Los Gatos sits a shop that answers their request for quality service, passion, and dedication: Crossroads Bicycles.
I stumbled into Crossroads back in 1999 and it has been a destination for me when my travels take me to the Bay Area. Each and every time I step foot into the shop, I note how warm and welcoming the environment is. The staff is quick to great you and I can’t remember ever being asked a closed-ended question upon entering. The lameness of “Can I help you?” simply does not exist in their vocabulary.
In an age when greetings in the bike world consist of “T'sup?” or “hey man," a warm "Hello” followed by "What brings you in today?” is a refreshing change.
Crossroads strength as a shop is their willingness to improve your cycling experience. As I walk through the shop checking out the bikes and gear, the conversations taking place around me are reminiscent of those overheard in a Midwestern coffee shop. First, there are the warm greetings, then comes small talk followed by an overwhelming desire to go far beyond expectations to find a solution for the cyclist’s need. Whoa! Every town needs a shop like Crossroads; the sport would be as big as channel surfing.
Aside from the wonderful service and caring, attentive staff, I love the layout of the shop. Specifically, the mezzanine level that houses the shop’s hard and small soft goods. The elevated area gives the items it houses a sense of exclusivity, but still manages to keep them approachable.
Crossroads is deeply entrenched in the road market. Frames from Parlee, Seven, IF and Bianchi line the walls and provide enough eye candy to occupy time to savor a coffee (or two) from the café next door. There's an emphasis on mountain bikes and commuting bikes, but the love for the road bike is evident.
One unexpected joy from my last visit to Crossroads was the selection of old VHS cycling tapes available for sale. Sure, the VHS has gone the way of its Beta predecessor, but, hell, where else can you find 1996 editions of De Ronde or Paris Roubaix? Priced at $15 each made them a steal. The only problem was that lack of a VHS slot on my computer.
If your travels take you to the Bay Area, or any point west of the Mississippi, put Crossroads on your list of must-see shops. If your lucky enough to live in this part of the world, drop in and introduce yourself, the crew is sure to take great care of you and your machine.