Indy Cycle Specialist
ICS is just a very cool shop in a very cool neighborhood. Scott Irons, the ponytailed brains behind the operation, is an Irvington native who moved to California to become a sound engineer, but the career path didn’t fit. “I was kind of turned off by the music industry,” says Irons. “You’re never home. You’re always touring — and when you do have an address, it’s got to be either New York or L.A.” Irons rode a lot while he was taking classes at the Dick Grove School of Music, so when he decided to come back to the old neighborhood, he looked around and realized that most bike shops didn’t have what he needed — especially on the East side of Indy. In 1993, he opened ICS in a house, but shortly moved to the current Jockamo’s Pizza location before expanding into the old furniture a few hundred feet to the east. The store — an old Richard Bennett furniture outlet that moved its operations to the ‘burbs — had the space Irons and company needed.
ICS is expansive — and when you stroll through the massive displays of Giant, Salsa, Felt, Surly and other makes, remember: there’s an equal amount of square footage beneath your feet. The basement of Irons’ shop is loaded with ready-built bikes perched on the old risers that once displayed bedroom suites. The cellar also houses Irons’ collection of vintage kids’ Schwinns, which will bring back a flood of memories to anyone who ever owned a Stingray with a shifting knob, a sissy bar, banana seat and apehanger handlebars … excuse me. I have something in my eye. SNIFF.
Where were we? Oh, right — the shop’s got the same vibe as its owner: mellow, easygoing, ready to converse and talk two-wheeled shop without any pressure. Irons and his staff know their stuff: if you’re into BMX gear or if you want to know why people rave about Surly Long Haul Truckers, someone at ICS is happy to simply chat. The service department’s right on the main floor, and there’s a large selection of accessories, parts and bike-specific clothing. The store’s got a real mom-and-pop feel to it — it’s an atmosphere Irons conveys when he talks warmly about Irvington: “It’s quiet, the streets are nice, lots of tree, close to downtown …” You understand why the guy couldn’t bring himself to leave. He’s also got the same knack for anecdotes about Irvington as most of its other residents: “You know why all the streets are so curvy? They designed it like that so guys on horseback who’d been drinking couldn’t pick up too much speed!”
5804 E. Washington St., 356-4585
2nd: BGI North
3rd: Bicycle Exchange