Home » Bicycling »Featured » Currently Reading:

My Remaining Bike Brings Back Great Memories

December 28, 2018 Bicycling, Featured No Comments

Prior to my February 2008 stroke, I’d bought numerous bicycles while living in St. Louis.   With two exceptions, all came from A & M Bicycles — at Arsenal & Morganford Rd. I bought my first bike from A & M back in the mid/late 90s, it was still owned by a descendant of the original founder. It wasn’t long after when the owner sold the shop to his employee, Karl Becker.

Numerous bikes, new & used, were bought from Karl. A couple of times I needed a used beater bike, we’d go down to the basement and come up with exactly the bike I needed.

The two bikes I bought elsewhere since 1990 were a used 50s Huffy fat tire at an antique store in the Kansas City River Market area, and a new Swedish Kronan bought sight unseen from a bike shop in San Diego. They disassembled it and shipped to Karl @ A & M, who assembled it. That was in 2004.

My bright orange Kronan bike in front of the former UMA store at 11th & Locust in December 2007 — this was in that short period after I moved downtown but before my stroke. After UMA moved to Chicago Rooster expanded into this space.
Following my stroke, the Kronan became art in our home office

Last month Karl Becker died, a huge loss to the St. Louis cycling community:

Becker, Karl Joseph born April 7th, 1963 to Joseph H. and Mary Ann, passed away suddenly November 18, 2018 while surrounded by family and friends. Karl enjoyed life fully by engaging everyone he met as a friend. His passion for cycling started early in life by following in the footsteps of his father. He was enthusiastic about cycling, both participating and promoting the sport. His love of cycling culminated in owning and operating A&M Bicycle, the oldest bike shop in the city of St. Louis. Karl is survived by his mother, Mary Ann, sisters Mary Jane, Lisa Evans (Brice), Mary Margaret Hendrix (Bill), Amy Becker (Steve), brother Paul (Cyndi), loving friend Mary Ann Hoopes, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins and countless friends. Karl had a zest for life and passions included reading, music, art, Jeopardy, good beer, fireworks and above all his cat, PK. Karl was a kind soul who gladly helped those less fortunate. Even in death, his generous spirit is a gift of life to others. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mid-America Transplant Foundation. www.midamericatransplant.org

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Nov. 21, 2018 (Legacy)

This month we took the bike down from the shelves, yet something wasn’t right. The pedal would turn, but the wheel wouldn’t move.

The coaster brake rear hub was the problem.

I knew A & M was still open, but we have no bike rack for our car. Friends suggested Big Shark’s downtown location. A week later we walked it five blocks East to Big Shark. A few days later we returned to pick it up — the rear hub was freed up for less than $30.

Repaired in from of Big Shark’s Urban Shark location on Locust.

I haven’t ridden this bike in over a decade, but I just can’t part with it.  Lots of great memories on this bike. It also reminds me of Karl.

— Steve Patterson

 

Comment on this Article:

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

More than a week after the big snow and #ada curb ramps are still blocked, this is 9th/Cole. Hard to ⁦‪Explore St. Louis‬⁩ when snow is pushed into pedestrian route. #stl ... See MoreSee Less

13 hours ago  ·  

Couldn’t board the #32‬⁩ bus at the 10th/O’Fallon bus stop because the #ADA ramp was used for storing snow. Bus made a 2nd stop to pick me up. #stl ... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago  ·  

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe