Bob Simons 1953-1999
(the name was a tribute to the marine biologist Ed Ricketts, whose Monterey laboratory was named "Western Biological" in the Cannery Row novels by John Steinbeck).
Bob's first bike shop opened in 1978, in a little gap next to the old Driftwood office on the Fulford-Ganges Road. Bob did most of the work out front, but also had a bit of a sprawling workspace out back.
A couple of years later it moved to a 2mx2m shed across the road from Mouat's, at the foot of the then-undeveloped Grace Point. Bikes were scattered around outside during the day but had to all fit back inside the shop at night -- a major undertaking.
In 1983 the shop moved to its biggest and most successful location -- next to the Legion Hall on Hereford Avenue. Bob had no electricity at first and never had any running water, but he had space which he previously could only dream of.
The shop signs frequently changed. Here was the classic King Kong of the late '80s.
After a brief stint at the Ganges Marina/Moby's site in 1990/91, the shop moved to the back of the old rec centre at the top of McPhillips Avenue. Once again, Bob did most of his work outside and stuffed the tiny shop full of bikes at night.
The final location of the shop -- now known simply as Bicycle Bob's (that's what so many of the cheques were made out to) -- was on Lower Ganges Road, another tiny shed with a huge pile of old bikes in a bit of land behind. There was always, of course, a huge pile of bike bits up on Bob's Fort St property, in the back of one of his many vehicles, or at the bottom of his pannier bags. The right part was never too far away. Deals from Norco clearance sales were generally even closer at hand.