If you’ve been to our store in the last week or so, perhaps you’ve noticed a few changes. Didn’t the mechanic’s kiosk use to be on the right? Why do I feel like the register used to be somewhere else? And the store opens at 11 on weekdays now? You mean Bicycle Roots is open until 7pm on weekends? Who is that Clark Kent-looking dude with the blue eyes and brown hair, and why is he touching your bike with such familiarity—dare we say, intimacy?

The view from the inside of Bicycle Roots.

Well, don’t worry about Joe—he’s our newest bike mechanic, and he’s just doing his job. His references told us he had a healing touch. In fact, he’s so good at repairing bicycles, we’re pretty sure he has to have a super-extraordinary alter ego. The resemblance to Clark Kent seems a little too coincidental.

One of the displays at Bicycle Roots: fashionable cycling clothing for the bicycle enthusiast.

And yes, we’ve extended our hours and done some rearranging—all with the goal of improving your experience at Bicycle Roots. You’ll find that our showroom is brighter, the merchandise is more accessible, and best of all—we’ve got increased indoor bicycle parking. How did we do it? Well, superpowers notwithstanding, Joe didn’t do it all by himself. He had some help from the rest of our amazing staff: Mikki, Sara, Xinthia, Danny, and Joe (yes, we have two mechanics named Joe, and to make things even weirder, both race cyclocross). Although the editor is pretty sure everyone on our team has a superpower all their own, perhaps she’ll just introduce everyone and let you decide for yourselves whether or not they’re truly magical.

Our staff members have offered the following biographical information about themselves. Two of these anecdotes are truths—one is a lie. See if you can tell which is which… all will be revealed next week.

Nechama with Bicycle Roots customers, looking at the Specialized catalogue.

NECHAMA is not only a professional bike mechanic and owner of Bicycle Roots, she holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest overhaul of a Sturmey Archer AW hub. She’s traveled the world to compete against internationally-renowned elite bike mechanics in hub-overhaul time trials and come out on top every time. She considers getting hit by a garbage truck in 2008 to be the best thing that ever happened to her.

The venerable (and cute!) Spotless.

Nechama would like to take this opportunity to remember Spotless, the loyal canine companion who once accompanied her on a cross-country hitchhiking trip. Spotless passed shortly before Bicycle Roots opened, and although he never got the chance to be a shop dog, his legacy is the reason Bicycle Roots is a dog-friendly store.

Why stop at protecting your neck? Xinthia (left) and Mikki (right) model the latest in cycling headgear, courtesy of Bern.

In addition to having the most awesome name ever, XINTHIA has proved herself to be an indispensable member of the Bicycle Roots sales staff. The 1997 Cantaloupe Round-Up Queen is so driven, she once took a job as a floor sweeper to catch a sold-out Pearl Jam concert. Another interesting anecdote about her prior work history? She once took a babysitting job for a certain Hollywood power couple, and was asked to spend the night. The editor’s request for additional details was denied.

MIKKI, Bicycle Roots’ primary visual merchandiser, doesn’t consider riding a bike to be her only athletic achievement—she can also execute a perfect backflip. Her other claim to fame? Mikki is proud to proclaim that she’s the Hot Dog Eating Champion of Williamsburg 2010. Wondering why the store displays are so attractively arranged? Well, that’s because Mikki graduated from the Harvard Business School with a post-doctorate degree in visual merchandising. Her concentration? Bicycles!

Danny, in one of the rare moments he isn’t fighting against gravity….

DANNY, the youngest member of the Bicycle Root’s staff, is a little bit of an adrenaline junkie. You may have seen him zipping around the neighborhood on his trusty BMX—a talented skateboarder who’s been performing gravity-defying acts of daring since a young age has recently developed a burgeoning BMX habit. Just to keep things exciting, Danny has also dabbled in parasailing and skydiving.

Joe with his trusty city bicycle.

JOE has been with Bicycle Roots since the day we opened. If you ever wondered why your bicycle feel so much faster after having Joe perform some repairs—well, that’s because his last job was as an apprentice airplane mechanic, and he picked up a trick or two before moving on to Bicycle Roots! Joe was home schooled throughout elementary school, but grew into a well-adjusted, not-socially-awkward-at-all gentleman who was once offered to costar in a movie opposite Patrick Swayze. His twin brother is still jealous about that one!

JOE at the Tandem Cyclocross Werld Shampionships

Aside from being a Clark Kent lookalike, JOE is one-half of the current Tandem Cyclocross Werld Shampion team (there he is on the left in the photo). Born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen, Joe has been cycling the city since childhood, and remembers the hazards of the days before bike lanes. As a young adult, Joe dabbled in documentary film work with Eugene Jarecki, but ultimately his love of bicycles triumphed over his enthusiasm for film. Joe also has a twin, named Steven, but one day during a disagreement Joe became frustrated and turned Steven into a rabbit. Steven has remained his loyal companion, and the two remain close despite the interspecies communication barrier.

Cassandra, after cleaning and changing the tubes on the Mongoose Decade featured in an earlier blog post.

Bicycle Root’s resident webmistress, CASSANDRA, is an intrepid bicycle commuter who resides in New Jersey but works in Bed-Stuy. A former New York City bicycle messenger, her dispatcher was the infamous “Wild Bill” of Breakaway Couriers, who christened her with the moniker “Screwy Squirrel”. When not riding bikes, she can be found writing. Lines such as “The black Cannondale/stares at me from the corner,/its fork twisted, wheels loose,/brakes useless/amongst other/damages://you can’t ride/two thousand miles a month/without some kind of/breakdown; at that pace//you lose small pieces of the whole/one component at a time” have earned the distinction of being the first American poet sponsored by a major bicycle manufacturer.