Without a doubt, I’m sure everybody has an Igor Kenk story. This is mine, reposted here from another blog. I originally wrote it back in 2008.
Slightly old news now, but I used to live right by Igor’s bike repair shop on Queen. His decrepit store was filled with so much bicycle junk that he would fix bikes on the sidewalk right outside his shop. He always had a line-up of people waiting to get their bikes fixed and I would see him work well past 11pm with a cold beer stashed behind one of his planters.
It wasn’t really a shock to me when news broke that he was a suspect in a huge toronto bike theft ring. There was always whispers that the second hand bikes that he sold were stolen. But it’s ironic that a person who berated me about global economics and western economic privilege would steal bicycles.
Igor: How much did you pay for this bike.
Igor: Don’t you know that some poor worker in Vietnam was paid 25cents to make this bike for you?
Igor: Is that the only lock you’re using?
Hyedie: Ya, do you think it’s ok?
Igor: No. Anyone can steal your bike in less than 20 seconds. I sell better locks.
Hyedie: OK, I’ll take your beefiest lock. How much will it be?
Igor: $6o for the lock and $15 for fixing your gears.
Hyedie: Great, I’ll take it.
photo: Igor’s bike repair shop taken in 2004, back when he still had a front window. Here is a more recent image*.
*And for a while it was a roasted chicken joint. Currently I think the space sits vacant.
Oh and I’m still using the bike lock that I bought from him. … and now that I think about it, despite being still in it’s original packaging when I bought it from him, it was probably a hot item. Sigh.