In 2014, I attended a college event at a studio on Amherst Street in Black Rock. I remember being told by fellow college students and some professors to “watch out,” and “that area isn’t the best part of the city to hang around”. Ignoring their concerns, I attended the event and observed the neighborhood. I wasn’t impressed; there wasn’t much to see and the most exciting business there at the time was Wegmans.
Fast forward to today, I find myself in Black Rock often, observing new businesses that are bringing life back to the neighborhood. Of these businesses is All Cycles Repair & Sales. ‘All Cycles’ is half of a unique two-in-one shop simply called Bike & Sign Shop, featuring bike repairs to the left, and a sign shop to the right.
Craftsmen Jordan Kubik (All Cycles) and Jake Moslow (JM Signs) are the masterminds behind this brick and mortar. Born in North Buffalo, Kubik has been garbage picking bikes and repairing them since he was a kid. With a desire to help others, he turned his hobby into a career. Kubik fixes bikes at an inexpensive rate, compared to your typical chain store.
$50 flat rate tune-ups include lube (bearings, chain, and cables), check/adjust (brakes, tire pressure, gears, and wheel true), and bike cleaning. Extra parts and labor subject to additional cost.
“I only sell used bikes and bike parts. It’s a lot more affordable than going somewhere else to get your bike fixed. What ends up happening is the cost to fix the bike is too much and people end up buying a new one. Here, I want to keep what you have going versus buying a new one,” Kubik said.
Sign making is a recent endeavor for Moslow. He got his start four years ago. After taking a couple of courses, he began to teach himself the craft. Moslow only does custom orders. He does anything from glass signs to paper signs, and practices several different methods such as pin-striping and glass-blowing, to name a few.
According to Moslow, the owner of Gabriel’s Barber Shop requested a custom made sign with some basic house rules (see inset right). After Moslow walked me through the process of different methods to create a one-of-a-kind sign of this nature, I was thoroughly impressed by his ability to resurrect this lost art.
“Every sign is different. For the barber shop sign, I used aluminum. I had to use an oil base background, but sometimes I use water base. I have to conceptualize what I am doing which involves making the mock-up for the customer, and then once I get an idea of what I am doing, the next step is to prep the canvas and then to lay it out, sometimes right on the surface, which is what I did for that one. The letters I used were called casual letters.”
Bike & Sign Shop is located at 247 Amherst Street. Check out Kubik’s repairs here and Moslow’s creations here. Better yet, stop by the shop during business hours and see the creativity for yourself. Business hours are listed on All Cycle Repairs’ Facebook page.