- If you ask for something offbeat or retro, they don't roll their eyes, fix you with a blank stare, or suggest you "upgrade".
- With a surprisingly frequent regularity, they will actually have what is asked for despite not displaying the slightest bit of institutional interest in vintage cycles.
So at the parts/service desk, I ask for yellow brake cable housing, six feet please, with 6 ferrules. The fellow at the counter and I began joshing about the cosmic improbability of them actually stocking this, but before we could savor too many chuckles, the counter-person's colleague joined us holding this, with helpful explanatory text:
So, I think, ok, you wisenheimers, try this next one on for size, and ask for some dropout adjuster screws to fit the long, beautifully chromed forged Campagnolo dropouts on my secret project. Without breaking a sweat, they presented these:
Not only did they have what I needed, they were actually better than the ones I was going to pick up next week from Velo Orange as depicted below. The screws and springs on the VO ones are black, the City Bike ones are silver, silver always trumps black, although VO makes a valiant attempt with shinier knurled adjustment knobs.
That got me thinking that maybe I should still get the VO ones, use their adjustment knobs, since nothing is too good for the forthcoming secret project. But then I decided that even obsession has limits.