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12:30 p.m. Wednesday: Best All-Around Bike Shop 

Missing Link Bicycle Collective

In most cities, the local bike shop isn't a hub in the community. The Bay Area is different that way -- after all, where else is the Critical Mass bicycle ride a serious political force to be reckoned with? In the East Bay, Missing Link is such a community hub. From the moment it originally opened on the Cal campus in 1973, the folks who work there have owned it. That makes a huge difference in employee commitment and turnover. Whether you're looking to rent a bike for the day, or buy a bike, or get your bike repaired, or fix your own, the folks here happily accommodate your needs and facilitate your empowerment as a bicycle citizen. The Link offers regular classes in bike repair and maintenance, and it even has a workbench stocked with tools where you can do the work yourself. Almost all the bike shops in the East Bay will cheerfully help you spend money and the Link is no different in that regard; it's the follow-up, the free tune-ups, and the regular folks that work there, year after year, that make the Link a special place.

Readers' Pick: Missing Link

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