Some stores are just so damn good that they deserve their victories year in and year out. Such is the case with Big Shark, a shop so active in the St. Louis biking community that, if you see a geek with those freaky calf muscles, chances are he's sporting a tight Big Shark racing shirt and his bike was probably purchased there. We're not bike fanatics, though, and wouldn't be caught dead in bike shorts (in hell, everyone must wear them). We just like riding and like riding in comfort. We love the monthly Critical Mass ride through St. Louis's nether regions, at least in theory (they need to get their shit together), love cruising with a pack of biking nuts, love a little burn in the legs after a steep hill. Big Shark's a one-stop for anyone looking for a solid bike. The staff refuses to compromise quality for the sake of profit and has a certain amount of the obsessive-compulsiveness necessary in such a venture. If you want a bike, you want the people selling it to you to be single-minded. They are. We saw one worker get nearly teary-eyed when he was discussing the sad fate of the Schwinn bike company. It was a touching moment, and we felt the pain, even though he was talking about aluminum, steel and rubber. But, as we realize on entering the store, bikes are more than the sum of their parts. They're magic.