Ted joined Becky's and my family in about 1973. Becky was living with my then-husband, Rob, and me in our three-bedroom apartment on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA. Becky had a beat-up Schwinn 10-speed bicycle that she rode to and from her night job at a photo lab in Alexandria. At the same time, Rob and I bought two Gitane bicycles from Mel Pinto's Sports and Cycles shop on Wilson Blvd., also in Arlington.
Becky's bike needed work and she took it to Sports and Cycles, where she met Ted, who was working there as a mechanic and salesman. Becky brought Ted home with her. I thought he was the same age as she was--18. He was actually 32. Oh, my!
Ted and I became friends who shared a fascination with bicycles. He thought it was cool that when we went riding, he had a hard time keeping up with me--flattered me by calling me a "hard charger." I had great respect for his technical expertise and knowledge of all things mechanical.
Ted and Becky fell apart in 1975. Ted returned to Arlington and opened his own bicycle shop--Papillon Cycles, then located in Falls Church at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and Lee Highway. The shop was across the street from the still-evolving W&OD bike trail. The establishment was on the ground floor of a wobbly firetrap building, where the rent was cheap. There was a science fiction bookstore upstairs. You couldn't ask for a better combination of clientele and location. Lots of bicycle geeks are science fiction geeks, or at least people who aren't offended by science fiction geeks. The nearby bike trail was always littered with glass from beer bottles crashed there by the local rednecks, so Papillon's original location was perfect for customers battered by flat tires.
When Rob and I dissolved and I returned to DC in 1976, I called upon Ted to re-establish our friendship. It seems to be working out well. We've had a few flat tires along the way, but we manage to patch them up.