The Boom Boom Bike Room Treatment
New De la Vina Shop Gives Old Mountain Bikes a Second Shot at Life
By Tyler Hayden
Like it or not, the ’90s are now vintage-cool. From music to clothes, poppy beats and bright colors are back in style. The same goes for bikes. And nowhere in Santa Barbara — or anywhere on the Central Coast, for that matter — does flashy form meet two-wheeled function like it does at the Boom Boom Bike Room.
Opened five months ago by De la Vina Street’s new power couple — Alex and Erin Guerena, who own and operate Haven Barber Shop right next door — Boom Boom took the place of Cajun Kitchen after it shut down. The bright-green-blue shop is now filled with beautifully tailored rides and a growing family of friends and customers, two groups that often overlap.
Boom Boom’s stock is almost exclusively 1990s-era mountain bikes that Erin tracks down (she refuses to reveal her sources) and that mechanic and day-to-day manager Chris Totten then refurbishes with a signature, head-turning flare. Each build is totally unique, with Chris always happy to work with buyers on exactly what they want. “I’m like a kid in a candy store,” he said, motioning to a banana-yellow Specialized on its kickstand and a Klein the color of Nickelodeon Gak mounted on the wall.
Boom Boom favors those classic brands, as well as Diamondback, Nishiki, and Bridgestone, and often connects with sellers unaware of the potential gathering dust in their garage. “People think they’re just old, junky bikes,” Erin said. “A lot of the time, it’s your dad’s old bike.” Their customers run the gamut, from weekend warriors to commuters to wheelie kids to those wanting to get down and dirty and enjoy what the mountain bike was designed for. Every week, the shop hosts a trail ride through Elings Park, More Mesa, and Modoc Road that never takes the same route twice.
But the real beauty of the Boom Boom Bike Room, explained Alex — a consummate hobbyist who’s also into cars, rode BMX as a kid, and did bike repair work out of his truck during the pandemic to make ends meet — is that it’s open to all and closed to none. “We saw a need for a space like this,” he said, “a space that’s accessible to everyone.”
And they’ve succeeded. The intimidation factor — quite high at some other Santa Barbara shops — is nonexistent, with Chris always on offer for guidance and service. “We want to attract anyone who’s ever been turned off by a bike shop, who’s ever been afraid to ask questions,” he said. “Really, we just want to help anyone who wants to have fun on a bike.”
As if on cue, one of their customers zipped by on a cherry-red Giant and flashed the three a smile and a peace sign. The scene reminded Alex and Erin, now expecting their first child, of a moment that helped inspire Boom Boom. They were closing Haven one night and looked up to see a young teen popping a wheelie down De la Vina Street. All on his own without a care in the world. “Just killing it,” Erin remembered. They wanted that vibe for their store.
“If you’re curious what we’re all about,” said Alex, “just come on down. We want the family to get bigger and bigger. The more the merrier.”