Johns British Cycles
Seattle WA

JOHNS BRITISH CYCLES REMEMBERED
Every big city in America seems to have an old motorcycle shop that has catered to classic British motorcycles for decades. In Seattle, Washington, this would have been Johns British Cycles. Opened by John Allamano in 1972, he ran it for 41 years, fixing tons of Brit bike and making lots of friend along the way. The shop closed in 2013, and John himself passed away on February 28, 2018. We honor his memory and his life's passion which was Johns British Cycles. John is survived by his wife Jonell, who is planning a service to celebrate his life and invites all who knew John to attend. Jonell writes:

"John Eugene Allamano, 72, slipped out of the body that had recently so hindered his plans and activities on February 28, 2018, culminating a notable life. Tall, athletic, and intimidatingly quiet by nature, John was also an intellectual committed to doing things his own way. In the early 1970’s, he left a decade-long career in computer programming to dive deeply into his passion for motorcycles. He personally owned and rode a collection of over 20 assorted British bikes. He taught himself all there was to know about the creation, restoration and repair of vintage British motorcycles: Nortons, Triumphs, BSAs, and Royal Enfields. He created and operated his business, John’s British Cycles, in the same location in Seattle for 41 years, retiring in 2013.
"The impeccable quality of his work, his ability to fix any issue, and the depth of his knowledge made “just John” something of a legend among British motorcycle enthusiasts in the Puget Sound region, and beyond. His restoration work won him several awards, including 1st place in the 2005 Lake City Summer Festival Motorcycle Show in the class/vintage (pre-1974) category. John was a math major at the University of Washington and spent the first decade of his working career as a computer programmer. He had no formal training as a motorcycle mechanic; he just loved British bikes. John was eidetic, so everything he read or heard about any topic was forever recorded in his brain and accessible at a moment’s notice. He could quote from memory any statistic on any track and field athlete (among others) from any year. Similarly, his brain catalogued every aspect of every British bike. When presented with any random motorcycle part, he would immediately identify not just the motorcycle it was for, but also the model and years that were applicable.

"His restoration work won him several awards, including 1st place in the 2005 Lake City Summer Festival Motorcycle Show in the class/vintage (pre-1974) category. This skill made him an irreplaceable resource to countless motorcycle owners, and a contributor of unexpected factoids in any given conversation. True to John’s style, the shop was unpretentious and flew a bit under the radar – it never even had a proper sign above the door in all 41 years of its existence. And yet, those who sought the services of “just John” knew right where to find him.
"Regrettably, the family has few pictures of his shop – partially due to John’s preference. The photos included here do not do it justice, as they were taken during the process of clearing out and closing the shop. His organized and tidy wife was always a bit mortified by the chaotic shop appearance, but one of his long-time clients described it as ‘cluttered, random and greasy -- a motorcycle enthusiast’s dream’. Typically, every square foot of floor space on the main level, in the loft, and on the lower level were jammed with a seeming hodgepodge of bikes, parts and machinery. Somehow, he still knew exactly where every part could be located. The shop was so packed that there was no room to work, so the first task every morning was to move motorcycles with work in progress or restored bikes for sale out of the shop and onto the adjacent parking area, moving them all back indoors at the end of the day.

"The family invites all who knew John to celebrate his life at the Ravenna Brewing tasting room (5408 26th Avenue NE, Seattle) on Monday, April 16, between 5:30 and 9:30 pm. The tasting room (where children are welcome) is the former location of John’s British Cycles and the celebration will reflect true “John style”: comfortable clothes, vintage rock music, beer, pizza, and shared stories (the more outrageous, the better). We plan to record these stories as a legacy for his “little princes” (aka grandsons), whose time with their Papou was much too short. If you are unable to attend but have a story to share, please record it at the Times’ online site (www.legacy.com – John Allamano) available beginning April 1, 2018."

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Updated 3/26/18

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