By Boardwalk Bob Ingram
As you come south on the bike path from the end of the Boardwalk, you can see it in the distance like some desert chieftain’s tent. It’s the new Bradley’s Bikes at the end of the pike path at Rambler Road.
Long an institution there, Bradley’s new digs are the centerpiece of a total renovation of that area, still under way but well done and attractive so far, combining public use and commerce in an eye-pleasing and well-considered melding.
Bradley’s new bike rental emporium is nine-sided – I was hoping for eight because octagonal is as far as I go – and is lettered “BIKE RENTALS” at each of the several rental bays, I guess you’d call them, which are revealed by overhead doors. When the doors are down, the look is tent-like; when they’re up it’s kind of an open-air bazaar look. Very fetching, especially the lettering, which is part and parcel of the overall design, and reminiscent of the work of the celebrated Philly architect Robert Venturi and his equally renowned wife and partner Denise Scott Brown.
Two P.S.’s: The water fountain by Bradley’s actually works, and it would be nice if they put the benches back at the overlook next to the Wildwood Crest Lifeguard Headquarters. I used to park my bike there, drink a bottle of water, and take in the scenery from the benches. Por favor bring them back, O city fathers or whoever.