Tag Archives: Bike Shop

Been a While

It’s been almost a year since I last updated this blog.  In that time a lot of things have happened.  They are as follows, in no particular order:

My wife and I had a little girl.

Jane

I became the store manager at the shop where I work.

My car needed a repair that would have cost more than the car did originally.

I picked up a BMX bike.

I picked up some new shoes and Speedplay Zeros.

I picked up a new frame for my wife.

I stabbed my leg with an XT brake lever during a Pivot demo.

I raced the RAGNAR Miami to Key West race with my entire immediate family (and a few other people).

Team Much Dutch

I raced the RAMBO 4 Ways in a Day race again this year and placed 6th in my division…out of 6.

On the big bike.

I stopped riding my road bike in favor of my mountain bike.

I rode my mountain bike while Atlanta was shut down because of snow and ice.

I continued to switch between clipless and flats on the mountain bike.

I was featured in two online newspaper articles.

I ran my mountain bike into the roof of my garage.  Twice.

I rode one of the most expensive mountain bikes I’ve ever put a leg over.

Nickel. Full SRAM XO 3x10, Easton Haven wheels, 130mm Rock Shox Revelation fork with carbon steerer tube, Rock Shox Monarch RT3 shock, Truvativ stem, bar and seatpost. Maxxis tubeless tires, ODI lock on grips

I participated in a trail day or two.

My plan is to start contribute to this blog more often.  Since my leg injury healed I’ve been getting outside more and that’s a positive change.

I Think We’re Going to Need a Bigger Bike

My friend Charlie, who is the mechanic at our shop, is into freeride and downhill mountain biking.  So while out riding the cross-country trails at Big Creek, I caught up with him in the freeride section and did a bit of filming with my cheapo point-and-shoot camera, threw the footage together and showed it to my family.  My grandmother was concerned that it was me in the video—she does want great-grandchildren in the near future—but I assured her that I was not the crazy person.  Maybe a little jealous, but not crazy.  I have decided that my next bike will definitely have more travel so I can at least consider the more technical terrain that is becoming popular.  Perhaps one day I’ll even voyage to a lift-accessed slope and rent a big squishy bike.  So, without further ado, I give you Charlie the Mechanic on the Sender at Big Creek.

Act Three – In which I fall down and love it

Up to this point all of my riding had been on the road.  Then something amazing happened: my boss asked me if I wanted to go mountain biking at Blankets Creek with him.  I had borrowed a mountain bike once or twice during college and rode around on the cross-country running trails at the school, so I figured I could do this.

Turns out I could do it.  Or at least I managed not to be carried out of the woods by Search & Rescue.  But only barely.  I was riding an older rigid 26” Gary Fisher with clipless pedals.  I washed out my front end on several sections which resulted in a large hole in my shorts and a dark area on my right hip that has just now started to fade (some 14+ months later).  It was if some dark force had decided to taunt me throughout the entirety of the Van Michael Trail.  By the end though, I knew I was going to become a mountain biker if it killed me.  So I went out again the next day.  Luckily my boss took pity on me and installed a suspension fork on the Gary Fisher and we avoided the trail that decided to eat my hip twice.  I didn’t fall down the second time and my fate was sealed.  I was able to score an old GT full suspension bike from a friend who was moving out of the country and spent about $200 fixing it up (that’s with a bike shop discount and parts from my mechanic).  Since then I’ve regularly visited the trails in the Atlanta area and gotten better at keeping the rubber side down and the shiny side up.

Act Two – In which I begin to live the dream

So fast-forward to last year.  I’d continued cycling (now with my own non-pink Masi) and graduated from a sprint triathlon to an Olympic tri, but I was still topping out at about 25 miles a ride.  I was moving to Atlanta to be closer to my fiancée, and I had decided to try my hand at the cycling industry.  Plus, paying to get my bike serviced was getting old.

I walked into a bike shop, told them I wanted a job, and BAM—my foot’s in the door (well, it was a little less instantaneous than “BAM,” but you get my point).  I figure, I’ve been a cyclist for a year or two now, I like reading cycling magazines and getting out on my bike, and I know the different levels of Shimano componentry—I’ve got it made.

Wrong.  I never felt so humbled in my life than that first week at the bike shop. There are still days when my bike knowledge is totally shown up by a customer, but I also found out that cycling was way bigger than just the Tour de France and triathlon world I was familiar with.  Freeriding, pelotons, cyclocross, downhill, velodromes, crit races; the wide world of cycling was turning out to be wide indeed.

Every day I continue to learn something new about cycling.  I regularly conduct “market research,” or at least that’s what I tell my wife as I bring home scores of old cycling magazines.  The best part of working at a bike shop, aside from the discounted schwag, is getting other people excited about cycling.  I don’t care if it’s a soccer mom buying an entry level road bike for her first triathlon; a downtown hipster converting some old, rusty, vintage Schwinn to a fixie; or a full-face helmet, knee-pad wearing high-schooler. I love getting excited with and for other people.