Search This Blog

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dawn Of A New Era!

Anyone who has paid any attention to my ramblings here can attest to the fact that I am slowly becoming an old curmudgeon.  I wasn't always this way.  Oh don't get me wrong, I've always been a wee bit of a sarcastic A-hole, but in an endearing fun way (*cough*).  Perhaps my experience as a father has lead me to this new found philosophy, as I can vividly remember beginning my wide variety of careers at a young age (roughly around twelve, I can't count the prior 3 years working on the farm as that is relegated to the classification of "chores', but spend your summers loading and unloading hay bales for 8 hours a day and see if you don't label it "labor:)  Understandably the laws regarding "child labor" have become more and more constricting, coupled with the current state of the global job market (phd's and mba's after 8 years in college flipping burgers at Mickey D's to pay off those "OH-so-useful" student loans) has left very little for aspiring teenagers to do!  And by aspiring I mean those kids with their hands out every 10 minutes wanting a "loan"!  Well, at our household there are no such limitations to career growth.  But up until recently i left it up to our teenagers to "choose" whether or not they worked and earned some cash.  Well, it is no longer a choice.  I choose for them.  Twas he most recent opportunity offered my 16 year old to go to a concert that brought about the radical change.  Nestled in his well worn position on the sectional sofa, he and his collaborating (but well meaning) Mother gently brought up the chance to go and see some obnoxious noise makers posing as musicians, with a friend of his.  Truthfully, I have no concern regarding trust with Elijah, as I know he will make wise decisions when it comes to drugs and alcohol, but it was the price tag of $80.00 plus gas that threw me.  His hand firmly stretch out with the most assured expectation that I would swiftly grace it with a cool hundred.  Never one to flinch or falter I smoothly rebuffed his insinuation that I would willingly part with a C-note, and adeptly countered with the generous offer to fund his expedition provided that he "earn" it.
I've never seen happy expectation replaced with a look of utter defeat and resignation so quickly!
He genuinely expected me to just say "no Problem!" I really have no idea how he could make such a leap of faith! 
Don't get me wrong.  If I have it, they have it.  BUT if it is something they want beyond basic needs I have always stuck to the "work for it" philosophy. 
Needless to say, even though the offer was open ended and quite frankly he could have earned the cash he needed in less then a week of after school work, he let this opportunity slide.  Never once making an attempt.
I wish when I was young I had someone willing to just hand me a job, I always had to hunt them down and through tenacious audacity procure them!
So, after absorbing the reality that my 16 year old was devoid of motivation to succeed (as his lackadaisical involvement with schooling and studies shows vivid proof) I thought it now fell upon me to (grunting and laboring all the way) to push him, physically from the nest.  And as my 14 year old has not so much a problem with work ethic, but more so behavior, I made the official announcement last week that from now on the two would accompany me at the shop each day after school and all day Saturday, and work, preparing them for the inevitable stint of full time in summer.
I had no intention, when we opened this business of forcing them into the same trade that i choose.  I'd rather they find their own way in life.  BUT, until such a time as they show interest in  SOMETHING, at least they will have a vocation, and I won't have to stomach them sleeping until the afternoon, eating everything in the fridge and taking a nap until dinner!
The tail end of last week was a blitzkrieg!  Sold out of all the new goodies right quick and built another batch (what's left is pic'd below).  Would like to thank all involved in the stock turn around!  Whether it was your first time around, or were a return customer (yep!  We get ALOT of those!) Thanks so much!  Also, the bevy of re-pairs that come in, as well as all the glowing kind words of referrals!  SO GREAT!  And thanks to the young lady who brought her Schwinn in for a full once over, and expressed such shock as to how low the price was that she ended up having me do more!  To top it off she called in a couple days later to tell us how much she loved the work we did and that she was telling all her friends!  I LOVE calls like that! 
I also LOVE to brag about it! 
Please understand, we are neither egotistical nor snobbish, we just like to know what we do touches people and helps them!  It's a GREAT feeling!
OK, Self aggrandizing over.
Today we got a bevy of new goodies we hope to be pumping out, so's I best get busy!
See ya soon!
24" BMX
ONLY $105.00!!!

ONLY $55.00!!

ONLY $60.00!!!

ONLY $70.00!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Take Your Child To Work Day!!!

Yes sir!  Today was the schools annual "take your child to work" day! 
Two problems.
One.  Being a family business, the kids are in and out on a regular basis, so it's not like a major treat.
Two.  in a family our size how do you single out one child to bring to work?
Well this fact was of considerable debate in our household last night, with no clear a present solution.  In the end however I stepped in with an executive dad decision.  Surprisingly Owen, of late has been getting many promising and complimentary reports form his teachers and counselor regarding a marked improvement in his behaviour and has not had to visit the principals office in quite some time.   So in reverence to this new outlook on life, he was the winning candidate.
And again, even more went relatively well!
The older boys came up to the shop later as we were SWAMPED today, in a good way.  First thing this morning we had two scrap trailers back to back come in and deposit a bevy of newbies on our doorstep!  Oh Joy of Joy's!!  Oh Rapture!!  So I was a bike building fool today!  got out six new ones, and not a moment to soon!  The Big Boy cruiser I put out last night was gone first thing, and I would have been SADLY empty!  Finished up the GORGEOUS vintage ladies Schwinn touring bike  and have had many a drooling going on over this gem!  Also got in a pristine 2011 Giant Sedona, as well as a classic Giant Upland MTB, as well as a plethora of bangers!  EVERY ONES faves! 
Tomorrow will be just as banging as I already have a SWEET all chrome 24" BMX in my rack all cleaned and ready to assemble first thing! Then on to more!  So with that I leave you with pics, an awesome new photo tag, and the latest from "Warts and All!!"
Oh how I spoil you all!
ONLY $165.00!!

ONLY $300.00

ONLY $60.00!!

ONLY $70.00!!!

ONLY $55.00!!!

ONLY $135.00!!
 In response to rising fuel costs, and several ecological disasters the oil industry is starting a new kind of recompense, more convenient to the financially strapped.

 And for all our loyal fans, here's the latest!!

Slowly I Turned...Step by Step, Inch by Inch...

Yes the event is rapidly approaching!  Angi is due on May 15, but considering her substantial tummy size I think it could be sooner!  And as always as we sit at night relaxing, we find ourselves reminiscing of pregnancies and birth of bygone days.  Obviously as the mother each blessed minute is ingrained in her head.  Me?  Well, I can vividly remember the first Marvel comic I bought (Fantastic Four 241, from Jerry's Market) but my memories of the birth of my children? 
Hey, in  my defence they were all born at night, and I am not a night person!  She considers herself lucky that I was awake.
I do have one vivid memory, however in the onset of Owen's birth.
Funny Story.
During the gap between Kaleb and Logan (four years) my wife matured some.  Through reading and research she decided that she wanted to have a home birth.  So when Logan was coming into the world we hired a Midwife, and did the whole shebang in my leather La-Z-Boy recliner (for all you thinking of it or something a tad bit more malicious...Think Leather!  Blood cleans up REAL easy!)
And as it turned out, the birth was her easiest yet!  So as we became aware of Owens impending entrance home birth was the obvious choice.
Flash Forward.
Awoken on Thanksgiving morn 2003, I was less then prepared.  We had forgotten a few of the necessary items needed, and in a (slight) panic I quickly dressed and took off to the local Wal-Mart (hey!  It was the only store in Katy, Texas open 24 hours) One problem though, the clothes I grabbed off the floor and quickly threw on, were work clothes from the day before, where I had been staining a book case, with a deep red stain.
Rushing into the store at roughly 3 am, I hurriedly ran through looking for a shower curtain, some plastic tarp and ALOT of towels.  Familiar with the home improvement isle, I quickly found painters plastic but could not find the towels.  Perplexed, I found a young lady stocking, and in a rush, slightly panicked voice asked her where I could find towels capable of absorbing a LOT of blood.
In response to this inquiry, all the blood apparently left her face!
Luckily, I was not arrested.
When I say I was SWAMPED with re-pairs today, I do NOT lie!  The proceeding panoramic pictures proudly pronounce!

And thanks to everyone else coming in with all the great things to say, and for whipping out our stock!  Yep the last batch lasted less then 24 hours,but managed to get one real gem out, and have more to build tomorrow! 
So keep checking in!
ONLY $95.00!!

Monday, April 23, 2012


Well...there really isn't any Duck in this at all.  But for some reason as i sat back and perused all the bikes we put out today,  the first thing that popped into my head was "Howard the Duck"  Don't ask me why, I've always been a rabbit man myself.  Bugg's. Roger, Captain Carrot, Thunder Bunny (nope.  Not making that last one up!  Google it.)
Managed to get four new ones out.  3 ladies cruiser because SO many people have been asking for them!  Already sold one about 15 minutes after she went out!  And no wonder!  GORGEOUS Trek Calypso!  Also put together (FINALLY) a sweet Fuji "Sleeper".  So here are the pics below.
As the "DAY" is rapidly approaching (May 15) for the families blessed event, little Miranda's arrival, Angi and I have her weekly checkup tomorrow in the AM.  So the older boy will be opening up.  I'll be in around 10.30 if you need me!
Till then!
ONLY $65.00


ONLY $65.00!!

ONLY $110.00!!!

Governors Reprieve

Apparently the deal our landlord (at our house) was hoping for to sell fell through.  I'm inclined to believe that once the inspector informed the potential buyers of the overall condition of the house, and the required re-pairs (not to mention cost) sent them screaming into the night.  So a momentary chance to collect our breaths.  Still looking for a suitable, more stable locale, but at least we are not under the gun!
Saturday was a little quiet, but with the rain and overcast Sky's I didn't expect much.  Still when the sky's lighten several people came out to see what we are all about.  Thanks for the visits!  Sold the Men's Pacific MTB to a young gentleman with discerning taste!  As always THANKS for all the repairs!  Saturdays are always good for that.  And it was a good day for buying as well!  Got three new cruisers, and another road bike so today (hopefully) I can get a few more done.  Worked for the better part of the day on a sweet Team Fuji only to be stymied by a VERY stubborn drivetrain alignment issue. Although I think I figurred it out, and should have this goodie up and running as well! 
So with no further adieu...ONWARD!
See ya soon!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Start....STOP! Start.....STOP!!

Ever have one of those days?  Or projects rather? 
Yesterday as all the re-pairs had been caught up, I dove into rebuilds with a fervor!  As i can't hold onto a bike for more then two hours at this point I NEED STOCK!!  it's getting downright embarrassing in here!  i have 3 kids bikes and one (now two) adult bikes!  PATHETIC!  Well...not pathetic as it's a GREAT problem to have!  Means more and more folks are getting the "Good Word" (with all respects to Christians) about bike riding.  AND more and more folks are coming in because "They heard good things about us".  OH Gaursh!  I'm blushing! 
So I had an agenda!  Get as many cranked out as possible to fill up the showroom floor! 
Well you have heard about the saying regarding good intentions.
The first ride, a real sweet Fuji MTB was about 10 minutes from being done (a FULL overhaul) when it sold off the rack.  The second, a three wheeler, was 15 minutes into the tear down when I realized the free wheel was no good and I had no replacement.  So OK, start on the Fuji Road bike.  20 minutes into tear down realize the forks are bent, and I have none with a big enough drive tube.  OK, start on the clean looking men's MTB.  Luckily I was only 5 minutes into the tear down when I realized the aluminum seat post was fused in the frame!  Believe me, if you get that...move on!  90% of the time you'll be unable to remove it and have allot of scrape knuckles, frayed nerves, and use up your extensive queue of daddy language!
The next one was a success however, with a real sweet lightweight Pacific MTB (pic below!) At this point it was getting late and I and Kaleb (well...more Kaleb) cleared out the back room to find my next projects.  Found a nice Ladies Schwinn hybrid to use with some of the parts from the aforementioned fused seat post bike, and another couple of bangers.  So if all goes well, will be  getting them together today!
So with that, I bid you all a good day, and hope to see you soon!
ONLY $95.00!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

heh.....ah, heh!

Funny how much things change the more they stay the same!  I realize this is an overdone cliche' but whilst checking the Yahoo news this morning I stumbled over a parody video.  Now which song it parody's, well I have no idea.  At 44 I am completely ignorant, blissfully so of all new music trends.  Safe and secure in my bevy of Pandora Music collections representing rather obscure and vintage recordings.  Anyway.
Any one at or over the age of thirty will view this video and feel both the twinge of empathy and the hysterical realization that OMG!  That is (or was) me!  That's about all the set up I need to give to this.  Watch it and see yourself realizing that todays 30 somethings are feeling the same angst of maturity that we forty somethings felt a decade ago (and I'm sure our parents felt the same thing).
Our technology may advance by leaps and bounds, but the social order remains stagnant.
Oh and by the by, as a little "I predicted this 30 years ago and everyone scoffed at me"?  When I worked in the comic industry back in the 80's I predicted that Action Comics #1 (first appearance of the big blue boyscout "Superman") would be the first million dollar comic.  WELL last year one sold at auction for 1 million flat.  HOWEVER, this year Nicholas Cage's almost flawless copy (at one point stolen and recently recovered in a foreclosed storage facility in California) sold at auction for 2.1 Million!!!!
Sad part?  The original creators of Superman Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel sold the rights for their creation to Detective Comics (now DC) for $412.00 back in 1938. 

Monday, April 16, 2012


Uncle Chippie brought up an ever present feeling that languishes in the recesses of my mind.  Occasionally to be brought out, dusted off and beaten like a kettle drum.
I posted a funny pic on Saturday that my wife sent me of a gas pump emblazoned with the phrase "Ride Your Bike".  Uncle Chippie pointed out the futility of me expecting folks to see the error in judgement regarding their obsession with petrol. 
Regardless of how much sarcasm (or is it sardonicism?) I incorporate in my every day life, i am for all intents and purposes a pragmatic optimist.  I would like to think that humans given enough incentive will do the right thing.  Some need more of a push then others though.  And I see more and more folks each day coming in to visit and in varying degrees pledge to ween themselves off the oil teet.  For the commute to work, or to run errands, or as a transportation substitute on the weekends (silliest thing I see is bikes strapped to the back of an SUV as they drive to the Pinellas trail?)
So for the folks who need a push...
The only sure fire incentive that seems to work is financial.  In European countries they pay on average 2 to 3 times what we as Americans do.  That should change.  Tax gasoline at a higher rate and use the proceeds to finance research into greener solutions to our energy needs.  Stop giving welfare to the oil companies, instead feed the alternative market.  The cars on the road today are and have been a MAJOR factor in our current climate condition.  We charge fines and levy fee's against corporate polluters and all the folks driving to  Earth Day celebrations in their Suburbans and Escalades applaud this.  Well it's about time that those contributing to our atmospheric soup pitch in!
I think the day we see a gallon of regular at or over $10.00?  Once folks are paying more to fuel their car then they do to live in their house?  Maybe then they will smell the Folgers. 
We air breathers can only wait and hope.
BUT, if you are ready to make the change here's a few goodies put out this weekend.
(Shameless exploitation, I know.)
ONLY $110.00!!

ONLY $75.00!!

ONLY $95.00!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Summer Petroleum Estimates Are In!

In the ever cost increasing petroleum market we make it our business to keep abreast of the latest cost trends.  Here is the latest projected reality to summer driving....

Enquiring Mind's Want To Know

In a private interview God was asked to comment on how he thought the human race was 'getting along" in all issues environmental and inter-personal.  he had this to say...

I'll be packing my things.

As Promised!

Started to get to work on some new builds!  Got caught up with the newest wave of repairs and before I got to deep into the new flood, put out two more gems and started on a third!  YAY!  Thanks to all the new folks discovering us yesterday.  I always get a kick out of the surprise when some find out just how long we've been around! 
Well....You know, I really don't have much to add as I HAVE to get back at it and put out some new goodies! 
More later!
Another RE-Cycle Mutt!  Schwinn Trailway Hybrid transformed (with salvaged higher end Fuji parts) into a commuter!

ONLY $135.00!!!

ONLY $75.00!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Step In The Right Direction.

Looked at our first potential new home today. YAY!  This one has Elijah frothing at the mouth as he has been pleading with us to find a 4 bedroom.  He's under the impression that he and Kaleb, the eldest need their own "space".  I continue to rebuff this, claiming that the fourth bedroom will become my private study.
I LOVE messing with him!  Luckily it's not to far from the shop, I can make the ride in about 5 minutes, but it does limit a very pregnant momma from making the walk to the shop for surprise inspections.  A consequence she is none to happy with.  It helped that our prospective new landlord knows about RE-Cycle and has "heard good things about us".
Well once again yesterday was a hum dinger of a busy day!  Sold the Kink to a very determined gentleman who upon finding it on Craigslist called from his job in Saint Pete, three times, to ensure it was still here.  A very happy camper.  And repairs?  WAHOO!  Sah-lammin'!
So needless to say, ONCE AGAIN no newbies!  BUT!  I have one re-pair left in my rack, and then it will be a full day of builds!  Have even more goodies I picked up yesterday (and thanks to Ted for the donation!) and i am bound and determined to get some out!  I'm getting real depressed looking at the one 24' MTB I have sitting here!
And briefly, a new feature!

Had a visit from one of our regulars today (and please don't chastise me for not remembering his name) Unfortunately he was in a bit of a crack up with some joker, oblivious to the fact that some people DO ride bikes on the road, as is the LAW!  Cut him off at an intersection where he took a header into the curb.  I can't help but think had he been riding a bike with a steel, or even aluminum fork the impact with the curb may not have caused so much damage (pic below).  Seeing the construction of these things....makes me wonder why this thing doesn't happen more often.  Well all ends well as he was not badly hurt, and the insurance is going to afford him a new bike!  And as an added bonus he gave us his old one!  SWEET!  Although it will be getting an ALUMINUM fork!  Luckily no frame damage!
Allrighty-roo!  I best get on to work!
See ya soon!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Where Did The Week Go?!

WOOF!  It's been nigh on a week since I've been here!  Well...I mean I've been here but not....HERE!  This past week has been a bustle of activity and I guess time just slipped past.  Have been meaning to pop in and update, but it's been one thing after another.  Some Good some not so good.
First the good.  Thanks to all the great folks coming in to visit and bring us a heapin' helpin' of re-pairs and well wishes.  Would have been great to have more stock to show all the interested parties, but as always as soon as i build 'em...they're gone!  And Saturday ESPECIALLY!  A complete sell-out!  All the adult bikes I had were gone by early afternoon, but have no fear, had the older boys up helping get more stuff prepped and I'll have them finished off by the end of the day!  Yep, as the oldest gets...well...older, he has been informed that in lieu of alternative employment he'll be schlepping it here at the family business.  I figure a week of dealing with Dad and he'll be begging to find a job elsewhere.  Also thanks to our comedic neighbor Chris, from Subway, who apparently has wanted to pick up a bike from us for some time.  Saturday was the day, and in his normal prankster fashion paid in....loose change.  YEP!  He has been saving his pennies...and nickles...and dimes...and quarters for some time in the cutest little pink make up box (I didn't ask!  What any consenting adult does in the privacy of their own life is their business...not that there's anything WRONG with that!) I started to help counting it but gave up quickly.  But he happily walked out with the aluminum BMX for our troubles! 
So onto the not so good.
Another chapter is opening up in our adventurous life.  When we first moved to the neighborhood back in '07 we rented the house we eventually turned into our business just up the road from here.  We lived there nearly three years.  After a little over a year (we found out later) our landlord stopped paying the mortgage.  Oh he still collected the rent, just didn't pay HIS bills.  We discovered this in November of '10.  It's an odd limbo to be in when, in fact NO ONE owns the home.  And in the traditional "cosmic joke" in the later half of December we had an electrical fire in the garage that fried the power, and lo and behold, no one to foot the bill for re-pairs.  Stranded we stayed in a weekly rental place (THAT was fun) for a couple of weeks until we found our current residence.  Prior to renting this home we informed the new landlord we were seeking permanency.  Had no desire to keep uprooting the kids or move away from the business, and was assured that we could feel secure in our new home as long as we wished   Well apparently that "as long as we wished" wasn't quite that long.  In November of last year he informed us he was selling the house BUT he was selling it as an investment property, with tenants so we had nothing to worry about.
Found out last week that they apparently have a buyer....who wants to move their family in.  So we have roughly thirty days to vacate.
So I hope you understand why I haven't been doing my daily bit here at the blog, but with Angie 8 months pregnant and due roughly right around the time we have to move, not to mention the daunting task of trying to find a home (need a house, an apartment just DOESN'T cut it) that's within reasonable distance to the kids schools and the shop, while at the same time trying to keep up with the work here...
But looking at the brighter side, perhaps we can find an even nicer home then the one we currently inhabit?
That's right...think positive!
Did you think i was kidding?

ONLY $50.00!!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stop the Hate!!!

First off I wish to apologize for not visiting with you folks in a while.  A combination of things really.  but predominately i have been a tad bit melancholy for the last couple of days.  I would like to thank Uncle Chippie and one of our regulars (not to mention my lovely wife who even though I did not burden her with my woes in reverence to her current condition, but none the less holding her last night was as always calming) for helping to bring me out of the slump I've been in. 
Since we opened we have had our fair share of troubles as far as slander goes, from a variety of our competitors.  Way back in the garage days when this blog was in it's Craigslist form (before I discovered Blogspot) we'd get an earful!  But, as time went on, and more and more folks got to know us and realize we weren't a "Chop shop" nor a fly by night blip the negativity began to peter out.  Even got to the point where some of our loudest antagonists began to recommend us to their customers looking for inexpensive rides, or low priced re-pairs, even as early as yesterday.  So it caught me a little off guard when I was doing a monthly check of our web listings the other day, and on google reviews got an eye full of a malicious character assassination aim at not only our business and me personally but my family as well!!!  Suffice to say I was flabbergasted for the fact that the "experience" he describes never actually occurred.   Anyone who has done business with us in the past can attest to the fact that while we may not be perfect, but we'll make it right.  The real problem is that this person listed two separate "Stories" dated the same day describing two separate instances. Completely unrelated to each other.  And it's not the first time, either!  This person had previewed our business twice before in the last two years, using the same name, but completely different situations!  As I said, I have been stewing in my own juices over this.  Chip relayed to me an experience he had a while back with a "Troll" hunting him across the web and I will try and implement his advice.  I also received a visit from one of our other regulars, an avid cyclist looking to build his next ride on his own and in search of the perfect frame.  As the conversation turned casual, and I updated him on the family I briefly described my current annoyance.  After listening to me gripe, he offered up some sage wisdom.  As he has been searching for the perfect bike he has visited other shops in town describing what he's looking for in a bike, to which they have shown him a variety of bikes ranging in price from $2000.00-$6800.00.  When he's mentioned us a variety of salesman have become rather flustered and downright belligerent in their response.  All the old prejudices seem still resoundly entrenched in their verbiage!  But, as he stated" anyone capable of rational thought and reason could walk away from these exchanges knowing that these salesman are threatened by our existence, and are feeling the pinch.  Whereas they are trying to sell in the thousands of dollars we offer 'em up in the tens.  Kind of a no brainer where their priorities and intentions lie"  (of course I'm paraphrasing) And yes even though my compulsion for creativity and productivity have been somewhat stymied of late because of all this, I appreciate their efforts to get me to see the light, and to recognize what we have been able to accomplish here.  It's what we always wanted to do.  Give folks a choice other then high prices and high pressure.
Thank you to everyone who have and continue to visit us, have allowed us to service their rides, and provided them with new ones.