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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dive In, The Waters Great!

It's that time of year again! 
The day after Turkey day, or perhaps the day of, when the throngs of crazed bargain hunters kick, claw and bite their way to save a few bucks on stuff they really didn't need in the first place.  So, as you can guess, I was here yesterday and NO where near any of the madness!  Had a few of our regulars come in and chat me up as they themselves had attempted to brave the throngs in search of bargains.  To hear them tell it, it was akin to being in the middle of a John Guillermin disaster movie, where all the little two legged collateral damage's are running about higgly piggly!  And for what?  An item you could have just as easily ordered online from the comfort of your own Iphone or laptop for less then you paid on "discount"?  Really, makes NO sense to me!  I am SOOO not a shopper.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm a consumer and a capitalist, but unless there's a sudden food shortage and I have to do battle for my families food, getting in a slap fight over a marked down pair of cargo shorts is not in my future. 
No, I'll buy my chotskies on Ebay or Amazon, thank you very much.
And of course, the day after Black Friday (yes, I understand why they call it that, but I have always thought the name was a tad bit funereal) has become known as small business Saturday.  Here's my thought, how come we come last?  I mean, doesn't it always make more sense to keep your money local?  It's what fuels our economy and feeds our community.  Isn't that better then giving all your hard earned cash to some faceless conglomerate that's just going to take the bulk of it, stash it away in some Cayman Island account to avoid paying any American tax dollars, which in turn forces US as a country to have to work even harder to pay off the HUGE mounting debt we owe to China?  I mean, you go to Wal-Mart, spend half your paycheck on stuff MADE in China, that you know darn well is going to be broken in a few days anyway, forcing you to go out and buy MORE Chinese, poorly made junk, sending even MORE money to them, while not benefitting our country in ANY way!
"WHEN WILL THE INSANITY END!?!?"  No folks, KEEP your money locally and keep it in our country!  Seriously.  Walk through a Walmart parking lot, look at the cars, and count how many American flag bumper stickers you see (or in some case actual American Flags).  You WILL be amazed.  Quite frankly, I'd like to hand out Chinese flag bumper stickers to all those folks and say "Might as well!  It's YOUR money supporting THEIR country, not ours!" 
Sorry, do I sound a tad bit jaded?
Hey, it's been a while since I had a good rant!
Needless to say, as to be expected, yesterday was a tad bit slooooooooooowwwwwwwww.  We were blessed to have several visitors though.  One gent in particular, kind of inspired the above rant.  I'll tell you why.  He came in with a Schwinn Tourist.  Nice enough hybrid, tad bit on the "cheaply made" side (China) but does the job in a pinch.  We ourselves have sold many in the past (side note: YES, we do sell bikes made in China (and having been originally sold in Walmart and the like) BUT we call them "RE-MADE in America!" as we fix ALL their inherent flaws!) .
He bought the bike about two years ago.  Although, to look at it, it had been "well loved" for those two years.  He brought it in to have the wheels trued, but the rear was completely gone.  Bad axel, bearings and bent to bajebuz!  The front was scarcely better, and to top it off, just about every other component on the bike was failing, or according to him, had been problematic since shortly after he bought it new.  Now, HERE'S the rub!  As we talked about the bike, and he ranted on about all the problems he had with the bike, I suggested he just ditch it, and we'd get him on a better, sturdier ride. I introduced him to the gorgeous Raleigh we have, priced well below what he paid for the Schwinn, but yet he hemmed and hawed.  Then, as a couple more folks came in, and he was pondering his choices, I helped them.  As we were talking, I noticed him take out his Iphone, obviously researching something.  Once the other folks were gone, and I turned my attention back to him, he made the declaration that he was going to skip trying to fix his Schwinn and "just go back to Walmart and buy a new one!  THEY'RE ON SALE TODAY!"
Dumbfounded, and with little response applicable to such a curious thought, I acquiesced and wished him well.
See, THIS has become the American mentality!  THIS is what we have come to ACCEPT as our fate.  Spend our money on something, realize it was NOT worth what we paid for it...but then go back and buy ANOTHER one!?!?
Seriously.  He had an opportunity to purchase a WELL MADE bicycle, that would have lasted him YEARS and paid about 22% of what it originally sold for, but he's going to go back to Walmart, pay twice as much, and just buy himself another problem?
America, I weep for us, and China laughs!
Yes, that will do for my rants today, thanks for listening!
Did manage to put out another new ride yesterday (heh, heh....guess maybe I should have held off on the rant...'cause this one's a Schwinn!  BWA-HA-HA-HA!) and also got through another batch of scrappings, as well as the blessed repairs!
Today, it's on to another couple builds, with repairs later (waiting on parts) so TODAY get out there and give the little guy some bill paying money! 
thanks folks!

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ONLY $75.00

Friday, November 28, 2014

Clear the Top Shelf! Hear Come The Leftovers!!!

We do so hope you all had (or are having) a great Holiday!
Twas' a NEW experience for us all around the old homestead, as this was the first year that Mom could only serve in an advisory position for the holiday meal!  Although, against my consistent insistence she did prepare the pearled onions,  Knowing that they are my favorite she refused to let me screw up the cheese melting and blending process.  Truly, you know that mankind hit the PINNACLE of its social and physical evolution, and that God is truly a wise and benevolent master when he allowed the muse to strike the saintly individual who came up with the brilliant idea of combining a warm cheese sauce with tender, miniature onions!  OHHHHHH Heaven!
Pretty much everything went off without a hitch. One small issue, I cannot believe either one of missed, was the fact that for some reason I ended up cooking the turkey, upside down!  BUT, it actually turned out that it cooked it real well!  The fats from underneath kept the meat even more moist! 
All the kiddos were in attendance, as Elijah and Jesi joined us for the day. At Mom's insistence of course!  It has long been a tenant in our household that regardless of where life takes them as they grow older they (and what ever families they create, WILL be home for the Holidays! 
Once the meal was enjoyed and the clean up reluctantly was accomplished, it was pretty much a relaxing remainder of the day.  Well, all except when Elijah was getting ready to leave and forgetfully came up to mom, as she was sitting on the couch relaxing and gave her an over the shoulder squeeze hug!
Needless to say the cry of pain she let out reminded Elijah of her broken collar bone.  Lord!  At this point another pain killer was needed and Mommas harness needed to be tightened!
Poor thing!
OK, so NOW on to today!  As it is Black Friday, there are two possible outcomes.  One, we get very busy as folks are driving home from the really big sales OR (and the more likely outcome) we are quiet and I get a lot of work done.
I really hope you good folks won't let the day go to number Two.
(did you get the subtle "potty humor"?)
Managed to get out another on Wednesday.  The majority of the day was spent with repairs, an one long running FULL refurb on a cruiser,  Just have to touch that one up this morning then it's o to more builds, so without further adieu, I best get at it!
See ya all REAL soon!
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ONLY $65.00!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

blah, blah, blah, gray, blah, blah, blah, rain.

Is there some cosmic rule mandating that EVERY Tuesday has to be dreary and raining!
So, yesterday became a day of repairs, so once again nothing new to show!  Shucky darn!  Had a very nice lady come in late morning, but who possessed a flair for the "last minute".  Seems her and the family are spending the holiday in Ocala and wanted to bring the bikes along for leisure time.  Trouble is, the bikes had set in the shed for over a year!  Needless to say, they needed some major TLC.  All FIVE of them!  But in my usual "up and at 'em" fashion I had them done in time for their trip, which had it's launch from the parking lot here! We were their last stop out of town!  Talk about last minute! 
After that, I had to make some breathing room in here.  We have picked up several goodies over the last few days, but there was a batch of donations impeding my ability to move, so they had to be broken down first.  By the time I got through that dozen, it was close to time to depart.  And as Angi is still on the mend, I didn't want to be late to prepare dinner, and help her get comfortable.
BUT, today, with only a couple minor repairs to address, I am hoping I can get through a few,  And, as it is still a tad dreary out there, sadly, I think I'll have the time.
BUT, if anyone is feeling brave, and wants to get ready to ride (nicer weather is around the corner) come pay us a visit and we'll get ya hooked up!
See ya soon!

Monday, November 24, 2014

"ARR! 'tis Land I see! Lower The Main Sail, Me Hearties!"

WOOF!  Weird weather!
Went out for an early morning ride today, and it was like being on the deck of a ship in high winds in the ocean!  Not rain, but a really thick mist that had me darn near soaked when I got back.  Hopefully the sun will decide to make a show of it and burn it all off!
Yesterday's day off was spent, primarily, having to keep Angi in bed and relaxed. A tall order given the children's propensity for making WAY to much noise 24/7!  It never fails.  She's just drifting off to sleep (she's having a heck of a time trying to stay asleep having to do so sitting up!) and someone bangs, yells or screams!  ARRGH!
And to make matters more of a challenge, this week being the Thanksgiving Holiday, all the kiddo's are home!
Of course, I took the most troublesome to work with me to give her SOME reprieve.  Logan stayed home to help with the little ones, and Owen and Rozy are with me.  The terrible twosome have a tendency to simultaneously be drawn to one another, but bicker and argue incessantly as well!   I just stick them in the back with movies and zone them out!  Occasionally throwing chunks of raw meat at them if they get hungry!
They hunt it themselves.
SO today...well, I gotta work on what I didn't work on Saturday! 
Yes, I was a very bad boy.  "spank, spank!"
But it's not my fault!!  Had MANY a pleasant distraction!  Many visitors with inquiries, conversations and over all just plain busy!  Which I have NOOOO problem with!  Quite a few "need it now" repairs, which we are more then happy to oblige! 
Sent a couple rides to happy new homes.  Funniest time was when a young lady was torn between the Huffy hybrid and the Iron Horse.  She test rode them both twice, and was on the verge of buying both because she couldn't make up her mind, but her husband reminded her she only had room to store one!  LOL!! 
Wish Hubby had stayed home!  LOL!!!
So anyway, today it's back to the rack.  The three wheel recumbent is still hanging there (when it doesn't fall over!  Thing is SO back heavy with the majority of parts stripped off!) and had a gent come in first thing this morning with a couple of "needs to much work to fix" donations.  One being a much needed cruiser!
(oh goodie...the terrible twosome are out back now arguing as they bang on something LOUDLY!)
Better go break that up.
Owen just came in with a discarded paver and asked if I would mind him trying to break it over his head.
It's gonna be a long day!
See y'all soon!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Leveling Off....

So, the intrepid Angela is on the mend.  In a great deal of pain, though.  With all the hullaballoo over the last few days, our cash flow was strained.  Unfortunately she had to wait until the evening for me to be able to get her pain meds, so HOO-RAY for modern day health insurance!  What they DO cover is a much SHORTER list then what they don't!  Of course, due to her propensity for bad physical reactions to stronger pain med's ( AIN'T pretty!) she can only take the weaker stuff, so it dulls it a best.  Not to mention having to sleep sitting up, and the resultant neck pain in the morning from her head lolling down.  Of course, the children are not making her life any easier.  Sadly, the one rule you HAVE to except from children is that the majority of the little rotters are in it just for themselves!  Expecting them to lift a finger to help is an exercise in futility!
Spent the majority of the morning and early afternoon dealing with the backlash of all that has gone on, so I barely finished my repairs and a few tear downs (HAVE to keep the place clean, ya know?) BUT did finally start work on the recumbants we picked up a few weeks back!  Yes, I've been a wimp.  These are a couple GORGEOUS bikes, but, they sat in a shed for three years, exposed to the elements, and need SERIOUS clean up!  Not to mention having to replace a few parts, that sadly cannot be salvaged.  BUT the bodies are in perfect condition, so worth the effort! 
Of course, in the latter half of the evening, we had another ten minute rule!  When will folks learn!?  A very nice lady, looking for the perfect ride came in and spotted the Specialized Crossroads.  She had been to a couple other places and saw similar hybrids starting at $300.00, loved the ride here, but wanted to check out one more place.  I did forewarn her of the "Ten Minute Rule", she laughed and stated she'd "take her chances".
8 minuets later...
A very nice young man, looking for a Christmas present for his girlfriend, who has been riding a Walmart Mountain Bike trying to keep up with his Bianchi!
Later that evening....
She returned, despondent, as she had visited the "other shop" found another Specialized, similar in style and age, with an asking price almost twice what we were looking for, and "no where NEAR in as good a condition"
I really try and save folks from the trip, the hassle and the disappointment that they are going to get going elsewhere...but...some folks just have to find out for themselves.
NOW, it's back at it! 
See ya soon folks!  It' shaping up to be some gorgeous riding weather!

Friday, November 21, 2014

....and With Any Small Victory, There Comes Collateral Damage!

How DO I opt out of this chicken outfit!
Excuse me while I stop shaking my head so I can type straight!
After the excursion yesterday and the resulting, brief glow of victory, I went right back to work.  Or tried to at least.  Regaining my footing, I went back at it, but with little time in the day left, only managed to put out one ride and a few repairs.  As the day wore down and we were packing up to leave, I got a call from Angela.  On her way home from work she got a flat, and had no tools or tube for repair so was forced to walk it home the remainder of the way.  Grabbing the necessary items we headed home to get her fixed up.  After a quick fix (and a short jaunt to the closest air pump as there was NO way I could put in 120psi with a hand pump!) she was up and running again, and her and Kaleb headed out to the store to pick up a few things. 
Quickly easing into domestic mode, I finished up the dinner of leftovers for the kiddos, setting aside everyone else's and set outside for a brief moment to breathe, enjoy a Yuengling and video billiards.  HOWEVER....
Upon picking up my phone to play, it rang, signaling it was a call from Angela.  Upon answering I was greeted by a slightly panicked Kaleb, quickly informing me that Angela had crashed on her bike!
Mind you, Angela rides a high end carbon fiber/alloy frame road bike that weighs less then my lunch!  Given our experience with other catastrophic accidents, some resulting in death due to the riders position, with head aimed directly at the ground, the anxiety in his voice gave me a rush of anguish and panic when he said she hit her head on the ground, first!  It was only when I heard her voice, in obvious pain, in the background did I calm down slightly. 
Quickly setting up Logan to watch out for the kiddos, with Kaleb limping back with Momma's bike in tow, I jetted over to Subway to meet her.
Here's the odd thing.  To look at her, you could tell she was in OBVIOUS pain and anguish.  Cradling her left arm, she proceeded to give me the breakdown of what happened. Following behind Kaleb they were traveling through the parking lot, when Kaleb did one of his patented "I'm not paying attention to the other rider" maneuvers and swerved in front of her, with no time to react or brake, she crashed into his rear wheel sending them both sprawling to the ground, her landing face and shoulder first on the tarmac, but to see her sitting there you never would have guessed it!  No abrasions on her face or shoulder no obvious scratches or torn clothing, even though she also complained of cut up knees and thigh.  She stated, unequivocally, that she broke her collar bone, as she heard and felt it snap.  Somewhat incredulous, as to the absence of even the slightest swelling, we still needed to get her to the ER as the pain was quite obvious! 
Once there, she started to get blurred vision, a ringing in her ears and weakened knees.  Once in the room, and all the necessary annoying paperwork filled out, she was seen by the nurse, x-rayed, cat scanned, and informed that yes, in fact here clavicle was broken, in two places and she fractured her nasal cavity!  And yes, she did, in fact have several abrasions and cuts on her legs and knees but not so much as a mark on her pants?!  Even as far as several spots where the chain ring dug teeth marks into her calf! 
Once released from the hospital, we settled her in at the house, but she is still in a lot of pain. 
And of course, facing about four weeks of recuperation. 
So, today, has been a gauntlet of insurance calls, doctor calls,etc. etc.  I just hope she will get a chance to rest!
OK, now I best get back to doing something to keep the wagon train moving!
Here's the one I was able to put together yesterday.

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ONLY $90.00!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


WHAT an ordeal!
And I'm speaking, primarily, about the bus ride this morning! 
I left the house at 8.15 am and didn't get to the DOR office until 11.30!!
....three buses later (said in SpongeBob-ese!)
SO, this morning I set out on a sojourn of vindication, and arose triumphant!
Tired and haggard from my trip in, I paused at the gates of hell (Largo government offices) to collect myself, then with a deep inhale of resolution, set out to clear the egregious onslaught upon us.
Poised, not unlike a cornered Wolverine, I readied myself for battle, but surprisingly, was caught off guard by the warm if not contrite reception I received.  Ushered into a private conference room, in no short order I was informed, very apologetically, that it was IN FACT their error in freezing our account.  Furthermore, the "tax specialist" responsible for the action was "no longer in that position"!   Now, if THAT was not compensation enough, they did ALL of the following;  They had me sign and IMMEDIATELY faxed the letter to the bank to lift the freeze (although the bank will take up to three days to do it) and restore the full balance, as well as any penalties we incurred.  They ALSO have waived ALL fee's, interest and penalties on ALL back due tax.  They agreed COMPLETELY to accept my request for a payment plan on MY terms.  AND, although it is customary for them to collect a 30% deposit on the payment plan (which would amount to over $3000.00) they have waived THAT as well!!
Even the tax specialist I was working with (thanks David) was visibly surprised with the generosity of the supervisor, stating in all his years he had never seen this much done!  (and yes, I'm no fool.  I realize, that quite probably this action more then likely breached some laws, and I could quite possibly go and hire a tax attorney and sue the bajeebuz out of the state, but lets face it, it was MY oversight that made us owe these taxes in the first place, and with how much I would have to shell out for a lawyer?  It would probably EXCEED the amount of the taxes!  No, I just thankful to have this matter FINALLY resolved!)
In the end, I have to look upon this experiences as one of those times where you have to walk through fire, sometimes, in order to get the reward you covet!
SOOOO, needless to say, having spent the majority of my day on this, not a heck of a lot has gotten done.  I thank Elijah for minding the fort while I was away, and am now waiting for my head to stop spinning and getting my bearings straight.
oh yea, I did manage to get a couple newbies put out yesterday, in spite of it all.  Check 'em out below!
See ya soon!!

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ONLY $65.00!!
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ONLY $160.00!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Somewhere...Out There...Underneathe The Deep Blue Sky....

VERY cold.
You do the math.
And to top it off, once again, Department of Revenue wreaking havoc in our otherwise tumultuous lives!
It was a fun day!
In short, I have been working diligently with the state for over a year to try and take care of some back due taxes.  Oh, nothing like us trying to avoid them, but being from NH originally, where there is no sales tax, I made an egregious error in thinking that there was no tax on second hand items, so I never charged it.  Once I realized my error, I sought them out, gave them our numbers and asked "how do we take care of this?"  Thus began an arduous, maddening insane experience of trying to deal with two separate offices (Tallahassee and the local Largo office) that DO NOT communicate with each other.  Not to mention them perpetually losing paperwork I have faxed, mailed, emailed and HAND delivered over the course of that year.  Every time I would communicate with them (they NEVER called me) asking "where are we" I would either be transferred to a NEW case manager (where I would have to send ALL the paperwork AGAIN) and start from scratch!  After a long silence from them (as the supervisor now supposedly had all the info she needed and they were "looking into it") I had a NEW case manager contact me, who at first was very belligerent as she stated I had made NO attempt to rectify the situation.  Once going through the plethora of copies and communications I had with the other case workers, she begrudgingly agreed to look into it.  A day later she called back, apologetically, as she discovered, as I had stated, that the supervisor had my file (which at this point was about three inches thick with an enormous amount of redundant copies!)  She said she would "look into it" and get back to me.
Well, yesterday morning, during my normal routine of computer work, I poked my head into the bank account, preparing to pay a couple of bills, only to find we had a 0 balance!!!  They had frozen our accounts!!!  No warning, no call, no letter!!  After the maddening round of calling first Tallahassee, then transferred to Largo (and the prerequisite holds and transfers therein) I was referred to, YET AGAIN, another case manager!!  Again, I was met with incredulity and accusation, to which...I had FINALLY had enough and let him know EXACTLY how screwed up their office and systems were and that he needed to meet with his supervisor and figure this $#!+ out!
Chastised, he agreed to do so.  About an hour later I received a contrite call from him, yet again revealing that yes, in fact, she STILL had our file, and his move to freeze the accounts was in error!  Of course, I had to YET AGAIN submit MORE paperwork and need to schlepp into their offices in the morning YET AGAIN to sign papers to unfreeze the account!
As to be expected...I am a tad bit annoyed! 
BUT, not gonna let it git me down!  I still have a plethora of work to do (which unfortunately got shelved yesterday having to deal with THEM all day) and even more goodies to build.
SO, with frustration firmly simmering on a low boil in the back of my noggin' I'm gonna git to it!
See ya soon!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Where is Storm When You Need Her?

So it's Monday.
My winning streak of good mornings took a bit of a hit.  Nothing major, mind you, but expected.
Can't always be wine and roses.
Inconveniently, our bank had a nation wide snafu with their computer server, on Friday afternoon of ALL times, and all their ATM transactions were ineffectual.  So, it being Kaleb's birthday celebration this Sunday, it was a little less then impressive.  But thankfully, our children don't whine or complain about things like that, and he got all the parts to rebuild his bike, plus some extras and a new video game to drone out to (which he did until eleven!).
Saturday was a humdinger though, sending several bikes to new homes!  Even had one very insistent young lady who desperately wanted the Panama Jack cruiser we had, and called Sunday morning...early hoping we were open.  Not so much.  But Kaleb offered to go down and meet her, as she works all this week and was afraid she would miss out on it.  Obviously, she knows how things work around here, and it definitely would not have made it until next Saturday!  So, she rode off happy! 
This morning, I still have a swarm (or is it, flock?) of repairs to put up!  Two of which are FULL re-furbs!  I anticipate, they will be the bulk of my day, but who knows, maybe I can pound out one or two more newbies, if I can get in a grove.  Late night last night, for some reason just could NOT fall asleep to save my soul.  Probably drank to muh coffee, as it is Sunday and I think Angi and I went through three pots! 
See ya soon! 
Oh yea, we do have a couple more from Sat.  Check 'em out!

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ONLY $95.00!!!!
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ONLY $70.00!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

That Is NOT Where The Screwdriver Goes!

OK, so three days would be too much to ask.
No, had a good night sleep, nothing wrong there. Actually, Angi ad I passed out REAL early.  No, it was a wee bit of physical "ouchies".  Stupid, clumsy me, yesterday when doing a tear down, I went to take of a grip and ended up sending a flat head screwdriver harshly, and painfully into the palm of my hand. Thankfully it didn't go straight through, the bone stopped it.  OW, ow, ow!
Angi gave me a pain killer when I got home, and pretty much knocked me out!
So, somewhat gimpy, I'm fixing to tackle an ever growing plethora of newbies, not to mention several more repairs coming our way!  TWO of which a re FULL refurbs!  One is spectacular!  Seems a lucky couple did a dumpster dive and came up with a vintage Japanese import COMPLETE with a gorgeous set of Shimano 600's!  And a gent brought in a cruiser for a full rebuild, based on the recommendation of several people stating we were the ones to do work on his ride!  Thanks for the kudos folks!  We will do right by him!
Anywho!  I best get at it, heavy chores to do!
See ya all SOON!! 

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ONLY $70.00!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

More Flies With Sugar Then Vinegar, Sir!

Once again, awoke this morning in an AMAZING mood!  Angela and I had a rare treat last night!  All the kids went down for bed, relatively early and WITHOUT incident, quickly falling asleep.  She suggested we go in and relax and watch a movie, surprisingly recommending one of my favorites, "Pacific Rim".  Well, apparently our hectic work schedules of the last week (not to mention her brief bout of food poising (DO NOT go to the Subway in South Beach!)) took it's toll, and once she curled up on my lap, we both passed out quickly!  Rousing around 1.30 am, we stumbled off to bed, resulting in me NOT wanting to get up this morning!  However, after a brief conflict with my conscience (and a battle of wills of not wanting to leave her) I got up.
Thankfully, I was able to retain my smile!
So OK, I HAVE to tell you of a deliciously satisfying (bordering on vindication) "ten minute rule" yesterday! 
Later in the afternoon we had a gent come in, looking for a "cheaper" ride.  I pointed out the 7 speed Schwinn I had, literally, JUST put out.  He also was eyeing the 7 speed comfort cruiser we had. They were priced at $80 and $75, respectively.  After several test drives of each, he kept pointing out minor glitches.  By minor I mean, they were in fact NOT glitches.  He sighted that the seat position was wrong (?) for him, and the brakes did not grip well.  I had to point out that seat positions were adjustable and determined by the rider, and that we leave the brakes intentionally slack, as many folks will test ride them, and if we have the brakes TOO tight, they could inadvertently go over the handle bars if they unexpectantly broke to hard!  Those were adjustments we made to the taste of the person who bought it. After adjusting them, he tried once more, then came back and sighted that one of the valve stems on the comfort cruiser was slightly askew.  About 7 degrees off center!  Again I stated, "not a problem" easy to adjust.  He scoffed, said there was a lot of things that needed work, but he'd "do me a favor" and give me $50.00 for the Schwinn.
I politely declined his generous offer, and assured him, I would have no problem selling it for the very reasonable asking price.  He went on to point out the few defects in the paint and the fact that the tires were not NEW, and in a very benevolent fashion, with a smile of saintly generosity, offered $55.00.  To wit, I again politely declined, stating the fact that they were, in fact, USED bikes, and defects in paint and overall appearance were taken into account when we priced them.  And were I to put NEW tires on it (discarding a perfectly sound pair, with still, very good tread) the bike would then have to be sold for $125.00 to cover the cost.
He scoffed, stated in a rather derogatory tone "Good luck trying to sell them" and huffed out.
....three minuets later...
A very wonderful couple, Douglas and Linda came in.  Recently moved to the area, they were looking to join the throngs of folks taking in the Pinellas Trail.  They were interested in something easy and comfortable to get around.  After trying a couple others we had, they each took a turn on the Schwinn and Comfort cruiser, instantly falling in love, realizing they were perfect! 
As I said we would have no problem finding our rides new homes!
Also, had a very satisfying relocation of the three wheeler we had.  One of the local Pastors we work with came in and snagged it up for a gentleman in his church of special needs (although he did use the more socially incorrect term to describe him, which quite frankly, I still use myself!  Hey, I'm from up North (which his accent clearly revealed!)) 
Managed to put out only three, yesterday.  The aforementioned Schwinn, a ladies 26" "DAILY BANGER SPECIAL!!!" and a youngins' 20" converted MTB!  See pic's below! 
Today, aside from the normal deluge of repairs, I have still more newbies to work on, so I best get my keister in over drive! 
See ya soon!!

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ONLY $30.00!!
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ONLY $65.00!!
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

....Mr Bluebird On My Shoulder....!

Nothing quite like waking up in the morning in a GOOD mood!  Doesn't happen to me often, but this morning was nice. Had a very relaxing evening, quite enjoyable. Woke up early to get Kaleb ready for school and once he was up and moving went back to bed.  But, as I had a cup of coffee while waiting for him to become ambulatory I just laid there shifting around.  Afraid I would disturb Angela who was sound asleep I got out of bed and enjoyed even MORE coffee and several games of Tetris out on the front stoop.  The cool morning air, the RARE silence permeating the home only contributed to the Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy mood.
Got an early jump on the day, as I was already getting calls after 8 am, and have already done two repairs, a warranty call (minor) and picked up a truckload of NEWBIES!
YAY!!!  Even MORE to work on!  Doing the Happy Pants Dance!
Perhaps my jovial demeanor is due, in some small part, to the fact that I ACTUALLY got everything accomplished yesterday I set out to do!  Amazing, right?  I know!  Finished up the Raleigh M-400, which came out A LOT better then I could have hoped!  Took a while to set up the right replacement crank set (the original was the WORSE row of Shark Fins I have EVER seen!) but the end result is SWEEET!  Also, the HA-YUGE Ross Cross country came out REAL spiffy!  Sure, there are some challenges in the paint, but mechanically she is SAH-WEEEET!
The place is really starting to fill up again!  I know, sounds strange to sound like I am complaining about selling everything so quick, but it looks bad when folks come in to look and it's more vacant then an ethics lecture at the Republican Convention! 
(these are the jokes folks!  Catch up!)
Today, having even more pieces of candy to play with, it's anyone's guess which direction I'll be going in.  For starters, I'm going to put  a Zydeco/Punjabi mix on Pandora, and do some head pumping while I dig through the new pile!
Already got folks outside digging through them! 
See ya all soon! 
Oooo, 'fore I fergit! Check out the swells below!

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ONLY $135.00!!

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ONLY $170.00!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Most indubitably! 
Yesterday, while slow on cash register time, was chock full of visits, GREAT conversations, a lot of sweet new goodies coming in AND some awesome new builds!!  And of course, as every day, several folks paying us the patronage of repairs!  SAH-WEEEEET! 
Put out a sharp looking Schwinn Trailway hybrid, a FULL rebuild on a very clean GT MTB, that we tricked out a little hybrid-ish! 
We picked up a soon to be NICE Raleigh M50 MTB.  Lightweight frame, she's in the bay now, and about to be outfitted with a NEW set of Shimano Deore Rapid Fire shifters.  I was SO lucky to have an 8 speed set hanging on the wall.  Now I'm putting them to use FINALLY!! 
No, I have not forgotten about the recumbent.  It's just that...well...given the amount of rustication they require...I being a little....procrastinant (is that a word?) 
PLUS, I still have a few easier rides to build.  One, is a HUGE older Ross Touring road bike.  I mean HA-YUGE!!!  The top bar comes up to mid torso on me!  BUT, I'm going to trick it out as a "Cross-Country touring bike!  Gonna be slick!
So,'s a little tale from yesterday, that, once again shows just how swell we really are!
Gent came in, somewhat downtrodden yesterday.  Recently moved/retired here from upstate California.  Back in '81 (or '86?) he bought a Trek 760, new.  Took real good care of it, but it is showing it's weathered skin.  He wants to keep the bike, has always enjoyed it, so he figured he'd have it overhauled.  So...he went....elsewhere!  AHHHHHH!!!!!  Of course the gambit of responses he got from various other shops in the area ranged from "oh, this bike is not worth it, why don't you buy a NEW bike?  Here this one is only a kagillion dollars!  We have financing!"  to over
$350.00 in new parts ALONE, not including labor.  Well, distraught, he was heading home from one of the other closer spots and happened to notice us while sitting at the light.  Swinging around, we had a very nice chat, I walked him through his options and after settling on a full refurb with brake shoes and cables, he'll get out for under $130.00!  Needless to say, his faith in humanity had been fully restored!  That's us, the Peace Corps of Bike Shops!! 
OKEY DOKEY (to quote my hero, Hannibal Lecter) on with work!
See ya soon! 

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So lightweight and fast...couldn't get a clear picture!
ONLY $150.00!!

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GT Mountain Hybrid Thingy!
ONLY $110.00!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

OOOOOOOO! More and More GOODIES!!!!

Yesterday was a real hoot a nanny! 
OK.  Enough euphemisms!
SO, yesterday was another early morning repair fest, then it was on to builds!  Thanks to one of our regular scrappers that brought in three gems!  The best of the lot was a really sweet classic Giant hybrid!  VERY NICE!  Also picked up a real nice adult three wheeler!  Check them out below as well as a very good condition "DAILY BANGER SPECIAL!!"  in the form of a ladies 26" Mountain Bike!  Today, beyond the influx of repairs that came in at the end of the night (thank you ALL for the continued "security") it will be back to builds!  Got a very nice GT MTB in the rack (which I'm going to have to scoot over for a wee bit) and then one more easy one (a REAL "kitchy" late 80's ladies MTB, the really brightly colored ones!) then on to the recumbents we got in.  They need a LOT of work! 
Oh wait, no...switch that.  ALSO got in a really sharp looking, newer Schwinn Urban's I'm gonna bang out first!
OK, I have my day figured out, best get at it!
See ya soon!

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ONLY $65.00!!
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ONLY $165.00!!!
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ONLY $180.00!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Zip In, Zip Out!

OK, just boppin' in for a brief second! 
Been all out tis morning since the get go, with a slew of repairs coming in that I have to jump right on as I have the bevy of goodies I picked up on Saturday that I am dying to sink my teeth into!  Saturday was no stranger to busy, and frankly I could have sent a lot more rides to new homes, if I just had more of them!  Just about everything I put out on Friday was gone first thing!  Again, leaving me with only a few to show!  But not a problem, as I am going to try to burn through the aforementioned goodies toot sweet! 
Also, going to acquiesce to the need, and haul down some of the "Needs WAY to much work" bikes from the house this evening, and see if I can't get some of them running again!  One in particular, the motorized cruiser we have had there for a couple of years, I'm going to stretch my mechanics muscles and see if I can get it up and running again!
OK, as I said, brief!  Now, on to work! 

YAY!!!  Side note!  Snowbird Season has arrived!  We mark it around here by the arrival of Mr. Dave!  He holds the distinction of being our very FIRST repair customer!  In fact, he is responsible for us DOING repairs for folks.  Yes, sad...we never considered doing it, just sold bikes!  Call me shortsighted!  Enjoy the season folks, and get out there and RIDE!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Me No Like Cold Gray Saturdays!!

so...yea...overcast a gray.
fun, fun, fun! 
NICE ladies Schwinn hybrid AND 7 speed comfort cruiser...which are done and out (pic below) and...DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!
For the first EIGHT YEARS...EVER for us....
And if THAT ain't enough, got another two wheel recumbent as well!
TRUE the need some work, but it's all superficial stuff.  the bodies and components are in top notch condition!!!!  Those go in the rack Monday morning!!!
I'm also going to take a second to thank a couple of special friends, who have worked REAL hard to get me through the last few months!  Linda, thanks for FINALLY coming in to pay me a visit!  Nice to put a face to the voice!  And my most recent savior, a lady of GREAT wisdom, Kyra!  I do so hope I will be able to put a face to your voice, soon!  Capricorns and Leo's...very complimentary!
All right good people!  You all have a splendid weekend, and remember, the thought and offer of a hug and a shoulder, is almost as good as the real thing!

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ONLY $75.00!!
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ONLY $120.00!!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Trash to Treasure...just mind the bumps!

So, this will be an early morning "quickie" as I am bound and determined (and jazzed up on java juice) to get my bay back in order AND put away the plethora of spare parts I have littering the floor in buckets!  I have been so wham bam busy with repairs and new builds that it looks as disorganized as fern garden after Poison Ivy got angry at Batman!
Well, the sweet Schwinn MTB I put out yesterday didn't last past the morning hours, as a gent, having been procrastinating about getting on two wheels again, came in and snagged it up!  Of course, my morning was filled with coming up to speed on the repairs (thanks to ALL the wonderful folks for doing their part to pay the rent!) then DOVE into the newbies!  With ONE minor hiccup!  The men's Mongoose MTB I have had sitting here for a few days, finally made it to the rack, only to discover that it suffered from one of the worse ailments a bike can encounter (and one, unfortunately I ALWAYS forget to check for  before I BUY the bikes) and that is the dreaded curse of "rusted solid seat post"  ARRGH!!!   Yep.  When a seat post rusts, it fuses to the frame, and Thor himself couldn't yank it out!  SOOOO, needless to say, it became a parts bike!  BUT, that's not a bad thing as it turns out, as the classic Hunter I got in, came as a stripped down single speed, with a bum rear wheel.  The parts I yanked off were a perfect compliment to turn it into a sweet seven speed! 
I also managed to put out an ultra light Redline Mini BMX racer!  And in half an episode of MST3K!!!  (the "Leech Woman" to be precise!) 
Unfortunately, the only new ride I got in yesterday was a little 12 incher, but it's still a cool looking one!  It even has the "vroom, vroom" sound effect hand grip!
As every day, the three stooges were here in the afternoon (Logan, Owen and Rozy) and in the interest of doing something new, having recently watched the movie "The Little Rascals" they were inspired to build their own "Soap Box Racer".  Owen and Rozy inquired if they could go through the scrap pile out back and "engineer" one (yes, their words).  They were QUITE the industrious pair, and actually went through three prototypes until coming to the below success (well...they still have a few kinks to work out) I was quite proud of their tenacity! 
OK, I best get a move on, and clean up after myself! 
See ya soon!

The two proud "engineers" and their trash find creation...LITERALLY!!
"turbines to speed!"
ONLY $140.00!!
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ONLY $95.00!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Is it Friday yet?

Daylight Savings Time ALWAYS messes me up!  For some reason I have been going under the assumption all morning that today is Friday!  ARRGH!  Also, Angi is taking today off from work as she starts a Holiday gig tomorrow with our friend Daniels design company.  If she hadn't, she'd be working eleven days straight.  So last night we did stay up on a Thursday "late night" of relaxation. 
Yesterday was another "catch up with repairs" day!  Thanks to all for the faith you put in us!  Only one straggler left to finish up this morning, as I took a little time away from repairs to try and get some newbies put out!  As it so happens, was only able to finish one!  UGH!  This one was one of those "buy the bike, ride it for two days then put it in the back yard for two years" kind of bikes!  The body was pristine and the tires had NO wear on them, but the elements wreaked havoc on the other metals!  SO, it took a SERIOUS tear down, and variety of replacements to give it a new life (not to mention a much needed shower at the end of the night due to stagnant water trapped inside!  ICK!!) Then it was back to repairs, in a flurry of activity trying to get them finished up! 
Once I'm caught up today, it's back to the newbies, as I have a sweet vintage Peugeot AND a Hunter that I SOOO want to make pretty again!  Hubba, Hubba! 
Short story!  One of those "It takes all kinds of folks" kind. 
Yesterday, had a sweet, blue haired grandma type come in looking for an appropriate step through type of bike to help her get back on the road.  Seriously, she was like "Mrs Doubtfire" only not as masculine!  As we talked, and I assured her I would keep an  eye out for her needs, she started to peruse the knick knacks we have on the wall, and lighted upon the variety of "Firefly" paraphernalia that's there, and her eyes lit up! She almost squealed with delight, and exclaimed I LOVE that show, and admitted she always found Jayne ruggedly handsome.  Upon hearing her interest, I proceeded to show off the remainder of our goodies and in a most "ungrandmotherly" way she put a faux serious look on her face and exclaimed "I aim to misbehave!"  Oh it was SOOO precious! 
Fox!  You SUCK for ever cancelling it!
Back to work I go.
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho!'s the Schwinn!

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ONLY $110.00!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Adventures In Babysitting!

A wee bit of a late start for me this morning!  Had to send Kaleb in to open up as I was sidelined just as I was preparing to get ready to eventually proceed to motivate to get dressed in order to prepare to leave. 
(heh, heh...figure that sentence out)
As I was milking the last of my coffee, I (get this!) get a text from Elijah...who was IN the house!  He informed me there was plumbing issues in the kids bathroom!  Apparently, getting off the sofa, to walk the thirty feet to the front door, was a wee bit of a chore! 
At this point, having discovered the almost full sink, and the rapidly rising toilet, I sprang into Plumber Man action!!  Having dismantled the P-trap on the sink, I discovered the contents of half a roll of toilet paper and a selection of Legos had been crammed down the top pipe, requiring the use of a highly technical, master craftsman designed, specialty tool!  OK, so it was a bent coat hanger!  ANYWAY, having freed the multi colored plastic blocks, I reattached the pipes, and set on the toilet, with a broken plunger.  Oh, the plunger part works, it's just the handle had been broken in two, so you have about a foot left to hold onto, bringing your hands VERY close (and with vigorous plunging INTO) poo water!!  Once completed, I cleaned up the mess, and turning around, realized just how much of a disaster area the girls room was!  I do NOT know how they do it, but Angi and I had just cleaned the place two days before, and it now looked like we hadn't done ANYTHING!  SO, needless to say, Plumber Man was replaced by "Anal-retentive Man" and I cleaned that as well! 
Now, securely back in the sanctuary of the shop, I am back at it! Thanks to all the folks for the repairs they brought in yesterday!  I got all of them done but one, which is going into the rack wen I finish this up.
Also, yesterday was Christmas!  A hobbyist brought me in some SWEET goodies!  He is moving onto new projects so he was looking to liquidate those things "in the way".  Not only did we get a real sweet "Grocery Runner" in the form of a vintage Bianchi Sport, but a semi built, classic Peugeot road bike (with the split top tube!) but also a bucket full of loose ends, and some sweet vintage parts!  I was like a kid in a candy store, but far to busy at that point to really delve into them!  I finished up the Bianchi, and put her out (pic below) and hope to get to the other SOON!  I have two MTB's I am TRYING to put together as well, and a really sweet "Old School" Hunter (looks a lot like an old Jamis, Boss cruiser) so I am going to be a busy little bee today!  SAH-WEEET!!
So, with that, I best be on the go! 
Talk to ya soon!

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ONLY $90.00!!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Makes Me Chuckle, EVERYTIME!

So, finished up the Sony Walkman Solarspeed Fixie Flip Hub "Scratch Build" after a knuckle busting three hours!  And yes....that Sony Walkman.  Named after the forbearer of the MP3 player!  HA HA!  I take it down off the rack, take a pic to list it, then wheel it to the front of the store and lean it up against the window (in the really BIG empty space that USED to hold a lot of bikes!) and as I do this the saddest/funniest ten minute rule kicks in!
A gent is coming into the shop as I do this looking for an older road bike to turn into a fixie.  I show him the Sony, he picks it up (LIGHT as a feather) and says it's PERFECT and he'll take it.  I say sure, and go to ring him up, but he turns to the door and says "I'll come in and pick it up tomorrow".  Of course, as it is THAT time of the year, I assure him (out of courtesy NOT high pressure salesmanship) that is won't be here tomorrow, but he's more then welcome to come back and see if we have anything else he may like.  He then gives me a raised eye brow, chuckles and says dismissively "Sure it will be here" and walks out headed South down the plaza.  As soon as he turns out the door, two more gents, coming from the North of the building turn into our door (3 seconds earlier they would have bumped into each other!)  They, too are looking for an old school road bike to turn into a fixie.  Again I show them the Sony, and one of them road tests it and LOVES it, and drop the cash on the counter and leave with it.  About two minuets later (I have not left the counter yet) the first gentleman, on his way back North from the convenience store is walking buy with his purchases and as he passes, smiling contently, he glances in the window and does a double take.  Now the smile is gone, and he's looking intently in the store front for something.  Not seeing it, he walks back in and asks "Where did the Sony go?!"  To which (trying so hard to NOT sound smug) I simply state "I just sold it".  The look of incredulity on his face was precious as he stammered out "B..but, you just fnished it!  I had wanted to buy it!"  Surprisingly sounding somewhat annoyed at me.  All I could do was shrug "As I said, it would sell today." 
Seriously.  I am SO not kidding when I say, if you see something you like NEVER hesitate to but it when you see it!

Here's the gem in question!

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Starting With A Clean Slate....Unfortunately! it's SERIOUS!
Currently I have NOTHING adult size to sell!  It's not like I didn't pick up anything this weekend, it's just that they already sold! I mean even BEFORE they got in the rack!  I've got that Sony RB, I'll be turning into a single, and had meant to get to it Saturday, but so many fine folk came into visit and peruse the empty shop, that I had no time to work on it! 
Yes, anyone who has been reading this blog for a while, knows we go through this every year at this time, and yes constantly selling out is a GOOD problem to have, I just REALLY don't like folks coming in and looking at empty space! 
(YAY!  While I was typing got in two more newbies!!!)
True, the store looks tidy...but c'mon! 
Well, this weekend was a hoot. One of the other things that happens around this time of the year birthdays start to hit the house!  We have two in September and FOUR in November!  Unfortunately, both Logan and Kaleb's parties had to be postponed from the later half of September, due to the money crunch, but on Saturday Angi and I took some cash from the coffers and picked up some stuff for Logan.  And we got him EXACTLY what he has been dying for but hadn't been able to find.  A Dungeons and Dragons starter kit!  He squealed, hugged the box and started to cry with joy.  It SO sweet!  We had to stop him from running to his room and diving in to it so we could have cake.  Yes, the boy is definitely a "Gamer",  I have to give him a great deal of credit, though.  As far as Magic (yes, we got him more of tat too) he spends an incredible amount of time studying it, and has become a very masterful deck builder (he kicks my but almost every time we play!) so I envision him becoming skillful dungeon master as well!
This morning was a BEAUTIFUL start to the day, regardless of the cold weather.  Being daylight savings time, we gained an hour.  Waking up, as it turns out early, resulted in Angi and I being able to enjoy some quiet time before the kids woke up.  Very peaceful! 
So, this morning, having gotten my chores out of the way early, I'm going to dive into the rides and start filling up the floor again!
See y'all soon!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Post Sugar Crash!!

Last night went off without a hitch! 
Well, OK, that's not entirely true, but nothing compared to the normal pre-candy grab we are used too!  Really, the only slight glitch was that when we went out to buy costumes last weekend we greatly underestimated exactly how big Miranda had gotten.  We were still thinking size four, but she's more of a six now!  Daddy tried to squeeze her in, but it took Mommy's skill to make her fit!  Angi did another great job of mostly hand crafted costumes.  Aside from Miranda going as a 60's hipster, and Izabella as a very cute "Batgirl",  the rest had inspired dud's from the access of previous years selections.  Owen went as a mutant Velocoraptor, Logan was "Leatherface" and Rozy, "Queen of the Dead" and Mom went out in a well pieced together, almost Steam Punk outfit.   However, this year marked the passage of time as Elijah was not there, opting for even more time with his girlfriend, elsewhere.  And Kaleb decided he was going to sit this one out and watch scary movies while handing out candy.  It may have had something to do with the fact that last week,  he was thrown off his bike twice, causing quite a bit of road rash, bumps and bruises, and stiff legs.  He's not a little kid anymore, but he still insists on riding around on 20" BMX, swearing by the nine tooth rear ends, which I have been trying to tell him, are $#!+!!!  Maybe now he'll listen, and get back on the classic Jamis hybrid we have as a spare! 
After a quick round of take out pizza, we hit the neighborhood.  It was kind of quite this year though.  Not many houses decorated or lit up, and very few groups of people in attendance.  Sad.  But the kiddo's got their fill, and after a few blocks, legs were getting tired, baby was getting cranky so we called it a night.  Of course, Momma, as is tradition, gathered up the bags, doled out a couple of hand full's, and put the rest up.  We learned our lesson a LONG time ago, that as the children rarely get sweets or junk, if they gorge themselves...well, we are forced to go through a LOT of towels, and several baths cleaning up the messes they make rejecting the overloaded tummies!
Yesterday at the shop was a hoot as well!  First, in a very RARE case a young lady returned to us to snag up the Giant Simple Seven she had looked at, and LOVED the day before, only to find it still here!  WOW!!  This was one of the times where the "Ten Minute Rule" had not taken effect!  Also, the vintage three speed found a new home, proving yet again, that a bike will ALWAYS find it's rider!  It takes a very special person to appreciate the appeal of old steel!  The "not quite so lovely" 20" three wheeler found not only a home BUT a NEW purpose!  The folks buying this one were from "Circus Soleil" and will be repainting it and using it in a production number!  SWEET!  Also...there was one other that left, but man!  Damn if I can't remember what it was!  So sad!
The end result from two incredibly busy days is...I only have ONE adult size bike left to sell!!
Yep.  This time of year it's ALWAYS the same!  I pray that someone brings me in a truckload today!!
I do, however, have ONE bright spot.  Had  a gent come in and provide me with a really gorgeous set of alloy road wheels and tires with the rear being a flip hub!  And MAN are these wheels TRUE!!!  I can now finally finish up the Sony frame I have had sitting here waiting for just a set of wheels!
SO, without further adieu, I'm getting right on that!
See ya soon...and hopefully you'll be bringing me some bikes I will EAGERLY buy!!