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Friday, July 31, 2015

Build It...and They Shall Come

Okay, so I usually use a quote a little more obscure but that one just fit perfect.  As the newbies are slowly trickling back in, and find their way to the sale floor, they are moving out right quick!  The Huffy cruiser didn't make it until the end of the day yesterday, and the Jamis left to it's new home in the company of the Trek Big Boy cruiser Kaleb had just finished up!  Check out the pic below, the gent took a couple for a test ride, but not before snatching up our Thor mask and doing his own tribute to The God of Thunder!   Kaleb did a full repaint on it, but did make a couple errors in it's prep work.  He tried a more ghetto style repaint, and I had to chastise him to strip it ALL the way down to frame.  He didn't like that much, but knows what's good for him and did it anyway!  AH-HA!!  To all who have left messages and comments please forgive my apparent rudeness for not responding back, I will get to it, I promise! As of this moment though, I am seeing vapor trails!  Just came off the 27 hour stretch, and even though I had a brief nap this morning from 3 AM-4.30AM, I'm starting to feel loopy!  I came up to see how things were going, and am very happy to announce that Angi and the boys have things well in hand!  We picked up another donation of a really clean looking ladies 24" MTB, and three more for DBS stock.  Well, two of those look more like parts bikes, but the remaining one will be pretty nice when I'm done with her.  It's an older Roadmaster, but with some tweaking...they can make for a pretty cool cheapie cheap urban commuter.  Yea, I know, Roadmaster? Seriously, they are not ALL bad!  This one's least it has THAT going for it!
As Angi has had some time on her hands she has completely revamped and is updating our page on Facebook, so if you have the urge for a more up to date glimpse into the nefarious goings on around here, check it out!  Apparently, by the numbers of likes and views folks are quite happy she's back to keeping it up!
Speaking of nefarious... I met one of the regulars at the bakery today, oddly enough, police don't just patron donut shops, contrary to popular myth.  Turns out, she is a neighbor of ours, just around the corner, and it took me a moment to recognize her.  At first, she couldn't remember me, but all I had to say was "you know my son...Kaleb"  I got one raised eyebrow at that, as a knowing look came over her face and she said "Oh yea!  You own the bicycle shop, right!"  Heh....sad that so many of the local police are on a first name basis with him.  But of course, she would remember him, as he once sideswiped her cruiser with his bike! 
Oh...the stories I could tell!
SO, anyway!  I best sign off for now, as I'm going to head home and rest my brain or a bit so that I can be in here tomorrow afternoon and bang out some new rides! 
Until then!  See Ya!!




Thursday, July 30, 2015

Oh the Joy's of Summer!!

And isn't it a LOVELY morning!!
WOWZERS!!  Awoke this morning to... NO rain!  Thought the world might be coming to an end!  Well, the inevitable has happened and my body and mind are starting to adjust to the new schedule, and just like my earlier years as a young man working long shifts, the infamous "second wind" kicks in around midnight!  OY!! This is great if you need the added boost of energy to get through to the end of the shift, but that coupled with the invigorating ride home (really, if you want a NICE ride, go out around 2 am!  The weather is so cool, and it's quiet, just make sure you ride on the right side of the road!  HA!!  Little topical inside joke there!) wakes you up.  Which is NOT what you want to have happen when you have to be awake in the morning!  The end result is, parking my keister on the porch once I've had my shower, and try and relax enough to get tired again!  SHEESH!  Hit the sheets about 4 AM this morning and stared at the ceiling fan for a awhile until I drifted off.  It helps that it's quiet, and I just listen to the rhythm of Angi's breathing.  Now I know why the babies were always calm when she held them!
ANYWAY, waxing nostalgic there for a moment, but that too is inevitable.  The only ill side effect to working such long hours is the separation from the family.  You wouldn't in a million years think that one would miss the chaos! 
SO, yesterday was, sadly, another one of relative silence.  Yet again, the rain was horrific, and in talking to many folks I think the collective opinion is "we ain't doin' nuthin until this crud goes away!"  SO, we're just anchoring in for the long haul, crossing our combined fingers and hope for the best!  YUCK!
We did finish up the Huffy Cruiser, which came out real sweet, check the pic below, and picked up a Trek cruiser today that is currently in the bay being banged away on!  Needed a repaint, bus is a nice BIG BOY cruiser!  Capped it off with an ultra comfy cruiser seat to boot! 
So, in closing...WE NEED MORE RIDES!!!  Well, that and a string of pleasant sunny days to get folks out of hibernation and back on the trails!  All chant with me..."rain, rain go away, come again some other day..."  You think it'll work? 
Gotta jet!  Finish up a couple small things than head out for the 24 hour stretch!
See ya soon!

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ONLY $85.00!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back and Forth!

Well, OK! That's a little better!
Started the day off with gray clouds and smattering of rain but with a break in the water works later in the morning folks bravely ventured from their cocoons and tentatively tested the waters. First, we picked up a gem of a classic ladies Jamis Boss cruiser. We love these rides, built tough with a real nice look, and comfortable ride. In real sweet shape as well! Also, thanks to the gent with a donation of a real nice Huffy cruiser, men's, that harkens back in time with some classic cruiser feelings! We'll have that one done tomorrow so be looking out for it! Don't think it will last! Also, finished up the 20" bmx we converted to a standard drive. This one, the boys did, and learned REAL FAST just how SERIOUS Dad is about the quality of work we except. I almost hit them with a hammer when I found rusty lug nuts on the back wheel!  Except for the front brakes being slightly loose, it  was mechanically fine, they just lack an eye for the finer details. I also had to threaten their ability to reproduce if they didn't keep the work bay clean and organized!
Later in the day, Angi sent the boys 24" MTB to a new home, and they had a few repairs come in for me to hammer away at tomorrow, then the rains came back, and that was it!
Now, I know things have been crazy lately, and I've had several inquiries as to just WHAT my other jobs are, and where. So OK first is the warehouse, or manufacturers actually.  Douglas Machine Corp, in Clearwater. They build industrial dish washers, some of which are longer than a city bus! LITERALLY! This is AMERICAN labor and product folks, shipped all over the world! I know, one of the ones I cleaned tonight was going to Vietnam.  If you've been in a restaurants kitchen, they probably have one. My job is to do the finish clean, sand blast parts, build shipping pallets, ETC. Best part of the job, aside from the challenge of exceeding my work sheet, is buzzing around on the fork lift. Yes, I'm a child, so sue me!  There all real good people and the owner comes out to the work floor at the beginning of EVERY shift and personally greets each worker, by name, each time!
My next job is at 20 Sheckles Bread on Drew street in Clearwater. They are also great folks and I'm in charge of the front. Very laid back, we have great fun not only talking with the customers who LOVE the food, but also hanging out and chatting up. The owner, Marney. Is very open to input, takes a great deal of pride in what she does, and I think she is convinced to try a Wasabi and ginger bread thingy they call "littles".  These things are to DIE FOR folks!  They DO NOT skimp on the fillings like so many places, and I secretly pray each day they don't sell out because I get to take home the leftovers! One of those littles is lunch all on its own!
Okay, back to the shop!
We still need more rides folks! This rain will end soon, then everyone will be itching to get out and ride again, and we want to get them going! But, weneed bikes to do that! If'n you got onr to spare, we'd be more'n happy to take it off yer hands!
I'm going to TRY and be up there a little earlier tomorrow, finish up that cruiser, and fine tune a few things with Angi and the boys, so i hope to see you there!
Jump to today!  The Huffy is almost done, after having impromptu store meeting, and they are back at it.  Had to do a little running about to get more mundane tasks done, and finishing up the make ready's!  Then off again, HOPEFULLY the massive gray cloud bank that just drifted in, will by pass us all together.  I don't want to show up a drowned rat!
OKEY DOKEY!  We'll see ya soon! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

F @#ing Ben Affleck YouTube

...Build it 300 cubits, by 500 cubits....

I was just going through the last few weeks of posts and couldn't believe how many times I witch and complain about the what's one more time!?
Seriously though, I don't mind it personally, I quite enjoy riding in it, love the sounds of a good thunderstorm, lightning flashes... ETC.  Just hate what it does to business.  It has rained ALL day! It's now 2.30 in the morning and it still hasn't lightened up!  By the time I got home from work, I really didn't even need a shower (don't get grossed out, I know the difference between clean and just wet, so I did it anyway)  Good thing my biker bag is water tight.
Needless to say, today at the shop was a bust! Oh, we kept busy. Got around to cleaning up the back, behind the shop as Angi went out the other day and had a fit about all the clutter and debris, and we painted over some graffiti that was recently perpetrated. Nothing vulgar, thankfully, just messy. We had a nice lady come in with her sons BMX, a hyper with the 25/9 gearing for a once over. They're moving up north and didn't want to put alot into it. Unfortunately, the rear was fried, along with the crank bearings, so it turned out not to be worth it. She donated the remains, and the boys got on a conversion to standard gearing, which is a lot more reliable anyway.  We also had a drop at our doorstep of a girls BMX, they hopefully finished up as well, and I'll give them the once over tomorrow with a stern QC!  Later in the day, another gent came in with a MTB to sell, and Angi knew we needed more goodies, but after going through it, discovered everything was rusted solid, and was to far gone to save. Sad face! Like I said, when it rains, no one here wants to do anything!
Oy! Rain just picked up again!
Wish I had so much more to tell you, but gosh ah mighty, this time of the year... not so much!
I did, however, get my fork lift certification today, so now I don't have to wait and go find the shop forman to move stuff for me, thats nice! And they're finally starting to give me enough work to keep me busy. Thank God! I LOATHE busy work! Give me a fat checklist, and I'm a happy camper!  Also, figured out what was wrong with the sandblaster, the flow regulator was only half open, so I cranked it all the way up, and it didn't clog or stop once in three hours!
Yes, it was a good night, but, I still like the bakery better. I figured out why too.  It's like I'm working with my mother and my sister! Its uncanny! Both the women who run it are Yankees, and have so many of my families traights, its scary!  I was informed on Sunday that as of September tenth, I'd be basically managing the place, so it will be interesting to see what that will entail.
Ok. I best hit the sack now, but hope to see you folks tommorow.
Good night!
Or morning...whichever.
OK, now it's morning (well...later morning) and the shop is brimming with activity!  Yea...right!  No, they're trying their best to keep busy, but as I awoke this morning and came out to get my coffee and guessed it, it was STILL raining!!!
There was one real sweet thing though, Suzanne has been a little lost during this transition, and doesn't go to sleep until I get home, and then want's to play as soon as I arrive home.  I learned real quick to remove my shoes outside before I come in, as trying to sit down on the stool when I come into the house, is impossible, as she is climbing and wriggeling all over me.  Now, normally, she has her own sleeping spot on the couch, but last night, after we played for a bit, I had to turn in, and seemingly satisfied she had enough "Daddy Time" she climbed onto her spot, I gave her a kiss goodnight and went to bed.  At some point last night, she made her way into the bedroom, laid down on the matt on my side of the bed and went to sleep.  This morning, as Angi and the boys were getting ready to head out, they came into the bedroom to get her, and she stubbornly refused to go!  Oh it was SOOO sweet!  Once I got up (and almost absent mindedly stepped on her climbing out of bed) she was once again all over me.  She was much more chipper going into work this morning!  For those people who claim animals don't have souls or emotions, I whole heartidly DISSAGREE!!
All right, before I sign off, Angi was checking her Facebook this morning and caught a link to an absolutely HILLARIOUS video on Youtube you HAVE to check out!!!  It's proof positive, that us NOT having Cable means we sometimes miss out on some good entertainment!!  Now, forgive the tagline of this video, but the title tells it all " F@#&ing Ben Affleck"  I posted it after this Blog, and I'll tell you, it had me in stitches!!!  And the number of cameo's in this thing is MIND BOGGLING!! you have to check it out!
All right, just got in a couple freebies, so I'm going to jump on them!
See ya soon!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Keeping Occupied On A Rainy Day!

Hidey ho good neighbors!
In lieu of the torrential rain yesterday that impeded the crew from arriving on time to open yesterday, Miss Angela made the executive decision to open today for awhile. A good thing too! Turns out, the morning into early afternoon was GORGEOUS! Folks were out in droves! Even from my vantage point at the bakery, I saw dozens of folks taking advantage of the fine weather to get out and enjoy the sun while it lasted.  Not only did they bang out a few repairs, but the sweet 21 speed comfort cruiser we finished up yesterday found a new home! Proof positive we NEEDED new blood! The gent who snagged it up has apparently been watching these pages looking for something new! Even before he hit Craigslist, he heard me talk about it and was set on getting it. We LOVE them folks!
Now,  by the humor of fate, the sun, of course did not last, and as we were fixing to close up the bakery, being laden down with three over stuffed bags of left over treats for the family, the rain came back as I was climbing on Greedo!
Good thing I double bagged the treats in plastic!  Once I got to the house to check in, the urge to clean kicked in!  Thing is, Elijah who is on house duty, does not feel the need to expand his responsibilities beyond caring for the girls, to include the necessity of keeping the house neat!  As the rains were making the round about and heading back, Angi had decided to close up and make a mad dash to the house to escape the downpour...they didn't make it.  They showed up like drowned rats, but were all in good spirits.  Usually such an inequity would leave Angi a little perturbed, but she was merely laughing it off!  Ahh!  The bliss of a busy day had swept over her.  As we stood chatting on the porch, waiting for her to dry off a bit, Owen, who was already wet from the ride home darted through us and flung himself out into the monsoon.  Momentarily, I had the urge to command him back into the house, but a reminiscent little boys voice in the back of my head, taking note of the fact that there was no thunder or lightning, figured "what the hell" let him have his fun!  FURTHERMORE that little voice pointed out, in no uncertain terms, that it had been quite some time that I myself had indulged in the simple pleasures of playing in the rain and puddles, SO, with no preamble I let out with a juvenile Comanche war cry and charged out into it!  This of course, took Angi totally by surprise, and her laughter alerted the remainder of the little guys inside that something "Fun" was happening.  Coming to the door, they all gaped in shock that normally resolute Dad was playing!  Noticing  them staring at me in shock, I summoned them with a wave of my hand, and that's all it took to open the flood gates and spur them on to join us!  What followed was an hour or so of frolicking about, playing in the heavy current of flood waters down the sides of our road, and "rainstorm basketball".  Oh man!  It was the most fun we have had in MONTHS!  Sadly, I eventually had to play the "responsible parent" as not only was I hearing the rumbling of thunder, but the rain was starting to get really cold!  Didn't want to cap off the fun with a round of summer time flu!!  Once dried off and resuming with the finishing up of cleaning duties, I set about cooking them a very special dinner!  We had several left over loafs of chocolate/raspberry bread (LOADED with chunks of chocolate) that had not risen properly but would slice out into perfect "French Toast Strips".  That, with a side of breakfast sausage was all we needed!  FILLING!  Well, they had the French toast, I just stuck with sausage and fried eggs.  Notice how when you hit a certain point in your life "sweet" just isn't all that appealing?
Of course, last week was not without it's growing pains.  As much as we are trying to adjust to the new schedule, some of the regulars around here are doing the same.  Having grown accustomed to seeing me shambling about each day, there have been a few a little "put off" at seeing a "lady" behind the counter when they come in, and ask "Where's the old man?"  I reiterate folks, even though she rarely dabbles in the repairs, she knows about bikes, as I have pointed out, she was the life's blood of this little enterprise for the first five years.  It was only due to the unexpected arrival of our two youngest that made her have to retreat from the front desk. But now, with the five year old headed to school next year, Miranda being the only home bound one left, Angi can dedicate the time back into the shop.  Believe me when I say, as far as running this place like a clock, and being way more chipper than me most mornings, y'all are probably better off anywho!  BUT, for those of you needing my input, no worries!  After surviving last week, relatively unscathed, I have a better idea of what I am going to be able to handle, SO my shop hours are M-Th 11-3, Friday? (depends on if I slept or not) and Sat 2.30-6.  If ya need me, I'll be there! 
Today, I hit the pavement and headed up here just as the sprinkles were coming.  Joy.  There's no telling what the day will bring, but we got some cleaning to do, anywho!  OH, speaking of cleaning!  We have a plethora of little kiddo bikes that have been out back for awhile, as until recently, we just didn't have the room to display.  BUT, now, as we speak, the boys are cleaning them up and we are going to have a blow out sale to get them to new homes!  With the new school year rapidly approaching (don't fool yourselves into thinking you have a lot of time left) you KNOW your kiddos are going to need a ride!  These little guys range from 12"-20" and we are letting them go for TEN BUCKS A POP!!!  Get on in here and snag 'em up while they last!! 
AND, PLEASE if y'all have any rides your looking to unload, come on in and show us your wares!  We SOOOOOOOOOOO need the stock!
All right, that's about it for today!  Hope ta see y'all soon!!

LORD!  I love their dedication, but sometimes you cannot test drive ALL the bikes.....

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Back in The HOUSE!!!

HEY!!  Welcome back Folks! 
OK, getting use to the new schedule, and it has been a whole new adventure for all concerned!  Sorry I haven't posted in a few, for the aforementioned reason.  Thursday was the fun day!  Got of work at the warehouse (after sandblasting almost the entire evening!  SHEESH!!) at 1.30 am, then once getting home, concerned I would not be able to wake up at five am to start the new job at the bakery, I figured I should just stay up. NOT a smart move! 
By about eleven am things started getting a little squiggly! Luckily, and oddly enough, there isn't all that much for me to do there!  They have a very nice lady who comes in and does all the dishes and the majority of the cleaning, and the owner and another gent come in (the night before) and do the baking.  They have another gal (ANOTHER Fan Girl, so we get to talk comics and movies all day!) so my job is to manage the sales, run the register and keep the front clean,  The front being all total about 90 square feet.  Not a challenge!  It's casual and laid back, very much an independent shop, not unlike us, and I get to flex my cool T-shirt collection!  All the ones getting dirty at the shop, won't allow!  Oh, small things make me happy!
What's really strange, is the shift necessary in the mind set of going from one job atmosphere to the next.  It's been a long while since I worked in the food industry.  Like today, I don't hesitate at the shop here going from mechanic to ringing up the register, but there, apparently you can NOT go from handling money to handling food without washing your hands! 
Again, as I said, we are all getting use to things, so my attendance here has been a tad sporadic.  A fact which is apparently somewhat unnerving to a few folks, specifically some of our regular scrap guys who bring in bike finds.  All I can say is Angela is MORE the capable and qualified to help anyone with their bicycle issues, and can appraise a ride sufficiently.  She was, after all, their in the very beginning of the business, and quite frankly, responsible for the majority of the policies we incorporated.
Of course, it has been rather quiet around here this week, as we are in Monsoon season once again, and have seen nothing but rain and gray skies!  ICK!!  Thankfully though, as I look out the window today, they have cleaned up, mostly, and it is suppose to remain pleasant for the remainder of today and tomorrow!  YAY!  Thinkin' maybe we'll have Elijah come down and open for a bit tomorrow, to help out all the waterlogged folks afraid to make the journey in the down pour.  Can't say a I blame the hesitation they feel to driving or riding in that mess!
Did have a few high points this week, though!  Got in a couple donations of rides I'll be banging out this afternoon, one is or rather was an auto shift ride, lightweight aluminum frame, that I have converted into a standard shift.  Sadly, the rear derailleur (a crucial part of "self-shifting) was thrashed.  But that's cool, as it makes for a sharp looking 21 speed!
Also, the other day we scored real big on a bevy of classic movies on VHS!  Had to open up space for a whole "Foreign Film" collection! And I scored me a copy of Steve Martins "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid"!!!  Oh if you haven't heard of that one, don't feel bad rather obscure, but so cool to watch.  Black and White spoof on the crime noir schtick!! 
OK!  Now, I'm gonna jump on building up some goodies!
Hope to see y'all soon! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Break In The Rain!

OKAY!  So a little backwards today!  Normally do the whole computer thing in the AM, but actually was blessed to be able to sleep in this morning!  Oh thank God for the invention of ear plugs!  Oh yes, hit the pharmacy before we started on the new schedule, and grabbed a box of the expanding foam plugs.  Things get REAL noisy in the house around eight AM, this morning... I heard NOTHING!  AHHHHH! 
Angi and the boys had a busier day yesterday, thank Heavens!  Their secret?  NO rain until later afternoon!  Had a wonderful couple, new to Florida, down from out neck of the woods, and we had a jaw fest over all the familiar haunts!  OH...makes me homesick!  They snagged up the ladies Schwinn and the men' Dual Shock MTB to get out and enjoy the trials!  After that, I had to head out and get to work.  After which, some more of the baseball guys came in and snagged up another one of the MTB's, happily, and went out on their way (after a quick upgrade to the kickstand, Gratis!  Like I said, Angi is WAY softer a touch than I!) 
We had a late afternoon repair came in that was the epitome of "waiting too long to fix!"  The gents rear wheel was TACOED!!!  When they loosened and removed the rear wheel, the thing folded in half on it's own and the spokes just started to fall out!  SERIOUSLY FOLKS, when you know something is wrong, get in and get it checked out!  I hate to think what would have happened to him if he was going down the Clearwater Bridge when this thing went!  YOWTCH! 
Got to work early again, expecting to get trained on the fork lift, but the floor manager was wrapped up in something else, so the put me on pallet building.  It's a real decent company to work for, but a little odd.  They hardly give me anything to do before my shift starts.  I had ten hours to pack 52 hangers in one box, clean one machine and build two pallets?  Needless to say, even "pacing myself" as they suggest, I was done with the list by six PM.  I cleaned the work space, then spent the remainder of the evening sandblasting parts.  That, can be a tad bit frustrating.  You can only run it for about five minuets, then have to wait five, as it keeps clogging.  *SIGH*  Definitely a way to kill time.  I was thankful though, as they wanted me to make up for the two hours I came in early, and sent me home at 12.30 AM.  On that NOTE, what's really funny is I got an e-mail yesterday, that my second job asked if would e OK if I just worked Fri-Sun for awhile (every business in Florida hurts in the summer!)  and I was elated!  NOW I don't have to run a 48 hour stint! 
Now, was in today to finish up repairs, and now I gotta jet!
See y'all soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Morning After!

C'mon folks! Thought you'd give Angi and Kaleb a run for there money yesterday to welcome them on their first day!  Not so much though, as it was deathly quiet yesterday.  Sadly, 'twas a hell of a rain storm mid afternoon, so one can only assume that's why!  Today, excuses.  Relatively clear skies, so it's time to get out from under the covers!  We did have a few looky loo's though  Angi tells me that one couple came in to poke around and the charms of Suzanne did not go unnoticed.  As the wife perused the wares, hubby was giving the pooch a rousing pet down.  So enamored was he, he failed to realize his wife had even left the store to wander down the plaza!  OPPS!!  Look's like HE may need a dog house that evening!  Kaleb did the strip down on the Fuji road bike an the old ladies Schwinn.  I had planned on coming in later this morning to work on getting them ready, but our eldest decided he was going to go out last night once Mom got home, originally to grab some fast food with a "friend" but never came home.  This, coupled with the fact that Angi had to wait up until three am this morning when I got home, as the aforementioned nimnut son lost our spare house key, she was quite exhausted.  Not wanting to push her too hard, I opted to get up and come in to open up.  I was dressed and walking out the door when the boy sauntered through the door wondering why I was awake!!!  Yes folks, this is the kind of mind numbingly irritating thinking processes we have to deal with! 
Last night, was a baptism by fire.  I went in an hour early to get a little training (as I was not all that certain WHAT my job was) and turns out, it's not all that hard, prepping equipment for shipping ETC.  They left me a list of things to do, but I ended up going through the list by eleven, so wandered to the shift manager, and they found  few more things for me to keep busy with until closing.  I was sandblasting parts for cleaning, and the bloody machine is HUGE, but the actual hose is only about three foot long, so you have to be able to contort your arms and body to reach some of the larger pieces!  OUCH!  It's not complicated work but it's also not "climate control".  ICK!  Yes, OKAY. I'm spoiled!  I'm use to my "ice box" working environment!  Gonna take a little time (and a LOT of baby powder!) to get use to it!
So today, I'm just taking it easy, (not to hard with nothing to do!  HINT! HINT!) and look forward to seeing y'all this morning!
until tomorrow! 

Monday, July 20, 2015


Well, old habits die hard, apparently! 
Awoke this morning at the usual time, and as my new job doesn't officially start until 2.45 this afternoon, came in with Angi and Kaleb to get things done.  As will be my regular schedule around here M-W mid morning to early afternoon, and Fri and Sat afternoons, Angi and the boys have got things covered.  Angi is going at the whole "Mamma Clean" thing, expressing her dissatisfaction with the infamous "crinkled nose" disgruntlement.  I'll grant her, though, it was definitely a "mechanics" workspace with ample grease spots everywhere.  Now that there will be an actual counter AND a repair person on duty, she should be able to keep things looking relatively clean!  Of course, in that cleaning, she has been organizing behind the counter, pulling out a variety of sh...tuff I just never brought home, or put away, so there is a box slowly filling up (I forgot I had the entire run of "Captain Carrot and the Amazing Zoo Crew" comics up here!  Not to mention the collected works of H.P Lovecraft!)  of superfluous goodies.  Oh RE-Cycle...I just can't quit you!!  Definitely an odd sensation not to mention slightly anxiety ridden!  Honestly, I have no real clear idea of exactly what my job will BE at the fabricators!  What little they showed me makes me scratch my head and wonder, how does such an apparently limited amount of work require an eight hour shift?  Oh, well, guess I'll find out soon!
Saturday was brisk in the AM, sending the Kaluna to a new home, as well as the Trek 7200.  That, along with a few repairs kept us busy for the morning, then of course, the gray clouds drifted in and everyone scampered to the safety of the indoors, and things quieted down.  Angi had intended on coming up first thing, but of course, getting the coverage at the house and Kaleb moving in the morning, proved too much hassle, so she didn't get up until shortly before the rain hit.  Elijah had used Mamma' bike a couple weeks back, screwed up the rear wheel and never said anything about it of course.  Not until Mamma pulled it out Friday to get it ready, did she discover it, so had to wait for the boy to wake up and bring it here so I could fix it.  Yes, would have been easier if I did it, but then he'd never learn anything about responsibility, right?  You'd think, but it just ended up being something he could whine about and sight the inequities of life. SHEESH!! 
Today, have a couple repairs to bang out, and picked up an elder Schwinn cruiser on Saturday as well.  Not too sure what will come of it, as it very clearly decorated someone's back yard for a couple decades, but stranger things have cleaned up!
OKAY!  Now, I best get a moving!  Check out the one newbie we were ale to slam out, and we'll be seeing you soon! 

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ONLY $65.00!!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Quick As "Bob's Yer Uncle!"

What a weird freaking sky this morning!  Looking outside there's what appears to be one enormous gray cloud lumbering over the tropics, but smattered with gaping holes, through which you can see bright blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and occasionally that big bright yellow circle...what was it called again?  My hope is the blue skies prevail!
Yesterday, was nothing but rain, so Elijah and I spent the day getting the shop ready for the changing of the guard!  Making sure all the items on the wall were tagged and priced (we currently have over 150 wheels!  YEESH!) the counter area as close as we could get to Mamma standards, and taking one look at the condition of the bathroom (suited completely for a dirty mechanic and NOT a lady!) and hurriedly invested in a couple bottles of bleach and a LOT of scrubbing!  YUCK!  Once that was done, however, I got to work on finishing up the sweet Dual Shock MTB we have, as well as taking in a couple more newbies!  Another 26" Dual Shock DBS, and an older Fuji Road Bike.  The Fuji is in pretty rough shape, and unfortunately has a QR rear, so no mixie on this one, sad to say.  We'll have to figure out the best way to go with it.  It would definitely need a full repaint, and pretty much everything replaced, so it'll go on the back burner for a bit.
I would like to thank all the well wishers, profusely, who contacted me in regards to the shift.  And PLEASE, I implore you, this is most definitely NOT a step backwards, nor is it the "beginning of the end".  Our plan is that I work as long as necessary to get past debt taken care of, and get back on track, plus, we need a little investment capital to take RE-Cycle to the "Next Level".  Don't let that scare you though, NO we are not becoming "Boutique", just looking for way's to offer folks "cheaper" alternatives.  It will take some time and leg work, so we'll see how that goes.  If my calculations are correct, it will take about fourteen months to get free of things, and be able to refocus all our energies on this shop.  I'm sure many of you out there can contest to the fact, the whole "white knuckle worry" thing gets OLD!  We SOOOOO don't want to go through another year like the last one!
Today has been busy so far, we thank all coming in!  SEE, Floridians DO need bikes, they just wait until there is no bloody rain coming down!  ICK!
S'okay...what's next..
OH YEA!  Couple shout out's to Uncle Chippie!  He hauled my carcass around yesterday for a bit to get a couple things taken care of, so yes, I admit, there is the rare occasion where automotive transportation is helpful!  ALSO!  He finally took the plunge and dove into the Amazon Kindle and published several of his works!  I strongly urge you too check them out (GREAT READS!!) under the name "Chip Haynes".  Help support your local authors!
OH....'sfunny!  y'all might remember the pic I showed you of the sign Chip made us for the "Ten Minute Rule"?  Well, we've had several folks, in fact, ask us about it, which I am gleefully happy to explain.  Lo and behold, this morning a gent came in, looking for a ride, and set his sights on the Mongoose Dual Shock we had.  After a road test, and looking about some more, his eye's lighted on the sign, and asked for an explanation.  I offered it, and he chuckled, somewhat patronizingly, obviously convinced it was nothing more than a sales tactic.  We talked a little bit more about the Mongoose, he said he enjoyed it, fit his needs, but that he had one other place to check out, so he'd "think about it".  I'd say I wished that it was a real clock, but in this case, it didn't matter.  As it turns out the gentleman holding the door for the first one as he was walking out, snagged up the Mongoose moments after he left! 
Never ceases to tickle my "beanie-bo!"
Now, I'd best get at finishing up the other ride, and we'll see y'all soon!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Times, They Are Ah Changing

Oh bloody hell!
Whoever's running the tap, shut the freaking thing off!!!
If you need me I'll be in the back building an Ark!
Seriously, I don't think me bum has been dry for a week!  I think it's growing moss!  This is bloody ridiculous!   Yea, I know...think happy thoughts!  But JEEZE!!!  Even the most stalwart of Veloist's are taking one look out their window, at just about any point in the day, saying "NAH!!"
I know, we live in the tropics so "suck it up!" 
As I mentioned yesterday, we did have a couple come in and grab up two newbies, as well as a few repairs and some parts for DIY'ers.  Then the rain really hit and it was quiet as a church mouse.  I was able to get a real sweet 26" Ladies Kaluna 7 speed cruiser together and that one took most of the afternoon.  WAY rusted out components, so ended up replacing most of them. 
Once I was done with that, had to sit down and start calculating how things are going to work around here once I'm pretty much out of the picture for a while.  Yea, if you didn't catch the update yesterday, I not only picked up the bakery job Thurs-Sun, but once I was back at the shop I  got a call from the manufacturing gig, was informed I passed the drug test with "flying colors" and could I start on Monday?  SURE!!!  In my excitement, I didn't do the math.  When I finally did I had to expel a huge "WHOA!" This is going to be interesting... I'll be working Mon-Thurs 4pm-2.30am, and Thurs-Sun 5.45am-2pm.  Yea?  You noticed that Wends-Thurs stretch?  YOWTCH!
Needless to say, this will limit the time I have here, But FEAR NOT!!  Angi, Elijah and to some extent, Kaleb will be stepping up to the plate.  We sat down and figured it all out last night so that we had mechanic coverage for each day, for the smaller repairs, and I'll be here Monday and Tuesday mornings, and Friday and Saturday afternoons to handle the bigger ones, plus building the newbies!  of course, I'll be doing the blog by proxy with the anecdotal input from Angi and the boys.  It has come to pass, that we are really becoming a family run business again, and I can't help but think that's a GOOD thing!  Honestly, the place needs an infusion of new perspectives, new energies and new personalities.  Angi has always been good with people, and in the beginning for the first few years of business SHE was the front man.  I kept buried in the garage and the back of the shop.  Of course, things shifted (and two more little bundles of joy came along) and it all became me.  I'm looking forward to seeing where things will go from here.  And if you have enjoyed the quality of what we do up until now, well, Angi is more a stickler than I when it comes to what goes out and more importantly how it goes out!  So there aint' no worries there!  AND, she is more prone to cut discounts for folks than I, so that's a boon for everyone! 
It's going to make for an interesting transition, and in the end, alleviate a lot of stress and uncertainty we have been enduring, just trying to keep things moving ahead!
Now you check out the newest addition, and I got some crash course training to do!
See ya soon!!

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only $80.00!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Do You Know...The Muffin Man?

As if God himself spoke to me in an attempt to tell me my rant from yesterday was RIGHT ON THE MONEY...
I had another interview this morning (and got the job!!! YAY!  we'll talk about that in a moment) down on Drew Street, south of us.  On the way back I headed North on Keene and was traveling on the "legal" side of the road, and got to the intersection of Keene and Sunset Point Road (still headed North) and waited for the crossing signal like a dutiful, law abiding citizen.  The light's changed and I got the signal, but of course looked behind me to see if anyone was going to be turning right onto Sunset (as I know, the idiot car drivers are NOT checking to see if anyone is crossing) and the North bound lanes were full, as cars started to move.  No one was arcing right or had their blinkers on, so I eked out into the road.  Noticing movement to my left I stopped quick as some moron in a Prius came up fast and cut into the turning lane and banked a hard right barely missing my front wheel, because...COME ON FOLKS!  SAY IT WITH ME LOUD AND PROUD!!
I watched the brain dead putz as he careened around the corner and his bloody eyes NEVER left the screen of his I phone!!  Yes, he was that close I could see it was a white IPhone! 
YES!  I got the job, which secretly, I was really hoping I WOULD get!!  It's a small bakery in Clearwater and what drove me to apply there was the humorous and irreverent ad the owner had written. I went on their website, and discovered it to read as if I myself had written it!  Something was very compelling, driving me to write an equally personal and quirky response.  I received an email back, urging me to come in to apply.  Yes, sometimes Fate steps in and you come to discover the most ODD of coincidences.  Once I met the owner and her partner, the entire scope of "Tales From The Weird and Uncanny" was brought into focus!  Her reason for being so eager for me to come in, turned out to be my last name!
See....she's an Atherton too!! 
Now that may not seem like a big deal if your a Smith or an Adams or Johnson, BUT in my entire 47 years I have never met another Atherton that I wasn't related to.  Turns out, neither had she.  As we talked the peculiarities grew.  She looks a lot like my Aunt Mary on my fathers side.  Her family hails from up North and from Canada.  As does mine.  Not to sure about Canada, but definitely the North part!  It's going to be interesting to find out a little more genealogy and see if in fact, A Craigslist ad inadvertently connected me with a long lost cousin! 
Not to mention LOTS of high quality breads!  I'm eating the tomato/basil/ and asiago with red onions right now!  OH.....MAN!!!  It's a good thing I'll be riding back and forth, cause I could easily become a lot fatter! 
Now on to this joint!  Again, got to give a shout out to the gent dropping off the donations yesterday, THANK YOU, SIR!!  Gave me something to keep busy for a couple of hours, thank heavens.  Looks like I could only save two, unfortunately.  They all looked like they were relatively new when they were stuck away somewhere NOT climate controlled, therefore the level of rust was just to far gone!!  Sad face.  But, going to get a nice 7 speed ladies cruiser and a sweet Looking 26" DBS MTB (E I E I O!) out of the lot. 
Had a young couple come in that are just starting out, and live up off the trail in North Dunedin.  They were looking to get rides to get out and enjoy it.  They were on a budget (who isn't nowadays?) and so were doing their research.  They had looked into several of the local shops, and unfortunately, were about to give up!  In their words "the LOWEST price we could find started at $400.00!!!!"  Then they heard about us!  I believe their words were "shocked and amazed!"  Not only did they find two rides they loved, but had enough left over in their budget to upgrade their seats and get a basket for her! SO glad we could help, and get two more folks out of their car! 
SO, after having spent the afternoon yesterday parting out the remainder of the donations, going to get started on rebuilding the remaining two!
Hope to see y'all soon!

WOOF!!! UPDATE!!!  The company I did the pee test for called back.  As expected, I passed with flying colors!  SO....I start work there Monday.  Heh...Now, I have three jobs!  Hmmmmm?  Wonder when sleep will fit in? 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


It's been a while since we had a good, old fashioned righteous rant, so sit back, grab a cup of whatever motivates you, and keep an open mind, because I am nothing if not blunt, and there's ah gonna be some folks out there that may be a tad bit offended about this one!
I wasn't able to set up any interviews today (but have one tomorrow that looks real promising!) but I did have to go to LabCorp this morning to pee in a cup, which is where our story begins!
(and Lo and behold, THIS is a rant about, of ALL things "Bicycles, Bicycle Safety, and Bicycle etiquite!)
The LabCorp office I went to is on Belcher in Clearwater, just south of Sunset Point Road.  For those who don't live here, Sunset Point Road runs East/West and is a pretty well traveled 4 laner.  The city, in what would appear to me as a consolitory gesture, has a bike lane on either side.  This bike lane is roughly three feet wide and it's only partition from the hazards of automobile drivers is a thin white line.  The conditions at some points, are is as if when they poured the asphault they were really only concerned with the comfort of the car driver, and had emphasized making their part smooth.  The outer edges (where the bikes are) is akin to riding your bike over one, long antique wash board!  Needless to say, grip your handlebars tight, but keep you elbows lax, our you're going overboard!  However that's not the point of this rant.  For the route of this story, I'm going to have to take you back, some 40 years to get that across. SO...Mr. Peabody, if you please, set the Wayback Machine, to 1975 and we'll do a flyby through New Hampshire.
Back when they had things like "Youth Centers", "School activities" (that did not involve corporate sponsers looking to hook kids on their wares) and "Cub Scouts" there was such a thing as "Bicycle Safety Awareness" something that any kiddo, looking to jaunt about town on two wheels, was expected to engage in.  See, back then, you had to register your bike with the local police department, and safety training was a prerequisite.  This is called "YANKEE SMARTS!"  Okay, sure, lot's of places did it, but you get the point.
There was one part of the training which is crucial to the story, as it's very basic, common sense, injinuity has stuck with me all these years: "which side of the road a bicycle should ride on"!  The Yankee's WISE answer?  AGAINST the flow of automobile traffic!!!
YES FOLKS!!  Contrary to what every donut munching, coffee sipping, "hiding behind a tree with nothing better to do" police officer around here will tell you! 
See, here in Florida (and many other states I can only assume) mandate that bicycle go with the flow of traffic!  This is, in a word, (okay TWO words) "F#$^!NG STUPID!!!!!"
And WHY you might ask?  I am GLAD to tell you!
First and foremost, for the bicycle rider, is that when you "go with the flow" you have ABSOLUTELY NO TIME TO REACT!!!  Unless you recently had eye's surgically implanted in the back of your head, you have NO idea what's coming up behind you and if, in fact, the car driver even notices you AT ALL!  WHAT?  Some of you might ask, "How could a driver NOT see the cyclist?"  Simple.  Because SOME of these idiots are NOT paying attention!
Want statistics?
Since 2010 the amount of "car on bicycle" fatalities has INCREASED 40% in the State of Florida ALONE!  Yes...I said forty freaking percent!!!  And here's a tidbit, the group MOST LIKELY to be singing in the Celestial Choir are Males over the age of twenty!  Yes, my fellow Floridians, we are NUMBER TWO in bicycle related fatalities (a very close second to California)
Why is that you may ask? Well, the comparisons are not easily acquired, and some, I am certain, are due to unsafe bicycling habits (yea, there are some Hot Dogs out there that don't pay attention) and the increasing amount of folks opting to ride their bikes instead of shelling out the kids college fund to fill up the tank, BUT there is an underlying factor on the car driver side, that CAN NOT be ignored!
Yep.  That old chestnut!  Before you think I'm just being over reaching, and picking on something that spikes my ire, anywho, let me throw this one at you...
Texting related fatalities have been steadily on the rise, spiking dramatically in, you guessed it, 2010!!!  In teenage drivers, to the WHOPPING sum of 57%!!!!!!  Texting while driving is now the LEADING cause of traffic fatalities in teenagers since 2011!!!!  Almost two to one against "drinking and driving!!"  Oh, but don't for a minute think the older age brackets aren't sending out notes to friends, coworkers and families while they SHOULD BE looking out that big glass window in front of them!  Oh NAY, NAY!  It's a bloody epidemic, and do NOT think for a moment that the laws passed AGAINST texting while driving has had ANY effect.  Because ALL studies prove otherwise, and they are completely ineffectual. 
Now, as a devout bicycle rider,  I am faced with one conundrum; Do I follow the letter of the law?
I like to think of myself as a "law abiding citizen" but here's the rub; Laws are made to protect us, and serve the common good, right?  Well here's a law that, deliberately, put's MINE and every other bike riders life in JEPORDY!! 
Going back to old Yankee wisdom, if you are riding against traffic, it forces the driver to notice you.  One thing I always teach my kids about coming to an intersection, and preparing to cross, is to ALWAYS make sure to make EYE CONTACT with any drivers at the intersection, to make SURE they see you!  Doesn't matter if you have the light, or crossing signal!  You may have the right of way, but you get into a fight with 2000 plus pounds moving as low as ten miles an hour, you're are going to loose and loose BIG! 
So, when you drive against traffic you SEE what is coming towards you, and more importantly, they see you!  Look, I will trust MY ability to react over the hopes and prayers that the idiot coming up behind me is ACTUALLY doing THERE job as a driver and paying attention to what's ahead of them!  Why in GOD'S NAME should I be concerned with the comfort and convenience of them?  What?  Because I'm forcing them to do their due diligence and pay attention to the road?  NAH!  I'm going to worry about my hide, because if some shmuck is in the process of setting up a "hook-up" and can't be bothered to look where he's going, I want the time to do a tuck in roll into the embankment and land on some soft sod, rather than become a hood ornament!  And anyone traveling on their bike down the side of some busy run of strip malls, gas stations, and fast food joints KNOWS it's REALLY convenient to see the morons in desperate need of a Big Mac or to pick up their dry cleaning veering quickly into a parking lot with no consideration for cyclists or pedestrians alike.  Oh I don't know HOW many close calls I have had while in the middle of the entryway and almost been clipped by a careless driver!  And that's riding WITH the flow!  (yes, I've done my fair share of barrel rolls over some startled driver's hood who was otherwise focused on "extra special sauce on a sesame seed bun!") The worst of which was a COP, who was not looking up, as he was, SURPRISE,  SURPRISE... TEXTING!!!! 
And riding on the sidewalk, while providing a little bit of security, can be just as troublesome at the aforementioned crossings.  Being able to see who's coming and going is a real blessing. Not to mention, the trouble with sidewalks is there isn't anything in the Florida statues that denotes if it's even LEGAL or not to ride on the sidewalk.  There is mention that a bicycle on the sidewalk has the same requirements and responsibility as a pedestrian, and there is certain etiquette expected when passing a walker, BUT, get some bored patrolman with nothing better to do in the evening, and they'll write you up a ticket to the tune of $186.00 for riding on the sidewalk, against the flow of traffic without a light (yep...personal experience folks!) .
ALL this being said, some may ask "what got you on THIS kick today?"
Well, remember the "peeing in a cup"?  Once I left the office, I headed north on the West side of the road, cut through the CVS parking lot and headed West on the East bound side back towards Keene Road.  I got about half way there, passed the bank, and that's when the blue lights came on!  OH BOY!  Strange for the earlier morning hours, but I pulled into the BP at the corner of Keene and waited for the officer to do his roundabout.  Went through the whole "ID please" (which, oddly for me, I ACTUALLY had it on me!) then the "Why I was stopped" was for riding on the wrong side of the road.  Now, maybe it's because I was just in a "mood" but the old Yankee Mouth came out and I confirmed the fact that Yes, I KNEW the law, and where I was expected to ride, but that the law was "stupid"  and I'd be damned if I was putting my life in "car driving idiots" hands! 
Oh yea....I have a sign hanging in the shop, my lovely wife found for me, that sums things up "My death will probably be caused by being sarcastic at the wrong time"
I then went on to site, briefly, my justification for riding the way I was, with the closing question "why should a cyclist have to "go with the flow".  His answer was every bit as infallible as a parent telling a child "BECAUSE I SAID SO!" when he responded "because it's the law!"
That makes as much as sense as saying "the Grand Canyon is so big because it's large!"  I guess he didn't get my point, and I wasn't going to debate it with him.  He let me off with a "warning"
(side note folks!  Some ask me from time to time, why cops seem to "harass" cyclists, well it's for a couple reasons.  Cyclists are easy targets.  We are VERY unlikely to try and outrun a police car so it's a potential ticket to boost there sales quota for the day!  Not to mention the stigma attached to anyone NOT wearing spandex and riding a bike is simply, "why would any grown person choose to ride a bike and NOT drive?"  Obviously if they are on a bike it is because their license was revoked, for some transgression or another, ergo:  "where there is smoke, there's fire".  Pull over the GOB, run his ID in hopes of finding a warrant!  EASY pickings for a collar and to make themselves look good to the Duty Sargent!  No fuss, no muss!  Cynical?  Nope, informed!  We have several police, State and County employees who are regulars around here, so this has all been confirmed!) and sent me on my way.  Honestly, I wish he HAD written me a ticket!  That way, I could have stood in front of the judge, and at least have my disdain for the dangerous practice down on record!  Someone HAS to revisit this moronic practice.  Yes, there have been studies done on this subject (you can find them online) but I have two problems with the results.  Statistic need to be gained through controlled study groups IE; for every 1000 observed for, you need 1000 against.  In one particular finding out of 3,684 cyclists observed riding with the flow of traffic, 56 accidents occurred, but in the same period of time only 538 "wrong way" cyclists were observed resulting in 23 accidents.  Obviously, the percentage was higher, but in my opinion, not a fair comparison.  Also, all the study's point to the automobile driver's responsibility for "observing traffic laws", and how they operate and pay attention to the road, and turns and such" Again, this leaves OUR fate in THEIR hands!  This study was done in the mid 90's, I will refer you back to the more recent statistics regarding "distracted drivers".  As I said, we need to revisit things!  The solution offered to cyclists, which is hailed as the cure all, is the use of a handle bar mounted rear view mirror?!  Have they ever tried to use one of those things? It's like trying to read the fine print of a contract while it rested on an agitator!  You can't see a bloody thing in one of those, especially with the conditions of bike lanes!  the sad reality is, that when riding a bike around here, whichever side of the road your on, your life rests in the otherwise occupied hands of the car driver!  Me?  I want to at least have an edge!
Climbing down off my soap box now! 
Yesterday, managed to get out two newbies, couple sharp looking and clean DAILY BANGER SPECIALS!!!! 
Also, thanks to the anonymous gent that dropped off a trailer full of donations this morning.  Couple of them, with some extensive work, should prove to be nice rides!
So with that,  had best get a move on!
See ya soon! 

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ONLY $55.00!!!
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ONLY $75.00!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Huntsman!

Well, at least I'm getting exercise! 
The search for supplemental income continues.  Went to an interview yesterday (location undisclosed) and I hate to speak ill of anyone, but I'm of the mind, that if you set an appointment with someone, it is always professional to be at said interview.  I was there, a few minutes earlier, but ended up doing the interview with a subordinate as the boss had not arrived in for the day, yet. 
All the online leg work I did, has paid off though as I have another today and one more on Thursday (and that one looks like it could be a lot of fun, too boot!) The old fishing metaphor "the more times you drop your line in the water, the more likely you are to get a strike" is proving true yet again!  Now I have folks calling me!  So my fingers are firmly crossed, as the one I'm going to in a few minutes is less then a 15 minute bike ride from the shop, and is second shift so will allow me the morning's here, which is the busiest part of our days anywho.
Once I got back yesterday, went right to work and banged out a few repairs, then went on to newbies!  OH, we got a couple gems here!  NICE Trek 7200 hybrid, excellent condition and a BIG BOY frame to boot!  Also, a real sharp looking Pacific MTB!  This one has some nice components, nothing Earth shattering, but a real good A to B MTB!  Also, put out an older FS Elite ladies 26" MTB.  This one was a FULL re-furb, and upgraded with a set of alloy wheels and road tires.  Oh, the FS isn't anything special, component wise, really basic, but I just really like the frame style on these things! 
Those took me up until the end of the day, and aside for the earlier repairs a finding homes for a couple of kids rides, not much else to jaw about...sorry. 
Hopefully, I'll have more to add later!
Well...not sure on that one.  Interview was good, and they took the time to walk me around the plant, and kept using terms like "this is where you'll be stationed" and "this is what we'll have you do" then went on to talk about chances for advancement and they'd want to train me on sheet metal fabrication, and welding, certify me on the fork lift.  Then, at the end, handed me a form for LabCorp to do a pee test, then said they'd be in touch.  No idea, where it will go, so "BACK TO FORMULA!!!" 
Allright, now I best get to work! 

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ONLY $85.00!!
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ONLY $65.00!!!
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ONLY $210.00!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2015


SO!  HOW high is that bloody thing?
and...WOOF!  I am SOOOOO out of shape! 
Okey Dokey!  Full discloser here folks!  This time of year is baaaaaaad for Florida bike shops!  At this point, some folks in other parts of the country are probably scratching their collective heads saying "'s summer!?"   Kid's are out of school, playing hop scotch, hula-hoops and riding their bikes.  Families are taking time off for the summer "family vacation", the old station wagon laden down with a full bike rack going off to visit the Grand Canyon, some California Ghost Town or hanging out with Vincent Price in some cave on a Hawaiian Island talking about bad Mojo!
Enh....not so much!  Unless of course you have the Hula-hoop App on your IPhone, or the kiddo's are on the X-Box playing Dave Merra's BMX!  Not to mention, Hop Scotch has now been replaced by Candy Crush!  No, in Florida, most everyone disappears into the confines of AC, and only emerge, occasionally and briefly to scamper like field mice escaping a brush fire to the safety of the cars AC.  Oh, there are the diehards, who know to get out first thing, or late at night, and the even more durable ones, relying on bicycles for their transportation, that just carry a really big bottle of water, and a change of clothes and  deal with it.  BUT, all these examples are scarce, and not enough to keep us wrench turners busy.  After the hellacious summer we had last year (WAY to much rain) we almost didn't make it.  If it had not been for the understanding and patience of our landlords and creditors, we wouldn't have.  It's that simple.  This year, I swore not to let that white knuckling happen again, and had every intention of finding something, temporary, to help offset the drop.  Only problem was, Summer snuck up on me, and with it's humid breath down the back of my neck, lunged down and bit me in the Tuckus!   We were very busy during the On-Season, and by mid May, quite backed up, then all the vacationers and Snow Birds went through the Mass Exodus, seemingly overnight, and before I could blink, was twiddling my thumbs, playing Canasta with the Crickets!  So, for the last few weeks, when I haven't had anything to work on, I've been doing the mad search for something to do in order to keep the bills as current as possible until we hit September. So that, right there, was one heck of a long segue into what I was doing this AM! 
I had a job interview.
Talk about weird.  I haven't been to one of those in almost twenty years!'s the truly, flat out, unreal, mind blowing irony.....
It's at a service station...
FOR CARS!!!!!!!!!!
Why do I feel SOOOOOOO hypocritical?!
Really, it's the Cosmo's way of saying "NAH,NAH,NAH,NAH BOO, BOO!!!
Oh, don't get me wrong, I can turn a wrench, do all the light mechanical work, oil changes and tire changes and such, I've done it all before, but back in another life.  It all seems so...alien now!  I guess I'll have to look at it as....research?  Or maybe penance?  All I know is, I will do what it takes to keep the family cared for, and this place open.  Not willing to abandon the dream, just have to alter my involvement a bit.  Angi and the boys have offered to step up and fill in for me to keep the hours normal here, and I can come in after, or before hours to do the repairs and build out the newbies.  At the very least, the hours working there are afternoon and evening, so I'll have the mornings to get things banged out before I go. 
The place is out on the beach, and I had to go over the "BRIDGE" to get there.  Let's just clear that up, I do NOT like heights!  What POSSIBLE reason compelled them to build the freaking thing SOOOOO high!?!?!  Needless to say, I was almost clicking my left pedal on the concrete guard wall trying NOT to look to my right!  YEESH!!  I think I almost "wet 'em" when I got to the top and had to move quickly to the right to avoid a jogger coming over the top on the left!  And just who designed the pedestrian/bike lane on this thing WITHOUT denoting the need for the aforementioned non-car traffic to "go with the flow of traffic"?  I mean, it seems like common sense to me, that all WEST bound traffic should be going WEST, and conversely all EAST bound traffic should be going EAST!  But NOOOOOOO!!  Going to the beach (jogger not withstanding) wasn't a problem, well until I got near the bottom and saw a huge mound of dirt at the base covering the path forcing me to over tax Greedo's one brake, but going back?  JEEZE!!!!  First, I am PRETTY sure that this is the United States, at least the last time I checked, and IN the United States we drive on the right, right?  So, one can only assume, we ride, walk and JOG on the right!  This, at least WAS denoted by a sign (at least on the Eastbound side) on the trail, succinctly with a picture of a person walking on the LEFT and a bicycle on the RIGHT.  HOWEVER, I was about half way up the incline and some spandex clad, high maintenance lady was jogging towards me on the right.  Now instead of moving over, once she sees me huffin' and puffin' up the hill she starts angrily waving her hand, signaling me to go to the left, and get out of her way!?  Apparently the pictograph she had JUST passed was ENTIRELY to complicated for her to understand, or perhaps she is just incapable of processing TWO pictures into a cohesive understanding of their TRUE meaning, but instead, merely noticed the PEDESTRIAN image, and therefore assumed that THAT entire side of the bridge was reserved for those on foot!  Well, unlike the allegory of the two warriors on the foot bridge, I willingly acquiesced and went to the left, around her.  I'm such a gentleman!  THEN almost to the top of the bridge,  a swarm of equally spandexafied weekend warrior, middle aged, Triathlon wannabes came over the crest (again...remember...this is AGAINST the flow of traffic) barreling down upon me, taking up, almost the entirety of the trail!  Well, this time I was NOT giving in and end up in a swan dive into the ocean, so I veered to the left, as they irately went around me, saying something, I'm sure was not polite, in a language I couldn't understand.  I'll tell you folks, THESE are the people that give cyclists a bad name! 
In the end, I hope I get the job, if for no other reason, than the fact I realized by my jelly legs I REALLY could use that ride a few days a week! 
OKAY!  On to yesterday!   Aside for a few repairs, not much of a much.  Had several looky loo's, BUT it's the bargain hunters time of year.  HEY!  I got NOOOOO problem with that, but I have nothing in the way of a $10-20 adult size bike...sorry.  And it's hard to understand how someone can look at the "Truck" and after hearing of the 60 to 80 man hours PLUS $600+ in materials that went into it, and actually ask me if I'd sell it for Fifty dollars!?!?! 
Did manage to pick up and put out one gem (for the more realisticalbuyer!) in the way of a sharp looking Mongoose Dual Shock MTB. A real heavy duty sucker, this one!  Also picked up a simple 20" BMX, just before close, I'll be getting on in a few.
So that's it for today!
So, come on in and help out a local family owned business today... namely us!
See ya!

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ONLY $90.00!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

"BONG, BONG!!!!"

Anybody reading our meandering thoughts, knows full well the "TEN MINUTE RULE" we humorously, but lovingly embrace around here.  For those not to hip on the lingo, in short; due to the high volume of bicycles we run through on a day to day basis, we caution anyone visiting, who see's a bike he/she loves....but...want's to take time to think about the adoption, that it probably won't be here when they come back.  Oh....they almost always come back, thanks to shopping elsewhere (LOL!) so we coined the phrase, simply because that's the average amount of time someone else inevitably comes in and snags up the much coveted ride.  We have even gone so far as to tinker with the idea of finding a big stop clock to set after each person goes off to "think" about it. Yes...we have THAT much spare time!  Well, our dear old Uncle Chippie has been threatening to beat us to the punch, and yesterday he brought in the result of that obsession!  Now here's a man that epitomizes the boredom of retirement!  This display (slash GAG) clock denotes the rule, and is truly a DIY "RE-Purposed" gem!  Heavy sucker made from what looks like an old piece of chopping block, or countertop, and when you see the pic, that's NOT the result of a wood burning kit, but instead is the result of laying it down in the driveway of "Uncle Chippies Garage" and using a magnifying glass to burn in the letters!  SHEESH!!  Talk about dedication (not to mention the desperate need for a hobby!) Thank you sir for the wonderful chotsky that now holds a place of honor where all can admire (and gives me something else to dodge trying to get behind the counter! HA!)
HEY!  At least he aint burning ants! 
Yesterday we sent three rides to new homes as one gent snagged up the twin girls Huffy MTB'S we'd just put out (oddly enough, for his twin nieces!) and the 26" DBS for a young father looking to get the kids off the hand held and out in the sun!  Oh we are SOOOO happy to see more parents and grandparents coming too terms with the need to break the deadly addiction!
Got in, re-furbed and put out a really sweet 6 speed Ladies 24" Motobecane MTB!  Real sharp looking ladies Pink!  Ooooooo!
Today?  Not a clue.  Yet again, rides are slow to come in, and we jump them as soon as they do, so here's hoping!
All right, that's about it for today!
Hope to see you soon!

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ONLY $70.00!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Let The SPOOKY begin!!!

I'll take the first part here to respond to a comment left by Uncle Chippie yesterday, regarding consignment.  I would have done it there, I tried even, but the bloody thing wouldn't let me send, so my propensity for enduring technical FUBAR'S withstands! 
The thing with consignments are, we do them for the benefit of the customers.  We get bikes in here all the time. Either the customer is selling, trading or donating.  Most of the time, the rides have had their day in the sun, and show the wear.  They need a lot of TLC to get back on the road, so we get them for a reasonable price, do the work and find them a new home.  There are some that come in, and for whatever reason, whether it's the owner no longer rides, didn't ride much in the first place or they just need cash, that compels them to sell.  Some of them, however, are just in Spit Spot great shape, and worth a good penny.  Thing is, economics what they are, we just can't see clear to shell out the dough that these rides are really worth, and we're not going to insult or try and shyster for what we can afford to pay  (there are those occasional slightly sinister looking blokes that will come in with a high dollar bike, and ask for a twenty, and we send them a PACKIN'!  Could you be any more obvious?)  hence the design of our consignment deals.  Truth is, as we advertise all our bikes on Craigslist, OfferUp and the like, and folks come to realize it's a shop selling the bike and backing it with a warranty, they'd rather get it here!  Gives them the security that should something, God forbid, go wrong with the ride, they can bring it to an established business and have it taken care of.  While we're on the subject, some have said it's silly to offer our warranty on a product we didn't rebuild, BUT we do it for two reasons, one; we check them out and fully service them, two; we don't want anyone to get an unsafe ride OR feel like they bought a lemon from us! And let's face it, there are a LOT of consignment shops for a variety of good's all over this country, and the percentage that the seller pays (ranging from 25-45%) is for merely placing the item in their store!  No advertising specific to THAT item, no service, no guarantee...nada!  SO in effect, you're paying part of your items value, for it to sit on a shelf or take up floor space.  That's it!  NAH!  We don't feel all that comfortable collecting money for nothing! 
ANYWAY...the suggestion was, to collect a fee, up front, for the service we provide in prepping the item for sale.  Enh?  Really don't feel comfortable with that either.  The majority of the time, folks are selling their bikes because they need money.  Taking it "up front" when their strapped already?  That just doesn't rub me the right way.  We haven't had a lot of problems with folks trying to take advantage of us, quite frankly, I think we have been very fortunate in that respect.  We work HEAVILY in the light of Karma.  WE get a great amount of Karma point's when we trust and put faith in people.  Those who abuse that trust (and their aint' been many)...well...they get the dark side of karma, and that's a place you DO NOT want to be living in!  I fully believe, that should someone dare to step on that side...well...they get what's coming.  So, even in lieu of my own frustration regarding the recent mishap, we'll keep things friendly like before.  Thanks for the suggestion anywho!
NOW!  On too yesterday....THUMP! 
yea...with a resounding THUD!
Rozlynd and I did get to watch a lot of YouTube "REAL GHOSTS CAUGHT ON TAPE!" stuff!  WOW!  Talk about fraudulent!  Out of all of it, there was only about 1% that made me think, "hmmmm?" And I grew up in New England IN several haunted houses (ask me to tell you REAL ghost stories, next time you stop by.  Like, the room I slept in on Carroll street that had been used to conduct séances in the early part of the 20th century when it was all the rage, or about the house Angi and I lived in on Court Street, where, among other things, I had kept several "collector" toys stored in the eves of my attic bedroom, that kept disappearing, and it wasn't until several weeks later we found out, that a woman who lived four doors down from us, was having regular visits from the spirit of a young boy, and started to find die cast metal cars being left on her bed when she got home from work!  Or the attic or basement or bourning room of the 300 year old farm house we lived at in Brentwood (located about 200 yards from the stone remains of the original house located on the property in the late 1600's who's occupants were killed when the building was burned down in an Indian raid....oh the list goes on and on) OH LOOK!  A TANGENT! 
sorry, where the hell was I....
Oh yea...
So, with all the technology of modern day computers, even I phones and such, to edit and spruce up an image?  Well, you pretty much can't trust Anything you have seen in the last decade.  But it's fun to have a startle every now and then!
We managed to put out two newbies yesterday, and yes, finally got the phone snafu figured out, but the round about way I have to send pics to myself is rather annoying! Have to go through two separate email accounts, post it to Craigslist THEN copy and paste to the blog!  PHEW!  What a chore!
Well, with nothing more to ramble about, I'm off! 
See ya!

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ONLY $60.00!!
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ONLY $80.00!!
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ONLY $55.00!!
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ONLY $70.00!!!
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ONLY $75.00!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Do the Side Step Shuffle!

Wouldn't you know it!
Yesterday was another Summertime "Odd Bird".  Skies were gray, but thankfully didn't amount too much!  Weird part being, sent the Raleigh touring road bike to it's new home in the first hour, then things fell silent.  Had one repair pick up mid afternoon, then things went all quiet again, except one 24" wheel replace to a slightly peculiar bloke.  Once again, it was ample time to listen to my hair follicles lubricate, then in the last 45 minuets of the day, got busy again.  Trippiest thing was, both bikes sent out were ten minute rules!  LOL!  The Raleigh was pined over by a newly arrived fellow who loved the look and feel, and it was exactly what he was looking for...but... "had a couple other places to check out"  No worries.  We've become accustomed to starting a mental countdown in lieu of the more "official" ten minute clock we have been coveting, and sure enough, a few minuets later another newly acclimating "Floridian" in training, came in looking for the same thing.  Happily, turns out he's from up our way, Boston, or more specifically, Cambridge near Harvard Yard (pronounced HAH-VAHD YAHD) and he had already been to several of the other shops in town, and had all but given up hope he would be able to find the bike he wanted at a price he could afford.  Then his new landlord suggested us.  Needless to say, he was QUITE the happy Yankee!  As a Northerner, he too can remember the plethora of used bike shops up our way, and even though the Menotomy Used Bicyle shop and others, are inner city, therefore a wee bit pricier, they are nothing in comparison to the cost of a second mortgage you'd have to take out to buy a bicycle in Florida (his words, not mine).  And yes, the first gent did come back in, about a half an hour later, but thankfully, understood the whole "first come, first served" rule, and went away with the comment that he'd keep an eye on the website. 
The second time, was with the Schwinn MTB we got in on trade Saturday.  Wish I was able to post a pic, but still haven't got my phone issue figured out yet!  ARRGH! Take my word for it, this peach was cherry!  The lady who had traded it in (she had brought it in to have new tires and tubes mounted, then when she returned to pick it up, saw the Fuji, and traded it in on the spot!) took excellent care of it, and it looked BRAND NEW!!  Had a couple come in to look around, and upon seeing it loved it and thought it would be perfect for their "over eighteen" son who needed to "get a damn job!" as he was carving a dent in their sofa (wow...lots of that going on nowadays!) but....She was sold on it, whereas he wanted to wait for the son to be physically dragged from his perch and brought down to see it so they didn't "waste" the money. 
Well, seconds after that, the couple that had come in shortly after them and were lingering about, also had their eye's on it.  Once the first couple passed, and had cleared the door and were out of ear shot, the young gent turned and smiled a devious smile and simply said "I'll TAKE it!" 
Almost before close, the other couple returned, dragging a burly, blurry eyed teenager in, clearly NOT looking forward to the experience, who himself was quite relieved that the bike was in fact gone, although the Mom cast a piercing glance at the husbands failure to act.  Unfortunately, for them at least, the other remaining rides we had were not big enough for the sleepy giant, so they slumped away, at least now knowing where to go in the near future.
I did have one other happenstance occur that got me a tad bit aggravated, however, but more at myself than anything else.  Two gent came in earlier in the day with a Trailmate three wheel recumbent they wanted to put on consignment.  We came to an agreement on price and I thought I had made it clear that I would "prep" it for sale, and discussed the terms.  Well, I only have myself to blame that I didn't make it crystal clear that we extend our one year warranty even too consignment pieces as a courtesy to our customers.  In a very few occasions, this has ended up a loss for us, but we'd rather loose money than our reputation, so it's a wash!  In this case, however, the bike had obviously sat for a bit, and had some surface rust issues, and both brakes were stuck.  As we had nothing else pressing to do, as soon as they left it here, I got to work tuning it up, cleaning and rusticating and replaced the brake cables and reset them.  About two hours later, one of the guys returned telling tales of a sudden excursion to Fort Lauderdale for a few months of work, and needed to take it with him.  Of course...he didn't have the money to pay for the service, nor had expected to have to?  Yea.  SO, in the future, guess it's another thing I'm going to have to become more "formal" about!  We like to work on common sense, honesty and trust around here, unfortunately, that always doesn't jive with a scant few.  Sad really. 
SO today...yet again, not to sure what we're going to work on, but I'm looking at VERY blue skies out there (as the rain hopefully already did it's bit earlier this morning) so I have HIGH hopes folks will get us busy!
Hope to see ya soon!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Training Wheels ALMOST a Thing of the Past!

MONDAY time again!
Took yesterday to just chill with the kiddo's, and work on Izabella's bike riding skills (granted, didn't spend too much time out side as everyone was red faced and panting after about fifteen minuets.  Even though she was excited to be riding, had to keep going inside for water and a breather.  Of course, doesn't help when the urge struck her around high noon!  UGH! 
Saturday was...meandering,  Sent the Fuji home with a very excited lady, who had only come in for a tube change on her Schwinn.  NICE looking Schwinn mountain bike, but as she divulged, the Fuji was JUST what she had been looking for, and it took no effort on my part, as she quickly talked herself into snagging it up!  Hey!  We got  a REALLY sweet dual shock (non Wal-Mart) Schwinn in trade, so we're good!  And I really wish I could share a pic of it and the other two we built, but of course, no Monday is truly a Monday, without technical SNAFU'S!  Yea, can't get my phone to send me pics, but I'm working on it!  If I figure it out, I'll tack them on later.
Aside from that, and a few NASCAR pit stops, didn't have a whole lot else going on, but honestly, didn't expect it being the Fourth.  Everyone and their brother ditches town and goes to points unknown!  Today, have little else to do, except one more DBS to build, and a couple "pick up later" repair's, that I gotta get parts for. 
Soooooo...we're free for anyone that needs us!  HINT HINT!
See ya soon folks!

Friday, July 3, 2015

eZ Only One Waffer Thien Mint!

...mmmmmmmmmmmmmm , let the needle DAH-ROP!!
and the record skips, the record skips, ..cord skips....skips....ips!
Want to know how the week is going, enh, read the last few days, pretty much watching sad post season reruns at this point!
We were fortunate to have two visitors swing in yesterday.  Proof that saints walk amongst us, a gent, helping out a family down on their luck and living in a welfare hotel, came in and picked up a couple bikes for their kids to give them something to do.  He came in with another gent, no relation, who he obviously takes care of, who is blind.  Had an interesting conversation with him, as he had questions regarding what it felt like and how one rides a bike, and changes gears.  It was a good test of descriptive language to get him to be able to at least imagine what it felt like to ride a bike. With that experience in mind, it got me thinking about how it would be possible to build a bike for a blind person.  No joke, I'm not talking about a three wheeler with really big curb feelers, but something that employs similar technology as the self driving car, but doesn't necessarily do the riding for someone.  Just kind of an emergency back up, with sensors similar to those annoying gizmo's in a game controller that vibrate.  Set them up to vibrate the left or right grip if you're drifting,  or vibrate both when a stop or obstacle is directly in front of you then employ enough breaking power to a set of automatic disc brakes to slow the bike down before you hit the target.  Yes, a three wheeler would probably be preferable, but at least it would give someone who otherwise wouldn't be able too, to experience the freedom of riding a bike.  OKAY, so either that's a question for another day, or I just gave some enterprising individual a really good idea!  Either way, maybe it'll get done!
SO, the other visitors brought us in a really sweet, classic Raleigh touring bike, we got out right quick!  Check it out below. 
As far as that goes, it was it for the day.   Spent the better part of the day trying to do some research for a certain part of the book that I want to be really historically accurate, only to come to find out, that aside from some really boring statistics and town notes, trying to find descriptive passages or pictures about any particular place that is not of incredible historical significance is DAMN hard!  I remember, when I was a kid, I would enjoy visiting the Exeter Library, before they moved it to their new digs.  Back then, you could either go to the Philips Exeter Academy's library and sift through microfiche files (that's like a sort of prehistoric Google where you actually had to do some reading to fins what you were looking for) or I could climb down the stairs into the basement of the library, and there, stored in huge stacks in one of the towns Fall Out Shelters (those were built back when folks thought "Duck and Cover" would actually prevent you from being vaporized in the event of an Atomic attack!) were copies of the Exeter News Letter amongst others, dating back well over a hundred years!  Unfortunately, those day's are long gone.  Kids really can't do things like that any more, but being given certain dispensation by the elderly librarian who seemed to appreciate my curiosity regarding history, allowed me free reign.  Nowadays, seems like we have lost some of those more personal, timely remembrances.  I have bugged Barbara, the curator at the Exeter Historical Society, a few times with questions regarding the minutia of life in the 30's there, and she has yet to fail to impress me with the plethora of history she has stored away, easily accessible in her brain.   However, most of it are just facts.  I needed to be able to feel the small town back then, and luckily I did find just that when punting about online!  It was a twelve minute segment of a documentary, one of those "our generation" type "you are HERE" kind of newsreels filmed in 1940, about "small town life" in Exeter, on You tube!  This thing was filmed only two years after the big part of the book is set, so I could actually "drive" around the town with the film crew and meet some of it's most prominent citizens from that time!  What REALLY threw me, is they do a bit on the Fire Department located on Court Street , and at one point in the film all the fire trucks are shown leaving the fire house, and as they pull out, lo and behold, directly across the street is the house Angi and I first lived in together!  WOW!  Didn't know it had a full porch at that time!  It was INVALUBALE!!! 
ANYWHO!  Really, truly, very muchly hope we have more fun and frivolity to write about tomorrow!  (HINT, HINT!)
See ya soon!

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ONLY $130.00!!