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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  Not to mention, Hop Scotch has now been replaced by Candy Crush!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!

image 1
ONLY $90.00!!


  1. Well... The bridge ain't all that tall, maybe 80 feet above the water, tops, and if you did it from the mainland side, you got a 40 foot boost from the bluff. Plus, it's less than a 5% grade, as required by ADA. The worst of the Three Bridges Tour is the north side of the Sand Key Bridge, at 8%. On a good day, I can take all three on my fixie.

    But enough chit-chat. If you get a job wrenching on cars, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BIKE SHOP????

    1. let's put it this of a step ladder...that's about as high as I'm willing to go!

  2. Yeah what of the bike shop? =/

  3. Well, in re-reading the blog, he does say that Angie and the kids will be there at the bike shop while he's off wenching, er, wRenching...

    Or is it retching?


  4. NOTHING happens to the bike shop, except remain solvent! Summers suck. That's it, plain and simple, but we will NOT give it up! Means too much to us, and I hope, with all humility, that it means something to the community. Let's face it, and I know how self serving this sounds, but I've been on the other end of the counters, with my own ride folks, and without us, you'll be paying $25.00 for bloody tube change, or $65.00+ for shop hours, that's IF they even deem your bike worthy of the hallowed halls of their shop's! No, we aint going anywhere! I'm just trying to keep things running smoothly without having to gnaw my nails off. I'll still put in the same amount of time around here doing the repairs and making the newbies, just gonna be a flexi schedule! Angi and the boys are more than capable of picking up the open hour times I'm not here.