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Monday, August 31, 2015

You Paid WHAT?!

With minimal reprieve so begins a new week!
We'd like to take a moment to thank all the folks taking advantage of a milder Saturday to come in and pay us a visit! Sent four rides to new homes, but oddly, still light on repairs?  I barely got my fingers dirty!  I did manage to put out, what turned out to be a real sweet Raleigh M80 MTB.  It was WELL LIVED when we got it, but a wee bit of parts swapping, and a whole lot of scrubbing? Well, mechanically, its a great ride, just some unavoidable issues with the paint. Oh well, it is priced accordingly anyway.  I put another DBS in my rack, but by then it had gotten a little to dark in the bay to see, so had to save it until today.  I did end up waiting around until almost 7pm though, as i had a rather persistent texter all day, desperately interested in the Pure Fix. He was waiting on a ride up here from Brandon. A little after 4pm he finally text he was on his way...but never showed.  No idea what happened, hopefully nothing bad, but i was running late for a good Angi dinner,sadly.
To all those who have asked, we are slowly eeking our way back up. As the weather slowly improves, so to do the visits. We thank all those who have helped, and continue to come in, so we are cautiously optimistic we will be sticking around!
On to home life, or more specifically, banging my head on a rock!
Sometimes (MOST of the time!) I question teenagers thought processes.  Elijah, who has not worked for weeks, and laments DAILY over a lack of money for HIS staples (soda and smokes) had an opportunity this weekend to make some extra cash with his equally directionless friend, helping someone move. Once done, they collected their earnings and they duitifully and wisely contemplated long and hard on the most fiscally sound and wise way as to how to make this meager windfall stretch.
NOT!!!!
No, the FIRST thing they did was hit the mall, and squander their cash on useless crap, and then eat fast food!
Now, color me crude, but upon returning to the house, each with a bag of junk, amongst which, a $28.00 T-shirt?! It was on SALE! And, a pack of the most expensive cigarettes he could find!
I just don't get it, folks. Well, no, thats not true. A generation of kids, raised (against the efforts of parents) on immediate gratification syndrome, and force fed constant advertising...and this is what we get. Thoughtless consumers.
Guess Madison avenue got it's Christmas wish!
Oh well...he'll be bugging me for a 2 liter tomorrow.
Anyway...best get a move on!
See ya soon!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Forensic Identification By Pressure Washer!!

Okay...yea....I know...been a couple days!
See, with our chaotic schedule, Angi leaves me notes on how the day went, I review them at about 3 am each morning, then use my smart phone to post the blog (hence the wee hours of the morning post time).  HOWEVER!!  When I went to use it the..other...day (GOD, I am SOOOO loosing track of time!)   Friday morning...yea...that's it! I discovered that YET AGAIN someone was messing with my phone, changed a lot of settings, thereby making it impossible for me to access "manager" on my blog account (the amount of Kaleb's "Selfies" on my camera memory leads me to only one conclusion as to WHO the culprit is!) and when I came into the shop yesterday, I forgot the computer at home.  Well..."forgot" is a euphemism for "someone got a hold of it and it disappeared from where I left it plugged in", and I didn't have an hour in the morning to waste going through the whole "I DIDN'T take it!" thing.  Angi found it last night, relocated in a different hiding spot in our room.  Of course, all fingers were pointed at Owen for trying to use it, then forgetting where he found it, so just stashed it any old wares!  Yes...welcome to our world!
ANY old WHO!
I was just re-reading the other post, and realized, I never bothered to post the pics of the gems we built last week, so I'll do that in a few mo's! 
So, the last couple of days have been pretty much a wash, sadly.  I had high hopes for yesterday as it was beautiful outside, with just the right amount of breeze to make riding very comfortable.  The mornings and evenings ESPECIALLY!  WOW!  We had a breeze coming off the water that felt positively Northern!  But, nope.  This morning was more of the same weather, and it was absolutely blissful riding in!  Barely broke a sweat!  AND, I got to enjoy it on Greedo!  Have been riding the truck each morning and afternoon as that's how I get Izzy to and from school!  I play chauffeur each day.  Sure turns a lot of entertained heads! 
The upside is, we are getting more and more looky loo's each day.  Weather worn survivors of the apocalyptic summer, optimistically poking their heads out from under their air conditioned sanctuaries are, cautiously, testing the waters as the mercury dips slightly. Granted, by the time eleven AM rolls around they have scampered back into seclusion...but hey...it's a start! 
Things at the plant (I've learned not to call it a "warehouse" or "factory".  For whatever reason, those senior to the place look down upon those terms?) have been "interesting".  My normal routine of cleaning machine, sand blasting and making packing crates has been interrupted the last couple of days as we were running ahead of schedule.  I've taken it upon myself to clean and cover machines before their scheduled processing date.  As they have not been leaving me with much work to do, but given the understanding to "keep busy", I did just that.  So now they are scrambling to keep occupied during the day!  So as a reward (or punishment?) they assigned me and one of the morning guys, Jeff (who happens to have been a regular at OUR shop for some time...small world!) the task of re-con.  Re-conditioning in layman's terms, we have several machine out back, that had been trade in's.  We strip them down to a shell, clean them, then they totally redo all their innards and resell them at a reduced price!  WOW!  Shades of "re-cycle"!  (Heh, heh)  Thing is, these bloody things have been sitting outside for....years!  
Ick!
Honestly, I have rehabbed some REAL nasty bikes in our time, but aside from a weeds, hornets nests and colonies of ants (and in two cases...barnacles) being the worst ickies I've had to deal with, well...there is a LOT of room in these things for all sorts of critters to crawl in and...well....breathe their last breaths...if you know what I mean!  THANK HEAVENS for really BIG drain pipes and a pressure washer!  At least I didn't have to touch what little evidence remains of once vibrant critters.  But don't ask me to identify the remains, I got NO idea what they once were! 
Honestly, in the beginning I was excited for the change in venue, and with all the available tools (some with POWER!!) I climbed aboard the big machine with GUSTO!!!  Reminded me of my youth, when I was twelve and worked at the junkyard tearing out starters, alternators and radiators for copper (this was back in the days when you could do things like this as a child and NOT be barred for insurance reasons!  You know, back when kids ACTUALLY WANTED to work, earn money and buy their own sh....stuff!  You know?  That ugly word..."responsibility"!  AHHHHHHH!) Anyway, I was having a hoot of  time decimating this behemoth, looking at each part destined for the scrap pile, wondering what other thing they could become, but then it was time to clean them.
oy.
Long story short, covered in years of rust, scale and lyme....
oy.
Me shoulders and arms were ah killin' me by mornings end!
Second night was interesting though.  As I was pressure washing the second machine, one of  the front foreman, Danny approached me, and without preamble, asked me where I wanted to be transferred too as soon as my 90 day probationary period ended.  See, after 90 days (if you survive) they take you in for a review, and if they like what you have done, give you a raise, and in some cases offer you a promotion to another department.  Now here's where the old "ego" kicks in, so be forewarned, he stated that he and the other managers had been talking and they had been trying to find an excuse to promote me now, before the end of the probationary period, but in the end, determined it would not be good for morale if they gave me preferential treatment.  However, they wanted to let me know to start thinking about what department I wanted to go to.  To this, I just grinned, pointed at him, and said "I want YOUR job" (forming and press...a position I made a point of stating earlier, I was interested in).  Surprisingly, he grinned back and simply stated "I was hoping you would say that".  Turns out, they have an opening in that department, but have been quietly holding off filling it, until my term is over!  See, Speaking out DOES pay off!  But, excitement over,  went back to pressure washing...and squishy socks! 
So, today...I am poking about looking for something to keep busy with.  Already cleaned up, and now looking for something I might be able to build without the need of the grinder!
*sigh*
Yea, still dealing with the "pre-industrial revolution" conditions around here!  BUT, I have hopes! 
So, with that, I'm gonna skedaddle!
See ya soon!!!


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SPECIALIZED HARD ROCK!!
ONLY $220.00!!!
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MEN'S 26" MTB!!!
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hey Vern, what's this? About 700 dollars.

Well too heck with the heat, today i got to movin my boo-TAY!!
Seems someone openned the floodgates and many a folk were bringing in some SAH-WEET rides to part with!
FINALLY!!!
Put on me dew rag to keep the sweat out of my eyes, and just started slammin'!  Got in a very fine Specialized Hard Rock that at first, looked like a wreck. Shame, too, as it's only about four years old!  But, once I started cleaning it,and a few upgrades, she looks as good as new!  Also, got in a fantastic Leader MTB! Yea, the ones that sell for like, 1400.00 new!  Woof!  Of course, we ain't looking for anything close to that. Rounded it off with a nice DAILY BANGER SPECIAL. in the form of a sharp looking , lightweight aluminum frame triax mtb.  We did have several looky loos come in, but not ready to commit yet. As frustrating as the summer season is for bike shops, we understand. It's too bloody hot for most casual riders, and only the diehards are out.  But, one they're ready, God willing, we'll be there! The hotter hours were quite (too quite, sir!) So Angi, kyle and kaleb just tried to keep cool. Tall order!
Tonight, i had VERY little to do, but it was suggested if i wanted too i could tear down an older unit out back and get it ready for recon. Really?!  Power tools, destruction, grease and throwing parts around?  SIGN ME UP!!!!
So I spent my evening crawling around in the greasy, wet guts of a huge machine, covered in gunk, tearing out all its innards! I was one happy camper!  The foreman had to find me at 2.15 totell me it was almost quitting time.  He must have recognized my boots jutting out from inside.
Well, i best sign off and shower off the smell!
See ya soon!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bromance!

Heh, heh!
So sue me, I let my emotions get the best of me!
Twas a traditional slow Tuesday today, perhaps made worse by the heat. But it was not as bad as Monday! Actually had a breeze i occasionally felt wafting through the open doors.  This morning, however, i was NO help to Angi in getting the kiddos off to school. Exhausted, i apparently refused to get out of bed, so Elijah had to take the girls to school. Waking up around ten, i hurried to relieve Angi, so she could go home and enjoy some AC until relieving me at 2.30.  I kept myself as busy as possible, tearing down scrap.  I really can't work on a few we have waiting, as what i have been able to put out had to be hand cleaned.  For lightly rusted and worn bikes, tgats fine, but these others need SERIOUS scrubbing with the wire wheel, hand held and Dremell.  Alls the pity.  Shortly after Angi got back, and I was fixing to leave, a gent came in with a ride we rebuilt for him a few years back.  He had popped the retaining screws on his rear rack and needed a new set. No worries, we got aplenty!  Once finished, and he went to pay the meager fee, he handed me a hand full of bills! My first reactio was "No sir, that's too much " his responce was "i read your blog" and in a touching, low voice added "I don't want you to go away ".  Well, thats all it took!  After a inadequate hand shake, my sentiments got the best of me...so...I hugged him.  I think this may have thrown him a bit, so if you're reading, sorry if I embarrassed you, sir, but I'm French...what can i say!?
Angela was outside, looking in at the exchange, and after he left came in and inquired, incredulously "why did you hug that man?" Then, i showed her the generous donation, her eyes teared up, and she quickly looked out in the parking lot to see if he was still there, so SHE could give him one!
Words are not enough to express our gratitude sir!  But THANK YOU!!!

The warehouse was a little more bearable tonight, but had little for me to do, so I kept as busy as i could. But once I finished dusting the sandblaster, i knew I was out of options. Good thing it was near quitting time or I would have gotten in trouble for napping!
So, tomorrow, hoping for mild weather, as I'll be there all morning and early afternoon. Ick. Hope I have something to do!  Hint, hint!
See ya in the AM!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

No London Broil...I'd Like To Be Lightly Braised.

No, We're still alive and kicking!  Doing our best to survive the inevitable August heat wave directly following monsion season. Oh the joys of Florida life. I heard it was 46 degrees in North Dakota. Yesterday...wonder if they need a bike shop there?
Well, even though the sweltering heat is upon us, some folks are spitting in the face of adversity and trying to get out and ride. Had a couple early morning repairs yesterday, and sent one bike to a new home, so thank you all for that then, in the afternoon, Angi sent another new ride out with a semi decent trade towards it, which i will get to  post haste! I also have an older ladies giant almost done as well. We also had a couple last minute repairs come through the door, keeping them busy to close.
 Now I'm not one to complain (snicker) but the warehousr last night was insufferable!  To make matters worse, i was crateing, first off, and all the machines were lined up in front of the bay doors that face west, perfectly aligned with the setting sun...whi thinks they can get a sunburn while working indoors!! At least once the sun set it cooled down...slightly.
Today, i was not budging out of bed, so Angi had Elijah deliver the girls to school and came and openned up.. I'm thankful for the allowance of sleep.
We are so hoping for a good day today, pushing to get out more goodies, as the number of looky loos are increasing. Folks realize that riding season is rapidly approaching and are getting ready! Now...i just gotta have more to show!
So, with that, i am going back at it.
See ya soon!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

So very, VERY close!

Well HUZZAH!
Thank you, thank you THANK YOU to all the folks who made today such a resounding success!!!  Even in the extreme heat , and unbearable stiffling of no ac they were out in force today!  After several repairs and three rides going to new homes (and one really sweet retiree who spent almost an hour in that bloody hot shop poking through videos for some old classics) we are only $511,00 dollars away from our goal to make it!!!!!
Yes, the light bills (currently at $2179.00...yea, welcome to Florida...a monopoly state!) Will be mostly paid come Monday.  Angi is going in tomorrow to see if she can put a dent in the remainder.  Me, i got a bakery to clean, but i'll be there bright and earlyvmonday, as the new school year starts. So, if you're out and about, pay us a visit!
See ya soon!

Daddy's "On Deck" Saturday!

Oh what a weird week! 
With the power out at the shop Angi and I have been doing a split schedule here.  With the August heat, it gets a tad uncomfortable!  I come in the mornings so that I can use the milder weather to get repairs done and work on newbies (when we have them) then she relieves me in the afternoon's.  Originally, she was set to come in around two so I could then head towards my night job, but she was coming in around noon time, so  I took advantage of that, and went home to take a nap.  There's where it got odd.  With the split sleeping times, I began to loose track of what day it was!  Toward the end of the week, the first thing I would say to Angi when I woke up was; "what day is it?" This morning, even before I spoke she just muttered " 's Saturday", then went back to sleep.  I could have sworn it was Sunday!  It hasn't been all bad though, we are persevering.  If we can hold out (and hopefully get the electric paid soon) we'll make it.  Having tighten our belts as taught as a medieval corset, we have high hopes!  The good news is, that the kids go back to school on Monday!  NOW, maybe we can keep some food in the house!  One of our benefactors gifts was taking Angi on a shopping trip to get staples for the house.  A very blessed act, however, the children being home and all possessing healthy appetites (or just out of boredom) pretty much ate it all in a day!  Of course when asked "who did it" they all pointed the finger of blame at each other!  Most times, we jut don't bother to ask.  When you have one or two kids it's pretty easy to know who did what, but with seven at home?  You pretty much just shrug, sigh and chock it up as an occupational hazard.  It sure beats hours of "heated" debate and denying temper tantrums to finally come to the realization, you'll never know!  And some folks wonder why we do our meal shopping every evening!  You leave anything in that house intended for meals, and someone is sure to gobble it up!  Heck, I caught Owen eating butter once!  With a spoon!  Out of the fridge!  And he had just had lunch! 
Oh yea...welcome to OUR world!
And I have come to the conclusion that either it's because of all the hectic activity, between work, stress and trying to get the kiddos ready for school (we somehow lost Izzy's birth certificate, so Angi had to take another bus trip yesterday to the doctors to get a notarized letter stating she is who we say she is, and is as old as way say she is.  Angi was none to thrilled with that!) or heat really effects the bones and muscles as much as the Northern winter cold does!  Both Angi and I are as crippled as if we spent a December week in New England outside shoveling snow!  Funny how the body can remember that pain!  UGH!  Thursday was really bad at the warehouse.  And I wasn't the only one feeling it!  The heat was SO oppressive, and having no AC in the warehouse, even the fans were blowing hot air!  Everyone there was moving at a snails pace, and by one AM had all pretty much packed it in and were just trying to keep comfortable until the 2.30 punch out time rolled around!  Needless to say, I was somewhat hesitant to roll out of bed in the morning to get to work on time!  BUT, I made it!  And a good thing too!  We actually got somewhat busy first thing.  One of our regulars came in, and they have been having a rough few months as well!  Back in May, while out for dinner one evening his wife was walking around their truck to get in, while talking on the cell phone, and paused behind the truck. At that point, her husband had gotten in the truck to start it up and somehow the van had been left in Reverse instead of park!  Oh, you can guess the rest!  She came out of it with a broken tibia, an has spent the last three months recovering.  Finally ready to get out and start riding again, he pulled out their bikes from the garage and went in to get her and upon returning...discovered both their bikes had been stolen!!!  JEEZE!!!  Well, they were lucky to have recovered hers a few days later, as predictably, it was a neighbor that stole them!  Unfortunately, they had also done some damage to the bike, and cannibalized some of it!  LORD! Luckily, it being a really nice Trek Urban Commuter, with a little love (and many parts) we were able to get her up and running again!  They just came in and picked it up, and thrilled with the results, are headed out on their way to enjoy a morning of riding before the afternoon heat hits! 
Also, we had a visit from a very sweet lady, Pat, who really wants to get into riding but her most recent effort was on a friends bike that proved to be too small for her, resulting in some very sore thigh muscles at the end!  Remember folks, if your knees go above your waist line when you're riding, it's too small!  She was unsure what she needed but knew she wanted to keep it simple.  I showed her Angi's old Ross three speed, and she liked the kitch!  One ride, slightly wobbly at first, but quickly she was deftly navigating the parking lot.  Now in love, she quickly claimed it as hers.  Not only that, but when she returned to pay for it, having been reading the blog she knew of our current woes, and made a very kind contribution to the cause!  Thank you SOOOOO much miss Pat!  And let the old Ross know that Angi says good bye and sends all her love!  I have the distinct impression that she's going to a good home!
Also, got a visit from our returning angel, Clyde, who brought even more glad tidings to us last night!  Not to mention, Jaesa, who dropped a large bag of school supplies at the house as well!  Oh, and I HAVE to mention Carl!  Here's a pip of a guy! He's one of our scrappers,  a real "Old Time Hustler" who is always bringing me goodies and trying real hard to beat me up over price!  It's all in good humor, though, and I know he's just trying to get the best price for his efforts. Many is the time we have had hearty disagreements over the "true" value of some of the rides he has brought in, and he always tries to play the part of a hard ass.  But, having become recently aware of our "situation" he has come in over the last few days with some bikes, that primarily are parts bikes, but has been adamant that we not pay him anything, and just "take care of him" when we can.
Wow!
let me tell you folks, if nothing else, this all just reaffirms my belief that people are, basically, under whatever pretense or fa├žade they try and perpetuate...good! 
This is, by definition, Karma.  Angi and I have always believed that no matter what you do, always try and do it well and honestly.  You may not always be rewarded immediately, but eventually good things come to you!
Oh, that was fun!  Just had a visit from a young family, looking for road bikes and the two kids were so cute!  The little boy was so fascinated with everything, after a few minutes I was following him around with a handy wipe!  This is a working shop, and thusly, the back area comes with a complimentary coating of grease! 
All right, I best get a move on, as I have a couple of rebuilds to get to as there are some folks out there looking to the near future with optimism! 
Here's hoping!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Almost Swayed

I'll tell ya, sometimes temptation has a way of seeking YOU out!
Here's the rub. It's no secret hard times are hitting...well...hard around here.  Tightening the belt doesn't cover it!  I'm not to proud to say, a very sweet benefactor bestowed an abundance of food on us last night, as Angi was counting change to get the daily rations.  So thankfully, everyone had dinner last night.  A good thing, as the shop was all but dead, again, yesterday.  We also have Chris to thank for the donation of a HUGE bevy of new bike parts and accessories.  Sadly, chris's own bike shop, north of here did not survive the summer slow down. They had opened less than two years ago, and being from New England as well brought the expectations of summers being the best time for riders. Alas, that is farthest from the truth.  Heavily invested, they didn't make it through. He stated howrver, he was giving it all to us because he hopes we make it.  Oh, you and us both brother!  Him and his family are headed back north, yesterday, to recoop and find a new direction. We wish them all the best.
So, during this excruciating struggle, when things always seem so hopeless, the oddest thing happens ; two days ago, Angi was paid a visit bt a suit, brandishing a business card proclaiming he represented a group of investors buying up small, established Florida businesses.  Not too sure of all the particulars, but it's a Latin based group, that apparently buys them, brings in their own people to establish an American foot hold. My first reaction, was "hell no!"  But....then as i l looked around at how much Angi and the kids are sacrificing just to keep the doors open?  Well, you'll forgive me for "considering"it.  Considering, to the point of consoling myself to the fact, it may be our only option.  To that end, i sat Angi down this morning over coffee, and stated maybe we should persue the offer.
Her response was emphatic, "NO!"
She was quite passionate about her reasoning, and i paraphrase (deleteing expletives) "how do you put a price on memories? This is our blood, our toil, all our sacrifices, how can you value that?  And what about all our regulars, the snowbirds and vacationers who have come to rely on us as a reasonable alternative to being humiliated and robbed by all the  "boutique bike shops"? Where will THEY go?"  Would the new people that come in, run it the same way, or turn it into another stale, impersonal "upscale shop"?  Oh...she had me on those last two points!  As i said, not to proud to say, for a brief moment i saw dollar signs and an end to the struggle, but she reminded me, in no uncertain terms, that some labors are not just necessary but righteous.  I know it may seem silly to some, that what amounts to just another business, is for us, truly an extension of our family. Oh, of course at this point, i started "waxing nostalgic" about the whole thing and came to realize, amongst other things, all our kids pretty much grew up here.  I can't remember how many times throughout their lives they have been recognized as "the bike family" or "recycle kids" (we should have t-shirts made!). Come to think of it, this business truly HAS been our home! Starting in our garage, after a few months, Angi would keep a can of fabreeze by the garage door to rid the house of "bike smell" as the kids (and cats) would run in and out all day long. And after we moved out of the garage to our first shop, then had the fire that killed our electric, (which led to the discovery that our landlord had NOT been paying the mortgage for a year, was in forecloser, and therefore not going to fix it, the new shop became our home for a week until we found new digs.  Oh, the list goes on and on.
So, in the end, it was realized, we HAVE to keep plugging!  God willing, he'll send some folks our way that we may service, pay some bills, and stay open.  So, we thank all of you who have gotten us through the last decade, and pray to God a new and ever growing influx of friends will see us through the next decade!
God bless!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Has Anyone Seen My Feet?

Yesterday was a hoot and holler! I know the boys are always happy to see a determined daddy! *Cough, Cough!* I got up here close to first thing and it was immediately to work for everyone, and CLASS WAS IN SESSION!  I taught them with no modicum of force what quality means!
I've had them roughing out rides for me too fine tune when I'm in but have been none to happy with the level of "eye for detail" we have always prided ourselves in, and DID NOT hide my disapproval! Hey, "if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!" (Dodgeball...go rent it now) I understand, they're young, but have to learn sometime! This is why I don't let them put out a bike, or do a repair unless I've inspected it, thoroughly. Like I said, high standards we WILL NOT compromise on...EVER! Something as simple as Kaleb cleaning and remounting a chain on the Fuji and not checking the length. Sure, it's what was on it, but it was two links too long making for a sloppy bottom gear. No good!
Yea, they were happy to see me go to my other job! Ha!
I managed to get the Gary Fisher out that Angi picked up the day before, and she's a peach! Well yes, Angi is, but I was talking about the bike.  We also did a refurb on a classic ladies three speed Schwinn, but that one is spoken for. Also have the Fuji roughed out, which I will finish in the am (um....a little later this am!) We've had a lot of interest in the Pure Fix, but nothing yet, if you're interested! It's on consignment and the owner, headed back up north, may come back and snag it shortly if it doesn't sell. So speak now or forever hold your peace!
Also have the ladies banger I need to get to and hope to do so tomorrow. The later half of my day there was doing some further tweaks on one of our regulars three wheeler. He's having no luck, and lost both bearing packs on the drive side, bent the axel and blew nine spokes! WOOF! I cut him a great deal thoigh, considering he was in two days before about the other wheel!
Work tonight was standard, although I don't think the morning crew owns a tape measure! They supposedly pre cut the wood for the machines I needed to crate, and they were completely off! YAY...fun!
So tomorrow, I'll be solo in the am, as Angi is doing some of the getting ready for school things, so I'll be there bright and early. So, to wit, I best get my four hours! Come say "hey" and check out the goodies! See ya then!



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26" GARY FISHER!!!
ONLY $145.00!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rolling....and Rolling

First off, let me apologize to the generous folks who have offered up donations via PayPal. Youmay have noticed your kind gifts going unclaimed, and please, in no way did we mean to slight! When i set this up i took PayPals suggestion of using the phone number as they stated it's easiest. Well...yes, but only if you're phone carrier links with PayPal...ours dies not! After four days of heated debate with the several PayPal help...there resolution was to just post our email address.
Thanks.
Thanks alot!
So again, sorry if we inadvertently snubbed anyone!
For the record, our email is "yojimbo_saki@yahoo.com"  Thank you for understanding.
Today was our annual bus trek to the doctor's for all the kiddos to get up to date, get pricked, prodded and poked, and to contend with the resulting hysterics. Then, back into the summer heat to wait for the return trip.
What fun!
On the way back, izzy lay on my lap, fell asleep and then i did, to awake with a VERY stiff neck!
But, at least they're all healthy, except for two with slightly low iron count (the two that NEVER eat their vegetables!) Then it was a quick jaunt from the bus stop to the house (whining all the way, la, la, la!) For a quick lunch, than mom and dad headed out to their jobs. Elijah had an uneventful morning, but in the afternoon Angi sent the trek home with a regular who traded in a sweet Gary Fisher towards it! Nice!
So, I'm going to get showered up and hit the sack so i can get an early go of it!
Hope to see you soon!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mad Dash Day!

So..
We get up this morning around 7.30...well, Okay...I get up around 7.30, took a good half an hour to raise the boys, then we headed out to the laundry mat to do our usual Sunday domination of ALL the machines (how do kids go through SO much clothes in one week?!), then, with Angi in charge, I headed to the shop with the burning desire to dress out a SAH-WEET trek 820 BIG BOY MTB we got in Saturday night in trade.  She needed some WORK but SOOOOOOO worth it!  As I find myself repeating constantly "we don't get many of these!" and they are WAY popular!!  She turned out cherry!  Under all the grime and surface rust, she's a peach!  Check out the pic below!  Also, whilst here, had a very nice lady drop off two rides that were "taking up space" and she heard we could give them a new life!  OH....yeaaaaaaaa!  One is a simple ladies DBS but the other is a pretty sweet, old school Fuji MTB!!!  Oh be still my beating heart!  I do so love these oldies!  They sat in the elements, obviously for a while, but the bodies are top notch!  Gonna take some work, but again, SOOOOOO worth it....well, the Fuji at least! Ba-dum-bump!
Once the Trek was all "shiny" I had to jet to the bakery to do the cleaning bit!  The "checklist" I have was updated, and shall we say....comprehensive?  SHEESH!!!  This is not a big place, but the owner is very specific!  Which is fine, MORE restaurant owners should be THIS concerned about cleanliness!
Angi and the boys hung out at the shop chatting with visitors until three, trying to drum up some business, and had a lot of looky loo's for a Sunday.  LOTS of interest in the "Pure Fix" and "Fuji" but no bites, sadly.  Ah well...the bikes owner will come along...they always do!
Speaking of which....
After the seven hours it took to clean the bakery, I headed back to the house (with Greedo's basket overflowing with all the goodie leftovers!  Heh, heh!) fully intending on a wee bit of happy hour after one HECK of a busy week (and to get the kiddo's ready for tomorrow).  No sooner had I parked my tuckas on the porch, and went through my texts, did we get a call from a gent who was in New Port Richey and wondering if he could come down and take a gander at the Fuji Royalle, as he seemed quite smitten!  SURE, no problem!  Greedo's engines hadn't even cooled down yet, and it was off again back to the shop!  Of course...no FREAKIN sooner do I get here, did the evil looking clouds that were making their way back around AGAIN...for the THIRD bloody time today, open up and send a deluge of bloody rain down on us!!!  Not to mention some VICOUS wind that has successfully torn our front tarp sign from it's mounting!
Seriously...can we....get....a.....FREAKIN'....BREAK?
PLEASE!?!?!?
ANYWAY! 
Not only did we just send the Fuji to a new home in Nashville Tennessee to college, but I got the gents father interested in Jay and Silent Bob movies!!  Cool!  I get to taint and warp the generation before me!  Hee, hee!
ALRIGHTY!
Now, I gotta head home, as tomorrow begins the arduous task of dragging all the kiddos to the doctors for their annual check up's before school starts!  JOY!  Another wonderful bus ride to outer Saint Petersburg.
OY!
Yes, we are open tomorrow, Elijah will be minding the shop, as we have to plod to the bus stop before seven am....
and hopefully done in enough time that I can get back up to this neck of the woods and be to work on time.  I'm seriously questioning the likelihood if I will be making it to the shop on Tuesday...Ah HA!
OK...
I better jet, I SOOOO need a shower, and I haven't even eaten yet today...
Come to think of it.... I didn't eat yesterday either....
oy.
See ya soon!


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26" BIG BOY TREK 820!!!!
ONLY $165.00!!
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BEEFY MONGOOSE XR200!!!
ONLY $105.00!!
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ANGI'S VINTAGE 1971 ROSS 3 SPEED
ONLY $90.00!!
(SHE'S JUST HOOKED ON HER 15 POUND TREK ROAD BIKE AND NEVER RIDES HER ANYMORE!)

Until 3 pm!!!

Yesterday, got busy with new builds and repairs, so back in today until 3 pm for anyone needing anything!  Got some more gems for you to kick the tires!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

And why aren't you out riding? HMMMMMM?

Good Morning PEOPLES!!
Oh it feels so good to be back in the Captains Chair! 
And, with a show of hands, how many of you fellow Floridians were out this morning enjoying the INCREDIBLE weather?  Put your hands down if you were doing it through an open car window...that don't count!  I had reason to be out on a jaunt around 7 am and almost went back to the house to grab a jacket!  The pleasant side effect of all the rain is much milder mornings!  It's been to long since I felt that!  With my morning wake up time shifting more to the afternoon, by the time I usually hit the streets it's in the early afternoon...ick!  But no, this morning, beautifully brisk!  Once I finished up a short meeting at one of the other jobs, I took a longer, leisure ride to the shop to open up.  Almost considered opening a wee bit later and just enjoy it from the perch of the revamped Greedo, but thought better of my obligations.  So sad.
BUT, that's what we're here for!  Sacrificing our own happiness in lieu of others!  LOL!!  (aren't we the little philanthropists!)
ANYWHO!
Yesterday was yet again, another relatively quiet day, but we did have the pleasure of one of our regulars bringing in his three wheeler (or "Cadillac") for some over due maintenance.  He' been coming to us for years to keep his sole mode of transportation on the road, and normally the work is minor.  This time, however, she needed quite a bit of TLC!   After he moved a year back, he was forced to store it outdoors, no longer having a garage, and it was in rough shape.  Did a full tune, had to replace a few pieces too far gone, rust and wear wise, then gave her a good run through the wire wheel to knock off the remaining rust.  The big thing was the rear three speed hub had shimmied loose, and had to realign the whole rear.  The pissah was, as I had it suspended in the rack and was jostling it about, and it fell!  And you guessed it...the rear end assembly came RIGHT DOWN on my bad leg, the corner digging right into the sore!  YOWTCH!!!!  I swear!  It's like there is a target drawn on it! 
BUT, all in the call of duty! 
As I mentioned, we have the very fine, Fuji Royale  lookin' all pretty and ready to go, so check that piece of Veloist finery below! 
So far today, I had a pleasant confab with a returning gent in the process of rehabbing a "trash find" cruiser, in need of a few trinkets, and we discussed the "Christmassy" joy of discovering hidden treasures in other peoples refuse!  Oh yes!  I am SOOOOO a "Dumpster Diver"!!  A little hint though, if you ever have the urge to follow suit: DO NOT even lift the lid of a dumpster anywhere NEAR a restaurant!  PHEW!!!  It may look tempting...but the smell will KNOCK....YOU....OUT!!!  I'd rather be a cadaver dog than do THAT again!!  YUCK!
Also, got in a rebuild on a rear wheel that looks...to be...a challenge!  OHHHH boy!  Another hint: If you start popping spokes...please stop riding, and get it fixed!  ESPECIALLY if it's an alloy rim!  HOLY TACO TUESDAY, BATMAN!! 
All right, enough rambling, I gotta scoot and get working!
See ya soon!!!


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DID I TELL YOU!?
GORGEOUS!!!
ONLY $145.00

Friday, August 14, 2015

That is one...sweet....ride!!

Yea, yea...I know!  I had a late start today!  Angi and the boys opened up on time, but I didn't drag my carcass in until around 2 pm!  UGH!  Twas' a busy night at the warehouse last night.  I won't bore you with the mundane details, but each night they keep giving me a little more to do, obviously testing my resolution and resolve.  Last night was a back breaker (and of course I wacked the sore on my knee THREE bloody times!) and I didn't get out until after closing (much to the chagrin of the foreman that had to wait on me) so by the time I got home, cleaned up and relaxed (watched several snippets of Crank Yankers on you tube for a chuckle) it was five am. 
Needless to say, I slept!
BUT, now I'm in and ready to ROCK!  (God... I hate how "eighties" that expression sounds) Angi picked up some FREAKIN' GEMS today!  A "Pure Fix, Ozona" Cro-moly Mixie with loads of upgrades.  Fully chrome, with a carbon fiber fork set up, and a set of hand laced rims.  Light weight, this thing is bloody SAH-WEEEEET!!  If I were a low slung Mixie kind of guy, I would SOOO be adding this one to my collection!  She also snagged a classic Fuji "Royale" road bike!  This one is also a sweet, larger frame road bike that looks to have been recently tuned and a few upgrades added.  Will have that one posted as soon as I get it cleaned up and tuned, but I'm shooting some pics of the Pure Fix for you to drool and dream!
Also, she picked up a couple of repairs which I have to jump on lickety split.  We did put out two newbies (FINALLY!!) yesterday.  A cute little 20" BMX that already found a new home this morning, and a gentS 26" DAILY BANGER SPECIAL!!  Which, truthfully got a LOT more TLC than your usual DBS, but..every bike has a price cap, regardless of effort, so this one is a steal of a deal! 
ANYWHO!
Now, I'm jumping on repairs, and I'll be here all day tomorrow!  Gosh...that would be a GREAT time to bring in that bike you've been meaning to have fixed up...or the one you don't use anymore that you want to sell.  Or hey, maybe you NEED a ride for the upcoming season?  That would be cool, right?
All right, enough subliminal suggestions...I'm off to workies!


MADE IN AMERICA!!
PURE FIX MIXIE!!!
ONY $400.00!!!
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MEN'S 26" "DAILY BANGER SPECIAL!!!"
ONLY $75.00!!
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2015 RALEIGH TALLUS MTB!!
NEW!!!
ONLY $230.00!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Even More Thank Yous!!

Seriously..it's 4a.m.....why am i still awake!
S'okay... guess my bodies getting used to the new schedule!  Sitting on the porch, waiting for Advil to kick in so I can get a few hours, before I go to the shop. As predicted, the older boys are taking advantage of mom and Kaleb made an excuse of "looking for a job" to take off after work. Ended up going to his girlfriends house and showed up at 3 a.m. as i just got home! Needless to say.,. He's grounded!
Anyway!
Here's where I brag for a moment. Got a good compliment tonight. Electrical foreman commented, he didn't know what I was doing right, but to keep it up, for the whole office was talking about me! Especially the president! SWEET! Tonight they had little for me to do, so  I wandered around asking everyone if I could help. Big brownie points!  Ended up taking out everyone's garbage, and some of them looked at me kind of strange. Turns out, nobody from my department ever did that before. 
SO, yesterday was an eek-ling of busier for Angi and he boys.  Couple repairs crept in and we sent home the ladies cruiser with, as described a very pregnant young lady, who is already planning on her exercise regiment once the baby is home!  Also, some DIY'ers came in and snagged up some goodies or a pet project! SAH-WEET!!!
Wow!  It's now 3 pm in the afternoon, and having slept in WAY to long,  I didn't get here until noon, and have been busy getting all the daily ducks in a row, so I now have to "BUG OUT" and get to work!
I DO, however, want to take a moment to thank a VERY special gent, Clyde, for his recent donations!  These were in the form of a more "non-business" related donation, but did in fact quell a very real financial strain we had all but forgotten about in light of everything else hitting us, and that was the kids school clothes and supplies.  Needless to say, when he un-expectantly came in and footed the whole bill!?  WOW!  You can imagine how NOT cheap school uniforms are for four kiddos!   YOWTCH!  All our love sir! 
OKEY DOKEY!
Now, I gotta bug!  But please, don't hesitate to pay Angi and the boys a visit, they're just waiting for you!


See ya!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

VERY BIG THANKS!!!

Good Morning Peoples!
Today, just kind of breezing through, as I have a hoopla of running about to do!  But I HAD to stop and extend some HUGE thank you's to a few folks out there.  Our recent request (OK...out and out begging) for assistance has been met by some very kind souls!  Now, most folks didn't give info, and  propriety compels me not to mention amounts, but a very heart felt thnks goes out to Jynx, "Wild Bill", Adrianne, Meridith and Ramone.  We all send out a lot of love, my friends, and reiterate, everything helps! 
So, Okay, yes, very short entry but I really gotta fly!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Well...At Least THIS time, Greedo Didn't Shoot First!

So, yea...that happened!
Some of you may remember a rant I posted back on July 15th regarding the way and direction in which cyclists are required to ride on the streets.  As it stands, we are required to go with the flow of traffic.  My argument being, that by doing it this way, we, the Veloists put our lives in the hands of Car drivers.  A group of people SORELY inadequate to the task!  Not to mention the advent of such things as cell phones and texting, which is somewhat akin to giving a psychopath a live grenade with no pin and recommend they "be careful"!  SO, my suggestion was to ride against the flow of traffic, thereby taking control of our OWN fates, and not relying on the distracted ditzy drivers aiming their 4000 pound death machines at you!
Well, needless to say, I was told flat out I was wrong by everyone who commented, responded or came in to visit and offer their opinion.  Don't get me wrong, opinions are great and I enjoy the challenge of conversation.  And mind you, it's not my place or purpose to try and convince you to abandon your principles or opinions.  I just like to express my own as a healthy outlet for venting frustration. 
HOWEVER...
In this case, I believe ONCE AGAIN...I was proven right!
Now, I should have known, yesterday being August the ninth, that I should have just pulled up the covers and stayed in bed the whole day until the calendar cleared to the tenth.  See, the ninth is the day after my birthday, and has become over the years, somewhat cursed.  Something traumatic ALLWAYS happens to me on the ninth but I had things to do and couldn't avoid that valuable span of 24 hours.
So.....
Mid afternoon I headed to the Home Depot down on Gulf To Bay.  I needed some materials for the Bakery, that I could not find at Lowes, Wal-Mart or K-Mart the other day.  Once stopping off to get my list of chores, I headed out.  Heading East (on the "right" side of the road, mind you) I got to Hercules, headed South and arriving at the intersection of Hercules and Gulf to Bay, found myself catching the light to cross over to the South side (the "right" side, yet again).  Now, as I am a wee bit anal about not wasting time at lights, instead of my usual route, along the sidewalk going against the flow of traffic, I took the crossing signal, then went back over Hercules headed East again, towards Home Depot.  Well...that and fact that once you get to Home Depot (which is on the South side of the road) you have to pass it to get to a crosswalk than double back.  Precious seconds wasted!  As I was cruising down the sidewalk, dutifully WITH  the flow of traffic, I will admit, I made ONE mistake; my mind was drifting, utilizing the drive time to mull over all the things I needed to get done that day, so when I came up on a parking lot entrance my "cautionary reaction time" was a wee bit slow.  It wasn't until I came up on the entrance, my front wheel almost to the intersection, that I glanced over my shoulder to see if anyone was turning into the parking lot.
This turned out to be an almost fatal mistake! 
I turned my head in just enough time to notice a silver streak careening into the parking lot in the form of some kind of a small silver convertible.  The driver (tinted windows so I have no idea if they were male or female) took no notice of my forward progression, and banked the corner.  Luckily, I hit the brakes, and leaned sharply to the right in an attempt to avoid the impact, but only served to lessen it somewhat.  Thankfully the lean allowed the force and momentum of the impact to catapult me away from the car, the entrance way, and more importantly the busy path of Gulf to Bay.  Surprisingly, I escaped serious injury, only sustaining the resultant road rash on my left knee and calf, and twisted my right calf muscle.  Sadly, my 1977 Schwinn, affectionately known as "Greedo" did not fare as well.....





Thankfully, we own a bike shop, so the repairs aren't going to sting more than my leg! 
Now of course, in true Floridian Fashion, the driver never stopped.   No witnesses came forward, no one stopped to help, and no police were involved.  Oh, yes, I was already told I should have called the police, but why?  Think me jaded, but there's NO point in doing that!  First off, I was to busy concentrating on where and how I was going to land to take the time to write down the license plate number.  And once I got up, I was more concerned with dragging Greedo out of the intersection before some other driver came along and considered him a speed bump (frame damage I CAN NOT fix!).  And, sadly, if it doesn't involve writing a ticket?  The police around here don't want anything to do with it.  And I speak from personal experience here folks.  On more than one occasion there "dedication" to duty has been exemplified.   Elijah, when he was thirteen was struck by a careening car while he stood at an intersection on his bike waiting to cross the street.  I was right behind him, and the impact was so great, he and the bike became airborne, and the right side view mirror of the car was broken off.  I picked up the rear view mirror (once checking on Elijah of course) and with that, and a description of the car, not to mention the first three digits of the license plate,  went and called the police and the paramedics.  They arrived, checked him out, considered him lucky he had nothing broken, then I turned my attention to the officer, handed him the rear view mirror that he studied with the least amount of interest, then I inquired on what they would do.  He sighed, smirked and said (and this is NO joke) "what do you want me to do about it?"
WHAT!?!!
He than went on to say "well...I guess I can take a report, but it won't do any good"  I could not believe what I was hearing!  I pointed to the rear view mirror and the three digits, but he proclaimed that there were hundreds of thousands of silver cars in Florida and it would just be "A waste of time".
NOW, do you see why Florida is number two in the annual cases of vehicle on bicycle fatalities!  A car driver has no incentive to pay any attention to us!  Worse case scenario was when Kaleb was struck while crossing the street (he HAD the crossing sign, totaled his bike and was in ROUGH condition) but to add insult to injury, was not only ticketed for NOT yielding to oncoming traffic (UM...Florida statues says pedestrians have the right of way people!) but is currently being sued by the driver for among other things "emotional trauma resulting from striking a child"?  Yea.. I am SOOO serious!) These and many other experience's with the total lack of concern for the publics well being by the local police made wasting half my afternoon, superfluous (not to mention, I probably would be sighted for riding a Schwinn in the daytime or something!)  so I just limped the rest of the way to Home Depot, did my shopping and called a cab. 
SO how was your day.
ANYWHO!
On to the shop!  Saturday was very busy in the morning, having sent the men's 26" MTB to a new home.  Then, banged out a few repairs, had some Looky Loo's and was getting quite confident it would become a "normal" day around here, when the rains started yet again...
Still, even given the condition of the skies, we did have one gent come in and snag the "murdered" cruiser, and drop us off a trade in the way of an old school Giant ladies hybrid.  Paint's a little rough, so I'm not sure if it's worth rebuilding yet, but it has a real sweet set of road rims and tread on it, that will cap off the Dawes Road bike, quite nicely!!!
ANYWHO!
That's about it for today, as I now have to rebuild Greedo so I can get to work this afternoon!
Hope to see ya soon!!



Saturday, August 8, 2015

48...49....FIFTY!?!?! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Kind of feels the least bit alien right now.  Funny how one can shift gears to a new way of doing things, but have a weird time shifting back.  Coming back this morning to open up and do the weekend shift was slightly akin to being a visitor...if that makes any sense.   But it' cool, I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things, and so far this morning have been kept quite busy!  I love that!  Last night was an oddity too, not having to go to bed before the sun set!  Actually got to watch a couple episodes of "Lost" before I had to coax a very exhausted Angi to bed.  She passed out half way through the second episode with her head on my lap.  Poor pooped mamma.  And talk about a chaotic evening!  SHEESH!!  Mamma and the boys had shifted into a regimented routine in my absence and had all the little kiddos in bed by nine, then it was relax time for the older "working" folksOn the contrary, last night, we didn't leave the shop until seven, then arriving home, had to decide on dinner.  Mamma opted for meatball subs, so we sent out our runners to the local Wal-mart (don't hate me for that folks, it's the only bloody grocery store LEFT in our area!) only to discover that out of ALL the freezers they had in that place, the one holding the meatballs had broken down and the morons that run the place didn't have the sense to MOVE the stock to a freezer that WAS working!  SHEESH!!  SOOOOOO, the boys brought home everything for meatball subs....except the meatballs!!!  In the end, I got mamma a Subway meatball sub (always feed the wife's cravings, folks!) and as it turned out, the kiddos were in blissful rapture at the treat of "cheesy fries" for supper!    That's called making a silk purse out of a sows ear!
The other weird thing is, it wasn't until I sat down at the computer today, and was doing the whole Craigslist thing, that I happened to notice the date...
It would appear, that today, I turned 48 years old.
Ouch!
Been so busy, all but forgot!  Which is OK, because last year for my Birthday I had a "mild cardiac episode" that landed me in the Hospital for three days!  SO not wanting the same gift this year!  Best to let the day pass, unnoticed!  of course, this close to 50 and one begins the inevitable retrospective evaluation of "life choices".  Ugh.  Nostalgia is SOOOO NOT what I need!   
ANYWHO!
On the "working on bikes front", it didn't dawn on me until a couple days ago that "HEY!  I work in a fabricators shop now!"  (DUH!) that has, not only a FULL range of metal working tools BUT  a sandblaster big enough to put three dozen bike frames in at one time!  HO, HO!! At that point of realization, the wheels in my head groaned into rusty, grinding and creaking motion and formulated the slightest sliver of an idea!  Needless to say the weather worn (and poorly repainted) Dawes road bike Angi picked up will become the first frame to go under the glass beads come Monday!  (yea...it's not sand, but microscopic beads of glass!  I had NO idea!  No wonder it itches so much when you accidently get it down the front of your shirt!  And let me tell you...you get a fine film of that stuff on a concrete floor?  It's like trying to do the tango on marbles!) The lug work on this frame is so pretty!  When you sandblast the metal, it turns a uniformed dull silver/gray.  I'm going to see how that looks, and if it works, might just finish it up with a light hand sanding and a durable clear coat!  I think that would look sharp, maybe with an accent color on the wheel set, as I'm going to do an urban Mixie with it (but may keep it a five speed rear...we'll see!)  The creative part of this job is the BEST part!  WA-HOO! 
But today.... Picked up a full re-hab on a nice old Caloi MTB yesterday where the owner had the misfortune of snapping off the rear derailleur mount on the frame.  Gonna take a little creative tinkering to mount one that'll work on it, but I am up to the challenge!  See, this is one of those "hacker-fixers" that any other shop would get an offended look on their faces, snub their noses and exclaim with righteous indignation " You can't DO that!!"
Enh...
if it keeps the bike on the road, keeps the customer happy, and doesn't make us look like all the other snobbish "boutique bike shops" compelling us to coerce the innocent Veloist into buying some over priced NEW bike, we're all for THAT!!
(oooo.  Did THAT sound venomous?)
Oh well. 
Beyond that, have a couple other rides to tinker with, and so hoping we get some NEW blood in today!  YOWZA!!  That would be SWEEEEEEEEET!!!!
ALLRIGHTY!
Best ta git at it! 
See ya all WAY soon!!! 

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Shiting Sand On Which We Tread.

Don't know if it's uncanny or blessed that Fate and Providence still seem to be paying attention to our lives with rapt interest (or is that morbid curiosity?)
So... things at the warehouse are becoming interesting.  It's no big surprise that given the guidelines and responsibilities of the evening position I currently hold, some employees before would find ways to take advantage of the freedom and relatively unsupervised nature of it, and in the vernacular "slack off".  Things is, I don't work like that.  If I'm working...I'm working.  I would rather just go home and get sleep if there is nothing for me to do.  Give me a full checklist, and I can challenge myself to get it done in X amount of time.  Between making pallets, preparing machines to ship, packaging them or sandblasting, I just break them up between break times and push to get them done.  It took them a couple of weeks to realize this, but since then have been giving me more and more comprehensive chores to do.  The end result of this is...they have taken notice.  On Wednesday the plant foreman actually asked me if I would be willing to come on the morning shift (when there is more to do).  Thankfully, before I could decline, the department head stepped in and reminded him that I had commitments during the day to the shop.
On the contrary, facing the reality of the limitations my age presents, the whole "24 hour shift" between leaving the warehouse then going to the bakery, became problematic.  On two occasions I was a little late, and on Friday was clearly exhausted.  This too, did not go unnoticed.  Not wanting to give up, or leave them high and dry, I pushed on, but they solved the problem for me.  This morning, after arriving home and cleaning up, I got dressed, put on a pot of coffee and was going to play video games until I had to leave...
but...
As soon as I sat down on the sofa waiting for the coffee to brew, Suzanne climbed up on the sofa and draped herself across my lap in the universal "pet me" sign, and in seconds of stroking her fur...I passed out.
Needless to say, I was late for the second time in three weeks.  Not good.  The owner, Marney, understood that the demands of my time were taxing, but she needs someone there she can count on to be on time each and every day.  However, the upside is, they still want to keep me around, so I was offered a new position of "maintenance".  The beauty of this position is I make my own hours and can come in when they are closed and clean up and fix things around the place.  To top it off...the pay is better!
The funny thing is, when I started all this I originally thought the bakery would be the "keeper".  In the end, it has all congealed into something a lot more manageable AND now frees me up to be here all day on Fridays and Saturdays!  YAY!! 
Weather not withstanding!  SHEESH!
As predicted, the last three days of mild weather couldn't hold out and the clouds rolled in, the damning effect being, that after a deluge like we have dealt with for the last month, people are naturally skeptical when the brief intervention of clear skies shows up.  You need at least four good days in a row for folks to relax and really venture out.  "Missed it by that much!"  (a TV quote from the "Over-Forty" collection!) 
Yesterday, though, we did send home the Men's 26" MTB to a new home (or an old one, depending on how you look at it, he is a regular) We also put out a basic ladies single speed cruiser, resurrected from the dead, and did some tear downs and reorganizing.  In short...a wee bit of a yawn fest! LOL! Of course, the rains earlier today scared most everyone away, and we're still waiting for more goodies to come in!  Weekend's coming up folks!  If you're digging through the garage or shed or back yard and got some rides you don't want?  We're here!
OKEY DOKEY!
Now, as the day is winding down to a close, I'm going to take a little bit to get my bearings straight and figure out what I got to work with and work on.
See ya soon!!


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26" LADIES SINGLE SPEED CRUISER!!
ONLY $55.00!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Beg, Borow but never steal!

Friends, we need your help.
Almost eight  years ago we started our little enterprise out of our garage at the old house on Highland. We had no business plan, or direction, just a hankering to get dinner on December 13, 2007.  I'd been working in construction and it had all but dried up and couldn't find any other work, and with no money and no food we needed to do something. With all our kids, we had several old bikes in the garage, so we cleaned them up, stuck them out on the front lawn, and in 45 minutes, sold four. Over a splurge of pizza that night, Angi and I talked.
Well, the rest is history.
In the beginning we slowly began to  realize we were on to something. A cheap alternative to boutique bike shops, inexpensive repairs, and a realistic blue collar family  attitude seemed to resonate with folks.  As it turns out, the fact that we seem to be the ONLY bike shop in all of Florida that deals exclusively in used bikes and does repairs with refurbished parts (an idea that wrinkles the noses of any other shop you ask) has become a popular idea.  The claim "we're not looking to get rich, only popular " resonates to this day.  There have been tight times, no surprise there, but we have always held on strong to the love and desire we have of this little place and have been blessed to meet and help so many wonderful people. Money can't get you that.
Trouble is...money is what keeps it going.
Last year, we had a horrific summer, and almost didn't make it. The rains were horrible, as well as the heat. If not for the generosity and patience of both our landlords, we would have shut our doors. It took until May of this year to get almost caught up, then the summer hit, and this year has been wore than last!  Me getting two more jobs help, but only for the house.  Oh, I've shelled out some of it for shop expenses, but it only goes so far.
So what am I getting at? Well, tonight I made my now normal 6.30 pm call to Angi to see how things went today and was met with a very distraught voice. She'd made nothing all day, had no money, no food in the house and was on her way home to dig for change to try and buy something for dinner. With my paychecks from last week, long gone, I could only listen helplessly to her panicked dilemma.
Deja vu.
Recently,  I made a promise to myself and our friends and customers that we weren't going anywhere, and I desperately want to keep that promise!  So, here's where we are, and forgive me as I've never done this before, so I don't know the protocol.  We're asking for donations to keep us open. It's that simple. If you like what we do, what we stand for and what we want to continue to do for our community and beyond, we're pulling a whole PBS thing. We know things will come back around by late September, but we have to MAKE it that far. Sadly, it's a number that doesn't seem all that big when you think about it, we only need to raise $3167.37 to get us there, to keep the lights on and the bill collectors at bay.  We'll take any size donations, and have set up a PayPal account for it  (just go to pay pal, and when it asks who it's going to just type in our phone number (727) 831-9742 and send what you can) , or you can mail us a check or better yet, if you're local, swing by and grab a bike with cash! This is no get rich quick scheme. We'll let you know where we're at each day, and stop taking donations when the goal is hit.  So please, if you can donate, please do so..  we want to keep this dream alive.
Thank you, so very much. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Yes...the salad comes with the dinner, but the bake potato is extra...

Fingers crossed and knocking on wood!  Two days and no rain!  YAHOO!!!  Another sunny blue sky when I finally rolled out of bed this morning...or was it this afternoon?  Anyway, it was wonderful to see!  I had no idea just how ridiculous it had gotten out there.  Our neighbor, Pat at the computer store lives up in Holiday and had no way to get to work for two days due to severe flooding.  The aftermath, as the waters receded, was destroyed roads that make massive sink holes look like potholes!  All our condolences to those folks and what they are going to have to endure while waiting for the problem to be fixed!
But, a I said, the upshot is, the rain looks like it has gone away for awhile giving us a much needed reprieve.
And folks seem to be taking advantage of it!  As predicted, two good days in row and folks are starting to venture out again, as we had a couple repairs come in yesterday, getting ready, optimistically, for heading out and enjoying the clear skies.  Even a few more came in today, so the hope is that that will be an upward trend!  (HINT,HINT!!) 
Angi picked up a gem yesterday as well!  The rides a little rough, but she got a sweet Dawes road bike that could make a very sweet single speed for some lucky person.  She also got the pleasure of checking out a GORGEOUS Masi road bike a gent brought in with the desire to put it on consignment. As pleasing as it was to look at (and for Angi...to drool over, she's the road bike enthusiasts, not me) we had to pass.  He was looking for a cool grand, and that's just not our cup of tea.  Sad thing is, he had taken it to a couple of other shops in town, and they snubbed their nose at it stating "we don't buy used bikes".  Of course, they referred him to us.  He also tried a couple pawn shops, but the best offer was only $200.00.  The reality is, we have tried higher end bikes before, thinking their may be a hidden market we were not reaching, but in the end, it just backfired.  Folks normally accustomed to seeing bikes in the under $100.00 range, would take one look at the price tag, choke, sputter, and guffaw, and in the worse cases, turn around and walk out thinking we were just another "boutique bike shop" that felt we were "all that and a bag of spoke nipples".  So, no, we'd rather keep selling $80.00 bikes by the rack load and leave the rare and occasional big ticket sale to the other guys!
Today, I have a couple repairs to bang out, then I'm gonna take a closer look at the Dawes.  Oh, and for those of you more literate on the Techno side of things, Angi has revamped and restarted the "Recycle Bicycles" Facebook page for those of you wanting to follow a more up to the minute relating of our exploits, a well as starting a page on Instagram (apparently, some folks have gone beyond verbal and written communication, and now rely on pictographic communication...um....isn't that an evolutional back slide?) named, oddly enough "Recycle Bicycles"...go figure.  So check it out and like it..or be our friend...or whatever the lingo is!
OKAY!  So NOW, I'm going to drive everyone here loony, pop in a copy of something MST3K and get some work done...in an hour and a half!
SHEESH!  Where did the morning go!?
See ya soon!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Step...by....step....inch....by.....inch

Lawd AH MIGHTY!!  Is that the SUN?!?!
Awoke this morning fully prepared to swim to work only to come out for my morning coffee to blue skies!!! 
'S funny what the body can get used to. 
So, yesterday we had a slightly busy start to the day with a few parts for a DIY'er, and a couple tube changes.  Then one of our regular brought in a sweet old Peugeot MTB he wants us to rebuild for him, so that's what I'm banging on now.  It's a start folks!  Hopefully, Floridians with the undying urge to get out and ride will brave the New World with heartfelt optimism!  Just remember, if things goes back to usual, we will get just a smattering of rain in the mid afternoons, so plan accordingly.  The good thing is though, with all this rain, it feel a lot cooler outside, even in the noon hour!
Still have nothing to report on newbies, unfortunately.  I spent the morning sorting through a lot of parts buckets, and prepped more wheels!  We have a full wheel rack again as a result. 
Yes, I know, BORING!!
But, after all, that' pretty much Florida summers...boring.  Not a lot of things to jaw about, so I just vamp!
Got home this morning from the warehouse and of course, was wide awake, so sat out on the porch to download and try and relax to get some rest, but Suzanne, who had been waiting up for me was in a chipper mood, so we ended up playing in the yard for a bit.  Must have been an odd sight if anyone was looking out their window at the time.  At least it tuckered me out.
OK, so not my most entertaining or informative conversation ever, so I'll just sign off and get to finishin' the Peugeot.  Y'all have a great day!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Row,Row, Row Your Boat...Gently Down The Stream, There Is So Much Bloody Rain, Make's You Want To F(@$&*!ng SCREAM!!!

Well...in lieu of anything else more profound or imperative to discuss..."How about this weather, huh?!"
Seriously.  Like any region of this country, we have our weather pattern peccadillo's, but SHEESH!!  Just can't get a bead on things anymore. Normally, in the summertime it will rain for about an hour in the afternoon, you except this fact, and just plan your day accordingly.  Not so much anymore!!  It's been ridiculous lately, and I don't think any of us have been completely dry in over two weeks! Perhaps, for the summers we should just sell Kayaks, life jackets and bumbershoots! 
So, in light of all that, not a heck of a lot of choice jaw juice to spill!   Angi and Kaleb have been doing their best to keep busy around here, and have sent a few rides to new homes, so we thank all those brave folks for planning ahead (and seeing the sunlight at the end of the rain tunnel) and looking forward to the, as yet, elusive riding season.  Believe me, it is just around the corner!
 The growing pains are still lingering a wee bit for the "New Management" (well, original management, thus returned) but they are faring it well.  I understand, completely. though, as does Angi, that some folks are set in there ways, and once they find an establishment and an individual they are use to dealing with, that's all they are willing to work with.  And Hey!  That's SOOOOO cool, we LOVE that fact!  We love our regulars and can only try and reassure them, that I'm still here, in spirit if not in body, and for those of you wanting me to take care of your rides as before, no worries!  I'm here every day, mostly mornings, afternoons on the weekends, so if you hit us between 10 and 3M-Th and 3-6 Fri and Sat, I'll hook ya up! 
We have put a few out over the last few days, as again, with this weather, not much of a much is coming in for us to tinker with!  Sad Face!  But, the upside is, what is going out is still finding homes right quick! 
Why am I here earlier today?  Two reasons, giving Angi a "sleep in morning" AND given the current deluge conditions outside, I didn't want her to have to ride her Trek in it!  Angi weighs next to nothing and that bike is one of those "lift it with one finger" kind of rides.  So NOT the safest thing to get to work on in this SH.....tuff!
Of course, the growing pains extend to the household as well, as we contend with the discontentment of the kiddo's in regards to the abrupt changes.  Although, I think they enjoy dinners more!  LOL!  Momma, in the absence of time to cook a "proper" meal, treats them primarily to "kid" food, none of that el-weirdo vegetables and meats Mommy and  Daddy usually cooked up!  Oh, she sneaks in some valuable dietary necessities, but it's less prominent from what we would normally take the time to create!  Well...at least they clean their plates!
Suzanne is of course, still a little off.  She now will be waiting for me each early morning I stagger in, dutifully resting on the side of my bed.  Angi has grown accustomed to her "early warning signal" that I have made it home all right, as when I pull into the driveway, Suzanne's heavy tail starts to thump the floor, vigorously.  It's so sweet, not to mention, reassuring.  As I am not in the house when it comes to bed time she has taken it upon herself to forgo her own usual comfy sleeping spot on the couch to be in the bedroom with Angi to keep her safe.  Oh, Suzanne is the sweetest dog, BUT I almost feel sorry for anyone coming near the house!  The Pit-bull propensity for protection is predominant in this pooch! 
The other jobs are going well.  Finished my "training" at the warehouse, and was honored to be given good reviews.  I like the folk there, and enjoy the fact that I am the only person on staff in Shipping on second shift.  They give me my work checklist, and leave me alone.  I get a lot more done when I can focus solely on the work, and not have to engage in the normal environment of conversation and banter that goes hand in hand in a large staff.  It's one thing when your job is talking and "meeting and greeting" fine folk, like here, but when your job is to get things done?  Hard to accomplish when someone is trying to chat you up about "the game last night" than you have to spend ten minuets trying to convince them there is nothing wrong with you, jut because you don't like sports.  The Bakery is different, that's all about meet and greet, as my primary function is the front and dealing with customers.  It' a LOT like working the shop!  They have a very loyal customer base that loves the product, and I also get the opportunity to meet new customers and get them hooked on their "culinary crack!"  Of course, my relatively "scruffy" exterior has "put off" a couple folks when they first come in, but that' to be expected, as many of their regulars are of a more "affluent" nature.  No worries, the world is made up of a lot of different kind of folk, and some jut happen to be under the false impression, they are more important.  Sad really.
ANYWHO!!
We do have a couple new goodies to show you that haven't found new homes yet, so give 'em a looksy and I'm gonna go sort through some parts bucket!
GAWD!! Thought I got away from that! HA!
See ya soon, friends! 


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LADIES 24" 18 SPEED "DAILY BANGER SPECIAL!!!"
ONLY $65.00!!
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MEN'S 26" "DAILY BANGER SPECIAL!!!"
ONLY $65.00!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

All Geared Up an No Place To Go!!!

Okay, so maybe it's because I'm tuckered out from a long unending week, or perhaps I just have the moral high ground on this one, but in short, I can't be held responsible if people just refuse to listen to explicit instructions!  What, you may ask, am I going on about?  I'll tell you!  We advertise our rides on several different venues, the most prominent of course, being Craigslist.  We've never had a problem with the folks coming off there, but a few months back we started using "Offer up" in our arsenal.   Suffice it to say, the patrons of that sight are the kind of folks that would Find the missing Faberge egg at a garage sale for $1.00 and refuse to pay more than .25 cents for it!  You get my point.  Well, I had a back and forth with someone the two days ago about one of the BMX'ers we had listed, they wanted to know if it was still available, I said yes, and they asked us to hold it.  Well, in all fairness to all the fine folks that look to us for inexpensive rides, we work on a first come first serve basis, but I let these folks know to give us a call before they were planning on coming in and we'd let them know if it were still available.  This brings us to today.  Angi was at the shop, and a gent came in and snagged up the el-cheapo Mongoose BMX, leaving a happy camper.  Ten minuets later the person I had communicated with on Offer up TWO days before called and informed Angi they were coming to GET the bike. Now here's the REAL twist...they were calling from our parking lot!!! 
No, seriously....I am SOOOO not kidding!! 
Once Angi informed them it was sold, they became quite upset, stating they had wanted to buy it, they had driven over an hour to get here, and asked "WHY" she sold it!
SERIOUSLY!!!  If I'm lyin'.....I'm dyin'!! 
Now here is where the benevolence of my wife kicks into gear!  During the conversation, the young lady came in  the shop from her car with the young man who the bike was for, who was now getting quite emotional about the fact that the bike he had THOUGHT they were coming to get was gone, and Angi, feeling bad, ended up letting them have the MUCH nicer 20" Mongoose 180 for $25.00 off!  trust me folks, she's a lot more charitable than I would have been!!
Buying a bike here is a little like "Festival Seating"!  Honestly, I would have just expressed my condolence's but the simple fact is, when I forewarn folks the bike they want may not be here when they make up their minds, I'm not kidding and it ain't no sales pitch.
Forgive me if I sound a tad bit frustrated, just wish folks accepted the gospel according to RE-Cycle.
ANYWHO!!!
Came in this afternoon to bang out a few more and only finished two, as the third needs a new set of meat, we aint ah got!  SAD FACE!!!  So perhaps next week we'll be cool! 
ALLRIGHT!  Now, got's ta git on home, fire back a couple burritos and get some shut eye! 
See ya soon!!