Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter Commuting Ideas

Two days ago I was riding around with my best pal Jeff when I realized that riding in the snow takes some considerable preparation. It wasn't until my tires slipped out from under me sending me crashing to the ground that I remembered that my helmet was still sitting on the couch where I left it. Unharmed, I vowed to remember it when I ride my bike, especially in the winter. As I laid there, Jeff looking at me curiously, I thought that it might be nice to try a video blog to help the emerging winter warriors get safely from point A, to point B on a bicycle. So here is my first attempt at Video Blogging;


video

Though, It seems to be of better quality on youtube. Enjoy, and I hope it was helpful information.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What to buy?

SO,...with the big Holiday just around the corner, I thought it might be a good idea to post a few gift ideas for that special cyclist in your life. The first thing you have to ask yourself is; "What type of cyclist am I buying for?" Sure you have Roadies, Mountain Bikers, Commuters, BMXers, Fixie Riders, Utility Riders, Touring Riders, Recumbent Riders, Or Cruiser Riders. It can be really intimidating when you start trying to figure all this out. But it isn't really all that hard if you break them down into the following three groups;


1. Emerging Cyclist. A person who fits into this category can ride any of the above styles of bikes. This type of rider is just getting into riding a bike, and to be honest, maybe they are trying it out but won't stick with it. The goal here should be to get them something that will make their lives easier to increase the chances of them becoming a full time cyclist. If you have a cyclist who has decided to start riding to work, even when it is cold and wet, the first gift that comes to my mind is Fenders. The likelihood of riding is increased greatly when you can stay dry. Planet Bike makes some great full coverage fenders for all types of bicycles that don't break the bank. Don't forget lights for the front and rear, or a good wind jacket.


For someone getting into mountain biking I would recommend a new bike! But if you don't have the funds for something that big, you can always get them a Big Air "CO2" contraption. (It is actually filled with Propane.) They are nice to have during mosquito season, and most Mountain bikers won't buy them for themselves for some reason.

A good gift for a begginer into any type of cycling is the good old fashioned cycling sock.
2. Intermediate Cyclist. This type of cyclist is usually a seasonal cyclist with many interests, like snowshoeing, climbing, backpacking, and/or rafting. They have a genuine desire to be outside, truly enjoy cycling, but aren't in the saddle every day. This is where it gets tricky. These guys and gals know good gear when they see it. And they probably have enough experience to know what they like. T-Shirts and Sweatshirts from your favorite local shop always hit home with this group. Consider it something to wear in the off season so they still feel connected to their bikes. A trail bell is also a creative way to spice up the handlebar, and help keep the cyclist in question safe. Simple tools are always nice, and so are helmets and water bottles.
3. Hard Core! This is by far the toughest group to shop for. They usually have everything they need. The key here is to look at their stuff, and try to find something that needs replaced. Tires on their favorite bicycle are usually a good place to start. Just copy down all of the information on the sidewall, (the side of the tire) and take it to your local bike shop. Inner tubes are another great item, because if you ride enough, you will go through them. The same sidewall information will be pertinent. And don't forget about the good old fashionedgift certificate for a Tune-Up. Even if they always care for their own bicycles, it is sometimes nice to let someone else do the dirty work. Cycling clothing is always a good idea, as long as you have access to the items they currently have and can check the size and styles they like. Roadies go through cycling hats like crazy, and they are always in need of a new hat to soak up their sweat.
No matter what type of cyclist you are buying for, it is always helpful to know a few things. Make sure you know what type of cyclist you are buying for. If you can take a picture of her/his bicycle to help with sizing and specifics for buying. It will help save time when talking to the trained professionals at your local bicycle shop. ...And yeah, he is one of the best mechanics I have ever worked with,...Happy Holidays from the Pedal House.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let's Be Careful Out There

I hesitate to start a blog like this, but...I was just riding along, (JRA) when I was almost hit by a car. So let us go back to the beginning. I was working on a new bell display at the Pedal House when I first noticed that it had started snowing again. Yippee, snow. (subtext: I can't wait for summer!) By closing time, it was pretty clear that I wasn't going to go shirtless on my way home. I picked up some food from Michelle at Jeffery's and was off, studded snow tires in full effect.

As I rode along I kept hearing this noise, and it was getting louder. I quickly figured out that it was just my labored breathing, and trudged on through the snow. It was cold, but at least visibility was surprisingly good. The snow made everything a little brighter, so my headlight was glaring out at the motorists as I pedaled toward home. As I crossed fifteenth on Ivinson, a lady in an SUV slid through the red light and came withing inches of hitting me. She was being careless, but it didn't matter because she was safe in her car. I almost peed myself.

Truthfully, I never stopped pedaling. I had a feeling I was safe, but it still scared me. I had a night sun and a rear blinker, and I was still almost hit. I think if she wouldn't have seen me she might have blown through the red light. Scary.

Two blocks later an aggressive "Get on the sidewalk, I should door your (explicit, explicit)." I was riding legally down 15th turning onto Custer when this happened, and of course I calmly and respectfully replied that it was illegal for me to ride on the sidewalk, and like Mary Poppins, I rode home happily.

The moral of this story is, get good lights, be calm and assertive when dealing with motorists. And for heavens sake drive defensively. Don't count on motorists to see you, even if you have a high dollar light mounted on your handlebar. Follow the rules of the road, but don't expect anyone to care about your safety. It is cynical to say that, and really, REALLY nice when a motorist is respectful of your right to travel on the road, but you have to be hyper aware of your surroundings, because you don't have bumpers. Happy Trails from the Pedal House.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Done Some Riding

Well, I have been riding the carbon bicycle every night since I purchased it, and the verdict is in. I love my bicycle. It is fast, climbs well, and it feels as smooth as butter. I also recently purchased the new Time carbon pedals, and though at first I didn't feel the difference, I now realize they are stiffer and distribute the pedal power more efficiently. I was worried about the swap from Shimano to a new cleat system, but the difference in getting in and out was negligible. I am extremely impressed with Time. They did, however, send me two Right cleats, and thankfully Pedar was there and caught the fact that they are in fact directional releases on the cleat.

Anyhoo, I hope to see you all on the trail really soon. Enjoy the riding season.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Purist in Me Died a Little Today.

I have seen the look in a person's eyes when they get a new bicycle and I have been extremely honored to help facilitate that feeling. I have helped several people get bicycles; The single mom hoping to save money, the Wyoming Technical Institute student who was too broke to pay for a $50 bicycle, the child who wanted something without training wheels, the family who wanted to spend more time together. All the while I was plugging along on my 1996 Bontrager Race Lite, proud that my bike was made of steel, proud that I only had the one gear, proud that I was a purist.



But, as I mentioned in my last blog entry, things change. Well today, the purist in me died a little. The good news is, like an old oak tree, when part of it dies, another part flourishes. I got a new bicycle. Not just any bicycle either.

It is carbon.
It has gears.


It has suspension.

It has disc brakes.

And it is worth every penny. It is the Anthem X Advanced SL 1, and I am happy to say that I love my new bicycle, and I am happy to enter a new stage of my life. Let us call it, the carbon era. Just a side note, apples in the carbon era are so much better than they were in the grumpy old steel era.


Happy Trails.

P.S. I think Jeff likes the new bike too. He slept all day after our ride, and if you know Jeff, you know that is an impressive accomplishment for a fat guy like me.

Photos By Jessica Flock.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Changing Seasons

Things change. That is the nature of life, and the one truism that just wont go away. The face of the Pedal House has changed, and this bike care professional is sad. We always knew Lindsey was going to leave the nest one day and move on to another professional endeavor, we just didn't want it to be this year. We were actually hoping for some time in the next Century.

We are, however, extremely happy that she will be close enough to come and visit us, and hopefully she can find a way to do inventory from Denver. Good Luck Lindsey, we already miss you and hope you find a place that makes you as happy as you made us.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A brief history of the Pedal A Way program.

Riding bicycles with kids has given me a great deal of pleasure, and as much as I appreciate recognition for the work I have done, I would also like to ensure that those who have matched (if not exceeded) my efforts should also be recognized. Recently there was an article published in the Laramie Daily Boomerang by one of cycling's closest friends, Eve Newman, whom I recently request Facebook friend status with. (Fingers crossed for good luck.) The Article was in Friday's Paper, and featured some young people from the Cathedral Home's Pedal A Way program out on the trails of Happy Jack. In the article, Eve said that the bicycles are provided by the Pedal House, and that is not 100% accurate. We do provide service and parts for the kids, much of which we donate, but the bicycles are provided by an unlikely source; bike thieves.

Ironic I know, since the slogan of the Pedal House is in fact, "We Still Hang Bike Thieves In Wyoming". But, before we digress, let me explain. Back in 2002 I was on a backpacking trip with a man named Dann Harvey. We were hiking with kids from the Cathedral Home for Children in the Four Corners area of the southwest. One of the kids said we should start doing bicycle trips because they would be more fun. The next summer the Cathedral Home for Children accepted a proposal to let me take a couple of cottages our into the woods for a week and go mountain biking. The first trip was Brush cottage; 9 girls, three staff, some tents, some Colman stoves, lots of spaghetti, and a bunch of bikes I pulled together from my own supply. It was awesome, but we needed more bikes.

That summer I was lamenting with a colleague of mine named Ann McIntosh, about my bicycle woes. I was a decent mechanic, but I had little resources to work with and she sympathized with my efforts. About an hour later she asked if I had anywhere to put 50 bikes, and I almost fainted. She had called the Laramie Police Department and asked if they could donate a few bicycles to help out the program. They donated their entire recovered/stolen bicycle stockpile. We were in dept to them, but they didn't stop there. They have been donating their bicycles to the kids at the Cathedral Home ever since. The Program at the Cathedral Home wouldn't exist without their kind donations.

So, to Eve Newman, Ann McIntosh, Laramie Police Department, and a whole bunch of people that we will mention on the next installment of this history lesson, Thank You So Much for making the Pedal A Way program possible.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bicycle Love

Sometimes life will bring about challenges that we are not expecting. Look at stage eight of the Tour de France this year. It seems the American Favorite, Lance Armstrong, has fallen from grace and yet he continues to ride. Now let us be clear, I am not a Lance Armstrong fan. I believe that most people admire Lance simply out of the love of a champion. I think his fame is simple; people who do not watch cycling on a regular basis admire him the same way people who know little about basketball admire Kobe Bryant. He simply gets a great deal of press. I admire Lance's skills, but he isn't my favorite rider. Andy Schleck was my pick of the year. (Pictured in Yellow)

But there is something to be learned from Lance's Tour this year. He is out of it. He has failed miserably, and not because of something he did. In fact, he was riding an outstanding ride. Cadel Evans cracked under the pressure of yellow, and is a broken shell of a man at his own hands. But Lance was taken out by other's mistakes. And still Lance rides on. Instead of packing up and heading home, he has reinvented himself as a support rider for his teammate and hopeful podium contender Levi Leipheimer. He rides simply out of his love of the sport, and his commitment to the other riders. That is something I admire about him. I am never happy to see someone fail at their endeavors, but I love to watch when people accept the challenges of life and remain a positive member of the community. Kudos Lance, from the Pedal House.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Preaching Sportsmenship

I am a horrible example for sportsmanship. I have never been good at being good at something. I try to be humble when I am excellent at something, but truth be told I have a lot to learn. For instance, I need to learn to be excellent at something. :)


But I do know one thing. Justice, one of my young apprentice mechanics is a much more suitable individual for teaching the ways of sportsmanship. During this last weeks race he had a mechanical, as we call it in the bicycling world. (A quick and easy way to say something went wrong with his bicycle's mechanical workings.) Anyway, as he pulled over to fix it another young rider rode by him and laughed. He actually found his misfortune amusing. Justice finished way ahead of this young man, but in the end was humble and didn't gloat. I made a funny comment, meant to be a joke, about how he tried to leave that kid in his dust for laughing, but by the time the kid had arrived the dust had settled, and Justice defended the other rider. Kudos Just Ice, for teaching me about sportsmanship, and how to be a better role model. You are the reason that I work with young people...and welcome to the Pedal House, (He fixed two bikes today up to Joel's standards.)

I would also like to welcome Max to the Pedal House. Though he has some major catching up to do in the mechanical realm, at least compared to his young friend Justice, he does outshine him in the quote department. Welcome Maximus...and my you have a thousand quotes on the bathroom door before you move on to bigger and better things.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Laramie Mountain Bike Series

Well, as we all know now, Lance didn't show up here making us just a little less cool than when he went to Ledville. But anyhow, there were still reasons to celebrate as the first race in the Laramie Mountain Bike Series was a complete success.

As you can see, hordes of screaming fans came out to see me take pictures of them. Look at how involved they were in my every movement. Okay, so I went by unnoticed. Who could blame anyone with all the big names here. O'toole, Kolts, Krahenbuhl, Guerin...Pedar Enger was even here, though he couldn't race due to an MMA related injury.

One of the highlights of the race were the entry of so many young riders. A special shout out to Dmitri Zenon Rosales, who is sponsored by Kona and the Pedal House... Okay, so he bought some Kona gear, and we offered to pay his entry fees, but still he won his category.
Also, a special early Birthday shout out to Kate Vincent. She will be riding in the next race on her 18th Birthday. Good Luck Kate, I hope you keep racing well into your twilight years.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Keeping Family Safe

As I was being attacked by a swarm of vicious mosquitoes last night, I realized....SUMMER IS HERE. I wasn't sure if my excitement was from the fact that I was on a bicycle ride, or the feeling of euphoria generated by the loss of blood draining into the little parasitic bloodsuckers as they helped themselves to a pint or two of my o+ iron rich body fluids.

Regardless of the reasons for my elation, I am encouraged by the plethora of young people out enjoying the world of two wheeled excitement. I have been engaged in conversations concerning the safest places for kids to ride, and I realized that there needs to be more advocacy for safe riding in the Laramie city limits.

I thought some statistics would be in order, along with some rules of the road...and of course links to find the information...so you don't think I am crazy. So here we go;

There are some many little tidbits to help keep you safe as you commute in town.
  1. Choose low traffic routes. Don't ride on Grand Ave, 3rd, 9th, or 15th street. Find a side road and be safe.
  2. Don't ride against traffic.
  3. Ride like you are invisible - Make sure you can be seen, but in the end, make sure you are aware when someone misses you.
  4. Wear a helmet.
  5. Follow the rules of the road. All of the rules of the road. Stop signs, signals, lights, directionality, and ride in the road....which leads me to the BIG ONE...
  6. STAY OFF THE SIDEWALKS. There are exceptions, like the greenbelt routes, and the interior of the University where there isn't a road adjacent to the sidewalk. So many people ask me why we should stay off the sidewalk. Well, here are just a few reasons:
According to the Laramie Municipal Code of Conduct (Ordnance #12.04.120) No person shall operate a bicycle on the sidewalk.

You are four times more likely to be in a collision if you are riding your bicycle on the sidewalk, and the chances of a fatal collision increase drastically. The collisions range from hitting a walker coming out of a building, to being struck by a car pulling out of a driveway or parking lots. Basically, riding on the sidewalk is one of the most dangerous ways you can ride. The most common way a cyclist will die is when a car exits a driveway and either runs over, or is struck by a bicycle on the sidewalk. Another aspect of sidewalk riding is the constant merging with traffic at intersection after intersection. Statistics from around the country confirm that the most likely place to be killed by a car is at an intersection.

So be safe, and don't ride on the sidewalks. I think this discussion will have to be revisited, due to the important nature of the materials. Today, we will end with a few things that you should do. For instance; RIDE YOUR BIKE. Ride just like you would if you were driving a car. One of my favorite slogans for safe riding is, "Same Rights, Same Rules, Same Responsibilities." Obviously it is refereeing to bicycles being a vehicle. If you follow the rules of the road, ride safe, and remain defensive, riding a bicycle is extremely safe. In fact, it is one of the safest ways to commute.

So ride your bike in the streets, with traffic, and obey all of the traffic signs and laws. Make sure motorists can see you, wear a helmet, and ride defensively. Happy Trails from the Pedal House.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Outdoor Slam

For kids across the country there are a few days that stand out as worth remembering. National Bath Safety Month was always a favorite on the playground when I was young. But there is nothing more celebrated than the first day of summer vacation. The pagan in me says that the Summer Solstice is when I should be harvesting my medical herbs and getting outdoors and frolicking, but I needed to get out of the house early and shake off the cabin fever. Since it is WAY too wet to be riding a Happy Jack yet, at least if I want to be able to live with myself, I was extremely happy to participate in the Summer Outdoor Slam at Curt Gowdy National Park this past Saturday.


As representatives of the Pedal House Lindsey and I worked diligently to show young people how to ride safely, and how to prepare for mishaps while riding in the mountains. Actually, all we did was sit around and catch some sun rays, and then we basically took a group of kids and adults for a ride on the trails of Curt Gowdy.


There was a lot to do, kayaking, rope climbing, bicycle demos, and an ATV simulation; which was the only way I really like to see ATV's...simulated.

In other news, I was extremely happy to have the Cathedral Home come and join us for a ride. They have been so supportive of the cycling community in Laramie, that it wouldn't have been the same without them.

Speaking of the Cathedral Home, Saturday was the first day of our new partnership with the Cathedral Home, as we took on our first employee, a young man who has worked his way through the Vocational Education program there, and will be joining the Pedal House staff in our mentoring program. He goes by the handle Sushi, and he is one of the best 14 year old mechanics I have ever met. I am thankful to have him, and appreciative of all of the support and help I have received from the staff and kids at the Cathedral Home.

Welcome aboard Sushi, we are looking forward to having you brighten up the place...and by that I mean we are looking forward to having you clean our stands and benches daily. (HEE HEE.)

All in all, it was a fantastic day, and a great way to kick off what looks to be a wonderful riding season. Happy Trails from the Pedal House.







Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Merchandise

As a great man, (or anthropomorphic lizard???) once said, "Spacebaalls the T-shirt, Spaceballs the Coloring Book, Spaceballs the Lunch box, Spaceballs the Breakfast Cereal, Spaceballs the Flame Thrower." And Now....Spaceballs water bottles;

The new Pedal House water bottles are in. Specialized, so they won't leak all over you while you try to drink from them,...Nat. We will be donating these, along with a bunch of other gear to the Laramie Mountain Bike series, so if you don't want to shell out the four dollars, go and race and win one.

In other news, I finally got out on a bicycle and turned over a few pedals. It was fun, but I got dropped by my riding buddy, who was so excited about the possibility of a ride he was geared up from the get go.

Dmitri was a rock star and I think that he is going to be a beast this season on the bicycle, so all you Juniors out there, you should know he already has a wool jersey. Happy trails from the Pedal House.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Few More Changes

I was working in a kitchen once when a good friend of mine, and my boss at the time, Gabe Aragon told me that in any good restaurant, the cooks have to run the place. That is where the old saying comes from; if it is too hot, get out of the kitchen.

The same thing is true when you are working in a bike shop. Keep the cooks happy! And the only way we can help do that is by keeping the guys who work on their bicycles happy. At the Pedal House we wanted some room to move around, room to grow, room to blossom, room to....fix bikes. So Saturday we decided to jump into another project.


This is our shop area. Notice the familiar look of sawdust on the ground, however, it is not because there was another famous blowout Friday night closing "celebration." No, this time it was due to the cutting of particle board and 2x4's for new bench parts. Notice Joel on the right side of the photo installing a bench in our new and high tech "welding center." I wanted to name it "Big Al's Extravagant Table for All Things Metal", but I was outvoted.



Here we see the new Shock repair area. Our goal was to keep all of the machine work away from the areas where the mechanics do their magic. Grinder, welding, drill press, and all have been moved around the corner where the flakes can fly and you don't have to interrupt the Bike Whisperer.

So come and see our happy mechanics, a road race on the box, and let us help keep you in the saddle.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Here we go again.

I have said it before, and I will say it again, "Spring in Wyoming. It is special because we wait. We wait on the couch watching snowfall after snowfall delay our first ride of the season. We listen to all the ski bums talk about how great the snow is. We try not to choke the life out of the people who say, “We need the moisture.” We wait. We sometimes sneak in a road ride, just to be on a bike, but mainly we have to sit idly by and wait for the time between when we do our last mountain bike ride of the old season, and the first ride of the new season. " The beginning to a little piece I did for Dirt Rag...can anyone say Letter to the Editor. Now I am no Mark Jenkins, (the Pedal House's favorite modern literary luminary.) but notice how I used literary form to dramatize how much I hate snow by eluding to choking someone for trying to be optimistic.
But that is snow in the yard my friends. So, instead of being passive aggressive...again, I thought I would be pro-active. This is a great time to get your bike out make sure that you are ready to ride when the forecast snow finally melts away.

Examine a few parts for cracks and wear. Over the winter the valves on your tires will slowly let off pressure and you might have flats. Often times you just need to put some air in there, but before you do check the sidewalls of your tires for rotting or tears. If the tube is bulging, you probably need a new tire.

Check your brake and derailleur cables and housing. If there are kinks, bends, rust, or wires poking from your housing, it might be time for a full tune up. You would be amazed at how much better your bicycle will run with a little love, and we specialize in love at the Pedal House. So, hurry in and beat the rush, because when you treat your bike right, your bike will reciprocate.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New T-Shirts Are Here!

Life is all about the little things. I have always been a fan of the little nuances of day to day living. For instance; I love the smell of the top of Jeff's head. (Jeff is my dog.)

I also love the smell of a brand new t-shirt. Especially when the back of the shirt says "We Still Hang Bike Thieves in Wyoming". When we were designing the backs we knew that we wanted our t's to have the same old Pedal House feel, but with a little bit of a twist. As you can see the new design is basically the view from the throne....after you have entered the outhouse.


If I were Phil Liggett, I might call them Cheeky. What keeps us grounded in tradition is that the front is the Pedal House logo, unchanged. We hope you like them.

In other news, you might have noticed a race or two being broadcast at the shop. It has been a pretty exciting road racing season, and we intend to enjoy it. So if you like road racing, come on down and see the latest races.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Off and Runnin'

What a monumental weekend. Friday night we had an open house, and boy did we ever enjoy ourselves.

We cleared out the center of the shop so that we could accommodate a soccer game that eventually made us start thinking about putting turf in the showroom.

I do believe a good time was had by all;


We were going to have a simple little gathering from 6-8pm, but somehow we didn't get home until 2:15 in the morning, And Pedar found a new protege to mentor...in the art of bicycle mechanics of course.

The next day we had a Grand Re-Opening celebration that lasted all day. We gave out prizes, visited with old friends and family, made some new friends, and even found time to complete some mechanical work....(Thanks to Joel, Pedar and Lindsey!) So now we are in full swing, and I just can't wait for Mother Nature to provide us with some weather to ride in. Happy Trails from the Pedal House.





Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grand Re-Opening

I was walking through campus today when I saw a flyer carefully taped to a pole. It was like I took the little red pill. It hit home, Jess and I are really a part of the best bike shop in town. I know I am supposed to say that, but I am shocked to be part of something I find so special. I am also shocked by the amount of work we still have ahead of us before Saturday.

As you can see from the flyer, this Saturday is going to be fun. We will unveil the new t-shirt designs, nothing radically changed, but a new twist on the old idea. I even heard that we might have a few as door prizes...But I'll never tell.

There are also a good number of bicycles in boxes that we just pulled off the truck today, and a number of bikes that we can special order to meet the needs of all the local riding fanatics. Joel, Pedar, Lindsey, Miguel and I will be working quite diligently to create a quiver of bicycles that will tickle your fancy and help you shake off the winter blues.

As far as the reorganization, it goes well. Here we see my dear friend Joel enjoying the fruits of our labors...that is apple juice in his hand. Cold brewed, frosty apple juice.

This was a rewarding Saturday evening, if you will notice, the picture is moved closer to the mechanics were we have opened up a little space to view the latest races on the telly, or to try on a pair of Shimano road shoes. Notice that the counter is clear and the mechanics are visible for harassment, or just a little social interaction.

So come and join us on Saturday, check out the new bikes and see what all the fuss is about. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"We need the moisture"

When I flung open my curtains on Saturday morning, my first thought was, "NO" ! I was in denial about the chances of snow in Laramie during the spring,...as if I have not lived here my entire life.
The snow was extremely wet and heavy, but at least there was a lot of it.



The snow did provide us with the opportunity to examine our layout around the Pedal House. Joel revealed that in another life he was actually an interior decorator, and so the adventure began. We decided that we did not want the customers to come in and feel like we were a completely different bicycle store. In fact, we wanted to have the customers feel at home, like always. Which leads me to my first dilemma. I had some bad feelings toward this painting;


I won't go into detail, but it has nothing to do with long standing love triangle between Lance, Greg, and Trek. We don't sell Trek, so I don't care. :) I am just a huge feng shui kind of guy, so we moved it to accommodate my flow. In fact we found a few changes that made us all feel a little more comfortable.

Before:
After:


So come on down and let us know what you think of the new face of the Pedal House. We did a lot, and it was all thanks to the snow. Mother nature, you are the best. Thanks for the chance to clean and reorganize, and as so many people who optimistically view the world, "we need the moisture."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Weather in Laramie

Today is Earth Day, a celebration of the planet we inhabit. Plans to provide free tune-ups at Prexy's pasture today were changed due to the earthly produced moisture we cyclists like to call, rain. On the subject of rain, this is a wonderful time to talk about commuting in the spring. Though we might step out the door and find a clear sky and a sun drenched view over our handlebars in the mornings, often times by lunch we find the truth in the words of Biggie Smalls when he said "things done changed." Remember to throw a rain jacket in your backpack, and gloves are always nice. I like a brimmed hat, usually a Dodgers baseball hat, because I wear glasses and the brim helps keep the rain off of my lenses. Another tip I hear all the time is to pack up your daily necessities the night before. If you are at all like me, mornings are the worst time to try to plan anything except where to get some coffee. So I pack my day bag (not to be confused with a European Carry All) the night before. Then in the morning, when I am a caffeine deprived primate, all I have to remember is my bag and my bike.
Oh yeah, and one last thing. When it rains, slow down a little bit. I was talking to my friend Miguel tonight about the various crashes we have been involved in due to the rain. Things to watch out for: crosswalk paint, smooth sidewalks (usually older ones), decorative rocks, and as I found out this very evening...cornering at high speeds with slicks in the poring rain. I went down like a sack of potatoes. I am fine, but after inspection I did notice that I have a bloody and bruised ego. Ride Safe, and Happy Trails.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Opening Day

Bicycles have a special place in a young persons life. Before the bicycle, children are part of a family unit, traveling in herds of humans with little to no real say in the direction of the packs movement. But when you straddle that iron machine, leather grips in your hands, wind in your hair, suddenly you have a degree of autonomy that is not only new, but exhilarating. Individual thoughts can guide your every move, and for the first time, you can decide where the wind will take you...at least until supper time.
I have never stopped feeling that excitement in the saddle. Sure, I have bicycle mechanic experience, but it is all derived from the love I have for everything bicycle.
Recently, Jessica (my beautiful river rat of a wife) and I purchased the Pedal House, THE bicycle shop in our home town. It is an honor and a privilege to be associated with such a stellar bike shop. The reputation and traditions that have been developed over the last 20 years will be held in the highest esteem, and as the new owner of the Pedal House, I will work to insure quality and service not only stay the same, but they improve. Of course I could never do any of this by myself. I have a team of amazing employees, and I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to my friends Pedar, Joel, Lindsey, and Pee Jay for remaining patient and supporting me through the transaction process. I would also like to thank Carl Gose, my friend and the former owner, for taking me seriously when I told him I wanted to buy his business. Thanks could not be extended in this blog without mention of the mothers and fathers, both mine, (Don & Gloria) and Jessica's (Dean & Phyllis) for the unwavering support. And where would I be without Jessica? I can't even begin to describe how much I am indebted to Jessica for helping me realize my dreams. Not only did she agree to riding a tandem through town on our wedding day with a "Just married" sign on the back, but she encouraged me to enter into this adventure.Last, but obviously not least, is you, the customer; thank you. The Pedal House is your shop too, and we don't want to come in a make huge sweeping changes. We want the quality of our services to be something you can count on. So come on down to the Pedal house for a bike, a tune up, or just to say hi. I look forward to sharing my love for bicycles with you and helping keep your bicycle on the road.