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plans

The plan was to come home, do the normal early evening family routine, get the kids to bed, then finish reading a bicycle related article that my wife sent me and then post a nice little blog on that article with a link to the article.  Well a medium sized plumbing job, clearing the bathroom sink and tub drains, later I’ve been reduced to writing about not getting it done and wanting to get something posted. It’s just a little disheartening when you start a job thinking it’s going to take just a couple of minutes and end up spending a good two frustrating hours on the job only to end up with a clear drain and hands smelling no longer of bike grease but raw sewage.  Yuck, on many levels. Tomorrow’s a new day!

Old to new.

So back on the Grand Opening day a customer came into the shop and was asking me about whether or not I could take a batch of new parts he bought or was buying and install them on his old bike. “Sure thing!”  It would make better sense, however, to get the parts from me and have the profits stay local but I can install nearly any part on nearly any bike.  The part needs to fit the bike.  Some I can “make” fit but others, on more specialized bikes, need to be bike specific.  If you need help on what to order I’ll gladly help there too.

Yesterday the door opens to the shop and in walks this customer from above with a bike rolling next to him under one hand and a box of gleaming new parts in the other hand.  Nice!

Today I spent the last hour of shop time installing some of the nifty new parts.

Day off

It’s Thursday and I’m thinking I should be getting lots of house work done.  Then I start thinking about being at the shop and the line of bikes sitting there waiting to refurbished and the list of projects waiting to be done there too.  The life of owning your own bike shop.  Well, I’ll get this little note done and then it’s off to work on the house work.

September was a good month, a slow but steady line of bikes came through the door for tune ups and repairs.  Thank you to all of you who needed the service.  It’s always a pleasure to be able to work on your bikes.

We picked a name from the jar for the free floor pump drawing and have called the lucky winner.  That person has not stopped by or called me back so we might just have to pick a new name.  I’ll make one more call tomorrow and if we do not hear from them by Sunday then we’ll pick a new name.  No names will be posted on the blog unless we have that person’s permission.

Tool purchase

So, I’m totally tool geeking out tonight.  I made a great contact through a contact (names etc have been changed to protect…).  After doing a Google search for this person and his business, found the site and an email address, I sent him an email asking if I can stop by this week and purchase a cotter press.  “What the heck is a cotter press,” you may ask?  Well, back a few years ago some person came up with the insane idea to attach pedals to the bottom bracket spindal/axel using a cotter pin set up (stop by the shop and I show you an example).  Initially it “looks” like a good idea.  NOT!  It takes a special tool to get these cotter pins out once they are bolted in, especially if they have been in for a while, which, is almost always the case.

Last summer I was taking apart a couple of bikes, for Jamie at Sunrise Cyclery, and had a couple of these cranks to pull off said bikes.  At one point I had used a hammer, a bigger hammer, a punch, and finally a drill to get one of the pins out.  I’m really glad the my youngest was too young, at the time, to catch on to what daddy had to say about the whole process and can’t repeat it to anyone.

Anyway, this person, back to the cotter press, sends me back an email and then calls me.  He lives in the neighborhood and wants to stop by to deliver the tool and chat.  We talked bikes and I was totally geeking out.  This tool is so simple but absolutely perfect for the job.  Thanks, you know who, for stopping by, delivering the cotter press, and chatting bikes, tools, etc. with me.

A little something for February 2010

Yes, I’m thinking ahead a little and, it seems, so are people who know me and my shop.

My mom came up with the cool idea of having a kids art show.  So, it’s in the planning stage.  I’ll try to get a release/posting out by the end of October with the details.  That’ll give kids time to think about it, get through the holidys, and get the works done.  It’ll be a lot of fun.

Hello world! again

First post since opening the shop, officially!

We opened the doors with a “soft opening” on the 31st of August.  Then followed up with a “Grand Opening” in conjunction with the South Chicago Avenue Business Alliance’s (SCABA’s) Fall Festival on the 19th of September.  It was a great day, the weather was nearly perfect and we had about 200 people come through the door.  About 70 of those people signed up to win a free floor pump that we are giving away at the shop.  I’ll be contacting the winner tomorrow, the 24th.

It’s a perfect time to get your bike tuned up before winter if you’re planning on riding through to spring.  I’ll be getting in studded tires for those of you who are interested.  Stop in and see me if it’s something you want to order.  Order a pair for just under $100.

I’m also looking for new artists and crafters now.  If you know anyone who makes cool stuff or art from recycled materials I’d love to talk to them about showing or selling at the shop.

Thanks for reading.  See you soon.