Monthly Archives: March 2015



Its not so much that I like spring but I like change. I like any change of seasons. Fall may still be my favorite but spring is not far behind. Everybody likes spring because its the end of winter. To me thats the worst reason about it. But I must admit with the crappy winter we had this year I was ready to move on due to lack of snow.

I thing I like about spring is the huge changes everything go’s thru. All the birds return. Its funny you have seen Robins all your life but when you see the first one of spring you stare at it like you have never seen one before. I do that with all the returning birds. Robins, Cranes. The Bluebirds are always the last to get here. I heard my first Killdeer last nite at home. I heard my second this morn at the park. Its crazy how they all come back within hours of each other.

Spring is always a great time to think about new. Do new things and think new thoughts. What do I want to do this summer? Race? Tour? For me its always the time I think about getting outside more and losing some weight. Ride times go up for sure. Winter bikes and clothes get put away and road bikes with spring clothes come out.

We change the bike we are riding. We change the clothes we wear. Everything changes in spring.

I cant wait for that first time with a MTB in the woods. Its feels like the first time ever. Its been so long that it feels surreal as you zip past the trees and such. Thats a feeling I look forward to every spring.

I love winter but by the end of it Im ready to move one. Same thing for summer. When the temps cool down in fall I’m ready for a change also.

I think Wisconsin is just about the best area. You get the best of both worlds. Awesome summer and great winters (sometimes). Not every summer\winter is the best but overall its good. I may complain about the weather a little but who doesn’t? Looking at the 10 day it looks pretty OK for early April.

And I’ll take it. Im sure we will see a snow flake or two before summer gets here but thats to be expected. After all, this is Wisconsin.


No Riding\Busy Store


I got a early start today. For no real reason. I did catch another ship this morn. Look close at the horizon. The US Joseph Block was heading south. Another sign of spring. Second ship in a week. Soon the spring west winds will come and the ships will stay on the other side of the lake. Were I can’t see them.

The weekend was a bust for riding. Saturday morn was 12 degrees and I could have rode a little before the store opened but that pretty cold for a road ride. And it would have taken me longer to dress that ride time. So i ditched to wait until Sunday where the temps were going to hit near 40.

And they did, along with sleet and rain. So I was shut out this weekend. And just like that, when I thought getting in 6 hours two weeks ago was the beginning of the comeback, I now have not sat on a bike in a week. I was hoping for 10 hours a week. And last week was zero. That will change Im sure as the weather improves.

So Sunday I did what you think I would do. Went to the store and worked. Just a couple hours. I also did a little typing on my writing project, which is way ahead of schedule. Then, around 1ish I went home and spent the rest of the day watching The Walking Dead marathon leading up to the season finale. Thats about 6 hours of Dead.

Today I need to get at the ordering as the store is very busy. Last week I mentioned that the store broke its one day sales record, this Saturday was a close second place and I almost thought the record was going to fall just a week after setting it but it was close. And I’ll take it.

So once again, like last Monday, I need to put the store back together and fill in the holes the weekend created.

Its my favorite thing to do in the store. Besides building custom bikes which I still need to talk about. I have one of my bikes just sitting here with 80% of the parts, waiting to be born.

Soon it will start. Im excited about this one.


I Will Wait


Its Friday. Its 17 degrees. I had a ride planned this aft but I guess Im getting soft a bit in my old age. I just dont want to ride at 25 degrees anymore. I put all my really cold clothing away already.

Tomorrow’s group ride is most likely out for me too for the same reason. And if you look at the 10 day its  back in the 50’s in two days so I will wait. Sunday looks much better. At least its in the 30’s.

Right about this time in the year I look ahead at what I want to do this summer. Look at a couple races and such. As I sit here typing today I just don’t feel like I have a race in me this summer. Maybe that will change later but right now I don’t see anything in May, June or July that I want to do.

So maybe this is the summer of my long thought out bike tour. Ive done several and loved it. All solo.

2012 Surly Disk Trucker

My very last tour was July 2012 from home to Sayner,WI. Then met up with the Fam and drove home. A lap around Lake Michigan would be nice. Easy to do and well documented. Another ride would be straight north to Marquette, then west to the Apostle Islands near Bayfield,WI. Id need a ride home from that one as I would not have that much time. Even the lap around the top of the lake would have me staying on it to complete in what short time I would have.

At minimum, a ride up to Washington Island on the top of Door County would be great too if I cant get the needed time off. I still have my noble Surly Disc Trucker to tour on. Its a great touring bike. But I would not mind getting my hands on a Trek 920.

I would throw on a 700 by maybe 35c tire and off I go. Im not a fan of the bar end shifter that almost all tour bikes have but I do understand the theory of simplicity. I build my Trucker with Sram Rival shifters. Of course carbon.

So Im not sure what kind of summer this will be. The summer of races or the summer of touring. Either way Im looking forward to it. But I’ll wait until it gets a little warmer…


One Day in the Store.


I rarely post about store stuff on this blog. Mostly trying to keep it personal but thats so hard to do as the store is about 75% of my entire life. You can just imagine the time I spend here. It beats working for a living but there are times where I wonder if I spend maybe too much time in this building. Like I said yesterday I’m going to try and take lunch out of the store everyday. If not a ride then something else.

So lets take a look at a day in the life. Yesterday in fact.

So I arrived to the store at about 830am. The first thing I noticed was the pic above. Those two wanted in real bad. Not sure why and never have seen that before. But its got to be a the selling season when two ducks show up at your door. They sat there and quacked a few times and then walked away.

I get here usually between 8 and 9, open at ten. I try to get some paperwork done in that time uninterrupted. But I end up writing this blog and perusing Facebook instead. I should be checking things in too. This time of year a ton of stuff just shows up. Like many stores I take advantage of venders pre orders. They give us a small percentage off stuff to order early. I just pre ordered my fall\winter clothing. So UPS shows up with a ton of stuff I ordered last October and forgot about. But knew it was coming someday.

Boxes of bike stuff.

Heres my office this morn. What a mess. Those boxes are full of bike trinkets. Thats one days deliveries. If I don’t get thru that by noon then what comes today just adds to it. Im the only one who checks in stuff so I need to stay on top. All that stuff will be hanging on the walls and shelves for the weekend.

All between that work I of course wait on the customers. And I do that myself during the week. My tech guy, who is also knee deep in tune ups backs me up on the sales floor during the week. On the weekends I have help on Saturday, we don’t open Sundays until after Memorial Day.

So if I don’t get my paperwork or check in product done by the time we open I usually do not have it done at the end of the day. And then it compounds the next day. Then, I stay late to get it done, but not all the time. I do like to get home at least a few hours a day.

This scenario is not all the time. Just this time of year. But you have to make hay when the sun shines or it will be a long winter. I mean next winter, remember, we here in retail work 6 months ahead.

The service center spikes this time of year too. I have one main tech guy but have two other part timers that can come in and help get the bikes back to the owners. Most of the time its just a once over, clean and maybe some brake pads and a cable or two. But sometimes we get to work on some cool stuff too. Thats way more fun.

Here we have an old tandem20150326_085820[1] we get to restore. The owner does not care about cost, or I should say he understands the cost. This was his wifes bike as a kid and he’s restoring it for a birthday gift. How cool. The bike came from her parents house in CA. She has no idea its in WI now. How cool is that.  We get to have the frame sandblasted and re painted. The whole nine yards as they say. Before and after pics are taken.

This is the fun stuff that keeps the tech guys from getting too bored.

So today, the store opens in 15 min and it all starts over again. Every day starts from zero and you take it as far as you can, if its a good day or a not so good day at least you get to start from zero again the next day and give it a try.

I better go. Work to be done. Fun to be had. And as I mentioned yesterday, I have a cool bike to build my self. Of course you will see it as soon as all the parts and pieces show up.

Small pieces of that puzzle show up everyday. Soon it will be go time for that build and thats a post for another day.

Another day in the bike store.