Friday, June 12, 2009

Bike Shop Days - Part 1

Something has been bothering me lately. If you saw the craigslist ad talking about Big Wheel Cycles losing its lease, that is it. I've had a connection with that place and it's people for 4 years.

I will be writing a series highlighting things I've learned or just random memories from my time there.

It all started around 05' when I was living in west campus and gettin' into fixies, which was my first real try at cycling since childhood.

Being a bike rider meant I needed a shop for advice, parts, etc.

I went around to ones near, and not so near, my house and checked them out. Some were big. Some were small. Some were pushy. Some were laid back. Some seemed "sterile". Some seemed "alive".

For whatever reason, I felt comfortable at, what was then, Discovery Cycle on 24th at Rio Grande.

I started going there alot. I didn't buy a whole lot of stuff. I would go for advice and basic maintenance parts. I would go because it was a cool place with cool people.

After a couple of months, I was asked IF I had a job. I said yes. The guy goes on to say he was going to offer me a part time job.

I had never been offered a job with out applying for it. I had never hinted at wanting a shop job, though it was a hope of mine. I told him that I would take that job.

I don't really know why Charlie thought I should work for him, but I'm glad he did.

Now realize. I had very little bike knowledge outside of fixed gears. I was pretty intimidated going into the shop for the first time.

When I heard that the mechanic I was going to be learning from was an ex pro tour wrench, I didn't know if I could cut it.

Mike turned out to be patient, professional and a good friend in the end.

He also was a hoss on any bike. He would commute dozens of miles to work on a fixie. He commuted using greenbelt trails. He knew so much history of bikes and parts. He could "fix anything on two wheels w/o a motor".

He was a great person all around.

One of the first things I noticed about Discovery was the stereo. It was always blasting either KUT/KOOP or some kick ass CD.

When I stepped into the back shop, I saw their system. They were rocking a Marantz! A bike shop with music/audio buffs. Awesome.

Writing about Mike and music brings me to Fela Kuti. He loved him some Fela, and I'm glad he introduced me too.

Here are samples of my Three favorite Fela songs. They are samples because his songs run usually in the 12-30 min. range.

Overtake Don Overtake Overtake: I encourage you to check out the other 2 parts


Water Get No Enemy:

Confusion Break Bone: I encourage you to check out the other 2 parts and the live version.

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