November’s Bicyclical


Regrettably this issue of the Bicyclical is a rather more jumbled mess than usual. Still, perhaps one might be able to find a pearl in this ocean of words.

Hey! It’s Iceman weekend. Of course, if you didn’t sign up a few hundred months ago it’s too late to race, but the party is pretty good when the pros cross the line.

Of course there is still some sweet cyclocross action in 2013. The ever-popular Markin Glen race right here in Kalamazoo is on the 10th. RunUpCX is at Bendix Woods on the 17th, and we pretty much finish up the local season inHolland on the 24th. Yes. It does get colder as we progress, but it’s still fun as heck.

People come into this fine establishment and ask, “Hey, are you gonna spin again this winter?” And I say, “Spin? What? Are you talking about David Mitchell’s House of Pain? Heck yes!” And I am now pleased to offer you some specifics on this. First off, this winter we’ll be training to win (that’s right: win) a March gravel road race. What sort of cycling fitness do you need for this race? You need high-end strength to power up the hills and the endurance to last the race. We will have our workouts on Monday and Thursday evenings at six o’clock beginning December 2. The workouts will last between sixty and seventy-five minutes. They will devour you in that special way in which you would prefer to be devoured. Participants need to provide a few essentials: a bike, a trainer, a bike computer that measures cadence and either a heart rate monitor or a power meter. Without those tools, you are unlikely to receive the maximum training benefit. We’ll take the first forty-five people that put down a whopping $25 US to reserve a spot. And that’s a fact. One last thing, and I fear that it will sound critical instead of welcoming: we don’t do spinning as an active form of bicycle storage. We do this to get/stay in shape and to do it with friends new and old. While I know that life gets in the way and can lay waste to our best laid plans, we’re looking for people to suffer with us often this winter.

Around my house at this time of year we like to curl up in front of the fire and read when we have a bit of down time. I like to read bicycling magazines from time to time (read: pretty much all the time) and lately I’ve been enjoying Singletrack, which you can find at Michigan News or the internet. Good writing. Good pictures. Maybe you’ll like it. Maybe not. Afraid to commit? A few back issues are on the coffee table at the shop. Check it out.

New faces abound at Pedal. Katy is finishing up her degree in Spanish at Western this semester, sampled her first cyclocross race and is quickly becoming a competent mechanic. Lily (not my daughter) came in one night looking at handlebar tape and somehow left with employment. Both ladies bring a good work ethic and a cheerful demeanor to the job, and I hope that you’ll make them feel welcome.

Change goes both ways, and it pains me to say that Jordan will be leaving us in the middle of November. Way back when, Jordan was the third Pedal employee, right after Ryan and me. He’s been a rock of stability around the shop for a long time. We’ll miss him greatly and wish him only the best of luck with whatever comes next.

What time is it? Yep. I saw snow the other day so it must be time for the Half Priced Overhaul. From November 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014 we will overhaul the living heck out of your bike for a paltry $90. What’s it include?
– True the wheels
– Disassemble the hub, bottom bracket and headset bearings, relube and reassemble
– Tune the braking system
– Tune the shifting system
– Clean the bike
This is a very fantastic deal, and I hope you’ll take advantage of it. We’d like our customers riding their finely-tuned bicycles as soon as the weather breaks next spring instead of waiting in the inevitable line for service. Who wants to wait in line? No one. Especially you. So let us help you by getting that bike in here, serviced and ready to go.

The time of year is coming when we Americans traditionally take stock of our situation and, hopefully, profess thanks for our good fortune. Many of our customers and friends ask, “How’s it going?” I’m happy to say that it’s going great. Really, really super, in fact. And I am grateful. I’m grateful for the customers that place such faith in Pedal. I’m grateful for Pedal’s employees who work so hard to make us a better bike shop. I’m grateful for the  suppliers who have been such tremendous partners and have supported our efforts so well.

Thank you. We’re nothing without our wonderful customers.