I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions. I set goals for myself or make it up as I go. I reflect on the things that went well and the things that I would like to change and I am realistic about it. Especially now with the shop cuz it’s not like I can go sign up for some insane, time consuming race that I’d need to train for. No time for that anymore.
I do, however, like to start the first day of the new year on my bike, outside, and I did just that yesterday. During my ride, I got to thinking about a few folks from the shop who I have come to know and love these last four years. People who I love to cheer on. I even stalk some of them on social media, checking in on their progress and silently sitting back with a smile on my face, proud as hell. So with that, I’m gonna go ahead and showcase them here. I hope you enjoy their stories as much as me.
Amy started coming around the shop right when we opened. She had caught the cycling bug long before we opened but man, she was so happy to have a bike shop in her neighborhood. Eventually she bought a mountain bike and her love for bicycles just kept growing. You see, bikes keep her sane. The last two years she has been working on her master’s degree, specifically in mental health, with a focus on cycling as a treatment and prevention of mental health disorders. In addition to a full time school load, being a mom to two boys, an internship AND working her normal job, she made time to ride. Even just an hour here and there, she made it happen. I was so happy to see her graduate from school last month and am excited to see where her degree takes her. She’s a warrior in my book for damn sure.
Steve came in to the shop the first year we opened. He was hoping to get a solid commuter bike so he could ride to work. A former competitive runner, his body was telling him it was time to switch sports and cycling seemed to make sense. Two years and 7000 miles later, he bought a proper road bike to keep up with his personal bests down at the local time trials. I tend to check his results during the summer months to see if he has PR’ed every week. At Christmas time, he came in to the shop to let me know he rode his bike 4000 miles in 2016. He is fast. He is hard. He is a warrior.
So Francisco is hard core crazy. I love that about him though. A few years ago he wondered in to the shop and told us he was going to buy a bike and ride it across the country. He wanted to have a full year to prep for this tour. He was smart about it. He researched every single piece of equipment he’d need and he bought a little bit at a time, piece by piece. A year later and he did it. Rode damn near 4000 miles in 60 days. Coast to coast. We are pretty tight with him now. He keeps us informed of his plans for future tours. In the meantime, you might see him on his mountain bike in the woods. Stone cold crazy warrior.
John started coming around the shop in the summer of 2014. He was commuting 13 miles each way to work on a department store bike. He had so much determination to make the commute happen. His bike wasn’t cooperating too well. He’d pop in damn near every day with a new problem and we’d fix it and he’d keep riding. Later he ended up buying a new commuter bike and that summer he even rode his bike from Cleveland to Cincinnati, 320 miles, in just 5 days! Today John still commutes 365 to and from work no matter the weather. And every day, on his ride home, he dings his bell when he passes the shop or he pops in for a water break. I love this guy. Warrior indeed.
Bethany’s Dad bought her a BMX bike for Christmas two years ago and I have watched her progress into a fearless shredder. Over the course of the last two years, this little girl has blown my mind. I watch her at the skate park and the pump track and she gets better and better as the months fly by. Her Dad is fully committed to helping her progress by taking her to all girl events out of town where she gets to learn from the most kick ass female shredders in the country. She’s been to Woodward West, Women’s Weekend at Rays, and to The Wheel Mill. When she’s in town, most weekends she’s either at Ollies or a local skate park practicing her skills. She’s a crazy little park rat not afraid to ride with the boys and in my book that makes her a #SHEredder warrior.
This guy. Mikie came to the shop a few years ago and asked Dominic to help him build his first custom BMX bike. Back then, in 2013, we knew he was special. He was good. Like, really good. Dominic was so excited to build that bike. Later, people in the industry were watching him. He was doing the work; filming and editing every weekend. Fast forward a couple of years and he is now officially on the S&M team and rides for Daily Grind BMX. He continues to progress his skills, film every damn weekend and publish edits for his sponsors. He also helps grow the sport by putting on street jams that have produced 200+ riders from all over the Midwest. A beast of a rider and a true BMX warrior.
Last but not least, I gotta mention my guy. The love of my life.
Dominic wants two more years on his BMX bike. I’ve watched him go through more injuries than I care to think about. Most recently, he’s been off the bike for the last 3 months with multiple shoulder tears and he’s working his ass off to heal it up on his terms. He’s in the gym 7 days a week doing his own physical therapy to repair his shoulder, opting out of surgery. His diet is strict and he prepares all of his own meals to insure healthy nutrition. He now has full range of motion and is almost ready to ride again. He is constantly teaching me that failure is not an option. Strong, determined, and powerful. He is MY warrior.
These are just a few of the riders who have come through the shop and have inspired me in so many ways. There are so many more of you out there and I love to hear about your adventures and bike rides and most of all, how we helped you along the way.
It’s a new year and time to reflect, set goals, and think about what you want for yourself in the upcoming year. If there is anything we can do to make it happen, HOLLA!
Thank you for reading and I hope you have a helluva of a happy new year.