Monday, March 9, 2015

wrenches needed

We're still almost 4 months away from opening our new Overland Park Scheels, but we need some folks who might like to work on bikes. Experience would be a plus, but the main requirement is a mechanical aptitude and a love of bikes, as well as other sports equipment. If you know anyone who lives in the Kansas City metro area that might be interested, let me know and we'll figure out how to get together.

Scheels is an awesome company and we'll have lots of new bikes rolling in soon. Someone's going to have to help get them put together. What do you think?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

first ride

Strictly speaking I guess this was a mild winter in the middle of the country. (I did drive back to Omaha in 2 of the handful of storms we had!) But it seems like it lasted forever! There was a nice day here and there, but more often than not it's been cold and windy for too darn long! Between my time in a hotel in Omaha and the blustery weather I haven't been outside on a bike since early last fall! That changed today.

After a few errands my wife and I enjoyed lunch with some old friends of ours. By the time I got home the temps had climbed to the upper 60s, and the winds were not too bad. I dressed warmly and pumped up my tires. Without checking wind direction I headed west and north and smiled to realize that I was riding right into the breeze. That meant it would be at my back for the return trip.
Less than half a mile from home, as I turned on to the bike lane that would get me across the interstate, I saw the first of several riders enjoying the day. A little over 25 miles later I made it home feeling pretty good. I was a little slow on the hills, but overall I was pleased with my first real effort of the season.
 My season this year may be limited to a few one or two day events as we celebrate opening the new store and get together with our families. But I'm hoping to spend a lot of days riding with friends, old and new, promoting cycling and helping folks get into it with a brand new Fuji or Scott.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

next chapter

My four months in Omaha have come to an end. It was a great experience; a great store and an even better group of people. Now I'm ready for the next step. Monday a small group of us will start at the new store. For the first couple of months we'll be receiving freight, assembling displays, and generally doing "whatever it takes" to get the store ready for our June grand opening.
 Omaha Scheels

The tech outdoor department in Omaha had shrunk to a fraction of its peak size before I left, and we were able to set almost all of the expanded bike shop. It was fun to see some great displays of road, mountain, comfort and fat-tire bikes, as well as clothing and accessories. I'm glad that I got to be part of writing the next chapter before I left.

I would also like to announce another new chapter. I'm going to continue to use this blog to write about my cycling adventures, those accomplished and those being planned. And I also want to share the news of my new bike shop and beautiful new store as it comes to fruition. But I don't know if everyone who may read this blog about cycling wants to hear about my veganism. So I'm starting another blog devoted specifically to that. I would encourage everyone to follow me at Vegan For Life but if you only want to check in on the bike biz, this blog will be for that.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

go big or go home?

Let me start by saying that I won't be able to do this in 2015. Maybe not even in 2016. But I've been thinking about a new challenge in cycling. Some things are a little too daunting. I'm too old, too slow, and too overweight, um, under height. But if I put my mind to it I can accomplish some things. With that in mind, I thought that I needed a new goal towards which to work.

My love of cycling in Colorado gave me the idea of something I've heard about for years, The Triple Bypass. It's a one day, 120 mile ride, with 10K+ feet of climbing, from Evergreen to Avon. It goes over Juniper Pass, Loveland Pass, and Vail Pass. I've climbed all of these passes, (Juniper in both directions), but not all in the same day. It would be tough, but I know I could do it. That's not optimal for a goal, is it? If you know you can do it? So, how could I take it up a notch? I'm glad you asked.

The slogan for the Triple Bypass is "For those who dare". For those who dare even more there is the Double Triple Bypass. After riding 120 miles over 3 mountain passes with over 10K feet of climbing on a Saturday in July, Double Triple Bypass riders get up and ride back! That sounds so hard, but so awesome! I could add this to my "bucket list", but that contains lots of things that I want to do, some of which I doubt I'll ever get to. So I'm making it a goal. I would like to do it next year, but if it takes a little longer, that's OK too.  But, I'm going to work towards successfully completing the "Double Triple".

Friday, January 16, 2015


I can hardly believe it's the middle of January, 2015! What they say about time going faster as you get older? I can tell you they're right. It doesn't seem like that long ago when we were wondering if Y2K would be a major catastrophe. Now it's 15 years later in the blink of an eye.
My time in Omaha has been going fast too. The first month was a lot of formal training, followed by the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas, the busiest time of the year for retailers. And while I did get the chance to sell a few bikes (mostly for small children), I sold a lot of coats. North Face, Columbia, Spyder, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia and more. Plus hats and gloves. And sunglasses and watches. That was valuable training for the pace and intensity required to take care of so many customers in such an amazing store.
The people I met when I interviewed for this position impressed me so much, and the team in Omaha has continued that theme. There are so many outstanding folks in that store that it's going to be hard to say goodbye at the end of February. But I'm sure I'll see a lot of them in the future, and I know I'll use several of then as resources as my career with Scheels moves forward. And I am very excited to get into our new store in Overland Park, with our new store team, and build something special in the Kansas City market.
Our bike shop will carry a large variety of bikes, from an inexpensive bike with training wheels to get your kids riding as early as possible, to some high-end road bikes, mountain bikes, fat-tire bikes and hybrids. In addition to some awesome Fuji bikes, we'll also be carrying Scott bikes. I can't wait to get my hands on some of these!
To the few of you who have read my blog for a long time, I just wanted to say: I'm still here. I'm still vegan. And I can't wait for warm weather to get off the trainer and on the road. What this cycling season holds is still up in the air for me. I'm hoping to get back to Omaha and ride one day of the local MS150, sponsored by Scheels. And I'm hoping to get in another adventure or two. With the store opening in late June the summer may be tricky. I might miss my first CRMBT in 8 years. If I am unable to make it this year, I know I'll be back again soon. This is the best tour, with the best people, in one of the best places to ride a bike.

And my intention to one day join my brother-in-law and nephew on RAGBRAI will probably have to wait at least another year. (I really need to retire so I can ride more). One possibility for a Colorado ride that doesn't take a whole week is one that I've done before, and would love to do again. They've just opened registration for the Copper Triangle. 78 miles, 3 mountain passes, and almost 6,000 feet of climbing on the first Saturday in August with a few thousand fellow cyclists? That sounds about right!