Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Small Guys

Spending my day canvasing the shops around Denver/Boulder, it was great to see so many small shops thriving. Props to many of these forgoing the big brands and supporting smaller companies and framebuilders.

Growing up in Burlington, Iowa, we had a great scene. My first intro to cycling was actually cyclocross, when I was about five. I remember going out on a cold day, my father was interested to see this bike race that he had heard about, and we watched men on road bikes turn laps around Perkins park. I remember the mud, and the hills they had to ride up and down. I don't recall getting hooked on biking that day, but the memories last, which may mean something...

We had The Cyclery, and shop run by Tom Clayton. His daughter was a good rider on the track, and he supported many of the local roadies. Peugot, Redding, Rosa were some of the bikes he carried and I scored my first pair of shoes and helmet from him, out of a pile of old gear he had in back. I remember that the helmet, which was leather had a musty scent, almost moldy and the buckle was rusted. I didn't care, in fact I was so stoked to put it on and ride those shoes, I think the laces snapped the first time I laced them up.

The Cyclery is no longer, and besides the annual Snake Alley Criterium, Burlington's bike scene has seen better days. Maybe what they need is a good old fashioned cyclocross race to get the next generation hooked.

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