Bikes Bikes Bikes
So currently after paddling roughly 100 miles in the past 3 days I've been holding up in Tallahassee. It's been a great place to wait out the unfavorable weather and for my good friend Harrison to come up and paddle the next big section with me. Right now the trip stands at about 300 miles in two weeks, with around 500 miles left. I'm feeling good and ready to paddle, but as of now I've been pedaling!
Anyone who knows me knows I love bikes and have been working on them since I was kid. I currently have 7 stuffed in my apartment while I'm away. I figured while I was here in Tally I'd check out the local bike community and see if I could get my hands on something to ride around. I got much more than that.
I poked around a few shops and had some good talks but nothing prepared me for where I spent most of my time today. A friend of a friend referred me to Bike House, a local warehouse loaded with bikes, piles of parts, tools, and quite a few friendly helping hands. I knew I was in the right place when I walked through the door. Their goal is to provide people in need with bikes, tools, and the know-how to get around town on just two wheels. For some that's all they have. They also supply bike travelers and tourers a place to stay and work on their bikes when they pass through.
When I saw the shop I couldn't wait to get my hands on some tools and after speaking with the owner he agreed to let me work on some bikes and odd jobs that came through the door. It was not only refreshing but relaxing to turn over some cranks, break loose some bolts and feel the ticks of spokes on my fingertips when I spun a wheel. I got my hands dirty, shared some stories, and made some new friends.
I'm always talking about how bikes and the outdoors bring people together, and this is exactly what this place does. Right away I felt comfortable and welcome, and couldn't have imagined a better way to spend my time off the water out of the boat.
Today has left me with some new ideas and some great ambitions for when I return to Orlando. It's always neat to see how other bike shops and co-ops run, but this place made me realize something different. Every town has some kind of bike community, but really that community is so much more and so much bigger than just one town. We're all just one big network on two wheels and it seems no matter where you go in the world you'll find someone who shares your passion for bikes.
Thanks bike house for your support, I hope to see you guys soon!