The problem child is born

I woke up to Jenni and Jamison already giggling and sorting out how we were going to transport our bikes around town. My job was to be the big boy and go get the rest of the toys for my bike that I left at home. I rode my bike up to REI that was just up the road and I got to feel the glorious morning sun. It just felt like vacation. When I got to REI, I found that they were still closed and I had to be the customer that I hate…the one standing at the door when you get to work with a problem on their bike and somewhere to be very shortly. I dropped the bike off and tried to explain the situation and hint that I had shop experience, and I could do it on my own, but was lacking a stand. The staff there was super nice, but told me I would have to wait because they were getting a bike ready for a customer. I shopped around REI for a bit then walked up to Whole Foods for some extra chow, as I had no idea when I was going to get some good food again.
When I got back to REI, I figured by bike would be done, but it was still in the same spot. Considering I have worked in a bike shop forever, I know what early Saturday mornings are like, but being on the other side of the counter is really frustrating. Luckily, I was able to talk to the folks there and they realized that all I needed was a stand and not help, and they let me come in the back to work on the bike that is now known as problem child. I got to work with a really great guy, and it felt like I have worked with him for years already. Good bike shop guys like that are hard to find, and I think we are all cut from the same cloth.

Another Saturday morning in the bike shop!

I was finally able to get my bike to work in the fashion that I thought it would make it through the ride in the morning, and we were able to get out of there to get along with our day.

We got down to the hotel and parked. Jamison went along to meet his friend, while Jenni and I went over the the convention center to check out the hand-built bike show and the rest of the stuff there.


They need a chaperone next time!

We did not have locks, so our bikes continued their unholy union from the ride down to the hotel. Steel and Carbon should just not mix, but we think my pink hubs wanted to spend some time with her pink tires. We had to keep an eye on them, so that is why we did not lock them up outside, but walked into the convention center like we owned the joint.

We got to check out some great bikes. I got to ride this guy.

Wilts Monster Cross Click the picture to go to their site.

And I may buy this guy!

Bilinky cross bike built by "hot carl".

Jenni and I walked around the rest of the place and ran into this guy.

I need some training tips!

We also got chance to look at the wall. This is a pretty powerful place to be. There are just so many emotions there, but some people really took the words right out of my mouth.

I did not want to put my message over what anyone else wrote, so I made a little one for my dad.

After being cheered up by the dog who was offering free licks at the message wall, we made our way out of the convention center and back to the hotel . We had to move all the stuff that was stored in the car and the hotel lobby back up to our room. After Melba (Jenni’s grandma like alter ego who forgets everything she needs) got her stuff together, and I affixed the giant camera bag/fanny pack that I would wear most of the rest of the trip we headed out for a ride around Austin.  

Knowing that Jenni is a bike safety instructor, I tried to be on my best behavior, but I really just wanted to uncork and ride like a nut all over town. When the eye of the law is watching you, sometimes you actually have to stop before making a left turn on a red light.

We went up to the University of Texas bookstore because I really wanted a UTex Track and Field shirt to add to my collection from the college towns I visit. Holy crap everything up there is orange! I could not believe it! You can get ANYTHING in orange with their logo on it. I think they had an adult section somewhere in there!

We got some good middle eastern food that for whatever reason took a really long time to make and then headed back to meet up with some folks at Mellow Johnnys.

I don’t care who owns this place, it is pretty awesome. It is exactly how I would want a shop set up. Maybe someday after I win my 7th tour de france, I can open one like this as well.

Inside and around the shop there was an air of excitement for the folks who have made the trip to the Mecca of bike dorks and they would be happy to know that inside there were some deities milling about.

I ran into Elden “Fatty” if you must and Dave Weins and had a picture with him that looks like I had a fake mike in my hand. He is a very nice guy, and I wish the movie really had more about him and his family. 

Like I said, the shop is pretty cool, and the stuff is really priced high, but I think most of the folks in here would consider this their tourist stop, but a $30 screen printed shirt is a bit much.  I did get a new top cap for my bike as a momento of the trip. It is something that will remind me of it every time I ride.

I came, I saw and I conquered my first trip to bike shop mecca.

When Jenni and I got back to our bikes, they were back at it. I swear that they were not parked this way when we went in MJs

I will separate the night and day parts of the trip to make this a bit more manageable.

One Response to “The problem child is born”
  1. liberty! says:

    now I have to go!
    and I’m really feeling that Bilenky – SICK!

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