Took a Short Trip to Sylva Today

I decided that I would make the short drive down to Sylva, NC today to visit Motion Makers Bicycles. The owner, Kent, used to be the Specialized rep early on at the shop I most recently worked at.

Picked up another pint glass to add to my collection and got a bunch of recommendations fro pubs, coffee shops, and places to eat. 

Then I headed up to Waynesville. I got off the highway and took Old Balsam Road which goes by an apple orchard I wanted to check out. I didn’t stop this time, waiting for relatives to visit and go out there with them. But I did stop at Clyde’s for lunch and had the best 1/2 pound burger that I have had in a long time!

Once I finally got home I took some time to finish digging the drainage ditch around back and clear the one on the front corner of the property. Seeing as there is a possibility of more rain from the storm Joaquin. We’re ready to go now.

Took Albert out to Lake Junaluska a little while ago. We walked along the lake and came back to where we parked…there happens to be a coffee/ice cream shop there. So an ice cream cone for me and a bottle of water for Albert on their back deck facing the lake sitting on rocking chairs. 

I should sleep well tonight!

Long Absence and a New State.

Well, we have hopped across the mountains from East Tennessee to Western North Carolina. Finally have the house around and mostly in order. At Least for this year.

Made a trip back to Tennessee to get the storage locker cleaned out last week. This included most of my bikes. So, now the rebuilding begins in the new storage shed.

I have the second story and that’s where I’m putting the bikes back together.

Until next time!

Warm Weather Means the Shop is Getting Busier

You know, half of what I do at a bicycle shop is educating the customer. I had a few gathering information today. It starts with listening to the customer and asking some targeted questions to understand what they really want and/or need. If it had not been raining today, they would have taken the bikes out for a test ride. That will be for another day.

Tune-ups are also starting to come in. And this reminds me that there are some items that need to be checked and replaced so that other more costly items don’t have to be.

Very important is the chain.

Stretched chain

Stretched chain

The chain in front is the stretched one. A chain doesn’t really stretch, but the pins and holes loosen up effectively making it longer. The picture above has a new chain in back and the old chain in front. (Sorry it’s a bit blurry)

What happens when you ride with a chain stretched beyond tolerances is that it kind of deforms the cassette or freewheel teeth. You will see the spaces between the teeth uneven and sometimes several teeth will look like a shark fin. If this goes on too long, even the front chainrings will get deformed.

While you may be able to ride like this without problems for a bit, when it comes time to replace the chain it won’t run over these deformed teeth smoothly. You will get skipping and/or slipping. All deformed parts will have to be replaced.


So, make sure when you take your bike in to get serviced to have the chain measured. Could save you a bundle.

First Ride of the Year


This past Sunday I took the XtraTalus out for my first spin this year. And am I out of shape!

Hopefully tomorrow the rain stops for my second ride. I did make a couple of changes to the bike. A stem with a slight rise and my old Surly 1×1 bar. After the ride I put my Thomson layback seatpost on it. And I am riding platform pedals.

I will try to post more regularly for the 2015 season.

Metamorphosis of the Karate Monkey…


Originally built as a 29er singlespeed.



Then hooked up to an Xtracycle…the XtraMonley or Garbage a Cycle.


And now as a 9speed pavement commuter/fun bike.


With what today is called a trekking bar…or Glen bar back in the 90’s.

The Twenty Inchers Are Gone!

Since I last posted, months ago, I have been cleaning house…or rather the shed…of some of my rides. Both of the 20″ wheelers are gone. In their place, and after a couple more make their way to new homes, will be one of a couple of ideas….not sure which yet and so not ready to post about it either.

So say goodbye to…



The GT Ricochet Trials bike. It’s going to someone who had their yellow one stolen a few years back.



And the DK BMX race bike. It ended up going to a friend.

And I am happy both bikes will have good homes and will be used properly and taken well care of.


Mini Vacation

I spent the last week in a tiny cabin doing nothing but eating, reading, and sleeping!



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