My cycling journey has been a long one. In the order of 25 years, I’ve been very fortunate to have ridden some great bikes. Someday, I’ll scan the photos; some that I’ve built from scratch myself, choosing the frame fork and components. That’s what got me started on the road to being a mechanic. I’ve had a great deal of help and encouragement over that time from independent bike shops and mechanics. Some I can still call friends.
Opening Steel Town Cycles started another journey and my hope that we will add to the enjoyment of cycling in our area and beyond. There is no better place for cycling advice and passion than an independent bike shop. This will never be replaced by the internet; its often said the internet can’t fix your bike. I can’t speak for other bike shops but I can say that my inspiration for setting up was to give something of my gained knowledge and experience, to my customers. If I can assist in getting someone back on their bike after many years that is reward indeed. I don’t know everything and I’ll continue to learn. But I will always do my best to answer your question. I find this job fascinating for the problem solving and great people I meet to name but a few aspects.
My own inspiration for cycling has been challenged of late as I find the type of riding changing. I’ve gone from a regular rider/commuter/occasional racer to an more realistic “fit it around running a business and family” I’ve found this very difficult.
My riding inspiration this year has came from a few people I recently met and had a hand in returning their bikes to a useable condition. The Paris – Roubaix cycle race remains my favourite of the year and having just spent the best part of 5 hours watching it live is still as inspiring as ever. The race has a course that strikes fear into the riders that race it but it’s regarded as one of the best races to win. It takes place over a fairly flat course but it’s nickname of Hell of the North is well deserved. 160miles on some very narrow country farm tracks including 35miles of varyingly brutal cobbles.
By comparison the cobbles in this country are both smooth and small.
If you have a little used or forlorn looking bike or the kids bug you to get out with them. Do it. Get out. You’ll notice more than you ever did driving around. In our area there are loads of routes that are safe and barely touch a road. If road riding is more you thing join a riding group or cycling club. It will improve your fitness and you can benefit from others experience and the social side of cycling.