Archive | January, 2013

Neil’s Place

29 Jan

Every cyclist eventually thinks that it would be a good idea to learn a bit of “bike repair” or “maintenance”. For some this endeavor fails miserably. For others the pursuit of bicycle mechanics turns into something beautiful. The “Shop”, “Workshop”, “Garage”, etc. Called by many names, these places can become more than just a place that bicycles get repaired. Stories are exchanged, beers are drunk, and memories are made.

The home workshop can be a very different thing depending on the rider and the type of riding that they do. Highroller celebrates the home bicycle mechanic and will be posting a series of articles highlighting some of the more interesting home workshops that we know of.

We start the series with our good friend and customer Neil.

I headed out to Neil’s place one night after work to see what he had going on out there. He said that he would get some beers for us to drink as we looked over everything. I told him that I would pass since I had stopped drinking beer a few months ago. When I arrived I was greeted with a bottle of Blantons. We talked about the history of his family in the area and his own journey through cycling. From custom built BMX bikes to road bikes, to full suspension mtn bikes and steel singlespeeds this workshop houses a wide range of the cycling spectrum.

The goal of these posts is to let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy!

Very tasty

Very tasty

The trophies of beers vanquished line most of the open surfaces of the workshop

The trophies of beers vanquished line most of the open surfaces of the workshop

This pump dates back to the early part of the last century

This pump dates back to the early part of the last century

Perhaps the coolest  tricycle ever

Perhaps the coolest tricycle ever

Neil wants to build more of his own wheels

Neil wants to build more of his own wheels

Neil's first real road bike from Specialized

Neil’s first real road bike from Specialized

This frame was liberated from a farm somewhere in Kansas

This frame was liberated from a farm somewhere in Kansas

Watch your head

Watch your head

Neils place 008

Neils place 002

Every workshop needs a well seasoned bench

Every workshop needs a well seasoned bench

Donut Ride 2013

22 Jan

A few of the Highrollers made a trip up to the Krispy Kreme in Bentonville this past weekend. This is the report.

The meeting time was set for 8 am at the shop. I had prepared my kit the night before and done all my morning chores so that I could be away from the house for a while. The group was undetermined the day before so I was curious who would show up. As I rode onto Dickson street I could see Sam heading down toward me. Upon pulling into the parking lot of the shop I saw Aaron, Art, Emily, and Chris enjoying the brisk morning. Clay pulled up just as I unclipped and our group was complete. We filled bottles and topped off tire pressure before heading north on the Frisco trail. We stayed on the trail until the Gregg street intersection. You can check out the entire ride route here, but I wont bore you with the specifics.

The ride North was great. Everyone was feeling fine. The weather was just cool enough for arm warmers and a vest. Friendly chatter was the only sound to be heard. Even the little rise up out of Johnson was so easy we didn’t even seem to slow down much. Once up on 48th Street I realized why.

That is a very large flag in a very horizontal position

That is a very large flag in a very horizontal position

I knew then that I had better get my turns in at the front before we headed back south. That would be the time for Art and Aaron to move to the front.

Art, looking really good on the bike.

Art, looking really good on the bike.

Once we left Springdale we rode a fun little section of road that parallels Hwy 540 but with a few little whoop-de-doo rollers and 90 degree corners. With a tailwind they were super fun. The road is also looses elevation the whole way. Eventually, we ended up down in a lovely valley that is to the west of Wagon Wheel road. A very pastoral scene made us forget that we were no more than two miles away from the buzzing of the interstate.

I like how two people are more interested in taking pics than enjoying the beautiful valley view

I like how two people are more interested in taking pics than enjoying the beautiful valley view

Eventually, My experience with the route ran out. I knew the roads to get us to the destination, but I also knew the new Razorback Greenway was more complete than it had been the last time I was in that neck of the woods. I wanted to ride some of those new trails but was not sure how to access them. Clay and Emily work in Bentonville, and Clay said he knew where we could get onto the trail. I was a little skeptical. When we rode through a neighborhood and then randomly stopped at some field that looked suspiciously like someones back yard I was even more skeptical. Then we started trekking through the field and ended up portaging our bikes a la cyclocross. It turned out that the trail was just on the other side of the woods.

This time it wasn't my idea

This time it wasn’t my idea

The Rogers trail materialized out of nowhere

The Rogers trail materialized out of nowhere

A year or so ago I was driving up to visit my in-laws when the bridge was being installed. At the time it looked like it was poised to send the trail into the side of the hill. I started calling it the bridge to nowhere at the time. Now, after having ridden that section of the multi-use trails up there, I see that it actually does go somewhere.

The Bridge to nowhere is now the bridge to the future

The Bridge to nowhere is now t he bridge to the future

The trail snakes and shimmies along by the creek for a bit before eventually splitting. We rode a section that took us to the other side of the HWY and up to the location of Highroller 2.0. You can see in these pics the progress being made. The red dirt is the parking lot and the brown dirt (more or less) is where the building will be. The second pic is the view of the site from the bike trail. More on all this in a later post. It is going to be really great!

We stopped to see the progress on HR2.0

We stopped to see the progress on HR2.0

This is the view of what will be the store from the bike trail

This is the view of what will be the store from the bike trail

By this time we were all getting a bit hungry and headed down the road to Krispy Kreme for some treats. The parking lot was full and the line was pretty long. We were greeted by a free hot doughnut right off the line. The donuts were good but I was disappointed that they no longer serve sausage rolls. I can hardly eat a doughnut without a sausage roll to accompany it.

The reward

The reward

We chatted and ate for a bit before someone pointed out that no one was outside watching over the $25K worth of bikes and wheels that we had parked against the shrubs out front. At last, it was time to brave the wind and turn our bars to the south for the ride home.

Thanks for reading
Branton

Starting again

21 Jan

January 1:

No new years resolutions here. It seems like enough to just make it through the year. 2012 was a good 365 days for us here at the “roller”. We are so thankful to all of our customers for making this year our biggest year ever.

2013 will be more of a challenge than ever. Over the past several years we have seen many new bike shops come to the area (and we have seen some go as well). We have experinced the city of Fayetteville implementing paid parking all around our location. We have seen industry price increases each year, and  constant pressure from online sources selling parts at rock bottom prices. Though these were tough, we just kept going. By doing what we do it seems that there is a place for us long term in this market and industry.

In 2013 we will continue to fight the good fight and bring what we know and love to the streets and trails of Northwest Arkansas.