Eagle Scout, forester and soil scientist, wild land firefighter, Intruder Driver and Amazing Harrier Jump Jet Pilot, flight instructor, aviation crash investigator, retired Marine, grandpa, curmudgeon. Now just an old guy on two wheels.
I grew up on and around bicycles. My grandfather was a wholesale distributor of Schwinn bicycles. I learned to fix my own bike early in life, starting with fixing flat tubes and moving on to brakes and shifting. My first serious road bike was a frankenbike assembled with random parts and accessories from my grandfather’s warehouse.
The summer before my freshman year in college I worked in my grandpa’s warehouse, filling shipments, stocking parts and bikes, etc. I took advantage of access to discount parts and tools to completely tear my own bicycle apart (a Nishiki Olympic) and put it back together. That bike was my primary transportation in college until I scratched enough money together to buy a motorcycle and then a used small pickup.
The Marines put a serious dent in my cycling but didn’t stop me totally. My cycling in the Corps was largely an adjunct to physical fitness training.
After retirement I returned to cycling by starting to commute. I then returned to recreational cycling and shortly flirted with “racing.” I am much better now and my cycling is largely utility (local transportation, errands, etc.). I do some longer exploratory rides in the countryside around Austin, TX — some would call that recreational.
I am not a bicycle advocate. I reserve that description for people who actually advance cycling. I just ride and try to help others to ride. I volunteer at a local community bicycle shop, where I teach people how to fix and maintain their bicycles. I enjoy building and fixing bicycle wheels. Someday I hope to be a master wheel builder.