Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Family Tree JonBoy is fond of referring to our group of cycling friends as a family tree. Here's the genealogy as I recall - It all started back with the Highlander. Brently Bob at least worked there and I think Ghrumpy worked there as well. Brently moved on to work as an industry rep, where he remains to this day. Highlander went the way of many small LBS's and Stu kept the ball rolling with Gourmet Bicycles. In describing Gourmet's location, the description almost always included the question, "Do you know where the Bamboo Hut is?" Many still know where the old Bamboo Hut was and thus remember where Gourmet was. Leatherby's is there now. Ghrumpy initially worked for Stu and then took over as owner. JonBoy, Jerome, and J.J. all worked at Gourmet under Ghrumpy's tutelage. Ghrumpy was known locally as the best wrench around. It was this reputation that took me to the shop and inspired me to work for free for several months in exchange for training as a bike mechanic. Several events led Ghrumpy to leave Gourmet and Jerome to take over management. During Jerome's initial tenure, the Tenacious (as in Tenacious D, JonBoy's wife) joined the shop family officially. Without commenting on the particulars, Gourmet folded and Frank's Bikes opened next door with Jerome as the proprietor. During that time, Racer, Jerome, Jared and myself were those holding down the fort. Frank's folded and Racer picked up the banner. Racer started in a storage unit with his tools, a bike stand, and eventually a QBP account. Everything was special order. He only did labor. Racer's brothers include Chucky and the WonderPony, both of whom are hammers in their own rights. Both Chucky and the WonderPony were often found at the new shop on University. As unofficial Racer's employees, they are, of course, part of the family. Throughout, there's been a loyal group of non-shop employees who are equally important to the culture of the shop as they are more enduring than most of the employees. A large portion of the core customers, sometimes referred to as the lunch crowd, include Fatty and his friends which are featured at www.fatcyclist.com. Widmer and his crew also feature prominently in the core group. These and the other core customers are lifers who are serious about maintaining their bikes and seeking to get others involved in cycling. Racer worked on their bikes as he built a base for his current shop. Racer moved from the storage unit to a small shop on University, where he began stocking selected inventory and also began to stock selected bikes. Harse, already a cousin through the Widmer crew, joined the family as Racer's first official employee. Later, Racer married Steel. Under Steel's influence, the shop moved to its current location at 159 W. 500 N. in Provo. Currently at the shop are Kelly, Shae, and Dan. Others are involved who are not quite employees, but more than customers. Those who have an affinity for the infinitely likable Racer (who's got to be the nicest guy on earth). Asinine definitely qualifies as one such member, as does Kenny. Benson and Wyatt also likely belong in this group. With such a large group, the numbers of those who call Racer their mechanic and Racer's Cycle their shop is large and growing. Long live the LBS.