This is a non-fiction featured article about the local world of bicycling and some personalities who support and enjoy the sport.
Just as there is a heart day for Valentine's in February, Saint Patrick's in March, the month of May is bike month. Yes, "May is bike month" is just around the corner and riders around the country look forward to this event that celebrates both riders and their bikes and the good this tandem has done for the community. Individuals and groups get ready for this month-long event, and it makes for an exciting affair. Some riders get new rigs, others get upgrades and still others go to their friendly neighborhood shops to get the tweaks they need.
Somewhere in Rancho Cordova is a small bike shop that caters to a few enthusiasts of mountain and E-bikers. The resident shop mechanic here does a ton of consultations and research to find the right match for certain bike models, old and new, and he even goes as far as servicing almost ancient restorations for a friend or two. He does this for fun, to while away the time. His hard riding days are over, he has settled for annual rides with friends, or with his family for exercise nowadays. No more jumps for him lest the backpains return.
If one looks hard enough, the longing can be seen in his eyes- of times long gone, when he used to do extreme sports like climbing free solo when he was younger, rappelling off bridges or the side of a mountain, extreme BMX tricks or joining rock and wall-climbing competitions. When asked why he stopped, he responds with a shrug of his shoulders, "the kids came along, I cannot take risks like those anymore". I think he grew old; he has become a boring old bear.
Riders from out of town or within set appointments to have their bikes worked on and he enjoys the drill of having to set up and mount the replacements for upgraded items they prefer and requested. He'd probably have a suggestion or two, they may take his advice, or not. "Take it or leave it", he'd say, he has earned the respect, I think. Still others may be lucky enough to get the few and occasional demo of techniques and tricks. Often, he'd say that an interested rider can be taught on the trail, the backyard pump track or on a step stool. Discipline and dedication are the keywords he lives by- be nimble, flexible, and swift, be at one with your bike but be the master of your ride- the bike follows where you lead.
He has a trusted friend in Anthony, his Elk Grove counterpart. Anthony is a bike whiz too; he rides, and fixes and he's got the right to-do attitude to go with the gig. They'd be consulting on the phone for hours and discuss endless products, prospects and possibilities, venting and de-stressing sometimes, but often in deep serious discussion only to end up in loud laughter. They don't like the publicity, there's nothing special in what they do, just that the results speak for themselves. At the end of the day, the hope is that the rider is satisfied and happy with the outcome. Ride-fix-ride-upgrade: It is a cycle, pun intended.