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Bicycles 101

Updated: Jan 9, 2019

I'm a runner. I'm actually an old collegiate soccer player turned runner. I know about shoes and foam. I know about pronating and how to prevent IT band troubles (and then how to fix IT band troubles because you didn't bother with the prevent). I know about hip flexors and how your body moves when you run. I don't know bicycles. I don't know anything about riding bicycles. My husband, and shop owner, Charles knows EVERYTHING about bicycles and riding bicycles. And I was fine with that until:

people on bicycles
On my red bike for that minute I rode a mtn bike. No clue why I had a water bottle. I couldn't drink and steer simultaneously.

Charles opened a bicycle shop and I realized I would be working there...a lot.

This is not entirely true. I do know a little about riding bicycles. The first year we were married, and my last year of grad school, Charles bought me a mountain bike and a road bike (he worked at Cycles de Oro, in Greensboro). I rode quite a bit after he took me to trails and on rides along roads safe to ride by myself. I liked it well enough, but I didn't LOVE it. And if you heard a lot of cussing between fall 2003 and Summer 2004 at Country Park, that was most likely me. I am so sorry. I even raced in the winter short track series here in Charlotte one year, 2005? I rode a few times here and there, but one day I had a bad fall on some seemingly innocuous roots at Francis Beatty and hurt my shoulder (and might've cursed a lot) and from that day on, for the most part, I've said "meh" to mountain biking.

When gas reached +$4 a gallon all those years ago I would ride my bike to work at Reed Gold Mine SHS, 13 miles each way at Charles' prodding. One day on the way home, and I swear it moved into my path, I ran over what was left of a possum and its protruding rib punctured my tire. I called Charles. He got there and said to me, "You're lucky I was home" in an irritated tone...That commentary went over well...

Once the time changed that fall I wasn't keen on riding in the dark, so with a few exceptions that pretty much ended my road cycling career. It was fine. I played rec league soccer and ran. I don't do track workouts or hill repeats anymore, my prime is gone. The only PRs I'm setting now are for my slowest times on a course. Charles rode his bikes and I ran. Great. And then he said, "I want to open a bike shop." And I said, "Okay. Go for it." (I'm very supportive) Fast forward 1.5 years and November 17, 2018 Excite Bikes opened its doors. That's when people started coming and asking questions and I realized that I didn't know enough. I HATE not knowing enough. So, I'm starting my "knowing enough" journey, and I'm bringing along any of you who would like to join. I'm taking on components, accessories, suspension, forks, bicycle styles, etc. I will never know as much as Charles. He has an almost 30 year head start and a deep, sincere passion for the sport, but I have a commitment to him and helping him succeed in his dream. Also I'm a big fat nerd. Heck, I might even start riding my bikes again.

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