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Hometown’s History, Jim’s Joy, and Iceman

Hometown: A History
(Hometown Bicycles Brighton Service Shop – March 2010, 1 month before we opened)

Have you ever sat back and thought about where you were, where you are, and where you want to be?
With Hometown’s 5th Anniversary less than half a year away, we’ve been delving into the ‘why’s and ‘wherefore’s of our astronomical growth, and what our next steps will be to take the Hometown experience to crazy new heights. Over the next few emails, we want to share with you not only where we come from, but where you’re helping us go, and why that’s so darn important.
And it’s only right for us to share our ambitious goals with you because, without your support, none of this (gesturing proudly at Hometown Bicycles) would be possible!
WHERE WE WERE
HTB 1014 store start demoWe (Shaun and Dawn) started with an idea, a passion, and just enough money to pay for paint and some bike stands. Our dream was to launch a bike shop that would be more than just a store – it would be a rock-your-socks cycling experience.In March 2010, we located a mother ship for Hometown Bicycles in Brighton, and worked into the wee hours of every night, prepping the space for its new role as a Service Shop. HTB 1014 store start(We also got engaged!) By Tax Day, we were selling our very first customer a patch kit.By the following year, we were married and bustin’ down walls into our new, next-door retail space. HTB 1014 store start signJamis came into our lives –  one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.Since then, the Hometown crew has been involved in all sorts of cycling events – including our own – HTB 1014 store start sdlaunched shop rides and bike clinics, won Best Bike Shop and Best Retailer awards from our customers, our community, and our vendors, and have otherwise woven ourselves into the fabric of the community.

This past Spring, we opened our first satellite service location in Whitmore Lake. Whitmore Lake Shop photoAnd the adventures just keep on coming.

The time is coming for a new evolution… one that will help us become the bike shop of your dreams. We’re gearing up to take your Hometown experience to new heights, and can’t wait to share our vision with you.

Until our next email, when we’ll talk about Where We Are Now,

– Shaun & Dawn Bhajan     
         
Bike Lights & Night Safety Clinic: Get Lit Next Thursday!
bike lights
WHAT: In this clinic, we’ll cover everything from the various styles, features, and benefits of bike lights, to where they go and why, to which lights you need and which you don’t.Immediately after, anyone who’s interested can join us for a Devil’s Night Shop Ride, where you’ll be able to take our lights for a test spin! This ride will be a short, Island Lake road and trail mash-up for all levels of riders. We’ll finish up with a cozy autumn bonfire back at the shop.
WHEN: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30TH at 6:00PM
WHERE: Hometown Bicycles of Brighton
Although there’s no charge, we do ask that you register in advance, so that we can plan ahead and make this an awesome event for everyone!

 

………………………

 

JIM C. AND THE JOY OF CYCLING
Customer Highlight: A Cyclist with True Hometown Spirit
(Here’s Jim – holding the sign – at the GM loop at Tour de Livingston 2014.)

Jim Cleer embodies everything we like most about cycling and cyclists. Since he first dropped by our shop, we’ve seen Jim encourage so many others to get healthy through cycling. He’s always willing to help out, and focuses on what’s really important… the JOY of cycling. In Jim’s own words, here’s why he rides…

“When I was first asked to write about why I ride, I thought no problem. Now that I have actually started to put pen to paper I find it a little more challenging to express why I love riding.

Just a brief background on my riding career is the fact that I have really only been doing this for two years. Of course, I rode a bike as a kid, but hadn’t really been on a bike for 30 years.

Anyway, my buddy Tom talked me into going mountain biking in the fall of 2012. I used his son’s bike and we rode the blue trail  at Island Lake. At the time I was working out regularly and running and thought I was in pretty good shape. Well, one hour and 45 minutes later to ride approximately 10 miles of what I now view as a beginner trail proved me wrong.

I was hooked and went out and bought a mountain bike later that week. I love the feeling of being out in the woods. The group rides we do on Wednesday nights. The races I now compete in and the friends I have made while mountain biking. There is almost nothing more rewarding than successfully climbing a rock and root infested hill and then getting the pay off on the other end to scream down the other side while dodging trees, rocks and more roots and if your lucky, catching a little air as you go.

At least, that is what I thought for the first year.

I had a rather jaded opinion of what is commonly called a “roadie”. Mountain bikers as a whole are pretty much laid back. We ride hard, help those in need on the trail and drink beer. I was led to believe that roadies are a little more stuck up and live within all these etiquette rules of riding.

Well, I bought a triathlon bike in the late fall of 2013. I wanted to do a tri in the coming summer and found the bike on craigslist.com for a great price. I didn’t get much riding in on it as we all know what kind of winter we just had. But, spring finally came and I took to the road.

I started riding Kensington and Island Lake on a regular basis. I found the other “roadies” to be just as courteous and friendly as mountain bikers. Sure, they typically may look better in spandex bike shorts, but they gave me a new goal of trimming the waist line a little more.

I even got a flat one early Saturday morning at Island Lake about 6 miles from my car. There I was with no tube or CO2 walking the asphalt in tri shoes, not exactly the best shoes for walking. There were plenty of triathletes out doing training runs that morning and every single one of them asked if I needed help, wanted a tube or CO2. They were all really nice people.

Since then I have purchased a new road bike for racing and have taken to the road more than the trail. I love the speed factor of being on the road. With every ride I find some other way to improve either my form, pedal stroke, climbing, cornering or gear shifting. I realize I love the science part of biking too. I use speed and cadence meters along with my Garmin 310xt, to track my progress and see where I have opportunities to improve. Eventually, I will get a power meter, but they need to come down a little in price first.

To sum it all up, I don’t really have a single big reason why I ride. I ride because I love the people I meet, the camaraderie of the friends I’ve made, the strength and conditioning the sport gives me, the tools I get to use to improve, the knowledge I gain on a daily basis about all things bike, the stress relief it gives me after a crappy day at work and maybe most important, even with the tools I use to improve, it gives me time unplugged from all the non stop noise of tv’s, radio, the internet and work.

So, I highly encourage anyone one to hop on a bike and start pedaling. If after a while your legs start to hurt and you think you can’t go on, just look at them and repeat the immortal words of the legendary Jens Voigt, ‘Shut Up Legs’ and pedal on.”

………………………

 

BIKE PATH… IN PROGRESS!
Community Highlight: Construction’s underway by the shop


Now here’s some orange barrels we can get excited about! Last week we talked about Brighton Township’s plans for a new bike path running from Old 23 to Pleasant Valley along Grand River, and eventually connecting at Kensington Road.

Hometown tips its hat to the Township… can you believe construction has already begun!? Just a stone’s throw east of the shop, workers are laying the foundation for the first leg of the path. It’s a beautiful sight… come by and check it out!

………………………

 

ICEMAN COMETH… VERY, VERY SOON
Industry Highlight:  Come chill with us at MI’s favorite MTB race

Hometown will be there with tent, beer, and cheer… Every year, Hometownies make a pilgrimage north to ride the breathtaking trails of the northern LP, and we’ll be there to cheer them on. Join us there on Saturday, November 8th!
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