In a large (six kids) Irish family with lots of bike riders you learned bike handling fast, for a couple of reasons.
First, the little kids on the tractors and trikes had much tighter turning radii.
Second, since we were not allowed in the street we could only ride clockwise in the driveway, that meant our tires only wore out on one side and we quickly learned the value of tire rotation! The pile-ups in the “peloton” also improved our repair skills.
In high school the bike was much better than the car (no parking problems). In fact, when a certain “hottie” asked me to the prom, I had to get a driver’s license that day to take her. I guess it was worth it; I married her!
College was the same ride. Bikes are just better than cars. Then I worked 10 years with a cool guy named Scooter Benson. Scooter taught me how a bike should “feel”. That’s the key to a great mechanic; he knows how the bike feels. I also worked with Bob Rudisill; who taught me how to run a bike shop as a business, I would have bought that store from Bob, but it didn’t work out.
That’s where Mr. Connolly came in. Without Mick there would be no Cabarrus Schwinn. We opened in 1984 in an old gas station. We had 37 bikes, 212 tires and a plan. Mick said our guarantee was that he wouldn’t touch the bikes!! One of our customers said we should sell skateboards. We did, and we were in the black from the third month. In 1988, I attended the USCF Mechanics Seminar in Colorado Springs. I hit it off with a bunch of pro cyclists and began spending time on the road with various teams. The foundations of the POWRFIT were formed in this period.
In 1990, we moved to our present location and changed the name to The Right Gear. I designed the logo and thought (perhaps a bit too smugly) that it bespoke our varied lines and services. My team travel increased as did my work with time trials and record attempts. Our sizing and fit formulation continued to improve. We dropped lines (Specialized and Cannondale) and added lines (Trek), fine tuning our product mix. In 1992, Mr. Connolly decided to let me go it on my own and sold out to me. I still miss him.
Through it all the key has been you, the customer. We do it right; the first time, every time. Tell us if we don’t. Help us make riding your bike the best feeling you’ve ever had. It’s still the best feeling I’ve ever had.