We survived the 21rst of December, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and now what are your goals for 2013? Will it be the year you fit into the new pair of pants, that great swimsuit, cutting out all of the “junk” food? I hope that your goals include your “cycling” goals for 2013! This year is going to be another great year at Clark’s Bicycle Center! We have made YOU the priority for 2013! You’ll begin seeing the changes here on the website, around the community, on-the-roads and on-the-trails in and around Catawba County! With the help of IT ace Kenneth Maynard, and Emily Whitaker, and Jim Sencio and myself (Mike Swanson)…we are going to make this year a groundbreaking one at Clark’s Bicycle Center! So, Happy New Year people, cyclists, friends of cyclists! Get your pedaling shoes on, and let’s start a great New Year by getting out and riding your bicycle…and if it needs work or replacement, come see us! Thanks!
We are working on building a catalog to showcase all of our great bikes in order to make it easier for you to see the HUGE number of great bikes we have at the shop. Please be patient with us while we build this catalog. Thank you!
Once again the holiday season is upon us! At Clark’s Bicycle Center we have some of the latest bicycles from Giant, GT, Schwinn, Torker, Sun, Transition and others…as well as some of the best names of parts and accessories to outfit you, or a loved one’s bike! Up-to-date service and maintenance technicians and sales staff. Have questions about the “RIGHT” bicycle(s) for your needs? Please stop by and check out our shop…we even have an “indoor” demo area to try the bicycles, tricycles, scooters, etc., if it is not suitable outside!
Second blog entry of Clark’s Bicycle Center website! I’m new to this, or relatively new at this…I’ve been telling people of my adventures as a child, and can’t seem to shut-up! I’ve personally ridden bicycles since the age of nine. My dad was a bike messenger in the Hickory area in the late fifties (his first job in the area), and that started my love for bicycles…I didn’t know this until later on in my life. I began my cycling journey on a Columbia 3-speed spyder bicycle. The “spyder” bicycle was a generic name given to any bicycle that resembled a Schwinn Stingray of the Hot Rod/Muscle car era.
That bicycle was yellow with black graphics, wish I still had a pic!, and had a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub that was shifted by a cool-looking stick shift mounted on the twin-top tubes. It had a pleated black semi-banana seat with a chrome sissy-bar. Man, that was a really cool way to break into cycling. My dad gave me strict instructions to “be careful”, “don’t let anyone ride your bike”, and “ if you break something on the bike…it stays parked until you can afford to fix it”! Cycling opened up a whole new world to me…made the neighborhood larger, made the dirt roads fun, and taught me the value of a well-stocked Western Auto store!
I literally rode the wheels off of that first bicycle, and my love affair with the bicycle grew throughout my life. When I turned thirteen , I was able to purchase my first ten-speed bicycle, a road bike, an AMF Roadmaster touring bike with all of the good parts of that time…ten speeds, skinny(ier) tires, smaller saddle, and a cool tool bag mounted with straps dangling from the rear of the seat. It also had the rather useless chrome mini-fenders on the front and rear tires.
I started riding longer distances and spending more time on the bicycle. I also started getting interested in girls about this time…I lived in rural Conover, she lived in Claremont….ten miles between us, and the only way there was by bicycle for me. I pedaled that bike all over Catawba County. I met some pretty cool folk in my adventures as well. One that sticks out in my mind to this day is Roy Hedrick. Roy was a fit, lean, tanned gentleman in his late seventies at that time (early 1970’s). Roy would be seen riding his English three-speed (olive drab in color…probably an old Raleigh) all over the county. He was super-fit for his age, and you could tell riding a bicycle was as natural to him as breathing. An “old man riding a bicycle” became synonymous to me with passion. He had to love riding a bicycle, why wouldn’t he just hop in a car like the rest of us did in the 1970’s. Funny thing is that I remember Roy riding a bicycle before I learned to ride a bicycle! Funny how the most peculiar things stay in your memory.
The next person in my cycling exposure reference notebook was Fate “Bloomer” Jenkins. Fate Jenkins had the undesirable legacy of being a person who supposedly stole ladies under garments from clotheslines in the area, hence the name “Bloomer”. At the time, I didn’t question the why and how of the story…just passed it on as a kid will do in his pre-adolescence. Fate rode a bicycle as well, but a totally different beast than Roy Hedrick’s. Fate’s bicycle was a “cruiser” or “fat tire” bike, with a basket, horn, wide bars, full fenders front, and rear, pedal or coaster brakes. He also was spotted all over Catawba County in the early seventies. These two gentlemen opened up a whole world of what the bicycle could do, and what cycling would let me be able to do once I owned one for myself!
I’ve owned many bicycles since my first days riding a bicycle in 1970, and hopefully own more and more as I grow older and more fond of the bicycle than ever.
Hi, My name is Michael Swanson. I am the manager at Clark’s Bicycle Center in Hickory, N.C. Clark’s Bicycle Center has been selling bicycles to the greater Catawba County area for over forty years!
What made me love cycling? Why do I want to pass that “passion” to you? I will try to answer those questions and others in this series of blog entries. Bicycles were nothing more to me than alternative methods of travelling around the area by my own means (powered by me). I started riding a bicycle around the age of nine. I started riding a bicycle rather late because in my father’s mind, bicycles could be dangerous around traffic, and for a nine-year-old little boy. I will turn 52 in February of this year, and like most kids in my age group, I loved to watch Captain Kangaroo on Saturday mornings when I was a young boy. I could not wait until the Captain unveiled the new Schwinn bicycles around the spring and the holidays on his Captain Kangaroo Show. I was daydreaming about the “Stingray” or “Peeler” that I would someday (hopefully) own, and be able to pedal around the block where I lived in Conover.
It was not a Schwinn, but a Columbia that I first came to own on my ninth birthday. This particular bike had a three-speed hub, slick tire in the back, sissy bar, was a bright yellow, and had cool graphics to match. It also had chrome fenders, a semi-banana seat (before I knew they were called saddles!). I really don’t remember the time frame that It took me to learn to ride, and I really haven’t given it much thought. I don’t think it took me too long to learn to ride because I can never remember disliking the bicycle since my first encounters.
This is going to tie into my second blog entry about my absolute favorite “cyclist” Roy Hedrick of Conover, N.C. He was truly my first real glimpse at a “true cyclist”. So I hope to bring some understanding of why people love bicycles, and why bicycles are a great thing. So keep tuned to this station, and more than anything else you can do today….enjoy riding a bicycle!
Clark’s Bicycle Center has been rewarded for being the area’s “Best” in bicycle sales and service…we don’t take that lightly. We have been in the Hickory area providing some of the best in service for your bicycle, and bicycle-related repairs and maintenance. From tune-ups to complete rebuilds…we can handle it for you. Great advice, great service, we strive to give you, the customer and concerned cyclist, the best service available in the area. We specialize in “custom” builds…taking what your vision is into a reality…we cater to families that may need a “starter” bicycle for the youngest member of the family-to getting that “special” bicycle for each member of your family. From the beginner, to the occasional, to the avid, to the infatuated…Clark’s Bicycle Center is your GO-TO bicycle shop in and around the Hickory area!
220 South Center Street
Hickory, North Carolina 28602