Monday, June 17, 2013

Three Things About ABT and Other Thoughts

Perhaps the most obvious result of the Grand Opening of Archer Braid Trail (ABT) was the numerous bikes given away at the failed raffle. Failed? Uh huh. By definition, a raffle requires that chances be purchased, but the incredible generosity of the bicycle community and those who support bicycling made bikes and a bunch (that's the only word that adequately defines how much there was) of stuff available to be given away because this event was about being joyful and sharing something special.

Another ancillary result of the Grand Opening was the appearance of many bikes which hadn't seen the bright of day since being tucked away out of sight somewhere. Many had rusted chains, brakes that squealed more than stopped and tires showing cracks and needing air. Didn't matter. Archer was celebrating its special mile and a half of wooded, rolling trail and people wanted to be a part of it and use it.

The other thing of special interest is that all those newly acquired bikes and the recently revived ones can now benefit from a bike shop! Chain Reaction Bike Shop, which serves the needs of UF students across the street from campus on University, is working on an arrangement with Archer's Ace Hardware to permit drop-off service for repairs. How cool is that?! So, y'all with your raggedy chains or brakes that don't work, well, you'll find real quickly that repairing a bike costs much less than repairing your car. And those who received the raffle bikes . . . when you need service you have a way to get it done more conveniently. Chain Reaction isn't my FNBS, but if I lived in Archer there's a good chance it would be and based on this kind of reponse to a community they deserve the designation of FNBS!

Archer's a nice place to ride. There're things to see and people seem pleased to see riders . . . they wave and that's a good sign. Many of the roads around Archer are well known to recreational and competitive riders and with ABT it is much more pleasant getting to and using them. Seems like a good place for all of this common folk bicycle riding to grow and for "serious" riders to go. Be nice if Archer could become a focal point of bicycle activity. Maybe that bicycle themed pub I imagine can happen there! Let's see . . . ride down the trail then return for a specialty burger and onion rings, an adult beverage or a milk shake. Need those carbs!


  1. Before you spend any more money, invest in a can of WD40. I've fixed 3 problems recently after I was told each time that the same problems required extensive disassembly and rebuilding. Bike chains can be lubed with a wax preparation but WD 40 is a great solvent which will loosen up problem areas with little effort.

    1. Your point is well taken. First echelon maintanance is critical, but for many new riders it is of great value to find a trustworthy place to do mechanical business, thus the value of your FNBS (Friendly Neighborhood Bike Shop), which, in my case is Bikes and More ( Never have I felt any pressure to have work done, especially when there was the chance that I could do-it-myself. Frequently, the fine people at Bikes and More assure me that I am fully capable of taking care of things.

      Regarding WD40. I use Tri-Flow (, a dry lubricant. The advantage it has over WD40 is its resistance to picking up dust and dirt. It does not have the crud penetrating qualities of the common WD40 product, BUT they are now marketing a line of products specifically for bikes; WD40 Bike ( The line includes a degreaser, dry lube, frame protectant and "multi-use product." If I was trying to rehabilitate a long unused bike I would probably pull out the can of WD40 to begin the process. Perhaps their bike stuff will prove to be as useful.

      Thanks for your observations.

  2. Thanks for dropping off the bread at Haile Farmers Market this morning in the wet, eh! Herself says, 'From one bread baker to another, pretty damn good.' I say Nom nom nom.

    Interesting read about the arrangement between our local (Archer) Ace and a bike place for maintenance. Sure, I know how to do it myself. Probably will, too, once they're back up and running. Might get them (at least one of them) over to your fave place, just because it's a Vintage Raleigh. Do want to get rolling again.