Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Finding your FNBS, Part 2

It has taken a while but I visited two of the three remaining bike shops in G’ville; Pleasant Cyclery and Super Cool Bike Shop. For anyone who wasn’t here for the first installment it can be found by using this convenient link; http://whatssomeoneyourage.blogspot.com/2014/07/seeking-your-fnbs.html.

At both shops I wanted to learn how they might handle the questions of an older person who wants to begin or return to riding a bicycle. At each of the previous shops after some discussion I felt confident that such a person would be asked the important questions that would help both the shop and the prospective customer to decide which “next step” to take. The questions:

1.    How well do you ride?
2.    What do you want to accomplish?
3.    What kind of riding do you think you want to do?
4.    What’s your budget?

Pleasant Cyclery
Pleasant Cyclery
235 NW 8th Avenue, GainesvilleFL 32601
Of all the shops I visited Pleasant Cyclery was the least responsive. There is no longer a coffee shop here, which is disappointing, but it probably didn’t make good economic sense. The gentleman I spoke with was the only employee present and he was engrossed in repair work. He was courteous when I how he’d respond to an elderly person wanting to return to riding a bike after many years, but he was less interested in talking about the process he might use.

Two variables may have affected this encounter; I was not feeling jocular and he was younger than people I’d spoken with at other shops. Among the bikes on display was a step though model, but I had to ask about it. Pleasant Cyclery carries a wide variety of bikes and surely among the lines are bikes that would be suitable. I’d be unlikely to suggest it as a first stop for a Senior’s return to cycling bike.

After I sent a first draft of my observations about Pleasant Cyclery the co-owner offered that I had not gotten a true impression of the shop because he was on vacation thus putting greater responsibility on his partner. He invited me to return. I have not, but eventually will. I emailed an offer for him to address my four questions, but did not receive a reply. The shop also has a new internet address which is listed above.

Super Cool Bike Shope
Super Cool Bike Shop
3460 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32607
(352) 371-2453
The Super Cool Bike Shop has my least favorite name, but that’s probably related to my basic lack of coolness in bicycle circles. The young man I spoke to at Super Cool asked all the right questions and that was . . . well . . . cool. His suggestions for possible new bikes were reasonable. I was given some options they were all at the upper end of my proposed “about $500” budget. Used bikes were not an option but the possibility was discussed of upgrading if a rider decided he or she wanted to become more involved in riding and wanted another model sold there. Super Cool was a congenial place and maybe I was friendlier, too.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Three Weeks

The end is nigh; paving of the portions of ABT along SW 41st Place (Kanapaha Park) and Tower Road will begin next week along with the remaining section at Haile’s Equestrian facility. Predicted time for completion of the entire project is three weeks. This will include excavation and paving of the short section at Kimball Wiles Elementary School where ABT crosses Tower Road. Transition points at all intersections are marked and final work on drainage and landscaping has begun.

Is a Grand Opening being planned for this section of ABT? Linking ABT through Haile with activities in Haile Village seems obvious irrespective of the resistance by many Haile residents. Rather than being an unwanted eyesore, Hipp Construction has done a fine job of mating ABT to Haile Boulevard as it enters the Plantation and 91st Streets more aggressive and direct approach.

Getting to the Saturday Farmers’ Market from Kanapaha Park will be a pleasant ride and one that can be made safely by families. Several vendors at the Market who make delectable consumables are working on bicycle related items and might be encouraged to offer discounts or deals to people arriving by bike!

41st Place at Tower Road; Kanapaha Park
41st Place and Tower Road; Entrance to Kanapaha Park

41st Place; Kanapaha Park
41st Place at Kanapaha Park

Tower Road ready for paving
Tower Road ready to be paved

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Progress on ABT

Archer Braid Trail (ABT) through Haile Plantation continues its steady, if sometimes too slow, progress. Paving equipment has been moved to the section of unpaved trail passing Haile’s Equestrian Center suggesting that there’ll soon be asphalt from Archer Road at 91st to Haile Blvd at Tower.

The next significant and very obvious work is happening on Tower Road where the sidewalk on the eastern side of Tower has been removed and will be replaced as part of ABT. Significant work is being done to the crossing and transitions at the Kimball Wiles Elementary School intersection. Concurrently, paving of the new multiuse path is nearing completion from Archer Road to Kanapaha Middle School. It will eventually extend to join ABT at Kimball Wiles.
Sidewalk being removed in Tower
ABT at Tower Road 

Tower at Kimball Wiles Elementary
Tower Road at Kimball Wiles Elementary School

Haile Blvd (SW 46th Ave) and Tower Road
Haile Blvd at Tower Rd.

The section of Trail paralleling Haile Blvd is already being used by riders, walkers, strollers, and even skaters. I know I’m biased, but I think the Trail enhances the ride along Haile Blvd toward the Village. Making Haile Village more accessible can’t be a bad thing, especially on Saturday mornings for the Farmers’ Market.
Haile Blvd
Haile Blvd.

Thursday, August 7, 2014