Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Rebranding For The Gravel Grinders

       Ten years after experimenting with pedaling off-pavement and writing columns for the local newspapers about my dirt road bicycling exploits, I self-published Cycling The California Outback with Bodfish. These adventures started in 1973 shortly after I'd relocated to Bodfish, California from the lower elevations in California.
       I'd always wanted to be a "mountain person". My adventure bicycle spirit took me over Sherman Pass (before it was paved), to Saddle Springs and Kelso Valley, to the top of Breckinridge Lookout from the Bodfish side. My C.Itoh road bike had fatter than normal 27" tires and proved quite durable during all of these exploits.
       My son, who is no-doubt smarter than I, has a publishing idea for me..."Put a new cover on your California Outback book emphasizing that these routes are Gravel Grinding loops." He probably didn't realize that I still possess 1,000 of the 10,000 Outback books that I printed many decades ago but, my answer, Great Idea! A bible of Northern California Gravel Grinders.
        This is what retirement is going to look like for me...revisiting all of the loops I featured in my four bicycling books; Butte Country Bicycle Journeys, Cycling In The Shadow Of Shasta, Cycling The California Outback and California Dream Cycling...all with Bodfish. I'll just have to come up with a way to release myself from the retail grinder that I've been so heavily involved with these last 25 years. Working on "The Complete Bodfish" book of questionable road surfaces...sounds like a great project for my 70's.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Quiet Mountain Sports Culture of Chester, California

        Most people get it...a few don't like it...but, most get it. My son was four years old when we started Bodfish Bicycles and Quiet Mountain Sports in Chester. At eight years old he announced that someday he would buy the lot across the street from our rented bike shop location and he would open "Noisy Mountain Sports". "I'll do more business than you." Eight year olds are very clever but I got him on this one...three years later, I bought the lot across the street (the present location of Quiet Mountain Sports).
        Shortly after we opened the shop (Spring of '94) people would poke their head through the door and say things like, "There's nothing wrong with snowmobiling or "a motor is better than no motor"...or "I'll make all the noise I want." I heartily agreed with all of them, they have the right to recreate however they like. However, most who commented were fans of Quiet Mountain Sports activities.
        We had boats and bicycles right from the start. My friends Debbie and Vernon Pew were crafting beautiful Navarro canoes in Potter Valley, Ca.  We sold a couple hundred of them before Vernon gave up the business for health reasons. In 1998 we evolved into "lake kayaks" first from Old Town and then we started with Hobie in 2000. Now we are all Hobie. Pedal, paddle and sail with boats or boards.  We switch some of the inventory over to XC skis and snowshoes during Winter...when Winter decides to show up. This business formula has succeeded right into year 26. BTW we've stopped hearing comments from defensive "motorheads".