~ ~ ABOUT THE WIZARD ~ ~
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" Pro Quality Guaranteed "
Over the past 28 years I have sold hundreds and hundreds of cycles. I have worked in 12 plus bike shops, and owned 2 of them. I have stocked and sold the very best bikes in the world, and have also ridden many of them. I know how a bike should and should not run. As well, I understand how they can break and fail.
I pride myself in the service and knowledge I deliver to all of my work. I have repaired, serviced, tuned and overhauled thousands of bicycles - close to all years, and many makes and models.
August 10th 2013:
I, like many, have always had a love with bicycles. My first childhood memories are of riding my tricycle and learning to ride a two-wheeler. It's a little funny-
I never had training wheels, but certainly had my fair share of brotherly hand me downs. It was in 1971 between 4 and 5 years old that I inherited my favorite bike. It was this early 60s 16" wheeled red boys bike. I loved it so much, I remember my father pumping up the rear tire, then setting it up straight and telling me to get on it.
Well, then upon my new, though very used new bike I sat. My dad says he's hanging on the whole way and to just keep on pedaling. So off I go. Wow! I'm doing it! Straight away I am going, asking, "Are you holding on dad?" As he would reply, "Yes. Keep on pedaling." Again, "Are you holding on dad?" "Yes, keep on pedaling!" he yells a little louder. I then realize he is yelling a little harder. As I turn my head back to see where he is, he is yelling, "Don't look back! Keep on pedaling!" And then it was like a garage sale, and that's what I did, of course I crashed.
Nonetheless I was not too happy with the result, a little sidewalk rash, a few more scratches on the Steed, but certainly I was not done, nor was my father. The second shot was fairly similar, though this time I never looked back and kept on pedaling. I was so amazed, loaded with euphoria, I almost felt like I was flying.
Then suddenly, I mean suddenly, the corner came up. I certainly could not just fly off the curb across the street, and to take the left I needed to turn was completely blinded by caragana bushes that surrounded the corner house's yard. Now filled with childhood glee and excitement I saw before my eyes that seemed to be no where to go. Without any choice in direction, or even how to maneuver, I seemed to have turned a complete 90 degrees, piling directly in to the bushes. Needless to say, my third attempt was a success. :)
:the previous is an excerpt from my home page.
I was born and raised in Lethbridge Alberta. With 3 older brothers, myself, and two younger sisters there was no shortage of bicycles around. From the very get go, certainly as soon as I could ride two wheels, I was the king of the block. Between the years of about 7 to 10, (1973/77 or so) I could not wait for the snow to be gone each year, though I couldn't wait any year. And waiting for my mothers 26 x 1 3/8 wheeled stick shift in the middle, lime green women's 5 speed bike to come out the basement with anticipation. I loved my mom's bike, it was big and way to big for me, fast, and it had gears. Ha, no one else had gears, nor no one else had the guts I had too. The bike was a women's otherwise I would not have had such the ride. I learnt how to ride on this bike, Like really ride. I would be dropping off stairs, popping up up steps, taking sharp fast corners all the while just enjoying my self and loving the feeling of two wheels underneath me. Nearly everyday in the summer we would play bike tag, or chase in the old turn of the cetntury Victorian London Street neighborhood. It was on the South side of Lethbridge, were at a young age, I used my mom's bike like a secret weapon, and I loved it.
It's funny how things change, as I became a teen going to high school ridding a bike was not so cool. Well, at least showing up on one was maybe not the best as far social status. In the summer though a bike was my only transportation. After a few years of destroying bikes, fixing up bikes for my self to ride, or every once in while helping a neighbor fix theirs, I had gone thru a few. Then, nothing fancy, nothing special, though nonetheless I really never knew the difference.
By the time I was 16 and the last batch of 6 bikes purchased for the family, all Hustler 10 speeds from Wollco, I was down to one working bike. To this day, every one will still say I destroyed them all, but in reality I managed to keep one alive.
I was out of school by the time I was 17. Wondering and wondering what I was going to do with my life I began to searh out a job. My father had always told me to get into some type of service. He would also say; no matter what you do, do with your hands, and do it well. In 1985 I had answered an add posted at the local manpower office. This job was for a bike mechanic to be trained. I was not overly excited, and was not sure of what I wanted. This job posting was for Bert & Mac's Cycle in Lethbridge. Bert & Mac's was Southern Alberta's largest hockey dealer in those days, as well sold over 1000 bikes a year. This business was started in 1939 and then sold, bikes, motorbikes, snow machines, hockey, and may other sports equipments.
Upon the interview by the manger Richard, who knew of my family because of hockey. He asked me if I know how to fix bikes. I of course said, " well I do, sort of, I worked on a few " he says, and with a stern look on his face, " Okay Ozzie, if I hire you, you will have to forget every thing you think you may know about bikes ". "Can you do that" he asks me. I said to Richard, " I guess I can".
Here I am today, and to tell you the truth, I can still remember the things that I thought I may have known about bikes before I had become professional... I know where he was coming from.
I started my bicycle training at Bert & Macs Cycle in the early spring of 1985, and have to this day forever been grateful to have started at such a professional shop. in these days all styles that were available of bikes were selling. Also this was when the mountain bike was just starting to burst in to the cycling market. The mountain bike was fairly new, it had just became mass produced in 1981, and I like many people thought they were rather ugly.
That changed, and quickly. After walking by all of those new bikes everyday, I began to appreciate what I was seeing. I began to fall in love with bikes, and I began to really fall in love with mountain bikes. After two weeks, I was on my first New high end bicycle. I was able to buy it on payments, a black, made in Japan Miyata Ridge Runner. This model was one down from the top model, and was when Japanese built bikes were among the best. One thing for certain is that I do remember was how much better it felt than any bike I had ever been on.
In those same two weeks and then for a while, till I was 23. I would dream of, and chase out my very own bicycle store. I then knew that bikes were for me and having my own store someday, some year would materialize. I voiced this every once in while, and many would just sort laugh off my thoughts. After all, I was a bike mechanic on lamb. I also from the time of 17 said that when I do get a shop going, I will call it Ozzie's, or something with Ozzie's in it, Ozzie's Cycle perhaps.
I worked and was trained at Bert & Mac's for over a year. Being 18 and making $8.00 or $9.00 bucks an hour certainly was not all that great. I had been to Banff a few times in life, but had just spent a weekend their at 18 years of age. I figured it was time to ask for a raise. I was definitely worth it, but was I to Bert & Mac's. Here I thought that they would have supported me a little more. I offered excellence in workmanship, easily trainable, and eager to learn. As well I could have gave them total loyalty. I had to take my request directly to the top. I won't mention names, but I will call him Mr. B. And I don't mean the B. to stand for anything other than one of his initials. Well, I heard Mr. B. was making his way thru the building, and was heading up to the coffee room. Okay, so here it went. " Well hello Mr B." I said... " Oh hey Ozzie, come on sit down here, we do have a meeting don't we "? Sitting I was, thinking ah, this shouldn't be so bad. Well, it shouldn't have, but asking for a small raise was met with, " I am sorry Ozzie, we can't pay more your position, and a raise is not up till you've completed two years ". Okay I was a little shocked, but not really surprised, after all we all know how it works huh? I then said," well, you know I may move on, or look for something else ".
And Mr. Bs reply was, " Ozzie, you're going to have to do what you have to do "! And I did.
The next thing I knew I was in Banff. It was the end of March 1986, I had a position to start at the coolest shop I had known of at the time. This shop, The Spoke 'n Edge, was situated in an old gas station on Banff Ave. downtown. Here they were bikes in the summer. And Ski's in the winter. Sales, repairs, and rentals and lots of each. Every day in the summer I and one other person would wheel out up to 150 bikes a day. The astonishing thing was that nearly every one of those bikes would get rented every day.
The same day I arrived in Banff, and after settling in at the YWCA home for a month or so till Tunnel Mt. camp ground had me for a couple of months. I grabbed my bike and headed out for a little spin. Of course I found my self at The Spoke. And the next day I found my self starting my new job.
When I first began, I was to share the duties with the other mechanic, a fellow from Quebec, whom had been working there on and off over the years. He seemed to be a nice guy, older than I probably in his 40s. I guess he was the head mechanic, but I could not help my self. I found myself correcting him quite a few times, and he certainly had a hard time with that. After all I was 18, barely experienced, and new. He was pretty quiet about things, and with in a week or so he had moved on and that was it.
An exciting shop, about 18 months of my life, a large handful of characters just like they came out of a book, or a movie or something of the like. The setting, the party, and the way of life that had defined one experience in time that will never be redone, or even close to copied.
More to come soon... August 10 2013
"Check it out" - The Cyclist's Cup ~ 1897 ~
~ ~ BLOOD ! ~ ~
Cycling is in my blood. This is my great grandfather, William G. Park. William was a paid racer in Scotland in the later part of the 19th century. The photo on the left is said to be in 1889. Interesting, Raleigh first mass produced the chain driven bicycle in 1889.
It's so far been a bit sketchy getting accurate information about my great grandfather. Though I have found out that he rode a Pennyfarthing, and possibly raced them as well. I would not doubt it due to the times and his age then. From what I can tell so far, is that my great grandfather did race from 1881 - 1893. This was the period of many small, and large bicycle makers. Many of these people and companies were inventors and innovators. The chain drive was just being introduced, and everyone was working on making it work. William raced for Elswick Cycle Co. Within this time period Elswick was a top end manufacture.
The Pennyfarthing moved from the then ordinary bicycle, to the danger cycle. After 10 or so years the chain drive, and two wheels either close to the same or the same size became the common bicycle. Also at this time the " Diamond frame" was invented, and still to this day we ride on a " Diamond ".
Looking at both of my g. grandfathers bicycles here, one from 1889 and the other from 1892, you can see that both of them show two different wheel sizes being used. The actual Diamond ( 3 main tubes ) and the fork look the same if not very similar. Both bikes are Elswick's.
For a great site with more information about my grandfather, and many others from the beginnings, and further on have please visit: www.sixday.org.uk
To see info on the 19 Century racers click Beginnings, then scroll down to 19 C male racers.
or: email@example.com if no response from above address.
Port Alberni B. C. Canada