Yesterday, I flippantly called Indiana “nonremarkable” because I found nothing distinguishable about this state like I found in other states. What I discovered today before I left Indiana is that I was looking for remarkable in the landscape, and I found it in the people.
I rode 82 miles by myself today, now that Rob and Jeff are back in the real world. A chunk of it was on Route 30, a 4-lane divided highway. Skeptical of the traffic at first, I quickly became a fan when I learned the shoulder was the width of a lane and separated by a rumble strip, making it undesirable for drivers to cross. Once in Fort Wayne, I rode the bike path along the river for 10 miles and then skipped among the corn stalks past the Indiana border and into state #9 – Ohio!
With the wind at my back, I was flying down my own 1-lane shoulder when suddenly the sky turned black and the torrential rain came in a downpour. Not wanting to let go of the great wind, I continued to ride in the rain … until I heard the pop and discovered a 2-inch nail-screw lodged in my back tire, destroying it beyond repair. With 2 bikes out of commission (the other with Sunday’s broken spoke), I called Justin and decided it was time for Plan B – a Starbucks and a bike shop until the rain passed.
Summit Bicycles came highly recommended and we quickly discovered why. A beautiful, spacious store with the main focus, physically and culturally, on service. As customers walk into the store, they walk right into the services department. As a result, the shop is popular – so popular there is a 10-day wait for a bike tune-up! When we shared our cross-country journey and current bike plight, they immediately moved us to the front of the line and fixed my 2 bikes on the spot. On top of all that, the guys were personable, interested, engaging, and patient. None of the hubris and haughtiness found in most bike shops.
Interviewing Tim and Michael
As our bikes were being repaired, we decided to interview Michael, in sales and outfitting (pictured above), and Tim (pictured below), the bike services genius who gave my bikes some serious TLC. Michael shared that what he loves about his job is using his talent for fitting people on bikes, and he loves that people always leave the shop in a good mood.
When it was Tim’s turn, he shared the most profound perspective I’ve ever heard from anyone in the bike industry. What he loves about his 14-year job at Summit Bikes is a genuine love of bikes because of their ability to level the playing field. It doesn’t matter if one guy is homeless and another is a multi-millionaire, they are both pedaling on 2 wheels and a seat. Bikes give people the opportunity to get along in spite of different backgrounds and circumstances.
Before my good friends Jeff and Ellen left the Moxie Ride late last night, I convinced Jeff to interview for the documentary. Jeff is in-house counsel for a family whose business deals and entities keep Jeff very busy. What he loves about his job is that he is valued for his expertise and his opinion. He also loves being the business facilitator lawyer instead of the typical business prevention lawyer. Finally, Jeff loves that his boss is always seeking ways for Jeff and other employees to have ‘skin in the game,’ thereby creating commitment and reward for hard work and success.
Day 58 miles: 82.12 miles
Total miles: 3,509.37 miles
Total interviews: 96
Road kill count: 1,416
(added 114(!) today as a result of riding for many miles on a major highway)
Destination for Day 59: Bowling Green, OH
(I added a picture of Jeff, my mom, me, Rob, and Justin wearing our t-shirts that Jeff and Ellen made. They all say “Moxie Ride 2011” on the back and “Crew” on the front. Mine says “Turtle Whisperer”.)