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Robert Hamlin Bicycles is not open. I am available for repairs. Just call to set up a time.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Looking For Great Deals?

No internet sales.
I tried. I get hits. Google.
I'm a LBS.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Social Business

Every year around this time I begin to post less and less. Right on schedule, Recycled & New Bicycles has become one busy busy place. Fifteen new bicycles, four reconditioned bikes, and countless repairs have gone out the door in the last ten days. I've put in over 120 hours in the last two weeks. I'm tired. I can not remember the last time I went for a real ride. But, there are a lot of smiley people out there on their bikes. Thank you customers. Thank you Fuji and Redline.

There was a fantastic program on To The Best Of Our Knowledge this morning on NPR. The guest was Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, famous for making "micro-loans" to poor women around the world. He described the difference between "Profit Maximizing Business" and "Social Business" and the inherent desire of humans to make the world a better place. Social businesses do not send profits back to stockholders or investors. Profits are made, but the investment is made in the local community.

Now, there are some people here in Logan that are "shocked" and think I commit highway robbery for buying a kid's bike for $102 plus $20 shipping, professionally building and fitting it, then selling it for $179. "Jesus Christ man, you made $57." Right. I have no rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, or licenses to pay for. My time has no value.

Again, Social Businesses do make a profit. But, there are no investors or profit takers, and these businesses give back to their community. Recycled & New Bicycles gave away 3 bicycles last week, and also did more than a few free repairs. I loaned my Burley trailer to a 21 year-old young man who has full custudy of his two children. I also loaned Lupine's little green Redline to another single parent. These freebies went to people who truly needed them.

Recycled & New Bicycles made no-interest micro-loans to over 30 people last year who did not have enough money to pay for a bicycle up front. They all had to pass my credit check. I looked them in the eye and asked, "will you pay me?" Most did. Some did not. I lost about $3,000 in 2008 and nearly $1,000 in 2007. Do you think I have learned my lesson? No. I have made 4 micro-loans already in 2009. I think I've helped a little to make Logan, Utah a better place. I'm a Social Business. Recycled & New Bicycles is different.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Graupel over ice

The crunch echos from our tires
Don't turn and don't brake

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Protracted

We pedaled through snow

On our way to school today
White on new-green grass

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I lived in north Florida for 35 years, plus or minus. The seasons there were so subtle compared to the Rocky Mountain West. Here each season is distinct, yet protracted. Spring came right on time last week here in northern Utah. The snow in front of the shop melted this morning (almost the same time as last year) with a warm overnight rain. Yesterday the grass was brown. When we woke up this morning, the grass was green. Really. Do you know what I like the most about writing this blog? It's the circles. We just go round and round in circles. Here is a haiku I wrote almost exactly two years ago. I will write it again today so you don't have to leave this page:

Almost overnight
The grass turned a bright green
After the soft rain

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bike Fit, Again

I've put a new link
About bike fit, in the list
Because Kurt needs it

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baiku of the Day

There were hints of spring today as I attempted to ride the Deer Fence from Providence to Cliff Side without dabbing on the steep stuff. The temperature was nearly 50 and things were melting. The trail is still full of mud and snow, so I would not recommend it until April.

Cyclocross skills test
Robin, siskin, and flicker
In the snow and mud

Sunday, March 15, 2009

An Adventure After All

Patty and I ended up going on an adventure after all. We did the Auto Tour at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge by bicycle: two bald eagles, twelve miles, thousands of tundra swans, and twice that many ducks.

We pedaled the dike
Beside an eagle's shadow
Listening to swans

Back In Logan, No Adventures

I am back in Logan, doing bicycle repair and sales. Just your ordinary businessman, ready to explode with a rant for the Logan Herald Journal about how stupid it is that bicycles are allowed on sidewalks. There should be a law!

I have no adventures planned for today. There is a red (or yellow) air alert, Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups, for today and tomorrow. It always seems to work out that way, bad air on my days to ride, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday. It makes me wonder why we even came back to Logan.

We could see the brown layers forming nearly 80 miles south of Salt Lake City as we drove north from southern Utah. As the Wasatch Range came into view, only the mountain tops were visible, white against the blue sky. Below that, the snow looked brown. Below that, the bottom of the mountains were completely invisible.

Mt. Timpanogos
Floating on the dirty air
The Sleeping Maiden

On our drive north, almost everything between Bryce and Torrey was "closed for the season", except for this place. The food and coffee were really great. The owner, Scott Radius (I assume he is the owner) was a long-haired independent who makes, boils, and bakes his own bagels and serves them with huge chunks of real smoked salmon with locally roasted organic coffee. Fabulous and cheap. I told him to raise his prices. Patty found a book of poetry he had published, hiding in a corner. What an alter-ego, he is not just a small business-man in a tourist town. He is a poet and an artist. His poetry is filled with nature, sex-magik, drugs, golden eagles (obviously his animal spirit guide), bicycles, mountains, anger, more sex, and unique political expression. It's profane and eye opening. And I thought I was different and angry. If you are mainstream, Mormon, normal, or easily offended, do not read his poetry. Or, perhaps you should. Here is a link to his work.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Round Valley Draw, Today's Adventure

Lupine, Sen, and I hiked the Round Valley Draw today. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Steep, narrow, dark, and snowy, now I know how Ed Abbey felt every time he dropped into a slot canyon, knowing climbing back out the way you go in is not going to be easy. One website says:

"Do not enter this particular slot unless: 1) you are an experienced hiker; 2) you are capable of climbing through narrow (less than two foot wide) cracks while working your way down 10 to 15 foot drop offs (chimneying skills and a length of climbing rope come in very handy in this canyon); 3) you are not afraid of running into midget rattlesnakes while trapped in a two-foot wide slot with 500 foot vertical walls."
Well, it was not as bad as all that. I was well prepared. I was taking my 7 year old daughter and my rock climbing dog. I had a Hello Kitty pink backpack just large enough to hold a water bottle, an 8 foot yoga strap, one Cliff Bar, and a 6 foot dog leash, but too small to fit on my back. Yes, well prepared. It's easy to lower a dog and a kid down a 20 foot drop with 14 feet of "rope."

I'm not going to go into the details, but we made it safe and sound. We hiked quite a bit getting in and out because the Honda Fit is not a high clearance vehicle. We even had to do some serious sagebrush whacking cross country style without a compass and map to get back to the car. Lupine is one tough kid. She did 5 miles in 4 hours and never complained. The dog on the other hand, does not like to be lowered into a slot with a yoga strap. Here is a site with the best pictures. Here is the Google page with lots of text and more pics.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where's Robert?

I'm here. Today, I'm just a Hoodoo man. What is a hoodoo?? I should be back by Friday afternoon, as Bicycle Repair Man, open for business. Saturday for sure, when Grace and Finnegan get their bikes delivered.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Giant Snowstorm Hits Logan, UT

The road trip will have to wait a day. There's a foot of snow outside and it is still falling. Here, have a look.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Quiet For A While

We are headed to southern Utah for a few days to escape the snow, cold, and the furlough (Patty's not allowed on campus this week). So, the blog will be quiet for a while. We are going to hike some slot canyons, ride our bikes, and go to The Wildlife Society Utah meeting at Bryce Canyon National Park. The shop should be open next Friday or Saturday. Here is a parting baiku, composed during today's ride while looking for signs of spring. Yeah, I went for a bicycle ride today.

Along the river
Dogwood buds swollen dark red
Beyond magenta

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Can't We Have 'Cross in the Spring?

After two days of temperatures in the high 40s here in Logan, Utah tonight it is snowing. It's perfect cyclocross conditions out there. Two inches of wet snow, a lot of mud, and getting colder. Who's in? I'll set up the course.

On My Bike

I've been on my bike
Avon, Paradise, Smithfield
Without winter gloves

The snows are melting
Robins are singing their song
Brown patches appear

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hits Don't Mean Sales

I've been doing the "Shameless Commerce Division" marketing thing here for a while now. The number of hits on this site has more than doubled in the past few weeks. Even with all the traffic, I've yet to sell a bike via the internet. I've only had two emails with questions about my bikes. It would seem people are looking for internet deals, not local bike shop expertise. OK. I guess from now on people will just have to come here looking for great poetry. In case you were wondering, I now consult when I have questions about a word's number of syllables. You have to follow the rules. "Returned" has two.

Snow in the shadows
And melt water in the sun
Pine siskins returned

AQI = 98

The Air Quality Index for today in Logan, Utah is 98, at the high end of the Moderate range. That is pretty close to 101 which is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. I wonder what tomorrow will bring? I will be on the bike.


There are many, many people in Utah (and other places) who believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old. I believe this:

Thanks, Sweet William.

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