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Robert Hamlin Bicycles is not open. I am available for repairs. Just call to set up a time.
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Coming Around The Circle Again

Yesterday I saw a swallow-tailed kite. I would love to post something profound about being back in Florida and out of the shop. I was even thinking about composing a haiku. So, I looked back at last year's posts. Almost one year later, in the same place, and I have nothing new to say. The old words could not be any more true or current. Below is the edited version of my p0st from July 19, 2008, so you do not have to navigate away. Here is the full version.

I'm on vacation. I'm back home in north Florida. I've slowed down a little. I needed a break. My mind and body are tired from working seven days a week for the last four months.

Like still black water
Spanish moss on the live oaks
My life moves slower

I've missed the lake
Panicum, green, wet, and tall
Meadowbeauty, pink

Running (Fe7ooc Bicycles) has been hard as of late, a product of my own success, a control freak completely out of control. I've become another in a long line of jaded bike shop owners, my emotions constantly changing between exuberance, anger, depression, and giddiness. All or nothing, I've allowed myself to become consumed. I've made a lot of people happy, and I've even changed a few lives.

I've also made people angry. I've even lost a few friends. I've been flamed on my own blog. There are customers who have been waiting for over a month to get their bikes worked on. These things I truly regret. If I have hurt your feelings or pissed you off, I am sorry. If I cussed you and told you to "get the hell out of my shop" that was uncalled for and I was wrong. Nothing is worth losing friends.

That said, there will be some changes at the shop. I'm not sure what these changes will entail. I don't know if I will be selling new or used bikes next year, or running a bicycle cooperative, or operating a mobile repair service. Who knows? I may even be a wildlife ecologist again. I do know that there have been many days standing in the shop juggling tools, customers, invoices, tubes, and cog sets, and asking myself, "for this, I earned a graduate degree?" I also know I can not go for weeks without a real bike ride. My heart and mind wont allow it. Palpitations and depression are unacceptable. Saturdays with my family and evening meals before 8:00 pm are pretty important too. I may even keep a regular blog. Like a long ride on a fixed gear bicycle, putting my feelings into words for the world to see is cheap therapy. Thanks for reading.
So, it's taken a year, but I am making some changes. There will be a different business plan and bicycles next year, less hours in the shop, and more time at home with the family and working for Patty. I look forward to reading this post again in July 2010. Perhaps then, I will have something new and profound to say.

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