Sheesh, that was an unintentional hiatus.
In my defense, I was hard at work on resumes, cover letters, portfolios, getting suits dry-cleaned, interviews, and all the other un-fun stuff that goes with (almost) getting one's walking papers. The upside? It paid off, and I will be officially plugging into a different Borg-cube (one that -- hopefully -- doesn't have the Scimitar of Unemployment hanging over it) within the same corporate collective starting Monday. Bike-wise (since that's why you're here, right?) it means a commute of 10 miles each way instead of my "hardly worth pumping up the tires" 3-mile round trip. Woo hoo, more bike time!
You may have noticed that my Amazon ads went bye-bye in the hiatus. It sort of dawned on me that the Amazon program was all backwards... I was giving away space in the hopes of maybe being paid someday (which wasn't happening). So, from here on out, the real estate is still for sale (will give out ads for schwag), but I don't accept IOUs. And, as always, dear reader, I'll fully disclose any nefarious connection when I review stuff.
And speaking of reviews... checked out a new local bike shop yesterday, Beaverdale Bicycles in (you guessed it) the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines. Nefarious Connection Alert: The proprietor Ed did throw in a shop t-shirt with my Planet Bike Blaze 2w purchase (review forthcoming... of the light, not the shirt), but he didn't know I was a representative of The Cycle and a World-Famous Blog Celebrity at the time. Anyway, BB specializes in consignments and seemed to have some cool old stuff on the hooks and piled in the back (which I only caught glimpses of, since Ed was just using the dark warehouse space to show me the difference in brightness between the different Planet Bike lights). My fear is that they're another "little shop that might", heavy on passion for bikes but swimming against the current. Still, as the big shops in town keep getting bigger (and more akin to the Starbucks "you can buy the exact same crap everywhere you go" model), I'm happy to see another little one finding a niche and going for it. Plus, our staff graphic designer here at The Cycle (who is not, repeat NOT responsible for the travesty that currently passes for photos and layout on these pages) gives their logo two thumbnails up: