Two lessons in a cycle shop

Got me some gift certificates to Sunshine Cycle Shop for my birthday! Beat it for the store as soon as I could break for lunch to see what goodness I could find to help celebrate. I had already gotten one cool and unexpected gift from the shop – more on that later here at

While there I was talking with shop owner, Mike McMillan. It was the first time I had been in the shop since getting my big bandage off, so I was showing Mike my stitches. “Oh, but it isn’t the broken finger that is so bad,” I exclaimed. “It is this road rash on my leg!”

I think I might have turned red soon after I said it because sitting near by was pro rider for Highroad-Columbia, Craig Lewis. He was there getting some shoes fitted with the Shimano vacuum-baking-thingie. I suddenly felt very foolish making much of my wounds.

If you know anything about Craig’s history you know he has had more than his share of road rash, broken bones, and more. It is a miracle he is on the bike today! Consider this from a 2008 article on

Considered one of the top young U.S. prospects, Lewis nearly died when he plowed headfirst into an SUV that had turned onto the course during an 18-mile individual time trial at the 2004 Tour de Georgia.

The impact left Lewis with two punctured lungs and 47 broken bones, and threw his cycling career into jeopardy. Incredibly, Lewis was back on his bike eight weeks later and won the U23 national championship in 2006.

Enough said.

I ended up with a pair of long fingered gloves to replace my ripped ones and a wife-beater underlayer for when the warm weather comes around. The cool thing is I still have some funds to spend! I think I’ll save it for something bigger.

What I didn’t get (though I was VERY tempted) was the Reynolds Assault carbon fiber wheel set. I had the opportunity to get in on the POA Cycling Team purchase at a greatly reduced discount. Unfortunately, it would mean a snap decision and the draining of any discretionary cash. My heart screamed “Yes!” while my head sternly said “NO.” I followed my head — at 41 it is about time I did that.

I learned two lessons today. One about finances and the other about true grit. The first I came to myself and the second I was taught by Craig Lewis without him saying a word.