By Carlton Photograph
The dog days of summer are upon us. With the hottest days in full swing, the beaches, parks and family trips are all the rage. As I sit back and reflect with a frosty mug of ice cold ale for my hard work over the past few months, I notice that I am feeling more fit and looking better after losing 50 pounds. My journey started in May with a bike purchase from an eclectic shop called Hund’s Recycle Factory located in Norfolk Virginia on Colley Avenue.
I was searching of a way to improve my fitness without breaking the bank. At first, I read a few articles, then felt I needed a more basic approach. I went to a few bike shops at different locations, all telling me that an $800 bike is what I needed. Actually, the whole process was rather disappointing because I felt that my bank account was more important than my needs. I even searched a few online options, only to be turned off by shady voices on the phone trying to lure me to some odd location on bad street. The further you go, the worst it gets and their house would be the last one.
One afternoon while driving down Colley Avenue, I spotted a building with a vintage bicycle on its roof. From the outside, you would not think much of it, but once I crossed the threshold, I knew that I was in the right place. The overall vibe of the shop was rather laid back, with many customers who had a true passion for cycling. As I walked around, I felt no pressure to buy, but saw some awesome bikes that brought back memories. One Schwinn mountain bike stood out from the rest, so I asked about it. Andrew, the shop owner, approached me with a great attitude and gave me some Schwinn history.
The whole concept of Hund’s Recycle Factory is what caught my attention. By taking used bikes and restoring them to working condition, the environment is helped tremendously. Many of the bikes are in good condition,only requiring a slight adjustment or quality replacement part. I would be on the road at the right price. They have a wide selection of single speed, fixed gear, mountain and vintage bikes. The fact that many of the staff work as a team and are knowledgeable impressed me. The passion they have for cycling is evident as many ride during the week. The shop also has parts and accessories, so no need to worry.
What I liked was that Andrew listened to my cycling needs and met them. Customer service is the key to the shop’s success. I watched how people seemed really pleased and would prefer the shop to be open 7 days a week. Now evenTeam Hund needs a day of rest, which they take on Mondays.
The overall journey was not as easy as I thought it would be. My first 3 miles seemed like an eternity, as more seasoned riders passed me. I looked to them for inspiration and felt happy as some asked me about my cool mountain bike. As I worked up to 20 miles a day with diet changes,the weight started to come off. I am so happy and will continue to ride, as it has been such a positive experience for me. The smile on my face tells the story. Thanks toAndrew and the Hund team for sharing your love of cycling with me.