2000's Part 1

The shop was doing OK. We were selling Specialized, Waterford, Litespeed and Proflex. I had Todd working around the calendar and Mark during the summers. Mary went back to her job at Grey Advertizing once the kids started school. We hired Judy, one of our good friends, to be with our kids after school. Things went along like that for a few years until Judy got bored with the gig. She gave us one year notice.

Judy was (is) like a member of our family. We didn’t want to hire a stranger to watch our kids. The bike shop was still not providing me with much income but Mary was doing very well at her job as a corporate writer. The lease on the shop was going to expire at the same time that Judy was going to retire.

We decided to down size the shop and set up hours that would let me be home with our daughters after school. I found a great little shop on Main Street in Northport Village and I went home every day at 4:00 to help with home work and cook dinner. I stopped selling bikes and concentrated on doing repairs. It was pretty cool.

Centerport Cycles third location.

That has been the arrangement for over 6 years now and it has worked out OK. I have gotten involved with buying and selling old tools and machinery. The shop has a small sales floor and since I don’t sell bikes I have started displaying old tools and some antiques for sale in there. Yes, it is a little wierd. My customer base has shriveled to a few die hards who are willing to put up with my idiosyncratic way of doing business, but I am pressing on.

I still enjoy helping people with their bikes. I do a fair amount of bike fitting and people still come to me for wheel building. I give out advise to anybody who will listen. A few people have suggested that I get involved with coaching... You never know.

Mark Young is about to turn 30. He is married, owns a house in Seattle and works as an engineer in the wind power industry. His folks live a few blocks from me so we usually do a little ride when he comes to town. He's a good kid.

Mitch is off the bike but he is still the coach of the Long Island cycling team for the Empire State Games every summer. He has been to every Games since they began in 1977; as either a rider or a coach. His real name is actually Richard Minchik but everybody called him Mitch back then; go figure!

Northport is great little town. Main Street runs down to the harbor. There are lots of old houses and big trees. It is very hilly. A great little coffee shop has opened up next door to the store and it has made our little corner of the village a bit of a social hub. The shop is a mile from my home so I usually walk there.

Over the years I have continued to build some bike frames, and in the last few years I have gotten more involved with that. There is a list server on the Internet for frame building. I have found it to be a great source of information as well as inspiration. I’m getting into building traditionally styled bikes with hand cut lugs.

One of my bikes displayed Le Cirque Du Cyclisme in Greensboro,
N.C. in 2003. It features hand cut Pacenti lugs and Honjo fenders

There is another Internet list called Classic Rendezvous for collectors of vintage lightweight bikes and memorabilia. That has become a significant area of interest for me.

There is a movement afoot towards using more traditionally styled bikes and equipment that is very practical. I'm talking about stuff like lugged steel frames, fixed gear road bikes, fenders, wool clothing, leather saddles. This type of equipment seems to be catching on (again), and that appears to be my niche.

I’ll be turning 50 in April, 2005. Clementine is going to college in the fall and Amelia is close behind… Quite a few people have asked me to build them a bike frame so I’ve decided to take a few orders to help my kids pay their tuition. I guess that is going to be the next phase of the bike game for me.

Thank you very much if you actually took the time to read all this. I left a ton of stuff out but you get the picture. Jamie Swan

Wait, there's more! Click on 2000's Part 2 to read about the next 5 years.