A Blast From The Past
Updated: May 12, 2019
It's been a few days since I updated the blog. I think it's due...
A few things have taken place over the past month. One of the most significant things was our visit to see the Delgados.
The Delgados owned and operated a bicycle shop in Baytown while I was growing up. I was fortunate enough to work there for a while and feed my passion for bmx. I have a lot of really great memories from those days. One of the things that was always an adventure for me was the ride to the shop everyday. The house I lived in at the time was on E. Fayle Street, which was about 5 miles away and on the other side of town. I would usually take the same general route each day but would often venture off the beaten path to find things to ride. I always had a couple places that I would spend a few minutes at. The overpasses had some great transitions that were fun. There were also two hospitals that I would go through and articulate off their loading docks and different architecture. I think the ride there was about 30 minutes if you went straight from A to B. It usually took me anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour because I typically tried to make the best of it. Mr. Delgado had been an avid road cyclist and encouraged me to try it. I remember the one time I rode a road bike from my house to the shop. I quickly discovered that it wasn't the flavor that I had desired, figuratively speaking. The bike was fast but nowhere near as nimble or adventurous as the Standard 125 I had been riding at the time. I think that was the last time I rode a road bike.
Over time, we all became somewhat of a family. Mr. and Mrs. Delgado were really great to be around. Mr. Delgado was a mentor to me. He showed me everything I didn't know about bicycle repair and the business. He also showed me how to improve on the things that I was already knowledgeable of. Mrs. Delgado was always very pleasant and would often bring home cooked meals up to the shop. One of my favorite things she made was chicken spaghetti, and I always looked forward to her making it!
During my time in the shop, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of really good people and learned first hand the importance of quality customer service.
Based on the desire to want to reconnect, I recently reached out to one of their daughters, Linda, who I went to school with. She shared with me her parents new contact info, so I reached out to Mr. Delgado and setup a lunch meeting. We decided to meet at a restaurant in Baytown where one of their granddaughters worked. There, I introduced Mr. and Mrs. Delgado to Marti and Gaia. Most of our time during lunch was spent catching up while we enjoyed a meal together. We shared memories of the shop and I told them of my plans to get involved with with BMX and support it somehow. Being pleased to hear that I had the interest, Mr. Delgado offered to give me some of his old tools that he was no longer using. It was a complete shock to me that he would do such a thing but I am grateful and honored that he did. After our meal, we all went to their home.
After arriving, we spent some time talking while letting Gaia explore the new environment before Mr. Delgado and I went out to dig around in the garage. Mr. Delgado had a collection of miscellaneous bicycle items that dated back to when he first opened the shop. We immediately found the Park Tools repair stand that had been the mainstay of his business. One of the features that Mr. Delgado changed was the base assembly. The Park Tool stand originally came with a flat circular plate that was heavy and sometimes difficult to move. Mr. Delgado had someone fabricate him an aluminum base that was much easier to move around but still retained the integrity of the original footing.
We also located the Park Tools truing stand that Mr. Delgado had used all those years during the shop's existence. It was also one of my favorite tools when I worked there. I always enjoyed building and truing wheels. It's a bit of an art. Even though I am a little rusty at building wheels, it's something that I am looking forward to doing again.
I'm sure these two pieces have seen several thousand bicycles over the years and could easily be referred to as relics from the old shop.
As, we continued to look around, we discovered many more miscellaneous hand tools, such as spoke wrenches, bearing cups removers and double ended cone wrenches, to name a few.
We also ran across an assortment of parts, including an old 1980's Hutch sealed bearing hub. From what I have found, it is a Hutch Titanium and Magnesium Flip/ Flop hub. It was considered a high end piece back when they came out and is still a highly sought after component, especially to collectors.
After the many discoveries and reminiscing with Mr. Delgado, we got everything loaded up and went on our way. It was really nice to spend time with Mr. And Mrs. Delgado because it brought back a lot of good memories. I had a lot of good times with them while I worked at the shop. I'll be going back again to help with with a few things. I'm sure I'll have another story to go along with that visit as well.
Until next time...