mike of mike's bikes

i wonder...
i wonder, whatever happened to mike of mike's bikes
what is mike up to?
is mike's bikes still up and running in lexington park, maryland

it is funny to think
i am roughly the age that mike swartz was when i started college
as i never really knew his age then and i certainly do not know his age now
i seem to recall his graduation date
maybe i am way off
either way
i wonder
i wonder what ever happened to mike swartz

it has been just over twenty years since i graduated high school and then followed my father's instructions to go to college in st. mary's college maryland
it is no great story
just a tale of money wasted and time not well spent
sure... i made good friends and i had good times
but it was not exactly a building block to the fortune five hundred

the times were different then
st mary's college was a different place
as those were different times and the world was a different place
in those times there was still a long history of people hanging on... refusing to graduate... along with those hanging around after they graduated
not sure about mike...
not sure if he was from the county or if he just stayed in the county
but i do know he graduated long before i started and was more involved in things long after he graduated than i was while i was there

mike played intramurals
all sorts of intramurals
if i remember correctly the intramural was padless tackle football
and if it were flag... i am sure it was full contact
mike was on the stacked team with a number of other old koots and some muscley guys from around the campus
mike also played volleyball... where he gave me constant instruction
mike sponsored the stacked ultimate team... the ultimate lovers

at first i had a hard time dealing with the ways of mike swartz
but as i grew older i grew to understand and respect him more
and it was more than appreciating his printing shirts for the ultimate lovers, that stacked intramural ultimate team
it was his small business, his zest for life, and his dogs

i remember seeing mike out with his dogs
these two german shepards
mike would head out into the vast fields that have long since converted into townhouses and stadiums and in that vast open space he would huck the lid to a five gallon bucket
and his dogs would chase
it is an interesting site to see a man interacting with his dogs
something can be learned from this interaction
not sure what that something is
but i am certain that something can be learned from witness such a thing

over the years i noticed mike less
not sure if it was that he was around less or if i just was not traveling in the same circles
i was still playing soccer
but can not recall if the walks with the dogs continued through all four years that i played varsity soccer
somehow my recollection was more from the local pub, the green door

long tall mike swartz
with is long brown beard and his long brown pony tail
with a strange crazed confidence

went to his shop a few times
can not recall much
this was all very early in the mountain bike thing
not sure what brands he carried
or if he even sold new bikes
but i do recall he had an indoor basketball hoop
even off his home court i could have never beaten that old hippie jock in a game of basketball
in that shop
he could have beaten michael jordon in a game of horse

i wonder...
whatever happened to mike swartz
whatever happened to mike's bikes?
did the walmarts of the world crush this motherless mom and pop?

maybe if i get up early enough i will snap some shots of my ultimate lovers jerseys
i shamelessly shut down my ultimate team to join the stacked team
someone had to take charlie horne's 666 number
as he was tired of carrying that burden
after all st mary's county is god's country

maybe josh watts formerly of cycles 90 knows the scoop on mike's bikes
bet josh has some stories
there are always crazy stories of the cycling culture

found something...
altered the spelling and found him in great mills... not lexington park
cool article
like i said... that guy is involved
great story about mike and his character

bet the boys from h2o have some stories about mike
as it turns out
he is only a handful of years older than i am
i was seeing them through a young man's eyes

mike schwartz
mike's bikes
great mills maryland

there was some urban singletrack that looped right behind his store and great mills high school

I vaguely remember that loop
weaved right behind carolyn's parent's house and the greens
some very good memories of the limited trails that I rode around the county


Brendan said...

I forget how I found your blog, dcist.com maybe? I went to St. Mary's too, graduated in 1989. I thought I recognized your name, and it was this blog entry that made me sure. Good to see you're doing well.


gwadzilla said...

not sure how you found my blog...
hopefully you find it interesting

smc '89

I was set to graduate in '89
but four and a half years worked better than four years for me

life it good
hope the world is treating you kindly as well


Joe Bagadonuts said...

Mike and Mike's Bikes is still up and running! In fact, needed a tire for my road bike because some SoMD road confetti (broken beer bottle) shredded my tire on my commute home the other day, so I went and saw Mike.

Mike can be found nearly every day after closing time out at Saint Mary's Lake riding a lap of the only singletrack in the county. He'll usually pull into the parking lot as I'm packing up after riding a lap or two and we'll talk about the trail conditions and just chat for a few.

He also has an old schoolbus painted green filled with BMX equipment that I think he takes, along with some of the youth that work at his shop, to races on the weekend. It's a pretty cool setup.