Bennet at Big Wheel Bikes in Old Towne Alexandria... a shop with character...

C. Bennett Moore is a character
a character and an old friend

I always enjoy stopping in and visiting Bennett at Big Wheel Bikes in Old Town Alexandria
it is good to catch up
it is always fun to hear Bennett's stories

there is a certain amount of drama that unfolds around Bennett
over the years he has collected an odd cast of characters
interesting people he has invited into his world and taken under his wing
in so many cases it seems like a bit of a puppet master and his puppets

there is Boxcar Willy... who may or may not be dead
a man of a forgotten time... a hobo of sorts
homeless... but with a hobo mystic
all the way down to the blues guitar and expansive repertoire of songs
his singing was better before he lost all his teeth

then of course there is "EDDY"
a local who rides around Old Towne on an old beaten up mountain bike with paper clips on the handlebars that offer up turbo power when Eddy needs it

the list goes on...
all sorts of people float through
racers... ex-racers... 
there is the guy from the Belhaven Marina whose name I forget and then Brad from the Dandy
then the young assistant mechanics that grow with the shop

Bennett does not own this Big Wheel Bikes location
but the shop is most certainly his and it most definitely reflects his character

on this day when I stopped in I witnessed something on the verge of amazing
a man came in looking for tires and tubes for his youngest child's 12 inch wheel bike
Bennett had the tires... but only had one tube in the correct size
so... in an effort to get the guy rolling ASAP Bennett pulled a rabbit out of his hat

it is known that Bennett has some tricks up his sleeve
and here is one I had never seen before
not having the 12 inch tube Bennett did not slow to scratch his head
after digging for that size tube Bennett resorted to some old school ingenuity 

not having the 12 inch tube but having a 14 inch tube Bennett did a little DIY
with 12 inch tire in hand Bennett grabbed a quick stick and the 14 inch tube
Bennett re-sized the 14 inch tube to be a 12 inch tube by tucking the tube within itself so that it measured 12 inches
telling the customer that "folding the tube" would cause a pinch
but tucking it within itself would allow it to inflate and hold just as if it were a 12 inch tube


I had never seen or heard of this trick before
what a great trick to have?
someone has a flat on a 650B? try a 700c Tube?
29er tube and 26 inch wheel? same applies here

very cool...
always good to catch up with Bennett
great to see an old friend
fun to learn a new trick

Big Wheel Bikes in Old Town Alexandria may have been served up a death sentence
in a few years that whole section of town is set for development
even if a Big Wheel Bikes location remains there... it will never be the same

change is inevitable
and well... this change is going to come

1 comment:

JanniF said...

The adjustable tube, brilliant!