I haven't been around for the last 10 months, thus the lackluster performance in writing my article. Actually, that's only partially true...physically I've been here, but mentally, I was caught in the void of a bureaucratic, and financial beatdown. Building the new shop has drained me. Focusing on a singular goal, that is rapid completion within the boundries of Town compliance, has made me feel as helpless as a 5 year old who peed their pants on the school bus...what that means in essence is, for the moment there's nothing you can do but ride it out!
Having always been a prideful, and up front individual, complying with utter lunacy has humbled, and pained me...alot! Believing in the saying "Pride goeth before the fall", jumping through hoops in the name of zoning has mentally exhausted me. The sense of exhaustion I'm speaking of goes beyond merely being tired of a situation...I'm speaking of that mental numbness that cannot be shaken by anything short of a marathon bike ride, or a six pack of beer...either way, both are only temporary.
Regardless, we have persevered...we are in the new shop, it is beautiful, we are happy, busy, and in awe of ourselves at what we accomplished. Checks flew out the door faster than those pesky, shiny green flies that always sneak in the second you crack a door or window. Whereas writing a check for hundreds was nerve wracking, try writing checks in the thousands...a couple times a day. Actually, it became so common place that as long as I didn't run out of checks, it became natural. I finally got a taste of how Wall Street operates...financing a project with money you don't actually own.
We are about to celebrate our first monthof occupancy, and the project is on going. We are tweaking the interior, and figuring out the storage situation. We just had a beautiful 12X16 Dutch mini barn delivered to be used for housing boxed and built bikes. More checks, and more circling of the "Town Buzzards" looking to pick this Horse's carcass...$100 C/O fee, plus .25 per square foot because you are an evil commercial entity...if you were an abandoned, overgrown, wrecked car parking lot, residential dwelling, it would only be $75...ante up boy! My brain suddenly hurts again!!!!!
The move was swift, with lots of help from the gang. The set up was even faster, and will be a project for the winter. For those curious few, the kegerator was the first piece of equipment set in operational postion, and it has been cranking way beyond it's expected capacity...go figure! Jeez, I wonder if I need a C/O for that, or a minimal amount of pint glasse on premise!?!?
Running the business has been difficult with us hosting 2 major mountain bike races in the interim...Singlespeed-a-palooza, and the Dark Horse 40. Both were smash hits, and frankly, where the incentive came from during our construction I do not know. Mike was a whirling dirvish when it came to trail work...without him, the races would not have happened. It's amazing how sharp my supervisory skills become after a few beers on the trails!
So, just to clarify, I am not asking for pity or forgiveness for that matter, only understanding. Am I a better, and more intelligent individual for the experience? Only time will tell. While most men my age are planning for retirement, or their eventual demise, I am planning for my future. I want to have fun now...I call it "George" time. Someone said that's selfish, but I don't think so. I have plans...not the type that require zoning changes or fees, but the type that's going to insure that Dark Horse Cycles continues to set the standards for what a bike shop should be. The toughest part is behind me, that I know.
Did we win? I don't think there's a win or lose in this situation, only a compromise. I did what I was told...I did what was expected of me, and I got what I wanted all along. Expensive? And how. Worth it? You bet. Do it again? I'll think that one over when I get my next bank statement. Proud of the achievement? If I wasn't me, I'd be giving me high fives all over the place with my left hand, while still cutting checks with my right! As long as I don't run out of checks, everything will be all right...Can you hold that check till September??? Of 2011 I mean...I'm working a deal...trust me!
"Yours @ 628 Rt. 17K in financial bliss" George
P.S. Excuse me while I go and change my pants now...the bus ride is over!