Thursday, September 24, 2009

Action Wheels/Cutters Bike Shop

Like a lot of people, when gas hit $4.00 a gallon, I considered riding my bike to work. There are showers and bike lockers at work, so I had no good reason not to, and it's only 9.5 miles each way... right?

I was pretty daunted, not really having ridden a bike since high school. I stopped by Action Wheels Bike Shop (530 W. Broad St., Bethlehem) and talked with one of the owners, John Ronca, who assured me that not only could I do this, but that it would be no sweat. He hooked me up with a great road bike at a good price, a helmet and a couple of accessories. Plus... he promised I could bring my bike in for a tune-up anytime.

Well, the commute was, ahem, more exercise than I was willing to endure on a weekday morning, plus the ride felt like it took forever. So for a while I would drive over the mountain, park at the Lehigh tennis courts, and ride the rest of the way on my bike (about 3 miles each way). Kind of a cop-out, I know. But along the way I started really loving riding my bike and started training for a sprint triathlon race. I visited John and his crew again, and they gave me advice and suggested some equipment to help me along.

About a week after the race, I went to Action Bikes again. I'm hooked - I said to Larry - I want toe clips and shoes! Next year I hope to take part in the City to Shore fundraising race for MS (at least 45 miles of it) and I owe it all to Action Bikes and $4.00 gas.

Update: John and his family have opened a new bike shop on the Southside (418 E. Third St., Bethlehem) and they rent bikes in addition to selling and repairing them. So if you have heard about the tow path, or are excited to see whether the Greenway becomes a reality, but you don't have your own wheels, check out Cutters. It's just $20 a day; even Rachael Ray can't beat that.

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