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An Outsiders View of The Cycling Industry

By: Abdo Elbassal

I joined The Racery, as the new Inventory Manager, at the end of March 2016. This being my first job in the bike industry. I myself have owned a couple road bikes over the years, a 1979 Raleigh Grand Prix (my all time favorite) that I used daily from 2011-2013 until I wrecked it (Sad day!). Before I graduated from high school I pieced together a Motobecane Mirage from several other older bikes. Sadly though I also wrecked that one in 2014.

The trusty Ol' Grand Prix

Mirage... as named, it gives the illusion that you are going fast...

I pretty much stopped riding completely after that, until I joined The Racery. Joining this crew rekindled my spark to ride again. Within a couple weeks of working here I purchased a Fitwell Alex Degroot III, and I've been riding more often ever since. Recently however I've discovered all the great off-road bike trails around the Minneapolis metro area, and I have fallen in love all over again. My thanks to our Service Manager Gal Alon, for introducing me to this great new way to get out and enjoy the outdoors and be on my bike.

Out enjoying the trails at Theo Wirth with the shop's Lapierre Overvolt

When I first started here, I was a complete novice when it came to bikes (their technology, names of parts and functions, and all that). This was the biggest challenge I faced when I started out. In the months since then I have picked up on most of the things I need to know when it comes to bikes, specifically for my position as the Inventory Manager.

I used to think "Oh, you put this part with this part, you tighten this up, and voilaaa!" I have learned since that it's simply not that easy.

I can only hope that someday I will be as knowledgeable as Bike Repair Cat

I feel that each day I gain a little more knowledge about all the different bike manufacturers, parts, group kits, pros and cons of each, and all sorts of different combinations. It has allowed me to appreciate this crazy industry and all that they do! I've been working on my own cars since 2011, and I have come to appreciate bike mechanics the same as car mechanics - not to mention all the similarities between the designs and functions.

Being surrounded by the bikes that the Pros ride is both exciting and an honor

I never knew there was electronic shifting until I started working here!

The engineering and design that is behind these beasts is truly amazing!

Especially when they are worth more than my car!

I never thought I would end up working in the bike industry, but over these last few months I've learned so much and had so many good times. I really look forward to putting on many more miles here at The Racery!

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