Tag Archives: big mikes bikes

GloucesterCast With The Clam Creator James Dowd and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 5/17/14

GloucesterCastSquare1

GloucesterCast With The Clam Creator James Dowd and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 5/17/14

podcasticon

 

jamesdowdbig

James Dowd And KT From Big Mike’s Bikes Have Started The Clam and Y’all Really Ought To Check It Out-

http://gloucesterclam.wordpress.com/

GloucesterCast With Toby Pett and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/19/14

gloucestercastsquare11 (1)

GloucesterCast With Toby Pett and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/19/14

podcasticon1

Subscribe to The GloucesterCast Podcast by Email

Topics Include: Gloucester MA, 01930, What up Homie?,  Jim Casey, Lighten Up Francis, Toby Pett, Chamber License Plate, Bringing GMG Back Old School, Passports Wine Dinner, Killer Cheeses, Sidewalk Sweeping Day, Carry In/ Carry Out, Patti Amaral, 40 Barrels?, Masspirg, Effort To Get 5 Cent Deposit On Water and Juice Bottles, Big Mike’s Bikes, Getting Around Gloucester Via Bike and Water Taxi, Toby’s List of the Best Bartenders In Gloucester, Stoli O Tonic, Lime Shortage, Gene Silviera, Erika Baert, Ellen Tasker, Molly Marks, Halibut Point, Jack Muniz, Jamie Verga, Lobsta Land
DSC02792

Inside Big Mike’s Bikes -Pure Bike Awesomeness!

Big Mike’s Bikes at 57 Washington Street In Between Sclafani’s and Tacos Lupita and sort of diagonal from Sebastian’s. Four awesome totally Gloucester businesses in a cluster, gotta consider that a new power alley, no?
Don’t Forget Kid’s Bike Safety Day Where Every Kid Walks Away a Winner May 4th at O’Maley.  Kathleen Gives the Deets In The Video


DSC02779

Big Mike’s Bikes Blowin Up!

image

Hey Joey!

Just wanted to let you and the GMG readers know we’re moving to a bigger space! We had NO IDEA we would get this popular, and we are running out of space here on Maplewood. We’re moving to the former Junque & Disorderly spot at 57 Washington, next to Tacos Lupita and Sclafani’s. It provides us with storage space for all our trade-ins and purchases, and no more tripping on bikes! We should be open the week of Thanksgiving so we will be all set for Christmas season. 

We recently started selling Redline BMX bikes in addition to being a new Jamis dealer, and new 2014 models are reasonably priced Christmas gifts for boys and girls! Now we can have a space to actually display them! 

HUGE thanks to you and all the GMG contributors and readers for the support we’ve gotten since we opened a few years ago. We knew Gloucester needed a bike shop, but we didn’t realize how much support Gloucester gives to local business! 

Kathleen T

Big Mike’s Smaller Half

Big Mike’s Bikes and the Six Peas

Over the wrestling mats in Junior High there was a sign: Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Those are the peas I’m talking about. But really not preparation but maintenance. For some reason, all my lab instruments I have on strict maintenance schedules but stuff I own I just use it until it breaks.

Like this Gary Fisher Utopia I used as part of my commute back in 1996:beforeGaryFisher1996Beat the hell out of the poor thing and it never got a lick of tender loving care. Lived outside on the back of my 4Runner for the first five years, you can see how the bike rack tore the paint off the top tube. As a hybrid street bike it was awesome for about two of those years hopping curbs but then things started going south. 24 gears down to 7, back brake was dicey so instead of a little maintenance after five years beating on it I bought a new bike and let a friend borrow this one. Then in 2008 it made the move to Rockport and got thrown into the corner of the shop looking pretty sad. Cables split and rusted, the movable parts did not move but the parts that weren’t supposed to move did.

But I always remembered my old Gary Fisher fondly. I loved the “arc” handle bar and short wheelbase. So I collected up the pieces and dropped them off at Big Mike’s Bikes. Mike wasn’t there but I left a note: Option A: the bike is trashed, can you make it a one speed? Option B: the full monty, fix everything. Got a phone call back and the full monty was the smart course, 160 bucks and replace a whole bunch of doo-dads. (I lost the receipt but it was one long list which included what sounded like very important pieces like bearings and races.)

The price seemed way too reasonable so I greenlit the full monty. And now it looks like:GaryFisher1996UtopiaI’ve been riding it a week and I still think, “holy cow, this bike never shifted like this.” For Cape Ann, large set in front and the back 8 gears just slide one right into each other as you go up and down the 23 hills of Cape Ann. I jumped on this morning thinking I would just bop over to Granite Pier but then I was going past the Rockport High School and the next thing I knew I was going past Good Harbor Beach and on to Eastern Point Light House. A stop at Joey’s and since I could not smell the fragrance of Toby Chowder I was up to Fred Bodin’s for water (but not open yet), down Maplewood, up Cherry Hill (outta the saddle on that hill), past O’Malley Middle and Goose Cove Nursery and over to Halibut Point before my needle was on empty.

Back to the 6 peas. Preparation is maintenance. Change the oil and the grease and mechanical things last longer. Or you can do what I do at least for bikes, beat the crap out of them and drive them into the ground, leave them in the corner 5 years then go bring the pile of parts over to Big Mike’s Bikes. But I might change my ways and actually bring my other bikes in for a tune-up. Whorled peas may follow.

Big Mike’s Bikes is easy to find. Big Mike’s right next to Big Macs.

ps. The Rubber Duck does this type of stuff incognito. I don’t want the special Rubber Duck treatment. I only put the Duck on the dash at the Rockport dump so I can get free parking.

pps. for the excruciatingly bored on this foggy foggy Cape Ann night the rough out path on google is 23.2 miles. The awesome thing about Cape Ann is you can add and subtract dozens of miles by including or skipping over points and coves. Same as in a kayak you could take the straight razor point to point 20 miles and add ten miles easy.

A track: http://goo.gl/maps/PNaty

Big Mike’s Bikes Grand Opening Sunday April 28th 10-4

Joey!

We are having a grand opening at our new space on Sunday, April 28 from 10 AM-4 PM at our new location at 50 Maplewood Ave. We’ll have some free food, some giveaways, sales on great bike stuff, and some cool stuff for kids!

Also maybe if I’m lucky, I can get Jim Dowd to come over and yell about terrorists and/or bike thieves for awhile.

Thanks!

Kathleen

Big Mike’s Bikes

“Make it look shitty.” James Dowd latest screed on cycling in Gloucester

Here is my latest screed on cycling in Gloucester. I had the Big Mikes folks build me “The Ultimate Gloucester Bike.” 

Hope all is well!

Jim


James Dowd writes-

“Make it look shitty.”

For those of you who have been following my Fifty Shades of Grey-esque relationship with Gloucester cycling, above is the first instruction I gave to the crew over at Big Mike’s Bikes when I tasked them with building me a custom bike from scratch.

“I want even the most hard-up thief to pass it over in favor of fishing pre-scratched lotto tickets out of the trash. I want the bike to give the impression that the owner dug it out of a pile of dredging spoils from a particularly nasty canal.”

“Can it have surface rust?” Mike asked. I think this was just an attempt to gauge my seriousness in this somewhat odd request.

“Can it? CAN it have surface rust? Michael my good man, if it does not have surface rust we’re going to have to ship it to Hollywood in order to have the professional prop distressers who worked on the Statue of Liberty for The Planet of the Apes have a solid go at it, savvy?”

They savvied. Oh, and how did they both savvy. The whole point of the surface rust was a key component in my secret plan to create the Perfect Gloucester Bike™. A bike that would have the following characteristics:

1. It must not present an attractive theft target to the station-zombies who have already sullied two of my nicer-looking locked bikes left there during my work hours up the line.

2. It has to be durable enough to manage the series of shell-craters and trench networks that pass for roads in our beloved burgh. Prospect Street, part of my commute, currently feels like riding from Lens to Ypres somewhere around 1915.

3. At the same time it would have to be fast enough to outrun the enraged pitbulls and their cleaver-wielding owners, maneuverable enough to evade the erratic traffic during prime self-medication hours and must be an overall a good enough ride to make it all worth it.

“No problem,” said Mike and KT. “Really?” I asked. “Really,” they said. “Really really?” I asked…they both stared at me. Conclusion: the Big Mike’s Bikes crew are very sweet, but are not to be trifled with when bikes are the topic.

clip_image002

And ooh, dawg, were they right. The work of sheer brilliance you see depicted above and dubbed “Professor Farnsworth” is the ultimate stealth bike. It’s a vintage Raleigh Mountain Tour, an 80’s-era hybrid tour/mountain bike back from the day when manufactures weren’t quite so sure that Mountain biking was exactly going to catch on. It’s not surprising, the 80’s were a turbulent time; no one knew what the future was going to hold. The Bell System broke up (people under 40, look it up), Apple launched its Macintosh operating system in order to carve out a small niche for itself against technology titans Wang and Digital and the film Amadeus swept the nation and our hearts, kindling America’s burning passion for classical music and opera that persists to this day.

clip_image004

[Check out this sweet ad for the bike back from 1984. No helmet? Check. Mork Vest? Check. Cargo panniers full of hair teasing products? Double check.]

But the real magic in this bike is not the vintage frame. The magic is the work done in the secret underground laboratory miles below Big Mike’s World Headquarters on Maplewood (next to MacDonald’s). This is where the rubber really meets the hunks of crumbling sidewalk.

This crappy looking bike defies its outward appearance and sports all upgraded components: shifters, bearings, wheels, tires, fenders, reflectors, integral lighting and gear racks making it a sweet and practical ride for commuting and errands, the bulk of my in-town bicycling. But all put together in a way that doesn’t give off the “this bike cost more than a two year community college degree” vibe that one so frequently gets from some of the bikes you see rolling around the wealthier towns of the North Shore.

This solidly-built customized bike, work included, cost me substantially less than even a bottom-line new one offered at a place like Target . Indulge me for a sec while I tell you what you get when you buy a new “bike” at a discount retailer.

First, think about the quality of the other products you get from those places and how you use them. You get a $25 coffee maker from Target, the handle breaks off, makes a mess of your counter and you clean it up and get a new one. No biggie, you don’t expect much more and Hell, for 25 bucks you could buy a new one every six months. Whatevs. Or you get a beanbag chair for the kids and after a couple of weeks (and having been used in an especially active game called “Invasion of the Giant Space Marshmallow”) it starts leaking those little white Styrofoam balls, you vacuum them up and throw it out. Wasteful? Yes. But not much more of a hassle than that.

Now lets think about the failure event that occurs on a cheap bike. It won’t fail sitting in your garage, oh no. It will fail when you’re trying to pull a Millennium-Falcon-in-the-asteroids maneuver that is the essence of Gloucester cycling. That won’t be a mess that will just clean up with a dust-buster and a sponge…unless you head-on one of those diesel freezer-haulers cranking around the wrong side of the blind corner on East Main. Ironically, in that case those are the exact tools the Fire Department guys will use to get the bulk of your remains into a consolidated container.

The point is we’re at a weird phase in the economy. “New” things at the lower and increasingly middle price points are frequently much, much crappier than older products that have been expertly rehabbed. This is just a fact of how things are made and sold now.

The good news with bikes is that there are a ton of great ones still around just waiting for someone to apply a little TLC and get them back on the road. Unlike mine, most of them don’t look like they spent the past few years locked to the mainmast of the Hesperus. And doing all this, in the end, leaves you with a much better bike for less money. Win, win.

As for me, I also need it to look shitty seeing as the Big Mike’s crew flat-out refused to build and install the first proposal I brought to them: a remote self-destruct mechanism for my nice mountain bike, centered around stuffing enough Czech-made Semtex plastic explosives down into the frame to disintegrate the thief down to purely elemental particles. So, failing that, (“explosives permits” they said. Bah!), this is a pretty solid plan B.

Big Mike’s Bikes Getting Bigger New Shop In The Works!

Hey Joey!
Good news! After months of cramped quarters overstuffed with bikes, we moved into the space directly next door that was Miguel’s and before that, Enterprise Car Rental. So our address and everything is staying the same. How easy is that? We’re going to have 3 times our original space. Now we’ll have far more space for used bikes on display, and we can carry a more varied range of accessories and even basic bicycle repair classes. We’re also going to start stocking used sporting goods like ice skates, roller skates, hiking backpacks, etc – why go all the way to Wenham or even Reading for a pair of used ice skates? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Here’s some pictures of the space coming together.
Look at all this empty space! I could’ve set up a roller rink.
Here’s the new repair station. Now we can double our output.

We have a lot of stuff to put away, but we’re open in the new spot on Tuesday!
Thanks!
Kathleen
Big Mike’s Bikes
http://www.bigmikesbikes.org

Big Mike’s Bikes Water Bottles- Finally!

Big Mike’s Bike’s writes-

Hey, Joey!
I wanted to let your readers know we finally got a shipment of Big Mike’s Bikes water bottles in! A lot of people asked for them last season, but we were so busy with tune-ups and service we didn’t get to ordering them until after the holidays. They are BPA free, are made and printed in the USA, and have a nifty little rubber gasket and spout so you don’t have to gnaw on plastic to get them open. They’re $3.99 here at the shop at 50 Maplewood Ave. Right now we’re on winter hours, so Tue-Thu 10-6 and Fri-Sat 10-3, but we’ll be back to 7 full days a week when the weather gets nice.

Thanks!
KT
Big Mike’s Bikes
978-222-3737
http://www.bigmikesbikes.org

Chickity Check It!- Big Mike’s Bikes Breaks Down That Burning Question In Everybody’s Mind- Should I Buy a Craigslist Bike?

image

Should I Buy a Craigslist Bike?

Craigslist is ubiquitous. Tons and tons of people use it in every major, or even tiny, metro area. Their bicycle section is huge, with well-priced bikes of all sizes and types. But is it worth it to get a bike from a random stranger?

If you don’t know much about us, we got our start on Craigslist. Mike finally felt comfortable enough with servicing bicycles to sell off a few extra bikes, and pretty soon it grew into a full-time job. People were happy with our service, and even recommended their friends to us – pretty good for a random Craigslist transaction, right? When we realized Gloucester really needed a bike shop again, we transitioned into mobile local service out of the Cape Ann Farmer’s Market, and then finally into a storefront.

We have also purchased dozens of bikes on Craigslist over the years. Bikes that needed work and were being sold cheaply were right up our alley. So we’ve been there, especially in Boston.

for the rest of the entry click here

For more interesting Biking news and stories follow Big Mike’s Bike’s on Twitter-

Small Business Saturday At Big Mike’s Bikes

image

Joey!
If you have some time and availability, could you post letting your lovely readers know that this Small Business Saturday, we’re having a sale? We’re offering 20% off pretty much everything in the shop, even used bikes! We’ll also have a 30% off clearance section. If you need cheap bike stuff, Saturday’s your day to shine! I will also give out cookies. For free. Yeah, that’s right. Free cookies. For your face.
We’ve got gift certificates in any amount, as well, for this upcoming holiday season. And as always, we have all our used bikes up on the website so you can check out what we’ve got without braving the cold.
We’re open 10-3 Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and 10-6 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Happy Thanksgiving!
KT

Specializing in used bicycle sales and service.
New and used parts and accessories.
978-222-3737
http://www.bigmikesbikes.org

Jim Dowd: The Streets Are Mine Once Again!

If you didn’t read Jim’s letter to the douchebag (his term not mine) who stole his tire you can read the back story here-

An Open Letter to My Bike Wheel Thief from Jim Dowd

Posted on August 3, 2012 by Joey C

Bikefixed

Thanks to Big Mike’s Bike Shop and Beardman McBikeshaman (I believe that’s what he said his name was) I am back to terrorizing the potholed streets of our beloved burg. It should be noted that the bike was fixed within hours and it cost me less than buying the same parts on Amazon, and I would have had to spend time putting them all together and then bolting them onto the bike. And he oiled my brakes. 

I think he might have also mentioned that he’d dipped the removable components into a vat containing active cultures of the deadly ebola virus. I was kinda distracted looking at all the cool bikes and parts they had in there, but I think he said that. Or that he’d rigged the bike with semtex plastic explosive and would detonate if tampered with. Or maybe they are having a sale on helmets. Something along those lines.

Anyhow, Big Mike’s did me solid. Thanks guys.

Jim

check out Big Mike’s Bikes online here

Video Interview- Meet Mike and Kathleen From Big Mike’s Bikes

image

DSC06711DSC06713DSC06714DSC06715

Kathleen writes-

Wanted to let you know we’re opening our shop up this Monday, June 4. We’re located at 50 Maplewood Ave, Suite 3, next to 7/11 and the new McDonalds (we’re between Miguel’s and the car wash.) Our hours are going to be 10-7 Monday-Friday, with late Thursday hours until 9. Saturdays and Sundays we’ll be open 11-4, with extended hours for pre-registered rental customers to pick up and drop their bikes.
We have an awesome selection of used bicycles – road bikes, vintage cruisers, and mountain bikes, all of which have been tuned up and gone over with a fine-tooth comb – they all come with 30 day warranties. And from now until the end of June, if you buy a used bicycle from us, we’ll give you up to $10 in free accessories!
Big Mike also offers tune-ups for $45, and we are still offering mobile service for an additional $5 each way (so if you don’t have a big car or a bike rack, you can still get that bike fixed!) We do all manners of repairs, especially rehabs of those bikes in the cellar you’ve been ignoring for the last decade. They’re probably still good!
We’ve also got some great accessories here, from training wheels to grips to lights, locks, and helmets. We do rentals, as well! We have a fleet of hybrid/city bikes that are brand new, stylish, and locks and helmets are provided at no additional cost.
Hope to see you soon!
Kathleen
Big Mike’s Bikes

Specializing in used bicycle sales and service.
New and used parts and accessories.
978-222-3737
http://www.bigmikesbikes.org

Big Mike’s Bikes

Hi Joey!

Wanted to let you know we’re opening our shop up this Monday, June 4. We’re located at 50 Maplewood Ave, Suite 3, next to 7/11 and the new McDonalds (we’re between Miguel’s and the car wash.) Our hours are going to be 10-7 Monday-Friday, with late Thursday hours until 9. Saturdays and Sundays we’ll be open 11-4, with extended hours for pre-registered rental customers to pick up and drop their bikes.

We have an awesome selection of used bicycles – road bikes, vintage cruisers, and mountain bikes, all of which have been tuned up and gone over with a fine-tooth comb – they all come with 30 day warranties. And from now until the end of June, if you buy a used bicycle from us, we’ll give you up to $10 in free accessories!

Big Mike also offers tune-ups for $45, and we are still offering mobile service for an additional $5 each way (so if you don’t have a big car or a bike rack, you can still get that bike fixed!) We do all manners of repairs, especially rehabs of those bikes in the cellar you’ve been ignoring for the last decade. They’re probably still good!
We’ve also got some great accessories here, from training wheels to grips to lights, locks, and helmets. We do rentals, as well! We have a fleet of hybrid/city bikes that are brand new, stylish, and locks and helmets are provided at no additional cost.
Hope to see you soon!
Kathleen
Big Mike’s Bikes

Specializing in used bicycle sales and service.
New and used parts and accessories.
978-222-3737
http://www.bigmikesbikes.org

pro-bicycling Gloucester bumper stickers

From Kathleen of Big Mike’s Bikes;

We recently ordered some pro-bicycling Gloucester bumper stickers and would love to put the word out to anyone who wants one to email us at bigmikesbikes@gmail.com or call us at 978-222-3737. I think they came out pretty awesome!
http://www.bigmikesbikes.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/117.jpg

We can ship them out with an SASE to Big Mike’s Bikes, 25 Addison St, Gloucester MA 01930, or $1 by paypal for an envelope/stamp, or you can pick them up at our home shop when we’re around.
We also have our rentals up and ready to go on our website, and deliver to anywhere on Cape Ann and Manchester/Essex as well!

http://www.bigmikesbikes.org