I am really pleased to share something about Dee J Harmon, good friend and keen cyclist. I've known Dee since the 1980s - first as a mechanic and then as a friend and a quaint bike shop in England was the common denominator. Dee has a natural feel for bikes, easily picking things up, knowing how things worked and just having the right knack. Amongst his repertoire is wheel building which I think is like an art form when in the hands of a skilled builder like Dee.
Dee, you clearly like riding bikes - how did it all start?
It is hard to pinpoint when the love for cycling started for me, I have had a passion for working on bikes since my early teens. I have never had a mechanical problem on a bike which I couldn't take care of. As a very young youth I would ride my Schwinn Stingray every where; didn't matter how far. It was partly for transport which was used in delivering news papers on a 26' wheel Schwinn paper rout bike called a (Heavy Duty) through many teenage years.
In 1977-79 I worked in one of the biggest bike shop in the area of Sacramento CA. My Love of cycling really started while living in England although it was nearly all for my transportation. I had the fortune to work in a Bike shop in England and was able to have a great time there learning a lot and building lots of wheels for customers. And now have worked part time at a bike shop from 1999 to present.
What bikes do you have rightnow?
As for the bicycles I have now, one high end road bike, a touring bike brought from England, a hybrid bike with an 8 speed rear hub, a mountain bike brought from England, and I have a Schwinn collection of cruisers and 20' Stingrays plus a few restored ones. None of my my bikes are aluminum or carbon fiber. It's al total of 16 bikes and I may not be done yet!
Some of the best times when I am the most content is when I am off on a cycle ride and with no time limit and no one to answer to.
Tell me about the cycle scene like in California. Are you all roadies, mountain bikers or .....?
Well I remember when Lance Armstrong was winning the Tour De France 7 years in a row and road bike sales took off. .Mountain Bikes have always been popular, and plenty of places to ride off road. The Sacramento area has a lot of paved bike trail for road bikes and much more bike ways have been added in the last five years and you can pedal many miles with out being in any traffic. But for now, Road bikes and Mountain bikes, I would venture to say they are somewhat even here in Northern California.
Truthfully road bikes may have the edge. That is if you add in all Hybrids and bikes only used on the roads and paved bike paths. For me, I would go mountain biking once a year and the rest of the time road only, as I sure did my share of off road riding in England of which has very fond memories.