I have always marked June as summer. We are only 6 weeks away and it is snowing here in southeast Wisconsin. You’re also probably asking yourself, “will this ever end?”
Tonight I was wishing I had stayed in San Diego. My career in the bike industry began there, working for a small pedal company. I spent 3 years in California and although it never felt like home, this year has me thinking about sunny days and warm nights. I sometimes wish I was somewhere else.
After moving back home I started wrenching for a small bike shop in Cedarburg. Though it seemed destined to fail, I stuck around until it’s eventual demise in 2012. Some of the people I met while working there became friends, while others now feel like family. In fact, a few of the relationships beginning in that little family bike shop became the catalyst for our bike shop, Belgianwerkx.
The first year of the shop was hard on all of those involved, mentally, emotionally, and physically. There were lots of early morning, late nights… and sometimes the days just all ran together. Add a dog, friends and family; soon the work/life balance seemed impossible. Something had to give, and for me it did. I looked for some help, and the people surrounding me began to carry me.
Employees started taking on new responsibilities. My dad shot photos for our website and our events. My mom labeled product and helped us open the doors. Close friends transformed the empty space into a beautiful bike shop. I watched customers help each other and offer advise when they could. Team members transformed a local park into a race venue. Brothers and sisters supported my efforts at every opportunity. Roommates made coffee and watched my dog. Luca helped me unwind after long days. Non-cycling friends made me meet them for breakfast, ensuring I’d eat at least one good meal. Friends in the industry kept us abreast of changes and gave advise. Bill spent more than a few hours listening to me vent. Even our landlord began participating in group rides.
Near the close of business today, a customer from the old days in Cedarburg came to visit. He’s a pastor and moved away before Belgianwerkx opened. He had heard about the shop and made a special point to visit while he was in town.
He said to me, “You look happy. That wrinkle of worry in your brow is gone.”
I am happy. When I take a moment to reflect on the events leading me here, I am most grateful for the people that chose to be a part of my life. Struggles, problems, and difficulty forged these relationships, and because of that; the bonds are strong.
Will this ever end? I’m not sure. But tonight I’m sure that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. What a blessing.
Nicholas Moroder is the everyday face of Belgainwerkx. He has been wrenching on bikes for 10 years and is a Certified Retul University fitter. He’s the kind of guy who can tell you what tire is best for your wet rides, or what brake pads will make your rims last the longest. He manages the service, product , fitting, and day-to-day operation of the shop.