Published on August 23rd, 2016 | by Justin April


Stoked on Spokes, Bike Shopping in Dothan

     So as a lot of our followers know, I am getting married in a couple months. One of my goals that I would love to attain before the nuptials is to get in a little better shape. Sure, our wedding photographer will be able to make me look about as rad as possible, but I wanted to get more active and not just for the wedding. I have always been somewhat athletic. I grew up skateboarding in the area and would often make weekend trips to skate Pensacola, Panama City, Birmingham or Atlanta. This accomplished a few things. Those trips taught me to roll with the punches, instilled a travelling mindset, and it ruined my knees.

     Being that my joints are less than ideal for physical abuse, I started riding my mountain bike around the neighborhood. Then I realized that the bike I was using was built 15 years ago and needed a ton of work. I started looking around and found some cool deals on Craigslist, but was still confused about frame size, not to mention component quality.  If I was going to spend some money on a new mountain bike, I didn’t want to be taken to the cleaners by a phantom Craigslister.

     Dothan is full of knowledge, you just have to know where to look. I went by The Bike Shop (110 Park W Cir, Dothan) just to look around and met the owner, Jeff. He was a source of an abundance of information. I told him about a different road bike that I had just gotten and told him I would like to make a few light changes. The handlebars were less than ideal, and the pedals were a little too aggressive for my taste. Jeff told me to bring the road bike by and told me about his mountain bike inventory. He carries Raleigh and Fuji bicycles which are both exceptional machines.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the one that day and the search continued.

     I perused Craigslist a little more with little to no luck. As it so happened, I was leaving an important meeting with Magnolia Preserve’s manager when I remembered that Dothan Cycle and Fitness was just across the street (3201 Montgomery Hwy # 6). I stopped in and had a quick look around and that’s when I found it: that new 2-legged horse that was going to make me the king of Forever Wild, the Cannondale Catalyst.

     It was like the the Batman version of mountain bikes: matte black with matte grey accents, disc brakes and rapid fire shifters. It was a complete 180 from what I had been riding. John let me take it for a test cruise after I told him I would leave him keys to my Jeep for collateral. I was back within five minutes ready to sign on the dotted line. The Cannondale is currently residing in my garage.

     You can really tell when you are dealing with someone who cares about their field or business. The passion spills out and I could tell that both the shops I visited didn’t use rehearsed sales pitches. It was all knowledge and excitement. I was treated like they just wanted to see me happy and they both gave off more of a “welcome to the family” vibe than a “gimme your money” vibe.

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