• Patrick Gabrion

My 'dream' job

Like most people, I have held a variety of different jobs throughout my life. My resume includes the following: farmhand, janitor at a bank, cleaner of dance halls, mowing lawns, pumping gas, night watchman, greenhouse attendant, worker at an auto parts factory, and member of a crew constructing modular homes.


And, of course, the big enchilada — 44 years as a newspaperman.

Doing my thing at Mathieu's in Farmingdale.

But I've finally landed my "dream" job at 66 years old. Since the middle of March I have been employed at my local bike shop, Mathieu's Cycle & Fitness in Farmingdale, Maine. It seems as though I'm always hanging out there anyway, so they decided to put me to work.


I ride bikes and write about bikes, so it only made sense to learn more about bikes. And that is exactly what's happening, and I'm having fun doing it.


Mostly, my duties involve the cleaning of bikes prior to any service being performed on them. A simple task indeed, but an important one — so I am told. I've also been assembling new bicycles ready for purchase, and slowly interacting with customers, although I'm a long ways off from earning the title of "Salesman of the Year."


The best part of the job is the people I work with at the shop. Alan, Casey, John, Lisa and Taylor have been teaching me the tricks of the trade, with generous amounts of patience and humor. And I'm getting to know the boys at the Oakland, Maine, facility — once again, a very friendly and helpful bunch of lads.


I believe my biggest asset is my passion for cycling, and hopefully I'm conveying that in my new career.


Chain links ...


* I finally achieved my first 1,000 miles for the 2019 outdoor season on Wednesday. A tad late compared to last year, when I reached the same milestone on April 21. Oh well. Wednesday's ride, which covered 26 miles, was enjoyable but also annoying. My jockey wheels — which obviously need some attention — were chirping so loudly, birds were actually returning my callings.


* A cycling book I just read might be worth checking out. It's "Sagan, My World" (Yellow Jersey Press, 2018). It provides an inside view of the professional peloton by Peter Sagan, plus his description of successfully capturing the UCI World Road Race Championships three years in a row.


Sticking with books for the moment, there is one more that I would like to recommend. It's "Ten Points" (Hyperion, 2007), a memoir by Bill Strickland, a top longtime editor with Bicycling magazine. While it has been years since I read it, the message in its pages still remains with me to this day. The topic of cycling drew me to this wonderful book, but believe me, it isn't just about the bike.

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