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Charlie Speaks

Articles by the owner of Bicycle Habitat

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My Ride - My Angst

Today my son had his orientation day for seventh grade.

I wanted to say to him, "Let’s jump on our bikes and ride to school" . I didn’t,


I knew I was in trouble when the dreams started. They were always the same, I was out riding with my friends or my kids and my bike or ‘our’ bikes were stolen. Followed by a futile search to recover them. The dreams started last December.

I’ve never liked the Twin Towers. It now seems ironic how much I miss them. I know everyone will remember where they were when the Towers crumbled; I remember where I was when I first heard of the Towers.

It was the spring of 1970...

On Turning 50

I waited until the newsletter deadline passed to write this. I wanted to see if climbing to the other side of 50 years would change me or my outlook. The morning of my fiftieth birthday I gave blood and of course the date and my birthdate were above each other and I had to hear shouted "Hey cool, today's your big five oh". At that moment I knew I was not going quietly into 50.

Bikes That Owned Me

When I think of certain bikes I remember -- I remember a happy walk while courting my wife, we chatted and I pushed my bike; I remember a sunset at the Sea of Galilee with a few friends; my last visit to my grandfather in the hospital before he died;

Bicycle Habitat Turns 20

Hal and I opened Bicycle Habitat on a shoe string budget, a dream, a lot of desire and honor, and absolutely no bike store experience.

Death by Automobile

This month's piece arises from a chance comment by a friend of mine: "Everybody knows someone whose life was ended in a car accident,"

Father and Son Learn To Ride

Nathan, my younger son, just started riding without training wheels. After 6 months of post-operative recovery I just started riding again. I discovered that we have a lot in common.

Grand Jury

In my 20 days I saw 130 cases. Of these, two involved police officers on bikes, one involved the theft of a bicycle from people riding them, and in six others, bicycles were mentioned by the police or witnesses as part of the crime, i.e., "He bicycled up behind me and grabbed my purse." ....

Grand Jury - What I Did With The Pay?

Her name was Anna and like other 10 year old children she enjoyed playing and going to school. Unlike many other children her age, she was also experiencing the horror of being sexually abused by someone close to her, her stepfather

Fit And Comfort

Charlie develops a new respect for fit and comfort after having a knee and a hip replaced

Me And My Mountain Bike

First, I was with Heather and Matt in Prospect Park. After the usual shenanigans, we were on the Bridle Path in deep "mud." I fell over, not unusual for mountain biking, and was half covered in mud. The worst part was that the "mud" was from water, dirt, and horseshit--I stunk (and, no, I'm not referring to my bike handling abilities).

Teaching My Son To Ride In Traffic

I asked him whether he preferred the fast short adrenalin route or the more sedate scenic route. He mistakenly left the choice to me. The first day found us bombing down Flatbush Avenue. Me constantly shouting...

Wear A Helmet

I received a phone call from Hal's sister early one morning telling me Hal was in intensive care and would not be coming to work that day. As it turns out Hal was riding home the night before and woke up in the ambulance en route to the hospital. He had a broken nose (unbelievably it is now straight;

Childhood's end

As I was writing this my older boy, Matt, started complaining about the fact that his high school does not allow the students to ride their bikes to school. He talked I listened, and I started thinking maybe, just maybe, there are things as important to this generation as the things I value are to me.

Teaching my son to ride

Nathan, my younger son, just started riding without training wheels. After 6 months of post-operative recovery I just started riding again. I discovered that we have a lot in common.

We both had tremendous performance anxiety. We were both afraid to disappoint me. Nathan, an eight year old, had