Thursday, July 17, 2014

Someone's Dream Job, Bikes, and Coffee in Lexington & Concord

On a recent Saturday, my wife and I took a four hour car trek to Hillsboro, New Hampshire to visit friends and have a bit of an adventure: we packed overnight bags not knowing where we'd stay - or if we'd stay somewhere - that night. We used an app called Hotel Tonight and hoped to find an inexpensive place to sleep instead of hell-for-leathering it all the way back to Stamford.

As it turned out, we found a cheap but very nice hotel in Bedford Massachusetts, which is very close to the towns of Lexington and Concord. I'm not a big student of history, but I understand there was some kind of famous battle in the area. 

After settling in to our room, my wife and I went to downtown Concord to look for people wearing period costumes and, equally important, find a place to eat. Between spotting a guy in a tri-corner hat and us eating (and enjoying the live music) at Main Street Market & Cafe, she sketched while I fixed and rode on a bike I purchased a few hours earlier. 

I'm not sure what rural New Hampshire town brought this tag sale gold to me, but I am thankful: it's a Diamondback Venture road bike with 700c wheels, a working frame pump, a seatpost bag containing three tire levers, a rusty Allyn wrench, and two new tubes. If you look closely you'll see the green 'Make Offer' tag still hangs on the handlebars (my offer was $5) and after I spent a few minutes using the aforementioned tools to get the bike to working order, I took it on a ride around Concord. 

I did not ride it as far as I wanted or as I dared: when inflated, the front tube would try to ooze out of the space between the near-rotted tire and the rim which isn't ideal. Still, just for this one night I felt like I got my $5 worth (mainly because fixing it and riding it gave me something to do while my wife sketched) so as my wife's watercolors dried I put the bike back in the car. 

The next morning, we checked out of our room and agreed we needed to get a move on to return home in time to attend an opening reception at the Rowayton Arts Center (which is hosting a Chantey Sing at 6:30 tonight, by the way). 

On the drive through Lexington, while looking for a place to have breakfast, something caught my eye and made me park my car with extreme prejudice. 

Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington. Now while I wrote rather admiringly about biking in Boston a couple of years ago I have to say I have little interest in living in that part of the country (you know…cobblestones, Massachusetts drivers, and so on) but right then and there I saw paradise in Ride Studio Cafe. If I had money and talent I'd open a similar place in Stamford: Coffee and bicycles. Two passions combined into one beautiful whole. 

Keep your eyes in the right two-thirds of the joint as you head in and you'd think you were in a nice bike shop - one that features indoor parking. 

This was taken at the communal table between the bike rack and the counter where my wife and I order coffee for me, tea for her and breakfast for us both. Were I a man of means I'd have ordered a carbon fiber frame to go, but my budget would only allow the purchase or something a little less expensive: The Culinary Cyclist by Anna Brones.

The friendly vibe of the place was well represented in the woman who sat across from my wife and I while we were waiting for our order. Her name was Denise, and when the 'what-do-you-do?' part of the chatting began it was revealed that her title is president of sales recruiting firm DANA Associates

It was from her I learned of the existence of a job that made me wish I was among the bicycle/coffee/history-loving crowd in that area: a nearby adventure travel company that does bike tours of Italy, France and other countries is searching for a Selling Team Leader. The job, which would pay $60K annually plus bonus, would involve selling these tours and the opportunity to go on them. The job is for a skilled salesperson (70% of the job is sales while the rest is managing people and maintaining a database) and a passionate cyclist who loves travel. 

Since my sales experience is limited to typo-laden eBay listings - though deciding how many exclamation points should come after the words 'NO RESERVE' is an unsung skill - I did not push the conversation with Denise toward my LinkedIn profile. What I did do is realize that this job cannot go unfilled for too long, for leaving a sales chair vacant at whatever company this is means someone might miss the chance to hear about and take a life changing cycling adventure. And as you all know from my recent trip to India, I am a big believer in life changing cycling adventures. 

So if you are a passionate cyclist and a skilled salesperson who wants to come up on the winning side of a career coin toss, I recommend you contact Denise directly at dbg (at) If you are just a passionate cyclist, you should instead visit Lexington - a place I will return to one day. If you are a passionate traveler, pack an overnight bag, hit the road, stop at tag sales, talk to strangers and don't avoid communal tables - especially at Ride Studio Cafe. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.  


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