Resolve to Improve Your Fitness in 2018!

There are many ways to improve your health, but so many people still struggle with the dreaded process of making a New Year’s Resolution. My sister and her husband (aka Mr and Mrs Marathon) are avid runners, and have been absolutely smashing their goals, so I asked my Mrs Marathon to write a guest post about how she does it!

Oh, New Year’s. Saying goodbye to last year, celebrating the new one. Cue the reminiscing on the past year- good times and bad, successes and failures. As we approach the new year, we know what’s on everybody’s mind: resolutions! Now cue the groaning and eye-rolling. Nobody likes resolutions, simply because most of the time they just don’t work. Saying you want to lose weight or get in shape just doesn’t cut it. So instead of me just talking about resolutions that don’t work, I’m here to help revamp your resolutions for 2018 so they do work!

Because vague resolutions can be hard to stick to, I personally focus on concrete things for my goals. I like to set multi-level goals for the upcoming year, with room for adjustment if need be. For example, I am a marathoner. My goals are usually time goals that I want to achieve. I set my main goal of wanting to complete whatever distance run, then I set a reasonable time goal, and then I set a dream-big slightly far-fetched time goal that I would love to get if all the stars align on race day.

This is obviously not the only way to set fitness goals though. A lot of people want to set a goal like “I want to lose 10 pounds this year” and then they either meet the goal then relapse or lose motivation before reaching the goal. You can instead make your goal “I want to train for and complete a triathlon,” (or any other activity) and you may just reach that first goal of losing 10 pounds along the way unintentionally. With fitness goals, the possibilities are endless! You can always set a goal to try something new, go farther, be faster! You can try a new sport, like cycling (and of course hit up Chain of Fools Bicycle Repair for all your cycling needs). If you’re already a road cyclist, try mountain biking. Or give running or walking a try! Join a gym (and use the membership regularly!). If you have a hard time digging deep and finding the motivation for yourself, connect with a group that will keep you accountable. If you’re pretty well self-motivated, streaking can be fun (no, not that kind of streaking!). You can do an exercise streak! You can challenge yourself to exercise/run/bike/swim/whatever every day for the month of January and see how far you get and if you can even keep going. You can also set mileage goals for running, walking, or cycling. One of my favorite things to do is to track my miles run each month and compare it to months before. I also make little pictures of my mileage to post on Instagram, and getting all those likes from the running community is always a confidence booster!  Whatever it takes, right??


If all of this seems like too much to process at once, a simple way to slowly ease yourself into your fitness goals is to wear an activity tracker. I started wearing a tracker 3 years ago and was surprised at how lazy I can be! I set small goals each day to take more steps or have more active minutes and it really motivated me to get up and moving more. I currently have the Vivoactive 3 from Garmin and I love it! It’s a smart watch, fitness tracker, and GPS watch for tracking my running all in one.

But this leads me to the WHY. Why do we need to set goals like this? I know fitness and exercising isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. And hey, that used to be me until I found what worked for me. But the beauty of the fitness world and setting fitness-related goals is that, more often than not, there are positive side effects of achieving these goals, like weight loss, sleeping better, stress relief, building relationships, and health improvements. All of these things can make life better, so why not just give it a try?

I know we’ve all heard things like this before, but let me just leave you with this- no matter what you choose to do in the year 2018 with your goals and resolutions, just think about yourself this time next year. Do you want to look back and cringe, thinking “Oops, what happened to the year?” Or do you want to think “Wow, look at how far I’ve come this year!” So don’t let the year slip by you. Use this year to make yourself the best you that you can be. You’re amazing! Act like it. Show 2018 what you can do.

Now for the business plug! Chain of Fools is collecting fitness-related resolutions, and hoping to help you stick to them by making them concrete, and making them public. If you come write down your goal and post it with the others, I will give you 2 energy gels/bars, and enter you into a drawing at the end of the month for one of two $50 gift certificates. I’ll also follow up later in the year, and anyone who achieves their goals will get into a larger drawing, with better odds!

Bike to Work Fridays!

Have you ever thought about how many short trips you take in your car? Maybe your office is 3 miles away from home, or you might live just 1 mile from the nearest grocery store. What if you didn’t have to drive on those short trips, what would change? Well, your car would take less wear and tear, because those short trips put more stress on your car than highway driving. That means you use less gas, and save a few dollars. According to the League of American Bicyclists, the average annual cost for maintaining a car is about $8000 per year (nationally), compare that to the $300 per year it costs to keep to a bike in good shape (again, national average), and it starts to make sense how much these short trips cost.

Saving money isn’t the only reason to ride on a daily basis though. Just like any other physical activity, biking is good for you. It burns calories (around 400 on a 10 mile round trip), lowers stress, and generally improves your physical and mental health. If your excuse for not exercising more often is “I don’t have enough time”, then riding your bike to work is a great way to multi-task!

Biking to work might seem like a drastic lifestyle shift, but it doesn’t have to be! A great way to start is to leave your car parked 1 or 2 days a week, when the weather is nice. If you think you might want a sample of “Life in the Bike Lane”, try riding to work (or errands, or social engagements) on Fridays. If you do, let me know! I’ll be watching Strava, MapMyRide, Facebook, and Instagram for bike commuters, use the hashtags #BikeToEverywhere, #BikeToWork, or #LifeInTheBikeLane. Chain of Fools will be giving out discounts and other perks to anyone who participates! If you have any questions, or need help figuring out how to make your ride easier, safer, or more fun, just call or drop by (preferably on a bike) Chain of Fools Bicycle Repair!

Schwinn Suburban

Thanksgiving Break

Closed Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, OPEN Small Business Saturday!

So I’m going to have to put a hold on some of my repairs for the next few weeks. Apparently mountain biking can be dangerous, who knew? Last week while riding I went over the handlebars, and flew directly into a tree, torpedo-style. End result: I fractured my scapula (shoulder blade) on my left side. The injury itself is not too serious, but it is painful, and I have spend the next couple of weeks in a sling, to keep it immobilized. It’s fairly inconvenient, yes, but I’m not going to let it get me down. I’m already feeling noticeably better, just week after the crash, and I’ve got a fair amount of movement back. I’ve started testing my arm, to see what repairs I can still do. I can continue performing some service, just not all of it, and not particularly fast. And in case you were wondering, don’t worry, my bike wasn’t hurt in the crash.2015-11-18 23.37.41

Trail Building Nov 5 & 7 – Help Wanted

Hopefully by now everybody in the MHC area who is at all interested in mountain biking has been out to Mountain Laurel Trails. It’s an awesome trail system off of 58 west in Horsepasture, and it’s currently around 7 miles of singletrack. Well Bob Norris (landowner, trail builder, and mtn biker) has done a fantastic job with it (mostly by his own power) and wants to round it out to an even 10 miles! There will 2 trail building events this week, and YOU can help finish it. If you have any time/energy to spare, we’d love to see you, even if it’s only for an hour or 2. This should be a productive week, there will be 3 trail machines, and if enough folks turn up, we can knock it out with minimal sweat.

Thursday, Nov 5, 9:00am

Saturday, Nov 7, 8:00am

If you have questions, or want to RSVP, contact Bob (276-340-9144) or join the Facebook Events (linked above^)

Mountain Laurel Trails Website

Big Chainges!

Well folks, it’s been an eventful couple of weeks! Anyone who has passed by the shop has probably noticed that a few bikes have started appearing in the big window upstairs. I think you can guess what means, Chain of Fools Bicycle Repair is expanding! Thanks to all the great bicycle-loving people (you) in Martinsville and Henry County, I’ve run out of space in my little basement, and I need to bring my inventory above ground to make room for all the bikes I’m repairing.

Oh yea, and I need to make room for the nearly 20 used bicycles I just picked up!


My Subaru wouldn't have stood a chance...

After a very long, but productive trip to meet a fellow bike shop owner (thanks Freddy!), I’ve returned with a ton of cool stuff. Trek, Fuji, Raleigh, Bianchi, Peugeot, Motobecane, Schwinn are just some of the bikes I picked up.


Sensory overload, there were so many cool old bikes, I had trouble picking anything out

All of them are 20-40 years old, and need some work, but quality bikes like these are worth restoring, and soon they’ll be ready to ride!


A real gem, all original, in great shape!

I’ve already had someone call dibs on one of my “new” bikes, so I doubt this stock will last long, come check it out before it’s too late!


Oh yea, and I've got a Trike! Come for a test ride!

Now get out and go ride!!

A Fantastic First Month!

In case anyone has been wondering what’s been going at Chain of Fools Bicycle Repair lately, I haven’t had much time to post, which is AWESOME! Since I opened in March, I have been SWAMPED with customers who want to get out and enjoy this lovely spring weather we’ve started to see, and I couldn’t be more pleased!


I’m really excited that so many people want to get riding.  In my first month open for business, I’ve worked on close to 50 bikes, ranging from run-of-the-mill entry level cruisers and casual mountain bikes, all the way up to high-end carbon fiber speed machines, with everything in between. Whether you need a tune-up, or a complete overhaul, I’ve got you covered!

Nobody has an excuse to worry about their bike being to old to ride

Nobody has an excuse to worry about their bike being too old to ride

A major transplant, so the police could send their old bikes out for a fresh coat of paint

A major transplant, so the police could send their old bikes out for a fresh coat of paint

I’m also working on building up my inventory of parts and accessories, so even if your bike is working just fine, I’m sure I can provide you with something to make your ride faster, more comfortable, or just more fun. If you want something specific, please let me know! I can only keep a limited inventory, but I have access to THOUSANDS of different items, including car racks (for more than just bikes), hydration backpacks, and a TON of other stuff.

Even if you don’t need anything, but just want chat about biking, or see what Chain of Fools Bicycle Repair is all about, come on by, I’m happy to help!

Now Serving Martinsville & Henry County

Today’s the day! Chain of Fools Bicycle Repair is now Open to the public!

Got a wobbly wheel? Maybe skipping gears?

Need a new tire? Or a bike lock?

I want to help get your bike ready for this beautiful spring weather, so you can get out and RIDE!


Spring is Coming!

Well folks, it’s finally March! Winter is drawing to a close; Sunday marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, and the first day of Spring is shortly after that, so you know what that means…we can finally get back outside! I’m especially excited this year, because Chain of Fools Bicycle Repair will be open in LESS THAN 2 WEEKS!! It’s been a long road, but I’m getting dangerously close to being ready. The shop is clean, painted, and now I get to set up displays and racks of merchandise.

Now I want to hear from you!

I’m about to stock up on gear to make this year a great year for YOU to get out and ride a bike, if there’s anything you’ve been shopping around for, or any gear you’ve been wanting, feel free to let me know! You can hit me up on the Facebook page, shoot me an email, or leave me a comment here on the webpage. I can’t wait to help you get out and enjoy the beatiful weather we’re about to get!

“Orange” You Glad Martinsville is Getting a Bike Shop?

Yes, Chain of Fools Bicycle Repair has a fresh coat of paint, but that’s not all! I’ve also got a few new important numbers for everyone: an official phone number (276-336-8529), and most importantly, an opening date!

March 17 is the big day, go ahead and write it on your calendar. Yes, that’s St Patrick’s Day, there’s no significance to it, it just seemed like a good date. If you’re as excited as I am (and I know you are) there may be a couple of sneak previews coming in the next several weeks leading up to the Grand Opening, so stay tuned.


Taking Shape

We’re well into 2015 now (I can tell because I’ve stopped trying to date everything 2014) and I’m incredibly excited because Chain of Fools is actually beginning to take shape in a real, visible way. Projects like this seem like they rarely stay on schedule, but it appears that I’ll be open for business in March, as initially planned. Progress has felt painfully slow until rather recently (cleaning away 40+ years of dirt and dust takes patience), but the shop is finally CLEAN, and I’ve got plenty of light now, so I can say that with confidence! It still needs a coat of paint to look like an official business, and not a dungeon, but the hardest part is done. I can’t wait till spring!

Here’s a little sample of the progress, starting with the day I got the keys.

A bike shop in the rough...

A bike shop in the rough…

Once the new lights were on, I could see a lot more work to do.

Once the new lights were on, I could see a lot more work to do.

Giving the walls and floor a good scrub

Giving the walls and floor a good scrub

40 (or more) years of dust and dirt running right out the back door.

40 (or more) years of dust and dirt running right out the back door.

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