Greater Athens September 2020 - Page 19

in tip top shape. But he didn’t start off that way, actually, he was a runner. Little, who graduated from the University of Florida and worked as a chemical engineer for many years, enjoyed running and swimming in his spare time. He participated in triathlons and after having to bicycle during one, thought he might like to do the event himself. “If I had a bike, I could do the whole thing,” he said, noting jarring activities have a tendency to catch up to people in time. “The joints got worse and I did less and less running and more biking,” he said. After retiring from a petro-chemical plant in West Texas, John and his wife JoAnn of over 20 years packed up and moved to Athens. “There are lots of trees and water here,” he said. “But there wasn’t a local bike shop around.” Little worked on his own bike and decided to get some tools and attended the Barnett Bike Institute in Colorado Springs. “That was fun,” he said of his bike school experience. “I opened Athens Bicycle Shop almost 10 years ago.” He is also a member of an Adventure Cycling Association, which has a magazine featuring bike-friendly routes and touring information. Little said he hopes he can help people in Henderson County to have a means of exercise. “That’s my calling,” he said. His passion for the hobby is evident as he talks about his adventures. He also sees the importance of bicycles as a reliable form of transportation. No need for gas, you only need leg-power and endurance. When asked what he loves about bicycling, he said he enjoys the freedom, essentially being limited only by one’s self. “You are going from point A to point B, under your own power, if you think about it that is really neat,” he said. If your bicycle is dusty, now is the perfect time to dust it off and get it serviced for a new adventure. As fall comes and temperatures drop, camping and bicycling may be what the doctor ordered for the weekend. Find Athens Bicycle Shop on Facebook. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at 608 N. Palestine St. in Athens. Call 903-343-9426 for more information. September 2020 | Greater Athens Magazine 19