Boone Bicycle Retreat

It’s the middle of October?!?! Really???? Sorry, that memo did not come across my desk. So uhhhhhh what’s up?? I’m terrible at Cliff notes so if this gets wordy you can just….damn clearly already heading down that road.

Alright well since July I’ve traveled around a bit, decorated a feature film, moved out of my apartment, almost moved to Atlanta, and started up a new business venture. Are those valid enough reasons for being so out of touch? Towards the middle of August I went on another outing with the South Carolina Credit Union League in Greenville SC. It was prefect timing because I was planning on heading to Atlanta to look for apartments with my buddy Warren. That ended up not working out, but while I was in Greenville I got a random e-mail from a Production Company looking for a Set Decorator for a Barry Levinson Sci-Fi moving shooting in Georgetown SC. That’s about as random as they come. Four days later I found myself sitting in the production office showing my portfolio to the Production Designer, Art Director, and Assistant Art Director. There were many qualified people who showed up, most of whom were infinitely more experienced than I was. Missy, good friend and Set Decorator on Army Wives, also interviewed. She walked in right after me and at that point I thought my chances were pretty slim. But we have a good relationship so I held on to the hope that I might be able to at least score a gig as On-Set Dresser.

Two days later I flew up to Chicago to visit my good buddy Josh Jones. For those of you who have not had the pleasure, allow me to introduce you.

He’s been living in Chicago for the past two years trying to get his dancing career off the ground. He still has some work to do but I applaud his spirit and determination. Chicago was great. I’m not much of a city person, but I liked Chicago. Somehow, it didn’t feel, look, or smell like a big city. Maybe it has something to do with being next to a large body of fresh water. It’s also a very active town. There is a paved trail that traces the edge of the lake for nearly 20 miles. People are running, biking, blading, playing soccer, football, volleyball, and everything in between and beyond 24/7. I loved it. You can also get to any point in the city via that trail, and navigating around downtown actually isn’t that terrifying of an experience. There are bike lanes everywhere!! Now, riding around in the projects with a flat tire is a different story. I couldn’t bring my bike so I was riding Josh’s Giant Mountain bike, which actually wasn’t giant at all and was way to small for me. I was trying to make my way to the Museum of Industry of Science and I guess I forgot to take that left turn at Albuquerque.

In any event this is where I ended up. The shop owner was actually super cool and I got the flat fixed, and avoided stray bullets and knives. Halfway back to his apartment my phone buzzed. I kept working the pedals as I answered (terrible Idea). It was the Assisstant Art Director on the line offering me the job. I was three seconds away from being physically unable to take the job, but somehow I regained my balance and managed to come to a stop. I immediately said yes and headed back to Charleston the next day. My lease was ending on my apartment and at the time I was still planning on heading to Atlanta so I had 4 days to get my place packed up and repainted and also get prepped for this movie. I couldn’t manage to get everything done so for the next few weeks I had to run back to Charleston on the weekends to continue packing and painting. It’s been a while since I’ve been that tired. Our biggest sets were up first which was nice in a way, but it meant pulling some seriously long hours with little to no down time. Blumoly was starting to accumulate dust.

I don’t want to say too much about the film, but overall it was a crazy, but still great experience. I got the chance to work with some excellent people, my team in particular was awesome, I learned a ton, I got a nice credit and a good paycheck. The production company also put us up in ridiculously nice housing. Our house was right on the beach in a large community called Debordieu (Deb-er-Doo). My room was in the basement and came complete with a sauna, elevator and a massive walk-in shower with opposing dual shower heads. It was a little over the top. I would have been fine with a tent, but I guess the production company thought that that would Debordieu. Bam! Zing! I’ll admit, towards the end of the show there was quite a bit of drama at our house. At times I felt like I should have been talking into a camera from behind a red curtain. Whenever things were crazy I just went down into my cave or got onto my bike.

I managed to get in a few decent rides and runs in amidst the chaos, including but not limited to a 60 mile ride up to Myrtle Beach, and a 20 mile jaunt where I ended up dead lost on a moonless night. I started out for a little beach run and somehow ended up in an entirely different community, and then managed to get onto Highway 17 and go the wrong way…..twice. It was absolutely pitch black by the time I made it back to Debordieu. It was like running in the vacuum of space. I had no concept of distance or speed. The clouds were out and the canopy of trees made it like running in a tunnel. Fortunately one of the security guards on patrol,who was adorable by the way, saw me struggling and gave me a lift back to the house, cutting 6 miles off my run. I must have looked pretty rough.I wasn’t prepared for it all. My body was tired from lack of sleep, and I did not intend to run that far so I had no food or water, or light or phone for that matter. Ironically enough the same adorable security guar pulled me over the very next night for speeding. I was going to ask her out but I thought it might be a little inappropriate. I had plenty of lines ready though. “I wasn’t speeding, I was racing to your heart” “You can limit my speed but not my love for you” And so on.

The film, which I think is now called “The Bay” wrapped production last Friday and I finished my wrap-out on Wednesday and crashed with my new-found friend Amber since I am now officially a nomad. I spent Thursday reorganizing my storage unit and cooking dinner and watching some college football. Amber is all sorts of crazy about some pigskin. She’s from Kansas (insert Wizard of Oz Joke here) and there was a big rival game on. Kansas State Vs Kansas. KS squeaked by 59-7. She loved every minute of it. Gourmet meals on TV trays. Gotta love it.

Now I’m up in Boone NC, working on Boone Bicycle Retreat!!!!

I’m super stoked about this. Back in May, I came up to Boone by invitation of my friend Jim Bridges. Jim is a veteran still photographer of the motion picutre industry and has shot some of the most iconic images of the past few decades. His work is actually on display here at the retreat. I had never been to Boone but had always heard great things. It’s absolutely gorgeous up here and Jim is dead in the middle of some of the best cycling roads imaginable. Right at the end of his driveway is old HWY US 421. It’s like riding on glass. That road extends for about 10 miles and there are an infinite number of turn-offs and other routes that you take off of 421. There are literally hundreds of miles of road and hundreds more of trails to ride and run on around here. There are climbs of all difficulty, including some that could be considered a form of suicide. All of the motorists are very respectful and everyone just gets along. It’s an awesome environment and a place where I feel very much at home.

While I was visiting I mentioned to Jim, that being that he’s in such a great location with plenty of room in the house that he should start charging people like me. Five months later and here we are having our first open house. Grant it only a handful of people showed up but these things take time and I’m actually shocked at how fast its moved already. We’ve gone from an idea, to a completely renovated basement complete with marketing materials and business plan in under half a year. Not bad.

Here are some before and after photos just to give you an idea of the amount of work that has been accomplished.


The Common Area Before



The Common Area After


Outside Before



Outdoor Patio After


Really, most of this is all due to Jim. I got swept away with film work and he and his wife Laura Lynn really got things moving.

So a bit more about this endeavor. The whole idea is for this to be a unique experience that caters to general outdoor adventurers, including cyclists, runners, hikers, kayaking, fishing etc… We are trying to relieve the stresses and problems that come with traveling by catering to your every need. As far as cycling is concerned I’ve got you covered. We have everything you need to get by. Spare tubes, cleaning and tool kits, lighting systems, extra helmets, bike stand, work area, and even a trainer for those rainy/snowy days, we’ve got in on lock.

We’ll also provide laundry services, meals, energy bars and drinks. We’ve got cable TV, Netflix, Wii, WiFi and a little office nook if you need to handle a little business. There’s also a fire pit out front for those chilly nights when you and your friends wanna hang and roast some marshmallows.

We still have some logistical things to lock down but it’s all coming together. We’re starting to get the word out there. We’ve got a website in the works, and I just created a facebook page today. Over the next few weeks I imagine I’m going to be going back and forth from Boone to Charleston on a viral grass-roots marketing campaign. I plan to hit every cycling, running, and outdoor shop that I can, and everything in between. If you know me, you can expect to be getting a call from me soon. I’m going to be mailing packets of cards and fliers out to everyone. I think word of mouth is going to be the most effective form of advertising, and I also think that once word gets out there, that it’s really going to take off. We already have plans to expand if it’s successful. I want to see this thing grow into a compound. I want dozens of people here. I’ve looked and looked and looked and I’ve yet to find anyone who is doing something even remotely similar to this.

Running and Cycling has become my life. If I had discovered this passion 10 years ago I most certainly would have attempted to turn pro, but maybe it took those ten years for this passion to develop. In any case I still have to be involved in this world and this seems like a great avenue to go down. It’s definitely been a big learning curve for me. I’m an art major, not a business man. But it’s all good experience and I am learning as I go. We all are actually.

I’ll be updating everyone on BBR’s progress over the coming weeks and months. We’re heading into the deep freeze so I don’t imagine too much to happen over the winter months but we shall see.

Whewwww….did you make it? Thanks for bearing with me and I really do appreciate you taking an interest and I would be most grateful for any assistance in spreading the word about BBR, or if you have any input or questions, both are certainly welcome!!!





~ by glennikin on October 18, 2010.

2 Responses to “Boone Bicycle Retreat”

  1. I’ve not met Josh, but that video will never get old.

    The renovations are awesome! I am excited for more updates!

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