BY SALLY GRACIE
Bill and Joni Miller are some of the nicest, down-home people to migrate to Twisp in recent years. Their local business, Community Bicycle Services, has a stall at the Farmers Market. There, Bill picks up five bikes or so each week and takes them home for repair and to return the following Saturday. “I’m not in this to make money,” Bill says. “I’m retired.”
Missing their trips to the valley for several years, the Millers returned for good five years ago and found a place out on Twisp River road. Before they came here, he and Joni sold their “brick and mortar store,” a bike shop on the west side that they’d run for 28 years. Their new business has no walls and will travel.
Bill can be kind of wonky about his “passion” for bicycles, perhaps because of his education. Before and after a stint in the U.S. Navy, Bill worked to complete a degree in bio-engineering. Later he completed an advanced degree in human physiology, which he says would now be called “exercise physiology.”
Ask Bill about bike technology, and he’ll tell you that “the bicycle is the most efficient mechanism man’s come up with to move the human body from Point A to Point B.” Eventually, you will come to understand that he’s right!
He and Joni both worked for an outfit called Physiometrics in California, where among other things they tested space suits for astronauts. In the early 1970s, a company rep for Schwinn Bicycles coaxed Bill and Joni into relocating to Chicago, where he worked on early models of ergometric exercise bikes, the kind used at Winthrop Physical Therapy. He also raced on the Schwinn team.
Since then, he and Joni efficiently moved their bodies from Canada to Mexico on a tandem bike in the late 1970s. They have also explored France and Spain on bikes.
Bill and Joni plan a series of classes for bicyclists in the valley. His sense of humor is evident in the series title: “Velosophy Or Smart People Ride Bikes.”
“Bike Upkeep: How to Keep Your Bike Out of the Bike Shop” will probably be the first class. He’s working out times and fees now. Others will cover topics such as fitting your bike to your body, clothing for comfortable riding and bike riding techniques and etiquette. Look for posters and ads on KTRT. Or reach Joni and Bill at 997-2636 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If it has wheels …
Bill has volunteered his services as a wheelchair repairman gratis to seniors through the Senior Center. Whether you have a bike or not, stop by their market booth to say hello. You’ll find the Millers a delightful couple.
Preview and buy the special books from Bill and Barbara Biddle’s library at the Twisp Library from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday (May 23). The annual Memorial Day Book Sale is Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the gym at the Community Center.