Our State: Celebrating North Carolina


JOEL HONORATE LUGS A THREE-foot square cardboard box through the front door of South Main Cycles in Belmont and scans the shop for the manager. The worn wood floors are uneven, and sprinkles of old coal dust still drift down from the rafters sometimes. But the interior has been given a modern renovation: Cycling gear adorns the walls, bike stands sit behind two digital registers, and two ceiling fans revolve above the workspace, their quiet whir mingling with the clicking of gears on a bike. A train clanks by on nearby tracks, adding to this symphony of rotating machinery.

The cardboard box is filled with the rusted pieces of a dilapidated, 65-year-old bicycle once owned by Joel’s late grandfather — junk to some, but priceless to Joel. The shop’s manager, Mills Davis, opens the box and marvels at the careful

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