Peter Limmer & Sons: Bootmakers

Last weekend, after the Wildman Biathlon, Debbie and I stopped at Peter Limmer & Sons in Intervale, New Hampshire. It had been a few years since I stopped at Limmer, but I wanted to drop off my boots for a simple refinishing.

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I got my custom “Limmer’s” 15 years ago in 2002 after waiting four years. The current backlog is shorter, but at the time, output was lower following an injury that Peter suffered while racing a dragster snowmobile. I remember the wait well because I mailed my $35 deposit (it’s now $50) during one Winter Olympics, and received my boot shipment during another. Peter, Jr. the proprietor, master bookmaker/shoemaker, and 40+ year veteran of the company, was the only one at the shop late on Saturday afternoon.

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I showed him my boots and he commented that they didn’t need refinishing. They were in great shape. In recent years, I have only worn them for trail work and bumming around. They are classic Tyrolean style boots, made with thick leather uppers, a heavy last, and rugged Vibram soles. These aren’t trail running shoes! On one of the boots, a gap had formed between the tread and the sole. He said it wouldn’t take long to repair it and suggested that Debbie and I go into North Conway, walk around a bit, and come back in an hour before he closed up for the day. He said they would be ready.

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We took his suggestion, left the boots, and went in to town. I wrote my Wildman blog post near the bar at Flatbread, and Debbie did some shopping. I returned to Limmer just before five to pickup the boots. Peter and I had a great chat. We talked about boots, family business, Horst Engineering, our mutual love of the White Mountains, aluminum casting, motorcycles, precision machining, succession, custom bicycles, and a whole host of other interesting topics.

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It was a great conversation. I bought a pair of new leather laces for $7.50 before departing with my newly repaired boots, probably good for another 15 years. I have a real appreciation for craftsmen like Peter, and my uncle Steven, and my grandfather, Harry (Horst). Peter’s father, Peter, Sr. started the business in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, before moving to New Hampshire in 1950. Like my grandfather, Peter, Sr.’s father came from Germany. Peter, Jr. learned his trade from his father like my uncle learned his trade from my grandfather. Peter’s grandfather was a master shoemaker in the Bavarian Alps, whereas my grandfather was a mechanical engineer and toolmaker from Bad Liebenstein.

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It’s great to see how stuff is made. Our country has to retain these skills. When you read a story like this, you realize that my boots are far more than walking shoes.

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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