A week of recklessness.

I nearly made a trip-to-the-hospital mistake at work on Tuesday. I was checking the chain tension on a fixie by springboarding my fingertips on the top as I turned the crank. As my fingers were bouncing off the chain, the tip of my thumb began to get sucked in. I reflexively jerked back my hand before the drivetrain trapped it.

A fixie differs from a single speed in that the cog is tied to the motion of the pedals. Single speed bikes have a freewheel that allows you to coast downhill without pedalling like the devil to keep up with the spinning rear wheel. Ergo, the force generated by the spinning rear wheel of a fixie is strong enough to gobble up a digit or two.

I told a co-worker about the accident that almost was, and his response was: “Oh, yeah, that would have been really bad. People lose their fingers. There’s a website featuring photos of mangled mitts that were fed through the drivetrain.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

I don’t touch fixies often (they’re not as popular in Victoria as in Montréal), so I had let my guard down.

Yann says his shoelaces once got sucked into the drivetrain while riding a fixie: “My shoelaces broke, but my foot turned blue.”

Then, Wednesday morning, on my way to work, I nearly found myself in a visit-with-the-police situation.

Continue reading “A week of recklessness.”

I’m an approachable snob.

My 2nd week back at work is done with. It’s gotten easier being on my feet all day, but as apparent from my last two posts, returning to the public eye has been agonizing. After a year of getting away with being a plainclothes employee, I’ve been ordered to wear the work-issued tee. I don’t have any complaints about the tee itself: it’s tasteful, but I do not like that it makes me more approachable. I haven’t been this unapproachable, mentally, in years. Yann is the only person who I can comfortably make eye contact with right now.

Yet, I also suggested that Yann use his sewing machine to make alterations to the t-shirt, making it smaller every week so that it’ll look like all the training I’ve been doing at home has paid off.

Do I want attention or not?

Imagine customers coming into the bike shop and seeing us in “work-issued” crop tops? But I jest. I still dream of getting a tinted full-face shield.

Continue reading “I’m an approachable snob.”

Buy A Bike.

Certainly, a solid bit of advice, though more complicated than taking your credit card to a bike shop.

I’ve made a video that I think would’ve helped me in my pre-mechanic/pre-bike ownership days.

Despite being 15 minutes long, I’ve actually only shared the basics. I don’t think anyone new to cycling wants to watch an hour-long video of me blabbing about the fine points of bikes. Besides, I’d rather make separate videos discussing these points in detail.

Please note that I’m Canadian, therefore when prices are mentioned, I’m referring to our rainbow Canadian currency. A fellow deaf bike mechanic based in London, UK–and superfriend–Ed, has slightly different opinions on bikes as the standards are different over there.

Continue reading “Buy A Bike.”

I have a YouTube channel now?

If you think only important news should be captioned, it means the deaf community will only have access to the depressing stuff. Right after I uploaded the previous post, I started on a new post explaining how I came to move out of the parents’ place at 17.

Halfway through the post, I thought, “This is pretty melancholy so far. Do I want to post something like this immediately after writing about my inaccessibility woes?”

So, I ditched that post and instead put my energy into creating accessible content for YouTube.

Presenting…

Continue reading “I have a YouTube channel now?”

In case you missed it.

The other day, someone came into the bike shop for a hub repack. This is when we remove the axle and replace the bearings (either loose or sealed). What are loose or sealed bearings, you might be wondering?

It doesn’t matter.

As the guy handed over his wheel to Yann, he mumbled something about how he would have done it himself. Yann was technically still on his break, so the job was passed on to me. 

Continue reading “In case you missed it.”