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.”
I know, you didn’t think you’d get any useful information out of reading my blog but, here goes: bicycles are for riding, not locking up outside.
On occasion, customers will come into the bike shop to have a stuck u-lock removed. Every time, we’ve been successful in getting it off, either with bolt cutters or with the angle grinder.
Today, a customer came in with a Kryptonite Evolution u-lock stuck to his bike frame. The u-lock wasn’t skewered through the rear wheel, which made the request to have it cut off not suspicious.
Yann agreed to do it: he had never cut through a Kryptonite brand u-lock and wanted to try. It’s supposedly one of the more secure u-locks on the market.
“If this takes more than fifteen minutes, we’ll have to charge you.”
Continue reading “PSA.”
After being reunited with my phone after it spent the night in a Park Tool caliper case at work, I slipped it in my jersey pocket and prepared my bike for a long ride. Monday was a civic holiday: BC day. It was fitting that I had the day off while Yann, a Québecois, had to work.
It was going to be a warm day, so before leaving, I made sure to freshen the cats’ water dish. I waved goodbye to Bubble who was tucked into a cat loaf on the couch. Enfoiré, our round son, was neither on the couch nor in the cat tree. I checked the bed: not there. On the fridge with his front paws hanging over the freezer door? Nope. Had he slipped into the washroom without me noticing and was now gnawing on the plastic shower curtain? No.
In under 24 hours, I had lost my phone AND eighteen-pound cat!
Continue reading “Stealthy, like a fat cat.”
I am now two weeks into my office job, and it’s already a pain in the neck. This can be attributed to a combination not having set up my workspace correctly and chronic neck pain. Although they are fine now, my wrists are also prone to tendinitis flare-ups. Strangely, these flare-ups are more likely to be triggered by the gentle motions of typing on a keyboard rather than by the brute force sometimes required in removing stuck bike components at my regular job.
Yes, I am excellent at injuring myself doing the most delicate tasks.
Continue reading “Oh, the ways you’ll hurt yourself!”
On Sunday, I had the urge to use the Reseau Vert path, so that I could pass by my favourite abandoned garbage incinerator on my bike. This is a car-free gravel path frequented by joggers, cyclists, and the occasional slowpoke pedestrian.
It does not need to be said that you are to stay on the right side of the path, as you would on the roads. Unless you are British, Australian, Cyprian or from any other country that drives on the left. No matter where you are from, if you are under 10 years old, then your parents definitely should have mentioned this to you.
Continue reading “I don’t want to hurt your kid.”
Don’t print the fucking specs right on the top tube.
Would you wear a t-shirt with the tag info printed on the front?
Made in Czechslovakia
Use for: Torso
…because I kind of think it would be mildly hilarious. Just a trifle. Also, I really need new t-shirts.
This is an actual quote by Yann who has been a bike mechanic for so long, he’s forgotten what his hair feels like when not caked in bike grease. He has forgotten that most people barely know how many wheels their bike has.
Did you know that the tire size, 700c is the same as 622mm? 3 years ago, I didn’t. I remember my cluelessness very well. While Yann’s the all-knowing bike wizard, I’m the empathetic mechanic.
When I made my very first bike purchase 10 years ago, I had access to a special deal that allowed me to buy any bike from a certain brand at wholesale price. At the time, I thought $500 was a considerable amount for a bike; after all, there were box stores retailing bikes for under $200.
After 3 years of working in a bike shop, seeing and touching hundreds of different bikes, new and used, I can say with confidence that one should not consider buying a bike that retails for $500 or less. A literal steaming pile of shit would be easier to deal with.
Continue reading ““Why can’t people just buy nice bikes?!””