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.”

Oh, the ways you’ll hurt yourself!

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!”

Exposed specs.

Don’t print the fucking specs right on the top tube.

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Would you wear a t-shirt with the tag info printed on the front?

100% cotton
Size Small
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.