Tip Your Bike Mechanic
Some people have the time and the know-how and the tools and the, well, time to wrench on their own bikes. Others, like me, are hacks and can find neither the time, nor keep up with the tools needed to perform even some of the simplest maintenance, and therefore must rely on the local bike shop to handle the upkeep of their whips. This is a good thing, because without the local bike shop we would be hard pressed to manage even some of the simple fixes like flats or quieting that squeaky chain and replacing holey socks, or purchasing the always mandatory full-fingered gloves for some dirt riding after the trusty yellow lab has gotten a bit aggressive on the left one and left you with, well, one glove.
It has taken some time and more than a few shops for me to find the right LBS. But find it I did. And the guys in the back with the wrenches have been a godsend for me. Like I mentioned, with the constant innovation in the bicycle industry, it has been difficult for me to buy the tools necessary to even maintain a bottom bracket or remove a cassette. Plus, if we looked closely at my work schedule, my family schedule, the time I spend coaching select travel softball, not to mention finding time to ride, and we have precious little time left for me to traipse back-and-forth to the shop and buy the needed tools and then go home and wrench and likely jack up whatever was wrong even more. It honestly just makes more sense for me to drop off my whip and let the pros work on it. And now, since the cats at my shop know me, and I tend to treat the over 21 types to a six pack here and there, I find myself having to drop my bike off less and less. If the fix is quick and simple and they have the parts on hand, these fine fellows and gals will drop what they are doing and take care of me on the spot. Now this does not mean you should expect a discount, in cash. No, no. The discount you receive is time, time that your whip does not spend collecting dust at the shop and instead shedding it under your rear on the local roads or trails.
So there I was yesterday … looking at my two busted whips and one good one … and I decided to take the two in dire need of some tender loving care to the local bike shop. I was not expecting any on the spot fixes, what with what was needed, and I did not get any. What I got was a smile, a how you doin’, a what can we do for you, and a handshake telling me that my rides will be tight and ready to go in 36 hours. No fuss, no muss. I look forward to picking the kids up from camp and handing off a little extra thank you for the pros at the local bike shop that take care of me, my kids, my whips. Thanks, gang. You deserve a cold one.