Tuesday, July 22, 2008

bike shop boys

there is a reason I go to the bike shop.

I had a minor crash sunday, which scraped some skin, drew blood, made an ugly bruise on my thigh, but most importantly, bent my left handlebar. my bike was still rideable, and I didn't detect any significant problems. but I knew I needed help getting the handlebar straightened out.
the guy I was riding with said, 'I have a tool back home, I can do that for you . . .' and then another male friend gave me grief for taking it to the bike shop yesterday ('you need some tools, need to do that stuff yourself').
well, I have come a long way, baby, and there are quite a few things I can do to help keep my bike riding smoothly. I can change tubes and tires, I can use my hex wrenches for all sorts of water-bottle-cage, saddle, and wedge-pack adjustments, I can degrease and lube the chain, I can even do minor adjustments on my brakes. (I can hear you men out there laughing at the minuteness of my victories.)
but quite a few things are beyond my grasp, and to be honest, I'd rather admit my ignorance and ineptitude than perform inaccurate diagnoses and treatment plans.
thus my tentative friendship with the bike shop boys. they intimidate me, and I blush more in that shop than in any other environment, but they are my idols.
pete (whose name has been changed to protect him from being inundated by others like me), is my favorite. he treats me kindly, calls me by name, and always undercharges me. who knows what he really thinks of me (I can only imagine the backroom conversations these guys have), but it doesn't matter because he's always kind and helpful to my face.
today he straightened out my handlebar, changed the attached cable that had been damaged, and returned it to me with a smile and an insignificant bill.
thank God for bike shop boys.

and did I mention that he rides past my house each morning on the way to work, and on these hot summer days he rides without a shirt?

thank God for bike shop boys.

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