Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Seek of Vinter"

Oh man, is this winter ever going to end? Minus 20 temps and blowing snow. Today I'm at Bikeworks and the only phone call was someone inquiring if we had refurbished bikes for sale. But the person didn't want to come in right now to pick one out (too wintery)?
I took apart one bike (a Univega) and threw most of the parts away into the metal recycle bin. Keith ( suggested that we keep the frame as it could be made up into a fine bike. Apparently, a Univega is just below a Miyata in quality. Who knew?

Bikeworks is a volunteer run community bike shop whose aim is to promote safe cycling in our fair city. I volunteer here as a mechanic and as such, the idea is to teach people how to fix their bike rather than fix it for them (as a for profit bike shop would do). When it gets incredibly busy here during cycling season, the temptation is to do the work for the person as it would be faster than teaching them how to do it. It can be stressful only because you want to help everyone that you possibly can during your 4 hour shift. You can't walk away from a bike to get a part or a tool without someone accosting you with a question or needing some advice.

So to sit up here in the loft where the office is and be working on this blog, chatting with Alex and Anna (two employees) and watching Keith clean his bike is a rare opportunity to volunteer in a relaxed fashion and one that I'm enjoying knowing that in only a month or so, when the majority of the snow has begun to melt that on the Sundays when I volunteer, it'll be 4 hours of pandemonium and then looking at all the money in my pockets and trying to decide if the 20 dollar bill was for a membership or for shop time. And the 2 five dollar bills - were they for the new chain I sold or were they for the knobby tire that that university student needed? What about the loose change - what was that for?  Inevitably when I get home I find I still have a number eight wrench in one of my rear overall pockets that will have to be returned ASAP.

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