Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gettin' Slammed

It was inevitable with the fine weather that things would get very busy at BikeWorks South.  After spending the winter weekends puttering around the shop in a relaxed manner, I knew it would only be a matter of time before things got crazy at our community bike shop.
Opening the gate at ten to one, there was already a couple of people lined up waiting to come in and when we entered the shop, it looked like a bomb had gone off inside.  Frayed shifter and brake cables were lying on the floor, miscellaneous parts were strewn across the workbenches and bikes in various stages of repair were scattered about the premises.  This was a sure indication that the proceeding day (Saturday) had been very busy and that a lot of people who couldn't get in would be here today.
Not quite this bad
The two of us who were there to open the shop as mechanics spent a moment congratulating ourselves for having won awards at the volunteer appreciation party held just last week.  My associate was presented an award for being the most improved mechanic and as a jest I received an award for having put the wrong sign out in the alley the most times. (It does tend to keep the crowds down).

Within an hour, all of the twelve repair stands were taken, two different families with young children were  repairing miniature bikes on the floor of the shop with the young children having a whale of a time running around the shop and fooling with the compressed air hose, ringing bike bells seeing just how far an inner tube could be stretched.

Good times
For some reason the shop had a high number of patrons whose bikes needed a major overhaul.  Repairs that would take longer than the four hours the shop would be open.  In reality we should have told one guy that his bike would be better off in our scrap pile since there wasn't a part that didn't need attention.  Instead, we took turns fixing the missing spokes from his rear wheel or installing brake cables or trying to true his wheels.  By the end of the shift, everyone in the shop had had a crack at helping the helpless guy.  One of the mechanics told him that after four hours of repairs his bike was not rideable and yet I'm sure I saw him mount the bike when he reached a nearby alley.

There will come a time this summer when the majority of bikes are fixed and a large number of our patrons will be out on the roads and trails enjoying the warm weather and the ideal cycling conditions. Those of us left behind in the shop will have plenty of time to appreciate the opportunity to put away all the tools, straighten up the shop and maybe even have the time to play harmless pranks like putting out the wrong sign in the alley.

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