Attempting to organize the hundreds of pictures I've apparently taken in the past year of all things bike, I realized that this time last year, I hardly knew anything about bikes.
It's weird...has it really only been a year? The tractorino's official [Boston] birthday is January 7, 2008. Before that, the last bike I rode was [according to my sister, because I don't remember] a Giant mountain bike and I was probably 12. I barely knew how to lube my chain, much less tension a chain or fix a flat last year. I can't believe I just admitted that.
So forgive me if I didn't know the who's who of bike mechanics and shop employees until this year. Luck decided to stop backstabbing me and leaving me when I needed her most when I became a regular at IBC and met Erich and the rest of my IBC peeps. I learned a little more about bikes, started making hats, and got lucky again with Kip, Jason, Zack, Pete, Tom and everyone at Cambridge.
I still don't know the official who's who of Boston cyclists, but I do know a few mechanics who are known around town as some of the best.
Maybe I'm hitting a lucky streak, but when I dropped in to
buy something blatantly hang out, one of Boston's reputed best tweaked a few things on my bike. It progressed from the usual: I walk in during a lapse in the busy day, prop my bike up somewhere, and while I'm talking to a friend, someone much taller than me decides to hop on my mini bike and ride it around the shop.
This time it was Tom. Tom, who does no handed skids in the shop while wearing one of my hats. Tom, whose beater bike is a stickered Bareknuckle with cruiser bars and a basket in the front [I wanted to kill him out of pure jealousy when I saw it, even if I'll never fit on one of those frames]. Tom, who, like Erich, is known as one of the best mechanics in Boston.
Almost instantly, my bike was put in a stand. My impossible front brake [which was being a little sticky] got adjusted ever so slightly, and my baggy chain tensioned. Meanwhile, I went into paparazzi mode.
I got so excited I started taking pictures of everyone, including Zack and his hair.
And if the hairstyles of the CB staff aren't enough incentive to stop by the shop, my front brake came out working, and I can now ride confident that my chain won't hop off my chainring and try to kill me. Sure, those aren't terribly complex tasks, but it's in doing the simpler things where you see the difference between "good" and "okay." Or, at least in my case, the difference between "good" and "total suck/fail."
I heart you guys. For serious.