Boys, Beer and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance


Duckman’s Bicycle University
“How to change Road Surly to Cross Surly”
 
Liberation.  That’s what I’m striving for at this very moment.  I want to be liberated from the boys.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my guy friends and have a blast riding with them…I just don’t want to depend on them for ANYTHING.  I want to be a tough chick.
 
I started my 3rd job this weekend at Piney Flats Bicycle Shop (insert loud “whoop!” and fist pump here).  I was beyond excited to join a team of wonderful dudes and learn more about my favorite thing ever…bikes.  I never claimed to know much about them, but I really like pedaling, so I figured I could at least bring my bike love to the table.  I took both of my babies in for a tuneup and immediately caught a bunch of ish from the guys.  “When’s the last time you cleaned your bike?”  “Do you not maintenance these things?”  “Don’t you work at a bike shop?!”  Apparently my sub par cleaning and lack of mechanical knowledge made my bikes look like a dumpster find.  Well, teach me how to do it, dammit!
 
Beep beep!  Here comes the bus and it’s taking my ass to school!
 
Duckman happily agreed to start Bike U in our garage last night.  Between EMS and the shop, I have successfully put in 98 hours of work this week.  Last thing I wanted to do was more work but most of my energy goes into my riding and I need to focus on making things function properly.  Soooo, we cracked open some beers and got down to business…
Beer cage?
 
The last time I changed a bike tube was around 2006 when I had my little Cannondale.  I’ve been lucky thus far and haven’t had any serious mechanical troubles since getting the Scott Comp and Surly Crosscheck earlier this year.  My luck is going to change eventually and I’ll have to man up and fix my shizzle.  It took me a bit to remember how to do it, but I’m a quick learner and figured it out.  I learned about sticker placement of the tires and traditions that make for good reading on Velominati.com
 
And I now have a CROSS bike.  Magic….
 
Speaking of bikes…
Yesterday was a very, VERY busy day in the bike shop.  I knew things could get crazy on a Saturday but I never realized how much business Piney does when everyone is off work.  I buzzed around the shop like crazy person, trying to make sure everyone was getting what they needed.  Since my knowledge is limited, I had to continuously ask the boys questions throughout the day.  God bless ’em…they were patient and helped me out A LOT.  I enjoyed talking to people who share my love of two wheels and helping some make their very first bike purchase. 
 
A little 60+ year old lady came into the shop with an old bike and a desire to ride.  She said most of the places she called gave her the cold shoulder and commented on how old and crusty her department store bike was.  She commented on how polite and helpful I was both on the phone and in the shop.  Why the heck would I be disrespectful?  This lady only wanted one thing…to ride her bike.  It shouldn’t matter if you have a $10,000 carbon racing bike or a $10 garage sale find.  We all have the same goal…to pedal.  What makes me better than her?  Absolutely nothing.  She hadn’t been on a bike in nearly 40 years.  I was STOKED for her.
 
Hopefully these fellas will teach me a thing or two about bicycle maintenance and I’ll be able to rely on myself more.  This must be how women felt when they were finally given the right to vote.  Liberated and ready to raise hell! 
 
I like boys.  I like beer.  And together, they will teach me the art of bicycle maintenance. 😉
 
I’m thinking “Gee, I hope I can be as awesome as Kit.”
 
 
 
 
 

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