Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Help Wanted

Wanted: Bicycle Mechanic. Must have spent the last three decades working for crap money, keeping up with the endless flow of weird mechanical bullshit spewed out by the bike industry. The ideal candidate will be able to remember basic specifications of bikes and parts from the 1970s to the near future and be able to analyze and troubleshoot bizarre new designs on sight.

Work load will vary from nonexistent to ridiculous within minutes.

Applicant must be a highly intelligent, creative problem solver who is also enough of an idiot to get stuck in this business.

Pay somewhat exceeds minimum wage.

Apply today!


Papa Bear said...

Ohh, ohh, I want it! Me, pick me!

Steve A said...

Isn't that a better deal than what a lot of owners of small shops get?

cafiend said...

Owner or employee, the problem is that true mastery takes years of experience most people can't afford to acquire. That makes it very hard to get anyone who can really help.

The ups and downs of seasonal cash flow make it impossible to maintain a staff over the long term. The business can be extremely frustrating, even to people who consider themselves cycling enthusiasts. And not everyone who thinks they understand the mechanical side really does. If you constantly have to recheck other people's work in detail, you might as well do it yourself or quit caring how it is done. The customer either has to wait while one over-burdened tech gets to it or accept something done a little faster and a lot less reliably.

The mechanic who has to keep stopping to check other people's work gets slowed down and may make mistakes because of the distraction.

I'm glad I can make myself useful. I also know that I evolved through peculiar circumstances. Most people with the necessary qualities to function well as shop mechanics find better things to do with their lives and rush off to do them. But someone has to fix bikes, because people sure keep breaking them.

RANTWICK said...

I thank god for people like you. A single reliable go-to guy is priceless. I don't care what keeps you there, just don't leave.

Ben said...

I sit at a desk all day. Sometimes I fantasize about taking this job you've posted. Working with the hands and with metal/mechanical objects seems really refreshing.

Anonymous said...

I just wonder why peopel do not learn how to fix theyr own bikes. Around here you wait for six to eight weeks to have a bike repaired in the spring.

cafiend said...

Anonymous, I learned to fix my own bike because I wanted to avoid having to depend on bike shops. I agree that it makes sense. I have discovered that many people don't find it as easy as I do to figure out how things work and keep them adjusted.

Modern tricky-dicky shifting and exotic materials demand more attention than the really simple stuff on which I started. That can lead people into expensive mistakes. We had a couple of customers completely destroy STI road shifters when they tried to change a shift cable. Those same shifters can be ruined by broken strands of a frayed shift cable if it does not get changed soon enough. You never have that problem with friction shifters or the earlier simple indexed shifters. And so on. Every part of the bike has its important details to remember.