DuWayne Brayton posted today about what a fucking pain in the ass it is for a well-trained repairperson to have to clean up after the fuck-ups of amateurs who get in over their heads. This got me reminiscing about hanging around in my buddy’s bike shop shooting the shit with him and his mechanic all afternoon every Saturday and Sunday.
Every fucking Saturday, there’d be a parade of mooks coming in and asking for some obscure part that you could just tell the motherfucker had no idea how to install correctly. Then each of these dumbasses would return for another part, and then another. We would all be taking bets on when they would bring the fucking bike in to get it fixed properly.
When the mook finally returned with the bike, the conversation would invariably start like this: “I’ve just about got this thing fixed, but I just need this one little bit of help. Do you have such-and-such tool?” The owner was a sarcastic former Euro-pro, and he would roll his eyes and say, “We do have that tool, but we don’t offer help. We do have a professional mechanic who can fix your bike. We charge for parts and time.”
There would then be three different possible outcomes: (1) The dude would be relieved and just turn the bike over. (2) The dude would sort of try to follow the bike back into the work area, as if it were going to be a collaborative effort, but would be physically cut off in no uncertain terms by my buddy (let’s just say he was never a great climber). (3) The dude would storm out in a huff.
The outcome #3 dudes always sheepishly returned on Sunday to turn the bike over for proper repair. And the shit that some of these assholes did to their bikes was horrifying, including totally stripping pedal/crank and bottom bracket threads because they had no concept of backwards threading.
I miss hanging out there.