Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Bike Shop Tales: Gettin' It Done

It amazed me what we could get done in a day of slingin' wrenches. And when I went to my next shop job, I was amazed at how much they hadn't been getting done...........

At Advantage Cyclery, back in the day, we were located just off a major trail head for the paved trails and one of the main ways folks got out to the dirt trails started right down the corner from us. So we had a lot of bicyclists passing by every day.

That meant that on top of our daily scheduled work, we had plenty of walk-ins. Flat tires, derailluer adjustments, destroyed forks! It was all part and parcel of being in the shop there. Added on to this was the nearly constant selling of bicycles during the season, and installing accessories was a never ending thing, or so it seemed to me. Taking care of three things at once became second nature at times. It could really get wild back there in the shop!

Normally we would have about three guys on duty and maybe up to three more guys building bicycles at the height of the season. Sometimes it would only be myself, but the jobs never quit coming in from late February through September. Then October was the drop off month, and if we got the mailman in the door in November it was an amazing day! Feast or famine!

The thing was, I was always amazed at how much we could get done in a day. 20 repair jobs that were scheduled, probably that many walk-ins or more a day, and accessory installations on top of that. Yeah, it may not sound like a lot to some shop rats, but we were not sitting down much-if at all, all summer long.

Then I had my hiatus working on cars, which was no picnic. We busted tail doing that all day, and we fixed cars like I used to fix bicycles- by the tens of units per day. After I got out of that four man operation, I went to my present shop job. Previous to my hiring, they had five mechanics on the schedule. Five!

Okay, imagine this: Five mechanics on the schedule, and they did maybe six to seven scheduled jobs a day, plus a minute amount of walk-ins, if any at all, (because that shop isn't anywhere near a trail, or place people normally ride), and far less accessory installations were going on. I mean, I was floored! What did these guys do? Act like they wereon vacation while getting paid at work?

Well, I was there through my first winter, after having gotten hired on in September, and that spring I looked at the other guy they hung on to for the winter and said, we ain't doing just six jobs a day, that's stupid!" He agreed, and we then set out to destroy as many repair jobs as we could.

Guess what? They never had five mechanics after that. Never.

I don't mean to brag, but we "get er dun" now days! Just like the old days.

More "Bike Shop Tales" coming next week...........

1 comment:

mw said...

one of my favorite bike shop projects was slamming together boxed bikes with 2 dudes...we could get it down to 10-12minutes.