Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bike Shop Tales: Sensations

Bike Shop Tales returns with a list of the sights, sounds, and smells of the old shop....

Many times when you hear folks talk about bike shops you hear about the sensations they experience when they are within the confines of those two wheeled temples of goodness. Things that stick in their minds years afterward. You know, like the stuff you think of when you go to an auto shop: Buzzing ratchets, clanging metallic sounds, and fumes of death. Like that- only better

My two kids reminded me of that when I brought home a new pair of tires in my messenger bag the other day. "Whoa Dad! That smells funny!" I suppose it did to them. I told them that a lot of people actually like that smell. It reminds them of bicycles. Bicycles remind them of childhood. And well......we could go a long way with that thought!

I'll stay on task here though. Here are some random sensations I think of when I think "bicycle shop". Maybe you can think of others....

Chain lube: Ahh! I will always remember my first whiff of Tri-Flow. Bananas! Or.....er.....something fruity. Whatever that smell is, it is certainly a very recognizable smell. It reminds me of bicycles. 

Tune ups: I guess one of the earliest sounds that caught my attention was the click and whir of a tune up going on. Snick, snick, snick, snick, snick, snick, snick, whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! At least that's what it sounded like in the early 90's! (Now you would have to add three more "snicks"!)

Park Repair Stands: Who, in their right mind, would not be fascinated by their first sight of a Park repair stand? I know I still am fascinated by how it works. (You'd think I'd be waaaay over that by now!) I was reminded of how captivating one of these clamp mechanisms are when my son started noticing them in my basement shop. Yep! I agreed. They are pretty awesome. 

Spokes: Yeah, spokes! I am constantly amazed by the simplicity and performance of a "j" bend spoke. The way you can lace up several of these between a rim and a hub, and have them work under huge amounts of stress and wild changes in forces exerted upon them. Heck! It's just a wire, but it is soooo much more when it is made into part of a wheel. Amazing, I say.

And there are more things, but I leave it up to you to use your own imagery. Your own remembrances.

Next week, more Bike Shop Tales..........

1 comment:

Captain Bob said...

I always love the gear that I see in a shop. And the other customers sharing stories with shop employees. Good stuff I think. There's a shop in NE iowa that has an old couch and coffee table right near the repair shop. I can imagine sitting there all day long just shooting the breeze.