Yesterday, I had one of those experiences that make the job of being a bicycle mechanic fun. It was a freakishly lovely day for January... a high in the 70s and sunny. The local rail trail was apparently amazingly busy, and our shop was hopping a good part of the day. For me personally, the best part was when a gentleman came in to pick up his Christmas present... an old Bianchi Grizzly mountain bike that he has owned since the mid 90s. I should explain... before Christmas, his mom brought that bike and his brother's virtually identical bike in to have them fixed up and cleaned up as a gift. It seems the bikes had sat neglected for quite some time... life got busy for the sons, and riding fell by the wayside. One son, the one who came in yesterday, had started talking about riding again.... and thus the idea was born.
So yesterday he came and picked up the bike. And his happiness at seeing an "old friend", looking clean and shiny again, and the smile on his face when he came back in after taking it for a quick test ride... well, those are the things that make my day. All my life, I've loved helping people discover, or rediscover, the joy of cycling... and working in a shop, I get to participate in that every day. But it's the folks who haven't ridden in years... maybe since they were a little kid... and who say "you know, I think I'd like to start riding a bike again"... that bring me the greatest joy, I think. So if you haven't ridden a bike in years, do us both a favor... try it!