Last year when I signed up for Bikeworks’ ABC class, little did I know that my interest in bikes would snowball to such enthusiastic levels. It’s just that I finally found a hobby whose depth/breadth was matched by its accessibility. That surprised me. Somehow after riding bikes for 20 years in Seattle, I had the mistaken impression that the world of bike mechanics was exclusive and not open to novices. At Bikeworks, I found the opposite. Each time I have attended one of their Volunteer Repair Parties, I am reminded of how fun it can be to hang out with fellow introverts working toward a common cause.
The goal that I formulated at the end of the ABC class was this: I would like to learn how to fix/customize/build bikes from the ground up. Even just 10 months later, I do feel like this is feasible. There’s still tons to learn, but if I wanted to, I could take a bike frame and build it up, either with new parts or used ones from the bin. Wheel building skills are an unexpected bonus. Through working with Donald in the Bikeworks warehouse every Sunday for the past month or two, I am gaining an understanding of what it means to be a Bike Artist. To see the potential in the scraps, and to build a useful/beautiful machine that never existed before.
I also just finished my first restoration project that didn’t rely heavily on other mechanics. I’ll post about it soon.