Thursday, July 29, 2010

Crisis? What Crisis?

Something super-terrible happened to me last week. Brace yourself: The non-drive side crank arm on the dog bike started to loosen up. So I tried to tighten the nut on the axle and stripped the threads. HOE. LEE. SHIT. Fish need water less than me 'n my dog need this bike.

I hyperventilated all the hell out for what seemed like forever but was probably just a few seconds, and then I got seriously pissed and there was denial and despair in there somewhere too. All the classic stages. Finally I hit the warm glowey realization that if ever there was a golden opportunity to visit Pedals2People, this was it.

It was last Saturday and I had a lot of krap I needed to get done, but nothing was even close to being as important as this, so I shit-canned it all and headed down to P2P. Once inside, I met up with Ryan at the counter and told him my sad story and how I was all desperate for shop time and parts. His enthusiasm took me by surprise and turned out to be the harbinger for a fab experience over the next couple of hours.

He set me up with a stand and got busy lining up tools and showing me how.

There was lots going on, so just as soon as he was done explaining, he evaporated off my work stand and condensed on somebody else's. Modern vernacular would call it multi-tasking, I suppose, but our lexicon is shallow and media-driven and what was happening there was honed and artistic and a few levels higher and makes that term look juvenile. I'm not going all open-mouth on you, but it was pretty damned amazing.

Krappy, worn-out crank arm.

BB parts laid out for analysis, cleaning, replacement, re-installation.

Off the stand, problem solved. Damn, that feels good.

Right is now black and left is now silver, so very cool. I have colors for my feet and that should finally put an end to me riding my bike backwards.

Dog hardware mounted back up. Beautiful to behold.

It's cool that my bike is fixed and all, but that's not the story. The story is what it was like to hang out at P2P for a coupla hours and soak in what's going on there. I don't know anything firsthand about the history of P2P, but I've read some shit and I know some of the people behind it and what integrity and passion they have and I think it has evolved, through some tremendous energy (and certainly the trauma associated with breaking new ground), from what it was originally intended to be into something way different, but far more useful and engaging to our cycling community. It's a damn bike factory that is super-efficient and super-frugal about getting good people who want to ride, and their broken-down bikes, back on the road. There's other stuff going on too, but that't the theme that poked me in the chest.

So like I said, I hardly know anything, but what I do know is that you need to get your ass down there and check it out. Don't just "stop by", though. I've done that before. Bring some interactive hardware and stay a while. I think you'll be amazed at what you see.

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