Spring Bike Maintenance

Saturday morning started off brisk – minus 7 degrees, plus probably something of a windchill, but the sun was out and the ale was so blue and so beautiful. I set off from home with the two pairs of Jagwire brake pads I bought earlier in the week. The destination: bikeSauce. The mission: replace the break pads, brake cables and housing.

The ride was pleasant. The streets were pretty quiet. A lot of potholes but almost all the ice banks had gone. Still a lot of riders haven’t been tempted to get their bikes on the road – so there was still some of the novelty and acknowledgment of passing other cyclists on the route.

I got into bikeSauce just before 12.30pm. Jessie was there with a couple of people in the shop. The man was cashing out, while the woman – her name was Ashley – had her yellow mountain bike on the stand and a bottom bracket challenge in her hands.

I put the Devinci up on the stand and made a cup of tea. A man and his son turned up – they were looking for a road bike for the teenage son – maybe so he could make a trip and tour around Niagara with some friends. Are you sure you need a road bike? was the general gist. It seemed he was set on that so there was the usual suggestions – try another day, check out Craigslist, consider buying a new bike and here are some suggested bikes and local bike shops.

Then with tea drunk and conversation over, there were a couple of bikes sitting out front with Ready to Test Ride labels taped onto the saddles. Might as well test these out, I said to Jessie. I was heading for the door with the Trek City hybrid and pass Sam on the way in. – Going for a test ride. – Enjoy

The Trek passed and Sam and I came up with a price – $120 – priced to sell. I took the Giant Mountain bike out but the saddle was too low so I came pack within a minute. Not sure about the shifting I said. You take it out. Sam raised the saddle and went out with it for a couple of minutes. It came back a fail – lots of skipping and the chain dropped he said. I filled out the comments in the checklist and Sam took it back down to the basement.

Now it was time to work on my own bike. The rear cables and housing hadn’t been changed for three years and there wasn’t a rush this Saturday afternoon. Someone put on some tunes, Jessie said so I went up to the computer and put on She Bangs The Druns. It sounded very springlike. The Stone Roses, Jessie said, have a question, half a declaration. In either case, he liked it. Then Albert came in at 3pm, “covering for Brad.”

There was a certain point in the afternoon when the sun was coming in and everyone was in the shop, working on some part of the process, not complete but somehow perfect, and I thought, there’s no other place, no other situation I’d rather be in right now than this one. It just seemed so perfect.