Sunday, March 15, 2009

bike mechanics

Why are bicycle mechanics so f*!^#ing arrogant? I would estimate that at least 50 percent of bike mechanics out there are arrogant sunsabitches. And I don't know why. Today, for instance, I went to this big bike exposition here in Mad City to just browse a bit. There were a bunch of mechanics working on bikes at one side of the expo hall, and the air over there was just thick with arrogance. All these guys (and they were all guys, FYI, which may be why arrogance is so endemic in their culture, because maybe they need a woman's noble and serene presence to show them humility; there's so much you could learn from women, guys ...) were just strutting and cranking and preening and boasting. And every one of them had some piece of flair - a big backwoods-crazy-guy beard (Look at me! I ride so damn fast, I don't have to worry about aerodynamics!), or some cocky bad-ass T-shirt, or an insane neck tat, etc - to make sure that they stood out from the commoners.

And this is not unique to Mad City: no matter where I go in this fair land, from the East Coast to the West Coast to the Midwest, it seems like that's the case. Tell me if you haven't had this experience: you bring your bike to the bike shop for a simple repair. And you either get the guy with the crazy beard and the why-don't-you-fix-it-yourself attitude, or the one nice dude who's patient and helpful, but all of his co-workers are smirking and groaning behind him, waiting for you to leave so they can be all like, "Dude! Why didn't you tell him what a dumb shit he is, for not fixing it himself?"

But here's the thing: auto mechanics aren't like that! Auto mechanics are rarely arrogant. They're typically just humble, blue-collar, Joe Lunchpail kind of guys. Sure, some of them are trying to rip you off, but they do it in a quiet, dignified, non-arrogant manner. (And bikes don't even have engines! They have only 2 wheels! There's no exhaust system! So why are bike mechanics so f*&#!*ing high on themselves?)

Which reminds me, I should send a shout-out to the guy who works on my car, who's about the sweetest guy you'd ever want to meet: hey Dave! And I'll also send one to my bike mechanic, who's a smug prick: kiss my ass, Tanner!

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