(Expletive)…(expletive)…(expletive)…”Everything all right down there?!” “Yup…fine, fine…”
Knuckles are bleeding, everything is covered in grease, from shins to shirt – this scene is my basement, and probably replicated in garages, sheds, shops, and driveways around the world. Wrenching on bikes is one part competence, two parts patience; the rest is filled with tenacity and blind faith that you actually know what you’re doing. Local shops are kept in business by botched home-fixes, and I know that’s the primary way I became a regular and eventual friend of many mechanics.
Through those times of stripped allen heads, rounded keys, and gouged aluminum components, I eventually learned to hang around and watch the shop mechanics puzzle out what I’d fucked up beyond repair, and assess what their first move would be. I asked questions, volunteered to help (when possible), and inquired about technique and tips. Eventually, I accrued more knowledge and confidence in my understanding of “How ___ Works”, and put in endless hours in my garage and basement, doing my best to be more adept at fixing my own mess, without creating an even bigger one.