With transportation being essential to getting somewhere in order to look at something of interest, this is a tribute to a particular bicycle mechanic whose fine work has made so much possible - more than once - by attentive skills in keeping an aged bicycle ride-ready.
Many thanks to Brian, with his skills put to immediate use on 1 May 2010, to repair a well-ridden bicycle and making it safer, fixed right and so finely ready to get further along. I had called the bike shop in midtown Omaha, asking whether it would work to get some repairs done on a Saturday afternoon. It seemed copacetic to bring it in and get it done.
Upon arrival a short time later, the first indication was that it would be ready on Tuesday. What? That was obviously not suitable as there are three mornings between now and then, when bird strikes would be happening in downtown Omaha, and without a ride, they would be undocumented deaths, and to walk was not a viable alternative.
My view: "Thats why I called," pressing the issue because having to go days without transportation would obviously not work. If that was to be the situation, my departure was imminent. But the bicycle went into work area of the shop, and repairs started on upon the fix-it rack.
This particular bicycle has experienced multiple repairs. The most recent recalled was a new rim and ancillary adjustments last autumn. On this Saturday of a fresh spring day, there were several notable problems for something ridden hard every day, and had to do with street conditions of Omaha, including the jarring impacts of mostly missed, yet ubiquitous potholes ... enough to shake everything, and leave a bicycle rider's head shaking all about.
Particular repairs included a new rear brake caliper, fresh brake pads, spoke adjustment, and other expressive changes to improve a primary means of alternative transportation. This was the reason expressed for having called before arrival and indicating that it would just not work to leave the bicycle inside a repair shop. Also purchased on a borrowed dollar, was a new set of riding gloves and rack to carry a bottle of liquid, which is best represented as being a drink of water on a hot day about among the hills of the Missouri River valley at Omaha city.
An explanation for the insistence on needing the bicycle ready to go, was the necessity to document bird-strikes in downtown Omaha. It was a cause. Brian was right on in his comment that it probably did not pay anything, adding that everyone needs a reason to get up in the morning.
Brian was just great, having given masterful attention to getting a bike suitable to safely ride, and the reason for this essay is to give a huge tribute - and a hearty thanks - to his efforts and focus on providing a bike suited to ride around my particular city.
The wait time at the bike-shop is conveyed in particular by a comment and subsequent minutes. There wasn't a cap on the valve of the rear tire. After asking for one, Brian said he did not have any on his ride. The other man in the repair area of the shop said they did not either. My response was that the cap needs to be taken off the front tire valve.
Brian said this was the best thing he had heard all day.
Bicycle aficionados have a distinctive perspective and why should my bike differ from theirs, as my ride was getting the particular attention necessary to continue. Brakes, gears, frame, age of the bicycle, shifting, rim condition and other miscellany of its condition applied. A new bicycle would remove all these considerations, but for now, the route onward would rely upon a classic bicycle, made so many years ago by Giant, and still fulfilling its role.
After Brian was finally done, and upon riding away from the shop, the bicycle was just so right.
What a joy!
The brakes were subtly quiet, and gone were the annoying squeaks from the front wheel brakes. The trepidation of being unable to stop at the bottom of some Omaha hill was also gone. Gear shifts were smooth and right. Rubber could be laid upon making a quick stop - essential among the hills and traffic of Omaha - and there was no squeal when trying to stop because of some vehicle intruding along the path, slowing on a downhill cruise, or while making a way around the hills of the river city.
Whew, what a distinctly fine condition that could only be appreciated on this particular Saturday of a new spring. And then again tomorrow, and subsequent days not yet experienced.
Having a bicycle readily ready to ride is certainly a sublime and exquisite pleasure, and now in this case, the result of a special, skilled mechanic. Any route of mine onward will be with an appreciation for a well-working bicycle as conditioned by Brian, attentively working in the shop at 40th and Hamilton Street.