This morning I had a date with Mark from Upcycles to fix my poor little scavenged bikey.
Getting my bike to their shop in NE to fix it was sort of an adventure. I definitely wasn’t riding it up there:) And remember that it was in two pieces: a frame, and a fork/front wheel that looked like it could be a fun unicycle but without the handlebars and stem had no means of staying attached to the rest of the bicycle.
In Portland it’s no problem to take a whole bike on the bus, you just put it in the front rack–but bike pieces? I wasn’t too sure about that. So when I was at Upcycles the first time, Mark had given me a stem to take home (how rad is that?) so I could re-attach the front wheel and fork enough that they would stay together. Then I pilfered a back tire (much too large) from James’ old, semi-functional bike, just so that my bike pieces would sort of act like a real bike and I could put them on the bus. Of course, since the back tire was so big I couldn’t actually roll it, so I carried my bike down to the bus stop like a broken baby. Which I guess it kind of was.
And the first thing the driver said when I got on the bus was “what happened to your handlebars?” Good question man, good question.
Anyway. Mark had agreed to meet me an hour before Upcycles actually opened, and we proceeded to have an excellent put-my-bike-back-together party. I did as much of the work as I know how to do and Mark filled in the rest, showing me some of the stuff I wasn’t sure about and stopping me before I made any grievous errors. It’s a nice way to get your bike up and running, the assisted-and-supervised do-it-yourself technique:) It was incredibly gratifying, not only because I’m always excited about learning new stuff, but also because it feels good (at least to me:) to have a hand in your own bike’s functionality. Plus it was nice to hang out with Mark:)
Mark and Kai, his business partner, were so super awesome to find me used parts that they had around their shop and then order me the balance of what was missing. But what was even more awesome was that they gave me so much time–not only time to use one of their stands (in a teeny tiny shop where space is quite precious!) but also hours of mechanical help. I’m super grateful for everything they did to get me up and running again. They’re pretty solid dudes, those two.
And I rode my bike home!!! YES!!! (I don’t think I can use enough exclamation points here to express how excited I am about this:)
Thank you, Upcycles!!! You guys are the best:)
Tomorrow is breakfast on the bridge, by the way. I made some celebratory vegan/gluten free zucchini muffins and will be on the Steel bridge with my bike giving them out between 7 and 9am. I might even have my mom with me, if I can convince her to get up that early:) Come say hi and celebrate reborn bikey!:)
(And stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of Dieter’s San Juan Islands guest posts–I just got excited about my bike and had to interrupt:)