Steven, It sounds as though you are standing by what you said, but your prose is difficult to decipher and it's likely that I've misunderstood you. I'll just assume that English is not your primary language. Regards, Tom Dalton
Steven m Johnson wrote:On Fri, 13 Sep 2002 09:15:44 -0700 (PDT) Brandon Ives
> Thank you Tom,
> I didn't want to say anything since I'm implicated by Steven's
> words, and so are many other well respected list members.
I have no idea how? You are/were someone in the bike business, who has to
know very well the mechanical aspects of bicycles, and be willing to get
dirty fingernails and stabbed on occasion by frayed cable ends. (Yeah, in
the finger, right under the nail!)
> I will
> assume (but I'm sure you know what assuming does) that you're
> speaking about the 16 year-old kids hired to build up new bikes.
> Or the ones working to get cheap parts, or work off the new bike.
> They're no less bright than most 16 year-olds, and brighter than
> many. People who are, and have been, professional mechanics are a
> very diverse group and are just as bright as any other diverse group
> of people.
Most everyone on this list has been around awhile, has the time, or experience to know when to go to Sutherlands or how to pronounce "Ciocc." Many even have opinions on chopping up vintage bikes for parts.
Most of the bike business is not working for a bike company, or with high end machines. You see the endless stream of Murrys, Huffys, Columbias and trashed kids bikes, then along comes a Leganano that needs a headset installed. Something the owner paid more for, just to look at, race or appreciate. As a mechanic you can get paid by the hour, or a percetage of the repair ticket charge. When you get good, and can keep people from taking tools off the bench, a percentage can pay better. Still, getting it done fast is what matters. Not how you properly pronounce "Ciocc" or "Tange."
Mass market bikes are the the bike business. What this list deals with,
is really a small part of the market. In the 70s, with Raleigh, I would
bet we sold one of the high end (Pro) bikes, to 25-30 of the low end
(Sprite, Record, Grand Prix).
> I spend my day at work around people with Ph.D.s and I
> spend my personal time around people getting their Ph.D.s. and have
> no problem hanging in conversation or exchange on ideas. I've tried
> to retire from the bike industry twice, but something draws me back
> every time. Right now I play accountant during the day while
> thinking about wrenching on bikes.
Way off topic. Are you implying that PhD is equal to smart? I would say
social connections, motivation, aggresive goal setting and consistent
financial backing (for an occasional above average intelligent
individual) is what makes most PhDs, not intelligence.
> Steven I think you owe an apology to the mechanics on the list that
> you have maligned with your broad brush.
Bike mechanics on this list? Lots of people here who like bikes, and lots
of folks in bike business past and present, and many successfull ones who
have loads of knowledge and skills of bicycle mechanics. They have to,
to make it in the bicycle business.
> I may be dyslexic but I'm
> not stupid in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Wow, when did I say "stupid." So I have to clarify, When I said "not the
brightest," it was in a bike world context. Take a Sturmey Archer hub in
need of disassembly to any bike shop in a 40 mile radius from me. I can
tell you who will do it. About the same number that will know how to
pronounce Ciocc (Dang, can't get those little dots above the "o").
> On Friday, Sep 13, 2002, at 08:17AM, Tom Dalton
> >I may be reading your message without fully understanding the
> context, but it sounds like you and I have spent time in different
> shops. Some of the brighest people I've ever known are, or were,
> bike mechanics. "Overall, generally" I'd say bike mechanics are as
> intellectually diverse as any population. The professional
> geologists and engineers I now work with typically have more
> education than my former bike shop colleagues, but they have never
> impressed me as brighter. Of course, there have been outstanding
> idiots everywhere I've been.
Agree, especially with the "or were bike mechanics" part.
Once you get good. Keep track of your own tools, set up your workspace, take percentage of the ticket, and get first choice on the quality repairs (no mass market machines).
To the 16 year old in the back of the bike shop, "Man, the Park chain tool is mine, out of my tool box. Don't take tools out of my tool box, or from my part of the bench!"
But if the salary is good, and you can get health insurance, and run the register for the parts counter . . . Naw! You have to keep your fingernails too clean!
Steven M. Johnson, Chesapeake, VA