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In Defense Of The Insane

How much do bike mechanics get paid? (via gomeansgo.org)

I'm gonna take advantage of this digital soapbox for a few minutes and tell you something you probably know already: It doesn't take a slideshow to figure out that bike shop employees don't usually make very much money. Shop folk work long hours, full weeks through much of the year, even holidays (especially holidays) in a service field. It's hard to stand all day and help complete strangers, some of whom can be quite demanding.

I grew up in a bike shop. My parents spent all their time and money pedelling bikes (snort!). I've worked in plenty of shops myself and I've spent the bulk of my adultivity in other portions of the bike business, and guess what? This part of the industry is populated largely by former bike shop refugees. It's not like they're getting rich on this side of things either, but at least when you work for a company like Surly you get benefits and don't have to work most weekends. A lot of shop employees don't get good, or sometimes any, health insurance. Lots of bike shop employees have two jobs in order to make ends meet. I probably don't need to tell most of you, but for the few knuckleheads that need it spelled out: Appreciate your local shop. Don't bitch at them too much. Don't harangue them for free stuff. Bring them the occassional beer or coffee or whatever for a job well done, because if there is any sort of cycling community in your part of the world your shop is a part of that. Shops educate and provide a place to connect with other cyclists. They help build trails. They lobby city councils for bike lanes, traffic laws, and places to ride. Bike shop people are so insanely dedicated to bikes and getting more people on them that they are willing to commit themselves to it mind, body, and soul, and you benefit. The lesson here is that even if they're crazy, they're a good kind of crazy. Support them. Spend money at their stores. Attend their events. Understand? O.K. then.

 

Chest Rockwell's avatar

About Chest Rockwell

When not writing some of the words that Surly uses to convey information about their products and life position, Chest enjoys a stunning array of adventurous and rewarding endeavors. He is an internationally known entrepreneur and businessman, an award-winning architect, and has trekked the perimeter of China, unsupported, overland on bicycle, on foot, and on skis. He fluently speaks eight languages, including Icelandic, which is considered to be one of the world's most difficult languages to master. He is an avid skydiver. He designs spacecraft for NASA. He has been in no less than twenty-one feature films and is considered the world's leading authority on the healing properties of snake venom. He has built a popular reputation as a funnyman, appearing in cameo roles on various popular television shows primarily in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, and is the author of sixteen books about achieving one's potential. He is a motivational speaker drawing on his experiences in combat, for which he was awarded two purple hearts, and is a personal life coach to celebrities and notable figures worldwide. In his spare time he enjoys music, bicycles, writing, and spending time with his family. In other words, he's totally perfect, so don’t worry about it.

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