A story about a young bike commuter
0 comment Monday, July 21, 2014 |
I was locking my bike up on the rack in front of that Thai restaurant next to St. Mark's this afternoon, and just turning to walk into the coffee shop when a 7- or 8-year-old kid rode by and stopped his BMX bike on the sidewalk next to me.
I glanced over and saw that his chain had fallen off, and just about walked away because he looked like he was going to flip it right back on. But the chain was sagging a little too much. So I said, "You need some help, man?"
"It keeps falling off," he said. "It's my cousin's bike." I figured "chain too long," and reached into my bag to see if I had my chain tool. I did. But the problem was just that his rear wheel was too far forward in the dropouts. The bike had a Vise Grips lashed onto it with a combination lock, and the kid and I decided if he could get the wrench pulled off the bike, we could get the wheel off.
Unscrew foot pegs, Vise Grips nuts off wheel, pull wheel back in dropouts. I held the wheel and had him tighten the nuts, and then I tightened them some more. We screwed the pegs back on, and I let him flip the bike back over.
"What's your name?"
"Noah, I'm Brendan," I said, and shook his hand. "Tell your cousin he owes you five bucks because you fixed his bike."
"Yeah," he laughed.
"Have a good ride, man," I said.
Man, that felt good.

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