Hey. I got a new job. I mean, another new job. I’m a mechanic. I’m not kidding.

I decided a few weeks ago that getting a part-time job at a bike shop for the summer would be a good idea. After reviewing this, I decided that it actually was a good idea. I’d meet other human beings, I’d learn how to fix bikes, and I’d give Jstar more time to work without being interrupted. All fantastic things.

Maybe two weeks ago, on the way home from Lee’s Market (it’s like Whole Foods, only indie and local, therefore even better) I decided to stop at the nearby bike shop. I walked in, explained that I was a full-time librarian who wanted to work part time – and BAM. I had a new job.

I was a wee bit nervous about working there, because I’m not a roadie or a racer, but the owner is impassioned to provide accessibility to biking for everyone, so I convinced myself that I’m a legitimate commuter, and that’s my angle. I don’t own spandex, or shave my legs, but I do know the perfect kind of skirt material and cut to bike to work in.

Anyway, it was awesome. The crew at the shop are really nice and not at all roadie-snobby. We listened to reggae (SB would have thrown up) and the second disc of an Ani Difranco live album, if that’s an indication of the variance and awesomeness.

So I thought I’d probably end up a sales girl, despite my indication towards maintenance, but I spent the whole day tuning bikes. My bikety sensei was a good explainer, and by the end of the day, I had fused together a lot of previous bits of knowledge. I think I was at the cusp of a basic understanding of bike mechanics, and today really gelled it. For instance, I know about truing wheels from hanging out at Bruce’s in C-U, but I had never trued my own wheels. I knew what a ‘cone’ was from my new friend Matt, but I didn’t really know how to use a cone wrench, and I have definitely never taken apart a wheel to the point that I could see vulnerable, naked bearings looking up at me thirstily as I bestowed grease upon them. I really hope I remember all of this tomorrow.

So I’m jazzed about what I learned today, and about my coworkers, and about this little side job. Now my goal is to get all good at being a librarian and shit, same with the bikety bikety, and then move to Iowa City or wherever and be a part-time librarian (and god knows, there are LOTS of part-time positions) and also run a bike shop. With Wadsbone. And Allison. And Alena and Anton. And the McQuerdas. And we live on a commune. And all my other friends come to visit during the summer and we all go on bike rides. *Falls over in happiness*

In the meantime, I’m feeling (positive) pressure to ride more, so I Bikely’d myself a little route to the shop. Enjoy.

  1. You kick ass, really! That is so awesome. The McCuerda’s would love to come live on this commune, and bike all over! Though I think, no, I am sure, I need a large body of water in close proximity to my living, so I don’t know that Iowa city will soothe my soul. any Great Lake, ocean or sea would do though. I so miss riding my bike, I just stare at it longly when I waddle out to the garage, I haven’t been on it since Late November, early December, about the last time I saw my toes!

  2. This sounds like a dream deal. I wish I could ride my bike to work and know how to fix it at the same time. And the whole librarian thing is already pretty sweet. As the kids in college used to say: “Cool Beans!”

  3. hooray for bike shops and communes. I mean, how far is the family land from Ames? Now that I’m well on my way to phd land I get to starting thinking about where I want to work and oh, Iowa State is probably the epi-center for sustainable agriculture academia…I can have a little apartment in Ames and spend a few days a week in town before returning to the commune for cooking and biking.

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