Today I was working and I had an epiphany. It wasn’t a crazy epiphany but one that had been building for months.
The epiphany involves where I work. I like the experience I get at the shop I work at, I like working on mountain bikes, I like having a lot of work to do, I like the multitude of experiences I’m getting. I mean next week I’m gonna learn how to glue tubulars, I’m learning so much. But there is a lot I don’t like about my job, and these things have compounded to lead me to realize I need to work somewhere else.
The main things that led me to this decision was partially Guacamole posting NPR’s bike to work day audio clip. Speaking is “some jaded bike guy” notes Guaca. That guy is one of my heroes of the bike industry, Grant Petersen. And in that clip he harasses people to get them to not wearing spandex when riding their bike to work, but instead he encourages riding in normal clothing, on a comfortable bike.
This is something revolutionary for the bike industry and clashes with where I work. I work somewhere where performance, speed and weight have taken front row seats to comfort and durability. I was even planning on buying some cycling kits, and starting to get all dressed up in spandex for most of my rides. Not because I want to but because that’s what people do at my shop, because that’s what you are supposed to do. I’m already pushing the envelope riding a recumbent (which is made clear to me every time I ride it, with constant harassment from my coworkers).
I will not give into this pressure. I will not wear spandex to go out on a bike ride. I will not buy a carbon bike. I will not try to cut grams off the weight of my bike. I will not become a cyclist.
I will remain a loyal bicyclist. One that builds his bike for durability and comfort. One that doesn’t wear weird clothing, but wears comfortable, normal, everyday clothing.
This is the major reason I need to work at another shop, because this shop doesn’t reflect my values. This is the tipping point for me, and I’m glad I’ve finally realized it. I’m going to begin my job search soon, I’ve got to polish up my resume and try to find a bike shop that matches my passions: reusing old parts, appreciation of older bikes, durable and long lasting parts, steel frames, or what I like to sum all of these up as, bicycling.
Since we are talking about bicycling I need to mention one more exciting thing. I’m going to be looking into frame building and I’m pretty sure I’m going to build my own bike frame(s). I’ll keep you on the up and up regarding that, it’s something I’ve finally realized I should try and do. My roommate has encouraged me to give it a go, saying that one of his friends started doing it, and now has worked his way up to frame builder. And since that is my dream job, why not make it a bit of a reality?