My Dirty Secret

I have a confession. I really don’t know that much about bikes. I just like to ride them. For me it’s more about lifestyle.

So when it comes to bike repairs sometimes I get myself into situations. It’s not that I don’t have the ability fix a bike, I just don’t have any experience. But still, how hard can it be? I once changed the spark plugs on my old car to save a few bucks. That worked out fine… the mechanic never actually said that was the reason it died.

But I’m not scared of getting my hands dirty (and luckily bikes don’t have engines.) I like to do things myself when I can. Things usually start out like this:


So I set aside afternoon to spend it with my bike, a couple wrenches, and a romantic comedy (Richard Gere helps me think about gears):


However then things don’t go exactly as expected… parts don’t fit, directions are unclear, the project changes scope. It’s really hard to ask a YouTube video questions.


And eventually I end up going to the bike shop where one of these guys save the day:

My Dirty Secret


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30 Comments on "My Dirty Secret"

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I saw a TV segment about this bike shop in Cambridge. It sounds like just what you want.
Broadway Bicycle School

I’m not a bike person but I’m enjoying your humor, illustrations and sense of fair, fun play.

I like to do bike work while watching movies too- takes the edge off when I round a bolt head or can’t remove a &$(!# screw or mash my finger. The main problem with finding mid- repair that you can’t actually fix it after all is that then you can’t ride it to the bike shop for an expert opinion- at least without figuring out how to put it mostly back together. This is, of course why you need multiple bikes- to be able to ride one, while carrying the other slung across your back badass style. Of course, that… Read more »

Yes! You are correct. This is one of the reasons to own multiple bikes.If you’re like me, you get these bikes for cheap or free. If they break or wear out, it’s no big deal. You’ve got backup! The only downside is if you have a female significant other, there is an ongoing nag factor to get rid of some (most) of them.


I have such great local bike shops guys, I just always (usually) take it to them. no beards though, pity!

Dan K (@teeheehee)

From now on I shall think that all flow charts should have one possible outcome involving chocolate.


Hmmm . . . I think all possible outcomes should end with eating chocolate. Cake, after all is the best reward for completing your repair successfully!

Scruffy Beard Mechanic
Scruffy Beard Mechanic

Trust me, sometimes those of us who are supposed to know what we’re doing get in over our heads or simply find out we don’t have the tool/part at home. There are certain mechanics who have on occasion found mys…er him or herself carrying bits of bicycle to the shop on their day off in order to finish the “five minute” repair job on a personal commuter bike that was supposedly going to be done with a wrench and multitool at home.

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