It’s a watershed moment here at my house. Watershed era?
Stepping into the garage you’re greeted not by the sight of bicycles on stands and hanging from hooks in the ceiling but by a lot of nothingness. All of the Park tools which had been hung on the wall in such an orderly assembly have been taken down, and are periodically leaving here for their new Ebay-assigned owners.
After ten years, my beloved husband has taken down his cyclecraft shingle. Years of fixing bikes for friends, rebuilding them for charity, restoring them for folks in the church have ended. He’s keeping his own bikes and the tools he needs to maintain them, but the parade of bent rims, broken shifter cables and mudcaked derailleurs is no longer marching to our door.
I don’t know how I’ll tell the coming of spring, because heretofore it has always been heralded by the first tune-up call. Evenings from late February to November were often punctuated by “I’ve got a guy bringing a bike over.” But this spring that all has started to change. The friends who used to have him work on their bikes have moved to different parts of town and are no longer able to just swing by. The clients he’s been left with are petulant and rude, for the most part. (Seriously. Who says “I’ll be by when I’m done hanging out” and then wants to come pick up his bike at 11:30pm, then is too tired to do so they ask you to drop it off at their house?? Come on.) All of the free time Husband spent riding he spent instead on fixing bikes, more than once getting stiffed.
But here’s the cool part. The money he is making on eBay (considerably more than either of us expected) is getting him up and running on the hobby he’s dreamed of since childhood. Our garage, once home to velocipedes of all shapes and sizes, is now going to be a studio for creating stained glass artwork. I’m excited especially because I know our house will finally begin to look like my dream of having stained glass in every window. (At the heart of it I’m a three year old who loves shiny things. A three year old or a magpie.) I’ve settled for the one stained glass piece we bought for our 10th anniversary and several tiny crystal pendants. But now, thanks to the decline of cyclebuilding, the good people at Sam’s Stained Glass Accessories on Fatherland, and several enterprising souls from eBay, the dawn of a new day will break through our lovely window pieces.
Yes, I know that was a corny line. But still. My point stands. It’s exciting.