#mechanicmonday honors David Wilson
It’s our final Mechanic Monday of February, and today we’re proud to feature David Wilson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with PBMA’s Mechanic Monday series, this is where we feature one mechanic each week who is chosen randomly from the pool of nominations that we receive. Mechanic Monday is all about mechanics supporting fellow mechanics, and we are proud to partner with Abbey Bike Tools, Cycling Industry News, and People for Bikes to share these great features with you.
David Wilson is a mechanic at Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles in Philadelphia, but he’s worked in bike shops in six states and two countries – including the bicycle mecca that is The Netherlands! We had a great conversation with David about his experience in the industry and all of the places that two wheels (and a wrench or two!) have taken him. Here’s some of what he shared with us, in his own words:
PBMA: How did you become involved in cycling and cycling mechanics?
DW: I have pretty much always had a bicycle beneath me. The Schwinn Stingray my parents bought me when I was six taught me about freedom and the thrill of exploration, but it was in the early 80s when I was in junior high that I got my first BMX bike and really got hooked. We would tear those things down and build them back up regularly. I even taught myself to build wheels when I had to replace a friend’s rear hub after breaking the hub flange because I bent his rear wheel 90-degrees by flexing the ACS Z-rim (on purpose of course). I got my first bike shop job when I was 19 on summer break from college. Since then I have worked almost exclusively in the bike industry as a mechanic, shop manager, bike messenger, frame builder, warranty/tech service for large distributor, and now shop owner specializing in cargo and city bikes.
PBMA: Do you have a favorite moment or story from your time in the industry?
DW: One of my favorite times in my cycling career was living in Durango, Colorado in the early 90s. I am not a bike racer, but I loved mountain biking and got to meet and work on the bikes of some of the best mountain bikers of the time because so many of them lived there or came through on the NORBA circuit. I was star-struck when Bob Roll moved to town and started frequenting the shop, which was weird because he was a roadie who was just starting to race mountain bikes.
PBMA: What motivation or advice would you give to aspiring professional mechanics?
DW: A few of the most important things I have found helpful over the years are to listen closely, be patient, and learn to work efficiently. An organized workbench is key! Also, be humble. Even though I have a spent a long time in the bike industry, I know I can still learn things from people with little to no experience.
PBMA: What is your favorite tool?
DW: My Eldi fender punch is the best! I brought two of them with me when I moved back from The Netherlands.
That’s all for this week! Thank you for following along with our series and sharing our support for our fellow mechanics. We’ll be back next week with a new feature. In the meantime, click here to learn more about our 2018 Mechanic Monday series, and here to learn more about how to nominate your favorite mechanic!
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