This week we meet Adam schmidt from golden colorado.
How Did you become involved in cycling and/or cycling mechanics?
I worked for a sandwich shop for about 11 years as a bicycle courier, but only during the fall/winter/spring months. Summers were spent in the commercial fishing industry in Alaska, working 120+ hour weeks 7 days/week for 4 months and coming home only to be physically exhausted, mentally drained, probably injured in some fashion but with a good chunk of cash. Every year I would use some alaska money to buy a new bike, which i would then destroy delivering sandwiches through Iowa winters. i Eventually got tired of paying someone else to fix my bike, i suppose I'm not totally sure exactly when the "Aha" moment was when i wanted to pursue wrenching much more seriously, maybe 7 years ago? That was my first UBI class out in oregon and i loved it, learned a lot, went back for their suspension/wheel building a year later. I'm always looking for a way to further my knowledge and experience, have gone to more clinics/training/certifications than i care to admit, and have a serious problem with working too hard. Thanks "Alaska"
Do you have a favorite moment or story from your time in the cycling industry?
Honestly working in the winter doing bike delivery was pretty miserable, but there was one year in particular that the store couldn't find any more people interested in biking in negative degree weather. SO it wound up just being me and one other guy Stephen as the only riders all winter. It was a pretty sloppy/icy/terrible year for weather, which only makes people order more so they don't have to go out in it. I can't tell you how many days we both HATED riding, like really despised it! I've gotten a fair amount of frostbite and nerve damage from it, and I really can't discourage doing that enough. Not exactly a "feel good story", but the moral is, don't do that.
What motivation or advice would you give aspiring professional bicycle mechanics
1) You don't know everything, guaranteed, I have been really blessed working with some highly skilled mechanics that were willing and able to teach me and pass on knowledge. I would strongly encourage anyone and every aspiring mechanic to know that value; absorb as much as you can and SHARE it. I am usually pretty eager to teach, and definitely comfortable telling someone "i don't know" followed shortly by "let's find out".
2) Be early. Punctuality is by far my biggest pet peeve. Early is On-time and On-Time is late. I can't stress this enough, a fast way to piss me off is to be like 2 minutes late.
What is your favorite tool
Man that changes too often. there's about 12 tools i couldn't live without, but my favorite at the moment would have to be Topeak's digital torque wrenches. They're extremely accurate, give a real-time reading, are waaay too expensive and "beep". I've found it particularly useful when a customer tells me "I torqued those bolts down" which usually means "I overtightened the shit out of them" or "i didn't put a wrench anywhere near that bolt" Either way, the real-time reading will tell how torqued you got.
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