Who would have known that I one day would own not only a bright red toolbox but that it also would be full of wrenches, pliers, cutters and sockets? Not my family anyways. Growing up I was never interested in getting my hands dirty but technology to me was electronics; chips and wires and soldering. Having grease up to your elbows and using full body force to crack open bolts rusted stuck wasn’t exactly in my plan. I actually became some kind of high school engineer although that was more a twist of fate than anything else, and worked for a few years as some kind of test engineer on train signal systems.
Having that background turned out to be pretty good when it comes to bikes. I was a certified to solder military grade components which comes in handy whenever I have to work on electrical systems. The engineering part also gives me at least a decent understanding of forces and mechanics. All in all, what’s been added is the love of the grease-part.
Right now there are many releases of new bikes from the big brands. I’ve read a little bit but as I’ve stated before, new technology and super advanced computers kind of ruins the fun for me. It makes it impossible for garage mechanics like me to do anything and when everything becomes reprogrammable it takes away the character that comes with its ups and downs, just like a person.
Instead I’ve turned to the old school mechanics. A cog wheel turning and spinning another, push-pull-wire systems, a spring that contracts and expands, those type of solutions. It’s like a stroll in the mind of these brilliant inventors who apparently had an extraordinary gift. Not to mention the riddle of steel. There is nothing more impressive than a guy or a girl who knows how to shape steel, to bend it to your will.
I took a welding course a while back since welding is a basic skill to have in the garage. I loved it. Although we only did gas, stick and MIG-welding, I was absolutely enchanted by the melting steel, the colors, the sound and the end results. Unfortunately I haven’t welded since but next week I am taking a basic TIG-welding course and after that I might just invest in my own gear. With a welder, it seems like nothing is impossible and it will take my passion to the next level. As Conan the barbarian realized: true power lies within the one who who masters both steel and flesh.