I came across an interesting concept this week. It started with the story of all the bikes in the Target dumpster. My first reaction was that those bike could be torn down and most of them fixed. After some thought though I realized that Target can’t think of them that way. To the them they exist only as single hunks of merchandise. That don’t have the facilities or expertise to fix these bikes.
I then realized that that’s why so many people sentence so many bikes to garages and basements when they have nothing more than a flat tire or a dropped chain. People see the bike as a whole and if there is something wrong they see the bike as broken.
Reinforcing this view is the difficulty in getting such minor problems fixed. There is no place to get cheap bike repairs in San Francisco. You have to know someone with tools and skills and willing to do a neighbor a favor. How many of us are out there?
This holistic view of the bike is at odds with my perception and I wonder if this is one of the reason bike shop employees and regular bike owners have so much trouble communicating. I always thought it was just the financial gap.