I am not the Velo Pied Piper, not really, although people do come to my house occasionally, with flat tires or questions or shiny new bikes to show off. I am, for some people, the bike guy, but I know better than that. I’m a dilettante at best, Salieri in a chamois.
The same way my neighbor down the street asks me for an opinion on an affordable gravel bike, I have a small handful of true experts I consult. It might not be in my nature to go as deep as these people go. I ask a question about fork rake and get an explanation of the ramifications for the frame design from BB drop to seat tube angle with some suggestions for stem length adjustment to achieve my optimal handling characteristics.
The sorts of people who have opinions about tire tread patterns and can reference designs of yore and their various shortcomings.
The sorts of people who laugh about when they rebuilt Campy shifters and/or Sturmey Archer hubs.
I’m talking about shamen and shawomen, seers and sorceresses, the sorts of people who smell vaguely of Park blue grease.
My wife jokes that I get fixated on things, that I’m hard to buy gifts for because she knows what I want generally but can never hope to know specifically. This is just one more reason to pity her. Ask Padraig for a more complete list.
I suspect that many of you are cycling touch points for the people around you, too. You comb Craigslist for used bikes they might be able to ride. You advise on new equipment purchases. You pump or patch or fix flats.
But you’re not you’re own go-to (unless you are).
This week’s Group Ride asks, who is the person you turn to for bike advice? How long have you known them? Did you meet them through cycling or through another part of your life? What is it that they know, that impresses you most?