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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Higher gas prices = More work for bicycle mechanics

Its simple economics...

When gasoline prices soar (ie. its above $1.40 / litre in Toronto right now) people have a tendency to go out and walk more, buy scooters, bicycles, etc. Worrying about the environment might factor into this, but for most people that is just a side perk.

And in some cases they look at that rusty 18-speed in their garage and realize "Hey, the tires are still good. It just needs a tune-up."

Its a strange little phenomenon that I've noticed...

Most people, if something goes wrong with their bicycle (usually the derailleurs on the gears) they have a tendency to toss the bicycle in the garage and forget to fix it. If its the brakes they might try and fix it. Essentially if its anything complicated they won't bother to fix it.

And this is true of most people. Only the adamant "I NEED MY BICYCLE" people will bother taking it to a bicycle mechanic, because most people figure they don't have the time.

But when gasoline prices start soaring they look wistfully at their old broken bicycle once more and realize there is some cost savings at having it fixed.

The more flamboyant people will even go shopping for a new bike, maybe even purchase an electric bicycle or a folding bicycle if they're the type who likes that sort of thing.

I just think it is an amusing phenomenon, that's all. With gasoline prices expected to continue soaring in the future, we can expect a lot more work for bicycle mechanics.

Maybe its time we raised how much we get paid? (The average bicycle mechanic gets minimum wage or barely above that.)

1 comment:

  1. Hey, here's a US guide to bike mechanic wages for various areas. It's probably pretty comparable to Canada:

    Here's a sample job application in case any of your readers are thinking of joining the mechanic trade and want to have a heads up for what to expect in the interview, in addition to a skills test:

    Good blog, keep it up.



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Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



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