If you’ve already met Mike, our bike technician, you know that he’s quick with both a smile and a wrench. Mike has been working as a bike tech for many many years at leading San Francisco bike shops and companies, for the last year with Vie on cargo bikes and now is particularly excited to be launching our new Bike Sprite service.
I sat down with Mike to chat about Bike Sprite, cargo bikes, music and Irish dancing …
Kit: How did you first get into working on bikes?
Mike: It’s something I’ve done my entire life, and from a young age, tuning up bikes for dirt jumping and downhill, and simply getting around fast. I started at Pedal Revolution in 2000, though their internship program, and progressed from there.
Kit: How has working on bikes changed over the course of your career?
Mike: Electric bikes are coming to the forefront, of not only the industry, but everyday people’s lives, e-cargo bikes especially. Where there used to be a certain intuitive sensibility to working on bikes, we’re now plugging our bikes into computers, reading detailed digital information, and tuning from a very scientific standpoint. This is the modern world.
Kit: Why Bike Sprite? What’s making you excited about this new service?
Mike: It’s the sort of service that everyday cyclists have been talking about for a long time, one that I’ve had the desire to provide, and Vie Bikes makes possible. I can now bring the experience to you, at your place, on your time.
Kit: What kind of music do you like to listen to while you work?
Mike: Northern Soul, mostly. Rhythm & Blues, Vintage Reggae, and Sweater Funk, too. Anything with an oldies feel, a positive message, and a driving beat works!
Kit: I hear you’re into Irish dancing. Do you the big jumps and stuff?
Mike: I’m into dancing in general. Whether that be Northern Soul and Funk Style, to Viennese Waltz and Traditional Irish. It’s definitely an integral part of my life, along with music and bicycles.
Kit: What’s one thing you wish people understood more of about their bike?
Mike: Shifting. And, the understanding that tuning one’s shifting is much like tuning a guitar, there’s a number of gears that need to be in harmony with each other, and the tuning should be sharp and crisp, not flat and without life. Shifting gently and with feeling, your components will thank you by lasting longer, working more reliably, and by shifting accurately.