I'm one of those diehard trail people, the ones who bundle up and try to beat the cold and race the shortened days back to York just to be able to slip in a ride after work.
So I was pretty excited when I heard that a bicycle repair shop was coming to Central Market. I run over things, and things become loose. Parts have actually fallen off my bike while I was riding. I don't always know what to do with these thingees or where these thingees go.
Like other thing-impaired riders in York, I need a Vince Hedger.
The 49-year-old York City resident was wearing a black beret and a messy beard when I met him at Central Market to talk about his new shop, ReCycles.
His black apron had been hand-painted with the name of the shop, and his hands were stained with what I assumed was dirty chain lubricant. I was thinking, this looks like a guy who can fix my bike.
But while he works with his hands, it became pretty clear after a few minutes of conversation that there was a pretty complex cerebral process going on when he decided to become a bicycle repairman.
He doesn't own a car, and rides about 100 miles per week just getting himself to where he needs to go. His sister is one of my colleagues, and she said he never bums rides. And from my experience, the sister is almost always the first person called when a ride is needed.
Vince doesn't want a ride because bikes are part of his revolution. He wants to make the world a better place, and he thinks bikes are a good place to start. He said pedal-power provides answers to lots of problems.
"I don't think bikes are gonna save the world or anything like that," he said. "But the metaphor, the stacking functions, can be used as a template for a lot of other things, for taking responsibility for our own health, conservation of resources, living more simply. It's a pretty powerful metaphor."
It was at this point I realized nobody else I've ever interviewed in eight years mentioned "stacking func tions." He continued.
"We have so many things," he said. "You feel like you can't exist without your Blackberry ... we end up using more energy than we should until that 'Oh-my-God' moment when we realize we're baking the earth. We get so caught up, we think we can't stop. How do we stop? Bikes. What can we learn from a bike?"
And I guess that's what happens when you interview a bicycle repairman with a B.A. in philosophy.
Regardless, I'm assured he can fix that shimmy in my handlebars, and at a decent price.