Major changes to start immediately for Mighty Mobile Bike Repair. For 2018 and beyond, I can be found at The Start Haus spinning wrenches, answering questions and making bikes perform to the best of their ability. Basically, doing the same stuff I've been doing with the addition of a consistent schedule and a roof over my head. The mobile component of my service will no longer exist, but the upside is that I'll be easier to track down and I'll be able to expedite repairs far better than in previous years. The potential for more resources and parts on hand will benefit both you and I. To reach me at the shop, call (530) 582-5781 to schedule a repair or ask any questions you may have.
Mighty Mobile Bike Repair, the history pt2:
The Sourbeer Effect
Of all the characters I'd met working in shops and racing bikes, Kurt Sourbeer was undoubtedly the most influential. Kurt, who was about 10 years older than me, was somewhat of a local legend in our area. Before I knew him, I'd heard tales of his exploits on a motorcycle, bicycle and hang glider. Stories that seemed unbelievable were backed up by eye witness accounts or grainy VCR tapes and, years later, when I asked his mom if he really did used to jump the pool on his motocross bike, she begrudgingly shook her head yes and said that it was a regular occurrence.
If I remember correctly, the year was 1991 when I met Kurt. UPS had just delivered my 10 watt Night Sun headlamp to the shop and I was, of course, ogling the contents of the box. I heard the door open and in walked Kurt. He saw me with the light and stopped. "I have one of those... good light" he says and then continued on to the inner tube display. After paying for three presta mountain tubes, he stops back at the service counter and tells me that he's riding Whiskey Springs that night and if I want to go I should meet him at 6:00. With no other information other than "don't be late" he walks out the door. The fact that I could possibly get in over my head riding with Kurt wasn't lost on me, but I'd be damned if I wasn't going to give it a try.
That winter evening was bitter cold. It was my first night ride. Our rims and shift cables froze instantly rendering the bikes largely inoperable and boarder line not safe. It was beyond fortunate that we were riding trails close to my house. My local knowledge was probably the only saving grace I had that night for (somewhat) keeping up with Kurt and not wadding it up on the downhills. Given the conditions, he was amazed that I actually showed up and promised to invite me again.
In the years that followed, I'd do a ton of rides w/ Kurt. His trail knowledge was mind blowing and riding with him taught me how to look at trails and how to ride them in a totally different light. He taught me a metric shit ton about bike handling. His line selection seemed odd at first, but quickly made sense once I tried things out. The more I followed his lines, the easier things got. I'd see him drift to the left, I'd drift to the left. He'd get in three quick pedal strokes, I'd do the same. Pop off a root or rock to clear the next four...seemed like a good idea to me. And the more I did what he did, the easier it got to actually keep up with him. At this point I was doing quite a bit of racing and the more technical the course was, the better chance I had at finishing towards the front.
Without even really realizing it, he showed me how to "think outside the box" by simply just doing what Kurt did. While most people were doing two hour rides in the local forest, he was scheming rides spanning from one point to another with quite a bit of mileage, lots of hours and only a smidgen of actual knowledge of what lie between the start and finish. Cross country skiing went from boring trips around the local corn field to epic loops in the woods on equipment that had no business being out there. He made me realize that being lost in the woods was an opportunity that should be embraced and finishing a ride just before dark wasn't lucky, it was making full use of your day. Another thing that stood out, for me, was that of all the crazy shit Kurt did leading his cavalier lifestyle.... he was also self employed.
to be continued....