Tales from Rental Hell- random hellness

This past week was a curse and a blessing at the same time. Three big events converged on the same week: Patriot Day, Easter, and The Heritage (PGA golf tournament) In years past, we’ve had the three events occur over three consecutive weeks, making for three weeks of busy.

The company I work for has 2600 bikes ready to go, and we rented out 1900 of them. Of that 1900, 35 bikes were exchanged for repairs. Most were flats, as flats happen and there is nothing to do about those. One had a huge puncture the size of US dime! Some had seized pedals, all on the left side. Why just the left side? People seem to have sense enough to lay a bike on the left side on the beach, as not to get sand in the chain. Also, the kickstand is on the left, and won’t hold the bike on the sand, which causes the bike to fall on its left. The left pedal gets embedded in the sand, and after several months the sand and salt will ruin the bearing, then the pedal will make this loud cracking sound like a sea salt grinder. Note to all that both pedals should be replaced. If you don’t there will be a large pile of right pedals.

Otherwise there were the normal loose hubs and bottom brackets from ham fisted, inexperienced employees thinking they can do it if I can, since I am just a bicycle mechanic from South Carolina. There was one instance where a “manager”, we call him “the mangler”
put a 6′ man on a small 15″ framed comfort bike. The customer came back complaining the bike was too small and wanted to exchange it for a bigger one. The mangler just brushed him off with “a bike is a bike.” The customer asked me if I could do anything, which I did get him a larger bike (18″ frame, biggest comfort frame we got) but I needed to install a bottle cage and make some adjustments. While I was performing these adjustments, a few more customers showed up, and the mangler yelled at me to “Hurry up!” My customer replied, “You screwed this up, you hurry up and leave him alone.”

Yeah, upper management heard about this. The mangler isn’t old enough to have the experience I have. I’ve got a week of free lunch coming my way.

Summer is coming, and so are the crowds and the heat. I really need to find somewhere else to work.