Monday, September 17, 2007

It's all in the hands...

When Bike Magazine did a feature on the 2006 edition of the North American Handbuilt Bike Show and printed only photographs of the frame builders' hands, a lot of folks didn't think too much of the story. They didn't get it. I thought it was a great story. It's the "hand" built bike show. The hands are the key.

When I started working in a bike shop last December after a 13 year hiatus, one of the first things I noticed was that my hands were lily soft. After a few weeks, though, they got tougher. It's a good feeling knowing that your hands are "tough."

Tough hands can get that last few inches of a stubborn road clincher on to your rim. Heck, they can even pry one off sans levers. Tough hands can turn wrenches all day without fatiguing. My friend Brian used to say that your hands were too soft if you dropped wrenches. My hands feel pretty tough right now, but I did drop a Y-wrench today. Guess I'm not a tough as I think.