…Four doors down, just around the corner and from across the street they come. When they see my car pull up the street, they know it is time to visit. They bring me bikes with brake cables dangling, mismatched wheels with stripped axle nuts and lots and lots of flats. Most of the wheels look a little better than Levar’s.
For most of these kids a toolset means a rusty pliers or a vise grip. Some have never seen an Allen wrench until I help them fix their handlebars. They ride bikes without seats and tear off the handbrakes right after the wheels go out of true. Their shoes are the best brake pads; Flintstone’s style or right on the top of the tire.
But the kids on the block love to ride. Levar has been riding a 20-year old large frame ten speed up and down the block all week, grinning as he straddles the top tube on every stroke.
Becoming Mr. Fixit wasn’t exactly my goal when I moved back to North Minneapolis. I wanted to curl up with my computer and indent my couch. But the grins, my wife and my own kids (Boys 1, 5, 6) got me moving.
I am becoming Neighborhood GeekDad, Allen wrenches, socket sets and an air pump are the tools of my trade.