Imagine this: your family bike needs repairs. Maybe you need your whole fleet of family bikes tuned up. Or maybe you have a heavy cargo bike or e-bike that needs some serious TLC. But how? When? How do you get broken bikes lugged to the shop? If you have multiple bikes, a large box bike, or a heavy e-bike (plus toddlers), it’s extra tricky.
I was swapping stories of bike maintenance woes with another mama e-biker the other day. For both of us, getting our large cargo e-bikes to a specialized e-bike repair shop is a huge errand. It means making an appointment and biking a long distance (on an in-need-of-service bike), then getting a ride or using public transit to get home, likely with a cranky kid along for the ride on an errand that can take half a day, with another half-day to do the pickup. And the worst part is being bike-less for the indefinite time in-between.
As a result, I was avoiding the needed bike doctor. I had a burned out motor and was limping along on a worn-out e-bike, with a box of replacement parts waiting in my living room, but getting all my ducks in a row to take the bike into a far-off shop was just too hard, and I loathed the idea of being bike-less for a week or more.
That’s when someone finally told me about mobile bike repair. How didn’t I know about this wonderment? Like old-fashioned doctor house calls, these bike repair folk will bring their repair kit to your house or nearby park, and they will doctor-up your bike right there, on the spot. No need to hobble to the shop. No need to walk yourself home. No need to wait an unknown time period for the bike to be repaired. They come, they fix, they leave. Fantastic.
And you can watch! Which is kind of fun, especially if you are the protective type and don’t like letting your beloved steed out of your sight. You can also troubleshoot with the mechanic (ride around the block and say, “yeah, it’s still making a weird clicking sound”), and learn as they fix it. (Oh! That’s what that is! Now I see.) You might get to have some useful conversations like, “you could get a new X now, or you could leave this until next year’s tune-up” or “this would be really expensive to change, but it’s safe to ride” or “have you noticed this problem? This needs to be fixed right away.”
So, it is with great delight that I can tell you that I had a mobile bike mechanic come all the way out to my house and fix my big family e-bike. A big thank you to Eric from The Bikeologist for making the trip! In just a few hours (the time it would have taken me to lug my whole family to a repair shop, and maybe still be waiting for the bus ride home), Eric replaced the rear wheel with motor, got a new back tire for me, adjusted the brakes, checked the chain, tightened up my seat, and took a look at a second bike that had some quirks. My kids got to continue running around us in circles outside. And I got to sip my coffee in the driveway.
Best of all: I never had to leave my bike behind and it was fixed in a jiffy. It’s the bike repair game-changer that I never knew existed. Yay for bike mechanic house calls!