So much talk of tools lately and how sometimes they can become “not-your-favorite”. How they can become dull or haggard, and how maybe if they could help themselves, they might become “favorites” again. It’s a tough row for tools to hoe, always being favorite. It caint go forever. This gets me thinking about jobs and tools pretty heavy, how they fall in and out of grace. Most of the time, tools become “not favorite” because the job isn’t right for the tool, so the tool just sits there and makes up stories in defense of why it should still be “the favorite.” Then it just keeps failing in this way, still trying to do a job it can’t because all it wants is Father’s love and it doesn’t know anything else. Anyway, all this recent talk of tools and doing has me thinking of my own favorite job doers. For instance, Snake hawk appreciates the multi facetted capabilities of any legitimate pedal wrench while Joey D. goes for the straight blades of a nice clean chase and face. Even Dirty Biker has a favorite tool. It’s the MLP-1. All these things? They get shit done.
I believe we all have a thing we appreciate more than others. Some more than others. The mechanische will always obsess to this point. For me, my favorite tool isn’t the 5mm Hex although it should be. I’m always using it. Nor is my favorite tool a rounded out 3mm cap bolt since I’m always making those, it seems. Often however, it is the Park DAG-2, and mostly, it is the sharpened spoke. Thin, homemade, unique. In right moments, it gets things done like a self-made PRO. It does things like scratch heights on seat posts, fillet seals out of cartridge bearings, hack out trudged up bb threads, or better yet, stab seals out of an RP23. At the end of the day it is scraping the grease and dirt from my fingernails.
But perhaps more importante than its function is that it has existed in one form or another through my entire career as a bike mechanic. This is a career with 20 year old legs and it isn’t letting up, and every time I look, there it is, my sharpened spoke. When I think the profound nature of such a small thing, it’s akin to thinking about shaved legs. What I think then, is that my sharpened spoke and all it’s brethren that have been with me through the thick and thin of bicycle mechanics are a strange and beautiful point of cycling tradition. A weird and subtle detail as is much of the nuance of our love. Weird. Sexy even, so I just kind of like it.