About Jim of BikeMechTech
I was born in Falkirk, November 1964. From as far back as I can remember I have been attracted to “mechanical things”.
Before I was old enough to go to school I would watch the lorries trundle past the house.
The wagons and gensets were all Gardner powered in those days. How things have changed!
My first experience with mechanics was with a Meccano set at the age of 6. That progressed rapidly to building wooden bogies out of old prams! I even had an “artic” bogie using a scaffold plank as a trailer!
This evolved to push bikes
My first “real bike” was a Mark 2 Raleigh Chopper in Ultra Violet. I can still remember that Christmas morning.
It was 1972 and I was 8 years old. Have you seen the prices that these Iconic bikes can fetch now? The Sturmey Archer 3 speed “gearbox” impressed me so much.
I ran the Chopper for many years before moving up to a Dawes Double 5. That led to a Dawes Mirage with Reynolds 531 tubing.
I then progressed to a Barry Hoban with 531 and Campagnolo groupset. I then ventured into the off road world and bought a Kona Cinder Cone. I still have and use that bike.
As I was growing up I spent a lot of time out on my bike. I loved adjusting and tweaking my bike.
All my friends would give me their bikes to adjust and “fix”. Before I knew it, I was repairing most of the bikes in the village!
I then started buying broken bikes and parts. I would make one bike out of two or three “donor bikes”. I would sell them in the local paper.
When potential buyers came to the house they didn’t expect to be dealing with a 13-year-old! I continued this for a few years and sold dozens of bikes.
When I was about 15 years old I was repairing and servicing my late fathers driving school car. I fitted the dual controls when he renewed his cars.
Points and condensers were state of the art then. Again, how things have changed!
I began my apprenticeship in 1982 as an HGV mechanic at the age of 17. I loved every minute of every day. They were the best years of my life.
I was an HGV mechanic for 25 years. During that time I have held foreman, supervisor and workshop manager positions. I have owned and ran three 44 tonne artics of my own. I spent 1 year and 4 days in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1996-97 as Heavy Equipment Workshop Supervisor.
For the last 10 years, I have been in the offshore oil and gas industry. I started off on the platforms in the UK sector of the North Sea.
The last 8 years was on pipelay and construction vessels as a Mechanical / Hydraulic Technician. It was a global position with lots of world travel. That all came to an end with the downturn in 2015.
Do I miss it?
NO, I don’t. I hated every working minute of the last 10 years!
I decided to change direction and do something I “wanted” to do.
I have always been a keen cyclist and love bikes. Over the last few months I have taken up road cycling again, my wife has decided to join me. I hope my 8-year-old son will follow suit too.
I have a large workshop where I repair cars and motorcycles.
There’s a bench mounted pillar drill, a floor-mounted pillar drill and a 4.5 inch Boxford lathe with a screw cutting gearbox, which allows me to carry out light engineering tasks.
I have amassed 35 years worth of hand tools and equipment. The decision was made to invest in “bike specific tools” and start servicing and repairing bicycles.
I have always applied a QUALITY and not a QUANTITY philosophy.
I’d much rather do 5 jobs well instead of 10 jobs half! This inbuilt philosophy will be applied to YOUR bike.
I know I will never become a millionaire repairing bicycles.
If I can help someone to get their bike back on the road, or get their daily commute reliable, or build your child’s next bike for Christmas, I will be more than pleased.
I want to return to the days I still remember when “I loved every minute of every day”.