Boy on a roll!

 We live in a disposable, throw away, buy it new rather than repair it society. When I went to Kenya, every item had many years of life – repeated years of life. Bike tires were repaired or when the bike could no longer be fixed, the parts were cannibalised for use as tires on wheelchairs or toys for children to push with a stick. 

When I was about 11/12 years old I took a class with Mr. Zube that was a bicycle maintenance & repair course. We had even competitions in skill riding and were taught about repairing and maintaining bikes. I loved the class. I lived on my bike. In fact, I was so good at riding, when I was a paper boy I could deliver my entire route no-handed. I would roll papers as I rode along skillfully (and not so skillfully). I used that class to repair many a flat tire!

Today my son Harrison and nephew Aidan were riding bikes. Aidan we thought had lost some air; in his tire that is not from his backside (hey we are boys and boys do that stuff!). Anyway, when they returned from a brief journey, it was certainly a hole in the tire. We rolled up our sleeves and repaired it the old fashioned way. Immersed the tub in the sink to find the hole, I taught them which tools to use, even had my proper repair kit to show them how to take the tube out (a back tire nonetheless which is trickier due to the brakes and chain). With a little elbow grease and some patience we had a mighty fine repair job.

I enjoyed the effort of teaching them what I consider an invaluable skill but also life lesson. Many good things get thrown away as we don’t know how to repair them. Or we don’t take time to learn or be taught. It has been a good week for repairs. Last night I even saved my desktop PC for the moment; floppy drive failure, unable to boot, unable to even start. Aside from the practical aspects, it is good to learn new things. It stimulates the mind, we build relationships and hopefully we do are part in being good stewards of what God has provided. I feel like a boy on a roll!


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