How did you become the owner and mechanic of a bike store?
My grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was a senior in high school and it was my parents who encouraged me to take over his bike shop. I'd almost forgotten about it up until that point as I'd hardly been involved.
I loved illustration and had a vague desire to work in that area so I was a bit reluctant; but when I was told, "if you sell all that’s left in your grandfathers inventory you can turn the shop into anything you want.” Along with the fact that I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do, I decided to take over the store without thinking too much of it. I thought it might be interesting to do something different to my classmates.
I started to help out after school when we decided I was going to take over the store, but all I did was argue. My grandfather always acted tough and never let me catch on how painful his terminal cancer was, always countering my backchat. When he passed away before I graduated high school all I'd learned about fixing bikes was to lower the handlebars and repair punctures. Why did he leave me this shop? I didn't know how to repair anything, and what would I do when I had customers? I'd only just finished high school and was left on my own to continue running a bike shop. I regretted taking the offer so lightly, and truly resented my grandfather. But I continued with the shop in spite of the fact that I didn’t really know what I was doing. Countless times I’d think to myself, “why me? I want to quit."
But as customers grew, I began to see how amazing my grandfather actually was. My feelings began to slowly change as I learned more about him from those who came to visit. I heard how he had told people with delight that his granddaughter was going to take over the shop. Ten years after I took over the place I finally began to ride myself. It’s through cycling that I’ve been able to meet so many people and visit so many places. All I have is gratitude towards my grandfather, who left with me with skills and a character to be proud of.