provInnsbruck has published quite a lot about bikes in Provinnsbruck and I would like to add to its musings.
This morning as I was biking to university I stumbled upon the Free Bike Check-up on the Marktplatz. I joined the ‘queue’. I use queue in this sense very loosely as queuing doesn’t seem to exist here, well, not in the British sense at least.
This queue was more of a random hodgepodge of whose bike wheel could ease in front. I had an Italian couple talking at nineteen to the dozen to my left, old men with white beards behind me and a middle-aged man to my right who arrived considerably later than others behind me and who unashamedly pushed in. If you were perhaps not aware beforehand, queuing in Britain is a national pastime and rules must be abided to. Queue-jumpers, for me, are persona non grata and I have even told queue jumpers in Hofer that the queue starts back there.
After about 15 minutes, I reached the front. My bike mechanic, who later admitted that he was not a bike mechanic but a weather man, was incredibly patient and even smiled at my total and utter lack of knowledge about bikes. He checked my brakes, pumped my tires, oiled various bike parts, tightened bike parts that I didn’t even know existed and, since he had been there all week and there was a huge queue behind me, was relaxed and chatty. He asked me where I was from and then immediately switched into English telling me that his aunt lives in Liverpool. Everyone: the four bike mechanics, the young students handing out free reflectors, T-shirts and bike saddle protectors, was friendly and willing to help.
Especially as semester is about to begin and with that a massive influx of bicycles around campus, and autumn is on our doorstep, I think this free service by IVB, ÖAMTC and Die Bikerei is an excellent service which I very much hope will be repeated.
Die Bikerei Werkstatt is open to everyone every Tuesday from 5- 9 in Die Bäkerei, Dreiheiligenstraße 21a Innsbruck.