I’m Ashok Mudholkar. I mostly fix bicycles. I help people make better use of their bikes when they allow me to do so. I run a shop on the idea that people should get their bikes fixed by people they develop trust with. More than anything else we hope to develop that trust through transparency and honesty.
Considering other professional options you had, why did you open a bike shop?
There’s a certain amount of it that’s just spastic weird luck. I got an education as a mechanical engineer. I had gotten into that because I worked in bike shops. I got out of engineering about 15 years ago and worked in construction for a while. I’d been casually talking to a friend about opening a bike shop when I came across this space and thought it’d be a nice space to open a bike shop in and took the plunge.
When did you become bike crazy?
That’d be 1992. I was living in Buffalo, New York, suffering my way through a very rough winter, being extra poor in a poor town. I was doing tech support for a company doing contract support for Apple. We were answering the phones pretending to be employees of Apple. I was riding a really crappy bike that didn’t fit me and was falling apart from all the salt and ice.
I had a friend that I played a little music with, who worked at a bike shop. I described my problem and he said, “How about we build you a bike?” We did that and I was like “that was pretty cool. Where’d you learn to do that?” He said, “I can get you a bike shop job. They have to hire a bunch of untrained monkeys to assemble their low-end bikes every winter and you could probably be one of those monkeys”. And so he got me my first crappy bike shop job at a chain in Buffalo and I ended up being one of those monkeys.
I learned a bunch from a good dude who managed the crew of assemblers there and I went on from there to work for the shop my friend worked for. And I’ve been at it ever since.