Pigs, Chickens, & the All-Numb
Whenever I need to change my brake pads or repair my bike after stupidly trying to undertake a turning garbage truck, I go to Brixton Cycles at around 08:50 for their daily clinic. It’s a 16 mile round trip through the City. The roads are for shit, all tube-splitting drain covers, metal grilles and potholes, and I’m surrounded by buses. I don’t mind the distance, but its far from a relaxing ride. Why do it?
Because I go for a service and I leave with goodwill. Because the people who work there are genuinely interested in what they do. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe every one of them leaves work and goes home to read up on the latest frame moulds or the comparative properties of different chainwheels. I’m sure within their collective a wide group of interests are represented. But when you see them ride into work on touring bikes, racing bikes, mountain bikes, when you see them effortlessly skid to a halt or nimbly mount the pavement and glide into the store on freewheel momentum, you know these people know bikes and love bikes. It shows. Ever hear tell of the Chicken and the Pig? It’s not quite the Scorpion and the Frog, no-one’s woven a film around it yet, but Brixton Cycles feels like its full of pigs (for those who didn’t click through, that means everyone in there is committed to doing a great job in a great way)!
Every day we sub-consciously register a plethora of signals that say “I don’t know” or “I don’t care”. We give them out, too. And it sucks, it completely sucks that so much of the time we’re dealing with things we’re not invested in. What sucks harder is that we numb ourselves to apathy and disdain, because if we let them enrage us every time we’d go crazy. But that can lead to the All-Numb, that dreadful state where we live our lives, outside of interactions with our intimates, in a transactional mindframe, blinkered by the things we’ve come for and the why we’re due them.
Brixton Cycles is just one of many bulkheads against the chicken slave-warriors of the All-Numb. We should be grateful to all the pigs out there, guarding us from the involved.