Ok, not exactly an interview, but a message from Pete, who may just be the wrench at your local bike shop. Although this was directed to other mechanics out there, I think that the message is a good one for cyclists that need the services of a qualified mechanic once in a while.
Pete says, “Is it just me or is the whole ‘will you wrench on my bike in exchange for a 6 pack’ thing getting old? I don’t understand how the beer to labor rate got so inflated. Why would I install a fork for a six pack? I charge $35 to install a fork, a six pack costs $9. I can go buy that same six pack for the same price. That might have been a better deal before I turned 21 but it’s just insulting now. That 6 pack might make for a good tip after I’ve been paid and the customer really liked my work but it shouldn’t constitute payment. The only other people that do work in exchange for alcohol or drugs are the homeless, alcoholics, and prostitutes. I’m none of those so don’t treat me like one.
I believe that when mechanics accept token amounts of alcohol in exchange for repair work it devalues our whole profession. So many people already question a mechanic’s integrity just because they are a mechanic (auto, bicycle, moto mechs. etc.). Let’s not give them any more reasons to think we are shady characters. What kind of person trusts a mechanic to work on their machine if that mechanic is so hard up for alcohol that they accept beer for payment? Alcohol is not a legitimate form of currency!“
I’m not printing his shop name, but next time you see your mechanic, remember, beer is great for a tip, not payment.