Over the next few weeks we'll be interviewing each of our wonderful staff here at Bike Otago to give you a little glimpse into the people behind the job. We decided to start out with none other than Joel Anderson.
It seems like you've been around here for forever, how long have you been a bike mechanic?
(Shrugs and laughs) ... a long time. I'd probably have to check my Inland Revenue forms to figure out exactly. I've worked for Bike Otago for about 7 years, I originally started working building bikes when the shop was still owned by Greg Leov. Once Kashi took over I became the workshop manager.
What's your favorite part about the mountain biking community in Dunedin?
I just love the social riding aspect of it. We have such awesome trails so close by and it's great to be able to go out and ride and know you'll run into at least one person you know out on the trails.
What really first got you into riding?
I guess I've always ridden bikes since I was a kid, but it was really my good mates in high school that got me into full on mountain biking. After that I was pretty hooked and never looked back.
Funniest work story?
Hmmmm... does Jeremy Forlong count? I think the funniest story from my time in the shop was when I taught a guy that his bike had gears. He first brought it in saying that no matter how hard he pedaled, he just didn't seem to go anywhere. It was a $200 bike, so I thought it probably just needed some adjustments. I fixed it up, gave it back to him, and he went on his way. The next week he came back saying the same thing, pedaling as hard as he could, still not going anywhere. After talking with him more it turns out he didn't know that his bike had gears. When he first came in the chain was on the lowest gear, so that's how I gave it back to him. So he had spent his entire time on the bike just pedaling as hard as he could in the easiest gearing. A few days later I was riding to work at a pretty fast speed and all of a sudden he blew past me. Turns out all he needed was a little help with the gears!
From what I've heard you tend to be pretty accident prone. What's the worst crash you've ever gotten in on your bike?
Oh man this is a good one. When I was a kid, I was riding my bike to school and slipped on some ice. I ended up knocking out all my front teeth, breaking two bones in my hand, and racking up $33,500 in dental bills. I'd say that's probably my worst crash.
What can we find you doing when you're not at work or on your bike?
Eating, hunting, the outdoors... and new socks! I love new socks.