Ranging from a child's metal and plastic bike with training wheels, a $5000 road racing bike and even a tandem or two.
Each have their own personalities and technical challenges.
That's what makes this kind of work both challenging and enjoyable. It's certainly never dull or uneventful.
Case in point, yesterday Alex and his friend brought me his hand-powered trike. It's a recumbent style machine that is very close to the ground and is completely powered with a hand crank system instead of pedals for the feet. Alex and his friend (who's name I forgot) are both wheelchair bound, so using a foot powered bike isn't an option. This is a unique machine for me. I've never worked on one previous to this, but I have seen them in the medial.
The system to power the machine is basically the same as that on a bicycle, except for the fact that it is.... upside-down. Test drives give me an intimate idea of what the rider has to deal with as they power the unit, turn and stop. Two hand brakes apply stopping power to the front wheel only. Changing gears is a mind bending process for me as it is completely different from a bicycle. A rider needs to stop pedalling in order to change gears as the hand crank and the brake/gear leavers are mounted independent of each other.
This took a few tries to get it right, and I'm still not very smooth at it.
The legs as you may have guessed are not part of the function of the machine so they have to be kept out of the way. To stirrups, or foot rests sit astride of the front wheel. I'm interested to see the proper mounting and dismounting technique that it's intended rider uses. As a leg-powered person, I find it pretty unconventional in the manner in which I mount and dismount the machine. Not graceful by any means.
Since the shift/brake leaver is non-functional, it had to be ordered in and it will be about a week before I can truly put it through its paces. The adventure continues.