My or Our Bike Workshop….What is best for Mountain Biking Couples?



Kate-potter-4I’m probably not going to make myself any friends here, but it’s time for a whinge! I was told that to be a fully qualified Brit then one must learn to whinge or as Ian calls it moan every now and then. So here goes – As a little female voice in the big wide world of mountain biking there is one thing that really gets on my

ti(gh)ts…..Mountain biking husbands who think that they should control the bike workshop and that their Mrs should be seen, and not heard….unless of course bikes need to be cleaned or tubes repaired.

That is all I feel qualified to do when I venture into Mr Potter’s workshop space…..I dare not move a tool because even if I return it to the correct place, but incorrect angle….heaven forbid!
Ian has been busy building my 2010 Cotic full suspension race bike…..At this stage I have been allowed one finger on it for a little photo session as you will see above. Ian does not trust me when it comes to bike building and I see that as a big problem. Trust is an essential part of any relationship…even when it comes to building bikes. I must be trusted!!!!!
I dare to ask how many mountain biking women out there have lovely, caring and oh so considerate partners for 99% of the time……………BUT (yes there is always a but) when the man in your life is in ‘their’ bike workshop and you interrupt them, does the Jeckyl & Hyde inside them explode into action….especially if you are… well um…stirring them a little bit :)  .
There is still no excuse for being told to ‘GET OUT OF MY WORKSHOP!’
I decided on the 1st January that it was about time that Ian trusted me in the AQR bike workshop. I would start helping Ian and take control over building my bikes. I also wanted to feel what it was like to hide away in a bike workshop for hours on end, even if there is no ‘obvious to me’ mechanical bike work to be done. I have always been curious as to why Ian disappears to service bikes and ‘tinker’…where is the fun in that?
I promised myself that I would make more of an effort to learn the name of bike tools too….except I still prefer the name ‘tyre digger’ to tyre lever, so that name will remain. I would be Ian’s workshop shadow and learn the art of ‘bike tinkering’. Any grumpiness or stirring of any kind (from either Potter) would be ignored, we would learn to love one another 100% of the time and share the bike workshop as man and wife.
Then I got thinking and as a female bike mechanic and Mr Potter’s ‘darling’ wife, I had perfect right to half the workshop space (I’m sure that is said somewhere in the marriage vows), so I was staking my claim. It was time to do a little rearranging, as I like to be organised and tidy. I even came up with a little colour coded system so that Ian would now know where ‘OUR’ tools belong. I spent the whole day really sprucing the AQR workshop up and making it feel more homely for the bikes….a few ‘little’ changes here and there, a lick of paint, a few pretty bike pictures and presto a ‘Mr and Mrs AQR bike workshop – ‘bike home~sweet~ bike home’….ooh I like that name….In fact I might just make a sign for the front door of the workshop too.
Before I knew it time had passed by and it was going on half past six. I felt great! Nothing had been done mechanically mind you, but I was buzzing with delight. Ian might not be too happy to begin with, but the AQR workshop was now truly ‘his and her’ Potter friendly. Overtime Mr P would appreciate my hard work and even learn to live with a shared bike workshop. Well that was the plan, well my plan :)
Ian was remarkably calm when I showed him my changes to the workshop. I really thought he would go mad, but he took it all in his stride. He didn’t even wince when I showed him where all the ‘thingies’ went….I hate it when I can’t remember tool names. He just nodded…there was even a little smile…that was it….No facial fireworks? Nothing!
I was actually quite disappointed because I was ready for a fight. On the ride home, Ian talked about furniture, a new wardrobe, curtains, cushions…even fabric softner….WHAT?  Why aren’t I listening to Ian mumble about tools,  suspension, bikes and bike bits?
I walked inside my lovely little mountain home and I sensed change….I don’t like change (grrrrrr) Now KP facial fireworks were brewing and ready to explode. Ian had rearranged every room in the house…all my cooking utensils were colour coded….EVEN THOUGH IAN CAN’T COOK!!!!! The dining room table was now in my office area and the cushions that should be on that chair were on the settee….THAT IS ALL WRONG (said through gritted teeth). Ian even had the hide to rearrange my clothes so that the socks were mixed in with the undies…..BUT WHY!?!? I discovered my DVD collection had been rearranged too so that they were no longer in alphabetical order…..but in Ian’s favourites order……..NOOOOOOOO! Then to my horror Ian showed me the clothes line where I discovered all my white clothes were now different shades of green, red, and orange…..’At least it will match your Cotic Bontrager kit….’ Ian dared to speak.
Then I was handed a little present…when I opened it I discovered a roughly made sign with the words ‘Mr and Mrs Potter….Home sweet Home’.
So the moral of the story… in Ian’s own little words…..”don’t upset the Jekyl! Find your own bike workshop and leave me and my bike tinkering alone!”

All I can say is ‘talk to the hand and whatever!!!!’ as I stomp off into the kitchen to do some home baking…where I can find some much needed peace and quiet….plus a little well earned space :)