For today’s mechanic profile, we’re heading out to the west coast to meet Jae Honda, a Certified Spin Doctor bicycle mechanic (and avid surfer, if you can’t catch that from the photo below). Jae currently wrenches in our Ventura, CA store, although soon he’ll be moving, along with the rest of the store, down the coast a bit to our new Oxnard, CA location:
How long have you been a mechanic and how did you get started?
5 years. I started just working on my own bikes, then my friend’s bikes, and it just kept going.
How long have you worked for Performance?
1 year 4 months.
Where are you from?
Los Angeles, Ca. and grew up on Maui.
What’s your nickname?
What was your toughest and ultimately most gratifying repair?
I don’t have a toughest repair story but I do have a most gratifying repair story: An older couple comes in and tells me that his wife is unable to ride her bike without major discomfort (she was in a airline crash back in the 80s and had to have most of her spine fused) so I swapped out the stem for a more upright position and then the saddle for a more comfortable ride and the one she really liked was a suspension seat post to absorb the bumps in the road. She had an ear to ear smile when she left the store.
What’s your favorite type of riding?
Mountain biking on technical single track with challenging climbs
What do you do when you’re not working on bikes?
Surfing, weight training, traveling, and restoring/modifying muscle cars/hot rods. I own a 1963 Corvette split window.
What’s your favorite tool? Why?
My Oxy/Acetylene welding torch, because I love to work with metal.
What’s your funniest bike-related experience?
Showing up for a metric century wearing flip-flops and riders asking if I forgot my shoes. I grew up in Hawaii and I “HATE” shoes.
Preferred music while wrenching?
60s & 70s rock & roll.
Have you participated in any bike races, charity rides or events? What did you do at the event (race/ride or man a support station, etc.)?
In the early 90s I did some cross country MTB racing. I’ve done the M.S.150 ride. Have done support for various century and double century rides in CA.
In 2007 I was a crew member on a R.A.A.M. team on which the 2 female riders set the record. It was for Team Phoenix, and my ex wife was one of the riders. It was very hard on the crew. After day 6 it was a touch and go for the crew as much as the riders. I don’t think it matters that much if the riders are male or female. Once they are tired all riders will get cranky and moody.
What’s your one indispensable bike tip?
Always ride w/a pump,tube, tire levers and patches. Why? Even if you can’t change a flat, someone will come along who can.