In the 2018 TD Five Boro Bike Tour Official Program & Ride Guide, we’ve featured exceptional members of the Bike New York community from each of the five boroughs. Representing Manhattan, meet one of our newest mechanics in training.
Most people remember the first bike they rode—Frankie Chan remembers the first one he worked on. “It was a kids’ bike—a training bike. Eric showed me the skills: what tools to use, what not to use,” he says, referring to Eric Robinson, a Bike New York mechanic who, along with Frankie and the rest of our mechanic team, has been inspecting, repairing, and overhauling our education program’s bicycle fleet.
Frankie joins our team by way of AHRC, a family governed organization committed to finding ways for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to build full lives as defined by each person and supported by dedicated families, staff, and community partners. Three days a week, Frankie works rigorously to ensure the fleet is ready for another year of riding.
“People show what to do and I can follow. I just watch and I know what to do.”
In between fixing brakes, cabling gears, and snipping housing, Frankie livens up Bike New York’s Recycle-A-Bicycle warehouse in Long Island City with jokes and commentary. A generous spirit, he has been known to buy pizza and soda for the team to enjoy. The Chinatown resident will even bring you a better version of a snack, like dried mangoes, from home.
It’s only been a few months, but Frankie feels good about working on bikes now. He considers himself a visual learner. “People show what to do and I can follow. I just watch and I know what to do.” Although he is comfortable working on bikes and getting his hands dirty, he has yet to learn how to ride a bicycle. “It looks easy to ride, but two wheels? Four wheels would be nice,” says Frankie, ever the comedian. “Make it six wheels!” And with that, our mechanics consider their next project.