Bike mechanic in Seaforth, Ont., depends on contact, not sight, to do repairs

Jason Lamont has mounted so many bikes he suggests he could do it with his eyes closed and with ear muffs on. 

And that is much less of an exaggeration than you may well consider.

The 21-year-previous Seaforth, Ont., man has been relying on touch, not sight, to make repairs and adjustments on hundreds of bikes about the past two summers.

“I’m completely blind,” he claimed. “My retinas are detached from my eyes. I continue to have eyes, but they will not work.”

The condition is called retinopathy of prematurity. And whilst it manufactured it also dangerous for Lamont to pursue a aim of turning out to be a car or truck mechanic, it didn’t cease him from attending a simple bicycle maintenance system where by he acquired to change brakes, gears and modify tire tubes at Ontario Cycles in Listowel. 

“They actually claimed ‘you have a knack for this.'”

Jason Lamont, who is blind, relies on his feeling of touch to repair and tune up bicycles at his bicycle store, J’s Bicycle Repair. (Submitted by Jason Lamont)

Lamont went on to get a two-7 days bicycle mechanic class at Winterborne Bicycle Institute in Guelph in the spring of 2019. Then, he opened his individual shop.

“Every little thing for me is by come to feel. So if you will find the slightest little bit of perform in a bearing, a established of bearings, or if they spin tough, I’m going to know that and I am going to go ‘okay, these will need to come aside, we need to have to see what’s incorrect and go from there. I’m extremely unique about adjustments.” 

How it performs

Lamont operates the shop out of his parent’s garage from the spring right up until the fall. 

Inside of, his resources hold alongside a wall in the purchase they’d appear in a box set. It truly is a widespread storage system for bike retailers, mentioned Lamont, and it really is particularly practical for a person relying on a perception of touch. 

“In my circumstance, I have to sense alongside the wall. ‘Oh, I will need this dimensions of wrench,’ so I have to rely all the wrenches.” 

Lamont mentioned most folks do not comment on the fact he’s blind, although he does generally get requested if he can see gentle or shadows. The solution to that issue, he mentioned, is no. 

When a person pulls into the driveway, Lamont stated he’ll go outdoors with arms outstretched to locate their car. 

“That kind of presents them a trace that, ‘okay, he possibly would not have any vision,'” he stated. 

“They will place the bike out in front of me and they are going to show me where by it is and then they’ll notify me what is completely wrong and I go from there.” 

Incredible guidance

Lamont reported there are a lot more benefits than down sides to becoming blind. Some of the difficulties though, are having measurements and figuring out regardless of whether a little something is bent out of form. 

Luckily, assistance isn’t far absent. His dad lends a hand when Lamont asks for it and his mother manages the paperwork. 

“I have huge help from my relatives,” he stated. 

“When I very first begun, I desired help a large amount. I essential assist to determine out how cables route, I required assistance to determine out how bearings below the pedals arrived aside. I wanted assist to determine out how to alter the bearings in wheels.”

“I’ve gotten a lot improved considering the fact that I began,” he extra.

It truly is been a report calendar year for Lamont, in aspect because the pandemic drove up fascination in outdoor functions like biking. He set about 165 bikes, when compared to previous year’s 130. 

“Upcoming year is just heading to be superior. You might be making your earnings, you’re building your organization,” he stated. “I have realized so much about business and buyer services and how to ideal help men and women.”