“Practicing on bikes is a great way to inspire kids,” said David Blessing, a bicycle enthusiast from St. Paul. He is a warehouse manager for a local wholesale bike distributor by day, and by night — since 2008 — he restores or repairs bikes in his own shop in the Harriet Island neighborhood. He claims that it is not that expensive to provide a decent running bike that actually enhances your life.
Blessing had managed Sibley Bike Depot from 2004 to 2008. “It was a non-profit bike program where we mentored at-risk youth, inner city families, and homeless vets.” said Blessing. Participants developed skills at a tool bench by rebuilding donated bikes.
“I remanufacture bikes,” Blessing said, “I listen, not assume what you need. Much of my work is with women’s bikes, a much overlooked market.” He also works on men’s and children’s bikes.
He likes working with steel, building wheels and frames. “Car repair or air conditioner rebuilding are one and the same,” said Blessing, explaining why he thinks these fields are less interesting. “But with bikes you can easily re-do every part and it shows.”
“I still have my original helpers with handy vintage experience,” said Blessing. “One [is] a former electrician, the other a retired Aveda chemist, with a few Vietnam vets from the Sibley scene drifting in occasionally as well,” said Blessing.
Blessing has worked in the bike business since August 1984. Prior to that, he did filmmaking and music. Blessing said, “Summer is here and I get to do what I love best!” To contact David Blessing, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org