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

Jason Lamont has preset so quite a few bikes he suggests he could do it with his eyes closed and with ear muffs on. 

And that’s a lot less of an exaggeration than you may possibly feel.

The 21-year-outdated Seaforth, Ont., man has been relying on contact, not sight, to make repairs and adjustments on hundreds of bikes over the past two summers.

“I am absolutely blind,” he claimed. “My retinas are detached from my eyes. I continue to have eyes, but they really don’t operate.”

The affliction is termed retinopathy of prematurity. And whilst it designed it too risky for Lamont to go after a aim of becoming a car or truck mechanic, it failed to stop him from attending a basic bicycle repair program where he discovered to regulate brakes, gears and alter tire tubes at Ontario Cycles in Listowel. 

“They essentially said ‘you have a knack for this.'”

Jason Lamont, who is blind, relies on his perception of touch to restore and tune up bicycles at his bike shop, J’s Bicycle Repair. (Submitted by Jason Lamont)

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

“Anything for me is by come to feel. So if you can find the slightest bit of participate in in a bearing, a established of bearings, or if they spin tough, I am heading to know that and I am heading to go ‘okay, these need to appear apart, we will need to see what is wrong and go from there. I’m quite certain about adjustments.” 

How it operates

Lamont runs the shop out of his parent’s garage from the spring until eventually the tumble. 

Inside of, his applications hold together a wall in the purchase they’d appear in a box set. It’s a common storage approach for bicycle stores, mentioned Lamont, and it really is specifically helpful for somebody relying on a perception of contact. 

“In my scenario, I have to feel alongside the wall. ‘Oh, I want this dimension of wrench,’ so I have to rely all the wrenches.” 

Lamont explained most folks never comment on the fact he’s blind, while he does often get questioned if he can see light or shadows. The respond to to that issue, he claimed, is no. 

When somebody pulls into the driveway, Lamont claimed he’ll go exterior with arms outstretched to find their auto. 

“That form of gives them a hint that, ‘okay, he it’s possible won’t have any eyesight,'” he discussed. 

“They will place the bicycle out in entrance of me and they’ll clearly show me exactly where it is and then they’re going to inform me what is actually wrong and I go from there.” 

Remarkable help

Lamont mentioned there are more benefits than shortcomings to being blind. Some of the difficulties though, are using measurements and figuring out no matter if anything is bent out of shape. 

Luckily, support is just not considerably away. His father lends a hand when Lamont asks for it and his mother manages the paperwork. 

“I have great aid from my spouse and children,” he explained. 

“When I to start with began, I required enable a whole lot. I required enable to figure out how cables route, I essential support to determine out how bearings beneath the pedals came apart. I required aid to determine out how to regulate the bearings in wheels.”

“I have gotten a lot superior considering that I began,” he added.

It truly is been a report yr for Lamont, in component since the pandemic drove up interest in out of doors actions like biking. He fixed about 165 bikes, in comparison to past year’s 130. 

“Upcoming year is just heading to be greater. You happen to be developing your gain, you might be creating your organization,” he explained. “I’ve realized so considerably about enterprise and consumer service and how to greatest assistance people today.”