The bike guy

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- -- Due to the recent bicycle roundup giveaway event and subsequent donations to the Airman's Attic, there are more Yokota residents riding around on two wheels these days.

One man with the responsibility to keep those wheels safely on the road is Matthew Beebe, a bicycle mechanic, who is also known as "the bike guy" assigned to the 374th Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation center.

"There has definitely been an increase in bikes at my office," said Beebe. "My increased work load is primarily because of people needing repairs from bicycles they received from the roundup."

Repairing bikes by himself, with the help of music, allows him to stay focused on finishing up repairs.

"In an average week, I get between five to eight bikes," said Beebe. "If I can, I will do the repair on-the-spot so the customer doesn't have to wait a week to get it back, but some repairs require more time to pinpoint and fix the problem."

Basic repairs consist of cleaning, gear and brake adjustments, wheel truing and safety checks.

"Depending on the type of bike, repairs can range from simple adjustments or repairs to total disassembly of components," said Beebe. "This can take from several minutes to several hours or even days, but in the end, you have an almost good-as-new bicycle."

Even with the added workload, Beebe still likes the job he does.

"I get a lot of enjoyment in what I do," said Beebe. "By fixing these bicycles, I help ensure people have a safe mode of transportation and experience Japan in a way it was meant to be... by bicycle"