GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — While the pandemic has caused a lot of inconveniences -- even heartbreak -- for many, it has brought about new opportunities for some people.
When bicycles became one of the hottest items during quarantine, bicycle mechanic Bob Hammond figured it was either now or never to pursue a dream he had for quite some time.
It's inside a box truck that Hammond does his best work, surrounded by chains, gears, brakes, and brackets.
"I've been two weeks out all year working like 80 hours a week," Hammond told us. He created Common Bond Mobile Bike Shop.
Hammond is grateful for the business, since things were pretty bleak when the pandemic started. He was working at a bicycle repair shop that, like all non-essential businesses at the time, had to shut down.
"I had a minor panic attack because I was like, yeah, now what am I supposed to do?" Hammond recalled.
Owning a mobile bicycle repair shop was always the plan someday. But after some thought, Hammond decided that someday was now.
"I've been doing this for over 20 years, and then just kind of wanted to do my own thing and have something pretty unique."
He picked up a box truck for cheap, got a friend to transform the inside, and soon enough Hammond hit the road. It was good timing, too, since bicycles became one of the hottest items for entertainment during quarantine, and people needed help repairing their new purchases.
"I think, right now with how the world is, it's convenience. People having the convenience of not having to drive to their bike shop and, instead, having all the same services that a bike shop provides. I can do it in your driveway or at work."
Hammond likes it because it's also an easy way to social distance with clients. While he doesn't know what the future will look like, Hammond plans to keep doing this as long as he can.
"I just want to be able to work on bikes for a living," Hammond said. "It's not very often that you hear a lot of people that do something that they absolutely love. It's been an awesome experience."