Our Guy in Kuwait
Helping Our Troops Keep Their Bikes Rolling
John Gunterman working at Sandy Spokes Bicycle Repair in Ali Al Salem, Kuwait, summer 2006.
Howdy fellow patrollers.
My service to our Country has found me recalled to Active Duty for a
year to Kuwait. I had my 29"er SingleSpeed shipped over as well as a
few long sleeve NMBP Jerseys (the sun is BLAZING over here). I brought
over only the very basics I needed to take care of my single-speed.
Problem is, there are many, many, MANY bicycle shaped objects(are
Huffy and Pacific, etc. purchased from the local AAFES, PX's, or
NEX's.) over here and I have quickly become the "go-to guy" for all
manner of repairs. Sadly I find myself Ill equipted to do these
repairs. and I cannot finacially support going out of pocket to
purchase the necessary things I need to help these people.
I am in dire need of :
any DRY type chain lube (Pedro's Ice Wax, etc.)
tube patch kits
If anybody has any contacts or pull with the folks at Park Tools
perhaps they (Park)
could put together a basic tool kit..... I have a flock of about 200
hungry Walgeese and nothing to feed them with.
(riding the _only_ 29"er VanDessel single speed in all of Kuwait)
Ali Al Salem, Kuwait.
In March I received the email below on the National Mountain Bike Patrol group email. John Gunterman moved
from New Hampshire to Memphis late in 2005. He was the patrol coordinator for the NH chapter of the New
England Mountain Bike Association. Not long after arriving in Memphis John was called back to active duty for a
year in Kuwait. He shipped his bike over for personal recreation and found himself the bike repair guy on the base.
John appealed for help in meeting these needs and I decided MSTA should step in to help John.
MSTA appealed to our partner bicycle shops for donations or discounts to help supply John.
Hal at Peddler Bike Shop responded with a box containing tubes, patch kits, lube and
wrenches. These supplies were shipped to John and received on April 19, 2006.
I sent John's remaining tool needs list to Park Tools again asking for a discount or donation.
Park tools responded with a very simple message:
Please provide a shipping address and we'll send these items.
We are waiting for the Park Tools shipment to reach John so we can get pictures of him using
all the supplies repairing his fellow soldiers bicycles. Thanks to Hal at Peddler and Dan at Park
Tools for their generous donations to our efforts.
Park Tools Donation Arrives in Kuwait
I am happy to report that Park Tools came through for us in a big way!
Included in thier care package was:
Park CCW-5 Crank Wrench
Park SW-40 Four-Sided Spoke Wrench
Park SW-42 Four-Sided Spoke Wrench
Park CCP-2 Crank Puller....
(2) Tire Lever Sets
A nice set of Hex Wrenches
Since recieving these tools I have been able to repair and adjust over 30 previously unusable bicycles to "safe"
operational condition. Given the limited resources I doubt I can ever hope to attain "optimum" condition, but
"safe" is a worthy goal.
For now, I'm working in front of my Pod out of an old fishing tackle box.
Service Hours are limited to 0600 to 0800 due to the extreme heat (it is now reaching 105°F to 110°F daily and
getting hotter by the day.)
A huge thanks goes out to Park Tools, The Peddler Bike Shop, and the Members of the Mid-South Trails
Association! None of this would have been possible without your support.
IT3 Gunterman USN
Ali Al Salem, Kuwait
Along with MSTA, Peddler Bike Shop and Park Tools will receive a
Certificate of Appreciation as shown below.
Below are the details of how this effort started.
John is safely back home now.
Thanks to everyone who donated to this effort.