Stephen Patrida urges colleagues to never "underestimate your abilities as bicycle mechanics”...

A  mechanic working at a bike shop in California has urged others working in the trade not to undervalue their abilities after a happy customer offered him a job at NASA.

Stephen Patrida of Santa Monica's Bike Effect shop  broke the news of his startling career change to the Facebook Group of the Professional Bike Mechanic’s Association, reports Cycling Industry News.

He stressed that in writing about his good fortune, he wasn't trying "to brag, but instead to inspire," urging his colleagues in the trade to never “underestimate your abilities as bicycle mechanics.”

Patrida explained how he came to land his new job, saying that the customer “liked my attitude, work ethic and my quality of work.

“I kept his bicycle in top shape and it paid off tremendously. I’ll be building spacecraft that will travel to Mars and beyond.”

He said: “You do great things. You stem from a long lineage of greats and you are capable of doing greater things.

“Don’t discount a single customer that walks in your doors. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would want to be treated with. The alter egos of your customers would surprise you."

He added: “Someone needs to replace me. Anyone interested in working in sunny Santa Monica, CA at the premiere Pro Road Shop?”

That reference to "a long lineage of greats" is not an exaggeration.

Pioneers of manned flight Orville and Wilbur Wright used the profits from the bicycle sales and repair business they set up in the early 1890s, and which subsequently branched out into making bikes under their own name, to finance their work that would lead in 1903 to the first successful flight of a heavier-than-air aircraft.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.