A Passion for Cycling

The manager for an UES locksmith on work and biking throughout the city

14 Oct 2019 | 02:35

Fixing things and repairing locks help pay the bills, but cycling is the passion for Upper East Side resident Brandon Sauer.

Sauer, 35, is the office manager at Sky Locksmith and Hardware at 1547 First Ave. He conveniently lives above his job.

While Sauer studied international relations and politics at SUNY New Paltz, he always envisioned himself doing something in the hardware industry.

“I like to see how things work,” Sauer said. “I don’t look back and wish that I had done things differently.”

Sauer explained that the job has its ups and downs. There are technicians on call 24/7 at Sky Hardware and often people contact him late at night. Whether they dropped their keys down the elevator shaft or simply are locked out of the house, someone is always there to help.

"Stress from the Job"

He noted that it is gratifying when they set up someone’s locks on their home and make them feel safe.

“I really enjoy the interaction,” he said. “I like the satisfaction that people get. After we finish a project they’re happy and feel safe.”

According to Sauer, freelance locksmiths have made the job a bit difficult. About 10 or 15 years ago they began popping up all over. However, they are often not licensed, do shoddy jobs and overcharge.

The next morning customers call Sky Hardware to fix their mess.

He pointed out that it can be challenging when they are setting up someone’s locks and they receive a frantic call about another person being locked out. Essentially, he has to coordinate that new job while still finishing the current one.

“The stress from the job comes from trying to handle the time for all of this,” he said.

Triathlons in Texas

Born and raised in the Catskills, Sauer moved to NYC 10 years ago. Prior to living on the UES, he resided in Harlem. He commuted to a job in Brooklyn and quickly realized owning a bicycle would be more practical and cheaper than the subway.

So he got a bike and fell in love with it. He does triathlons across the country, bikes all over the city and in New Jersey and Long Island.

From riding through Central Park and biking all the way out to Montauk in Long Island he has seen it all in New York. In fact, he has even done triathlons in Texas and this weekend is doing one in North Carolina. Being on a bike is a feeling like no other, he said.

“Riding a bike in the city gives you freedom that other forms of our transportation don’t give you,” he noted.

With the 25 cyclists deaths so far this year in the city, Sauer said he feels safe riding, but it definitely is an issue.

He explained that two years ago the city had a “love affair” with cyclists, but officials are not doing much to ensure the riders' safety. Sauer feels the city needs to do more to educate its residents and tourists about the guidelines of riding a bike in the city.

Yes, he acknowledges, automobiles cause accidents, but cyclists should wear helmets, pay close attention, know where to turn and follow the bike rules.

“I don’t know if it’s safer or not safer,” he said. “I feel safer because I’m a more experienced rider. I know what to look for.”