Bike Shopping

My First Experience ….. With a Bike Shop

Before I knew I was officially going to race in the ironman triathlon I went to a bike shop to see what I was going to have to get if I got in. It was like walking into a different world. I’ve passed by bike shops before. They were on par with a D&D game store. I knew they existed, but never saw inside. I guess the thought of ‘abandon all hope for all ye who enter’ passed through my mind. Was I going to be sucked in, addicted and attending conventions dressed like my favorite ….. um biker?

Anyway, the process of finding, fitting and buying a bike is way more complicated than I could have imagined. Fortunately I went with a friend that has a bike. We passed all the mountain bikes till we hit the road bikes in the back. I’m pretty tall, so anything that would fit me was hanging from the ceiling. I couldn’t just sit on one and try it out myself. A salesperson came up to me and said he has one hanging right above my head. He got his ladder and pulled it down, as I grabbed it, I said “I got it, you can leave go”. He already did. It weighed less than the baseball hat I was wearing (not really, but it was really light).

Once it was on the floor, I tried to pay attention to what he was saying about the sprockets, gearing and saddle. Did he say saddle? OK, I’m going to have to learn these terms so I don’t sound ….. amateurish. Apparently I came across that way anyway and the salesperson said surprisingly, “You’ve never been in a bike store before?” “I have been, when I was 12!”

The salesman held the front tire between his knees and the handlebars with his hands and instructed me to get on. I straddled the bike, but the saddle was a little too high for me to get on without leaving the ground. He said, “don’t worry I have you”.  Up I go. It was like balancing on one leg. If you haven’t done it in a while, you are very wobbly. He asked me if I wanted him to put pedals on (oh yea, there were no pedals on it) so I could test ride it around the parking lot…… hhhmmmm. The only thing I could picture was me riding that bike through the parking lot and ending up crashing, bending the frame and breaking my skull….. Maybe not today I said, I don’t even know if I’m in the race yet. We laughed about the panic my friend saw in my face on the way home. He knew there was no way I was riding that bike that day.

I did get some good information that I can research on my own so I’ll be more prepared the next time I enter one of these cult like stores. Just wait, in two months I’ll be talking with the best of them…. at the convention, dressed as my favorite biker.

Since then, I did sign up and got a slot in this years (2011) ironman triathlon. I’m still in search of a bike…..

Comments are closed.