Friday, August 22, 2014

I pumped the tires up in the spring; isn't that good enough for the season??


      In the past I always made sure to keep up on the maintenance of my bike.  At the beginning of the season I always wiped the cobwebs off, filled the tires with air (any random amount, it was a feel thing...) then of course I had to fill my water bottle.

     Little did I know, my air pressure in my tires needed to be checked every time I ride and it has to be in a certain range depending on the tire.

     I didn't really look at my bike as a complex machine; just a way to get from point A to point B.  I had no idea I had to be fitted for a bike.  I usually saw one I liked and made sure I could touch the ground on my tippy-toes and that was where the seat stayed for the life of the bike.

     When I first started shopping for my new road bike, I knew not much more than the names of a couple of good bikes. I went into a bike shop that carried these brands armed with very little knowledge, and the first thing the salesman asked me was what my budget was...  Talk about a blank canvas...

    He said he would need to order the bike that I was interested in and to make it go quicker he decided to ask me my in-seam, rather than waste time with a tape measure.  I had no idea because when I buy pants they're always way too long but I couldn't tell you by how much.

     I just threw a random number out there so I didn't sound totally clueless and the number I came up with was about 31 or 32.  He never batted an eye as he jotted my supposed measurements in his notes.  Mind you, I'm flirting with 5 feet 2 inches and there was no way in the world I had a 32 inch in-seam but he appeared more interested in getting it ordered so he could move along to the next "serious customer" so I was out the door without a clue what we just ordered in. 

I guess it's hard to take this look serious

      Later that day I called him back to tell him I measured my inseam and was actually 29... wow, were we off!

     When the bike was in I took along one of my riding buddies who used to have a bike shop and knew everything about bikes, not to mention he was also familiar with the challenges that I faced on a bike due to my MS.  

     When we got there the salesman who helped me before wasn't there, but a different salesman combed the place until he found the bike that was ordered in.  I never would have known, but my riding buddy discovered that the bike he had ordered in was the grade below what we had talked about but it was surely going to be the price that was "in my budget". I would have never known this if I was by myself.

     Then the bikes come without pedals and the salesman just assumed the standard clip pedals would work. The thing was, I need my feet free so if I lose my balance they can hit the ground quickly. When we  said I needed a right pedal with some sort of spikes to hold my weak foot on he looked at me as though I was from another planet.  

     He told me to stand over the bike frame to see if it fit, and that was the most important thing.  Yes, it fit, but what about my feet!?!?  He didn't seem to want to go the extra mile to make the adjustments so I told him I had to get going but I would get back with him... Yep, you guessed it... I never went back...

     That's when I decided to drive an hour north into Michigan to get my new Terry bike, and I sure was glad I did because the salesman there treated me like I was his only customer and my new bike fits like a glove!

     I guess bikes are just like automobiles, and if you don't do your homework you can surely get taken for a ride.

Have a great weekend!!



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