Monday, August 9

Choices

My next bike will be sturdy. It will fulfill its purpose well. I want a bike that will be a solid every day commuter. But I don't want to walk into REI and announce: "I Would like to purchase a commuter bicycle," and then walk out with the first thing they stick under my behind. I'm a more discriminating cyclist than that.

Speaking of indiscriminate cyclists…we were at Walmart last night picking up a bunk-bed for Boone. The site to store counter is right by the bike section of Wally World. There was a lesbian couple shopping for bikes and they were sort of discriminating, in the fact that they were nit picking on the junk bikes the guy was hauling off the racks for them to "test ride" up and down the toy aisles.

"Well, I like this one, but the front tire is flat and the brakes are loose."

Lady, tires go flat over time. All tires. They were probably never inflated to the proper PSI anyway. To the person who put that bike together "PSI" probably sounds like a TV show, a punk band, or some kind of mind powers.

And the brakes are loose because they are the cheapest quality components you can get for the money and they were installed by some Walmart employee who probably couldn't ride a bike, much less properly adjust the parts.

Her significant other scowled at me, I assume because I was hindering her "test ride", as I shielded Lily from getting run over with my body, partially blocking the narrow aisle. Or it could have been because I'm a man I guess. Its funny because Mandy overheard the first woman make the statement that her partner used to race bikes. Hmmm…

Anyway, if you're buying a bike at Walmart the most important decision you can make is on the color, because no matter what else you might decide, the bike is junk and its going to perform like junk.

So when I make my next bike purchase I will not go to Walmart. And even if I go to REI or a local bike shop I'm determined that I will ignore any sales push to buy something I don't want or need. I will not look at the label on the tag because I know that "commuter" means grampa bike to a lot of people and that's not what I want.

I want a bike that will get me back and forth to work every day without fail but that will also carry me up Mount Evans or cross country should the opportunity arise. I truly do want a touring bike. I want to be able to load it down with camping gear or groceries, trek for a hundred miles across the prairie or up to Golden in a snowstorm.

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