It was a new bike day for this lovely lady this week:
And being her bike-shopping buddy made me remember how much goes into finding just the right bike — and how intimidating that can be if you don’t feel like you know much about bikes to begin with.
She’d been wanting a speedier road bike to replace her classic Fuji, but without feeling like she knew the “language” of bicycles hadn’t really made much progress. It’s hard to find what you’re looking for when you don’t know exactly how to articulate what you’re looking for, right? So while she was up in Portland, we took advantage of the chance to go visit several bike shops and try a bunch of bikes, with me acting as bike interpreter — more of a support network, I think, than an actual fount of knowledge, but sometimes it’s just having someone with you that helps.
Do you remember buying your first bike? This recent bike quest made me remember how crazy important the people in bike shops are, how much the way they treat you can color your whole experience. Especially if you don’t feel like you know much, it’s really intimidating to go somewhere where everyone’s an expert and try to fumble into the right questions to ask to convey what you want and need. It makes so much difference when a salesperson actually tries to get to the heart of a customer’s experience, to probe around what they actually want rather than make assumptions, to explain things fully and technically, but clearly and without condescension.
And yay for a new bike day, with a new bike that is absolutely perfect!! Many speedy miles ahead!