Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bike Shop Elitists

I haven't written in awhile, therefore the events that took place to fodder this post happened about 3 weeks ago...but let's just pretend it was this past weekend, 'k?

So last Saturday (wink, wink) Michael and I took in a ride at Cutler park in Newton or Needham or one of those other expensively manicured Boston suburbs that make me cringe at the otherwise tolerable filth of Southie once we return home.

The ride was fun and easy. We circled the lake a few times, and the smooth trail gave me an opportunity to actually race Michael a bit. I use a "bit" because once Michael realized we were racing the race was pretty much over. But being able to relax and play around on the bike was a nice break from the fully focused, not wanting to crash, "oh shit there's more rocks on this hill then in all of West Virginia" mode that I usually operate within. Also, the most adorable little dog broke free from his owner's hands and chased us at full speed, which is officially the cutest thing that has ever happened on the trail.

But more to my point, this outing marked the first ride where I wore shorts and a tank top while also being the first ride where I learned that if you stop-- mosquitoes will eat you, and when you ride -- bugs fly into your eyeballs (since we are in pretend mode about the date of this event, let us also pretend that the grammar and sentence structure in that last bit wasn't totally ridiculous).

So, it became clear that I need to coat myself in bug spray pre-ride and that a trip to the LBS was in order to purchase some riding glasses. Unfortunately, Michael and I weren't able to make it to our usual bike store, so we stopped at Laundry's on Rt. 1.

Ok, I'm going to talk a little shit.

I know that there are people that take biking VERY SERIOUSLY, so when I go into a bike store with my limited knowledge and even more limited experience I understand that I might get some eye-rolling or confused head tilts from the employees. However, there's a huge difference between thinking I'm silly for wanting a specific colored helmet and trying to convince me to buy a $250 pair of glasses in order to please the elitist biker/clerk.

The second we reached the counter with the glasses, the guy quickly pulled out the most expensive pair he had (more expensive than my everyday designer glasses) and proceeded to tell me about all their magical traits. "They adjust their tint to the outer brightness", "They are light as a feather", "Any water beads up and rolls off of them". That last one almost made me laugh, since I'm pretty sure all water beads up and rolls off of vertical, smooth, impermeable surfaces.

Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with someone trying to sell something to me, but the tone and facial expressions of this guy were textbook "elitist". He was making it very clear that if I didn't buy these glasses then I wasn't a biker worthy of his time or respect. Luckily, his sales pitch gave Michael just the right amount of time to break away to snatch up a cheaper pair that wasn't (gasp!) in a glass case. I tried on the pair Michael brought over and decided they were going to work. The clerk guy gave me a disapproving look then said, "You really want to go with these?" then turned to the register while letting out the longest sigh of annoyance I have ever heard.

So I learned my lesson: Stick with your preferred bike shop. I also learned that a $60 pair of riding glasses does the job perfectly for this newbie. Also, I splashed water on them and wouldn't you know it, the water rolled right off! It was the damnedest thing.


1 comment:

  1. Maybe by showing you the most expensive glasses he was complementing you... you look like an elite biker!?

    I'm worried now that my glasses won't shed water, eek!