Bike Shop Friday

3 Mar

The first day of March brought visits to two local bike shops, known in the bike loving world as a LBS. Mark had a bike fitting on his new Scott so I tagged along.  While he was getting the fit done I talked wheels with one of the other employees. He took me around the shop and showed me a number of options then we looked online and checked weights and specs on several wheelsets. It was heaven.

Talking shop with the guys – and they all were guys – is fun. I can’t speak for other women, but over the past 20+ years I’ve been riding, generally speaking LBS employees have seemed surprised at my level of bike-speak. Not that many women rode bikes back then – much less were obsessed with them to the point that they could speak of cycling and bikes ad nauseam – just like them.

Now that I’m in the advanced area of middle age, it’s even more true. I certainly get that. For them it’s like talking shop with their mother and at some point in the not too distant future – their grandmother – that should really be funny!

What isn’t funny is when I’m not taken serious as a cyclist and I’ve had several of those experiences. It’s frustrating to say the least. Case in point, a number of years ago Mark and I were fit at different times by the same LBS employee (another shop). Mark had just purchased his first road bike since he was a teenager and was fit in a fairly aerodynamic position (which he changed a short time later because it wasn’t comfortable) especially considering his riding experience and the guy spent considerable time tweaking his fit. I was there and observed the sharp contrast to my fit which had happened a couple of months earlier.

My fit was not only quicker, but my position was not as aggressive – especially considering my riding experience. I was careful to communicate the number of years I had been riding (15) and mileage (2-3,000 a year on average) in hopes that he would see past my gender and age and just treat me like a cyclist. It didn’t happen, when I pushed back about my position he said I should start there and we could always change it later. Same person doing both fits, but completely different experiences. In reality he fit me like he should have fit Mark and vice versa.

Friday’s experience was the antithesis to that experience and it was so nice. Talking about bikes and riding is as natural and enjoyable to me as a young mother talking about her kids. Like that mother, I’ve been known to pull out pictures too, although on this day I just gave them my Love of Bikes business card.

I was impressed with the quality of fit Mark received, so I’m scheduling one soon and will post about it. New gruppo for Rocket and an improved fit should keep me highly motivated to ride this spring.

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For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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