Friday, August 13, 2010
Big Flat Deal
My new article went up on Embrocation. I crack myself up.
Big Flat Deal
One thing all of us as cyclists will experience at one time or another, before we pony up and buy a new tire, is a flat. It usually happens at the most inopportune time and is never sweet, unless you have a SAG wagon following you around all the time, then it’s no big deal. In the everyday ride there are no pits. No one is going to swap out your wheels for you so you can continue your ride virtually uninterrupted. No, you either have to fix it yourself or you can take it to a Scandinavian mechanic who gives out hi-fives like they were candy at Halloween. Uffda. That’s me and I am here to help.
Now, for how common the flat tire hassle is, it is even more common for me to have a customer who is completely baffled by the whole ordeal, and we are talking utterly dumbfounded. They stumble through the door with a look on their face like they smelled something stinky, dragging their bike behind them. Instead of placing their bicycle in the stand they opt to lay the bike across it. Even with the shop rocking busy I can hear their arrival. The distinct sound of a 26×2.2 tires devoid of all air fills the room. Rubber rolling on rubber. You know the sound. It’s a sound the sticks out, especially on our shop’s slick cement floor. Even if I am elbows deep in a repair I have to stop what I’m doing and locate the source of the sound. I just have to. In doing so I usually make eye contact with them and they take that as a sign of me saying “Yes, I will drop everything I am doing and address your problem because you are important and I see you’re struggling”. You know what? I usually do because, damn it, that’s customer service. After our non verbal eye conversation they make a bee line straight to me through the crowd of do-it-yourselfers, gift shoppers, and possibly a new cyclist or two. “Let me guess, flat tire”, I say with a cheeky grin because I am charming and I love to point out the obvious. What is a better way to relate to someone than to talk about what is happening right in front of your face? Don’t answer that. There is none.
Read the rest HERE