The Ride Continues
This was not going to be an easy task. Bicycle fitting is a tricky business in the first place. It’s more art than science. And Kimi is very particular about how things fit, so she was not about to compromise on this purchase. And Kimi is not tall, so she is usually looking at the smallest sized adult frames, which not many bicycle shops have in stock. Mom-mom, Dad, and Kimi all set out together to buy a new bike for Kimi. Her old bike from her middle school days had seen better times, but it had carried her all through her years at University of Oregon. U of O’s home town, Eugene Oregon, is one of the top bike theft capitals in the world. So she had never opted to upgrade her ride during her college years. That way if they stole her bike, they wouldn’t get much. Now that she was a freshly minted graduate with a paying job, Kimi was ready to move up in the cycling world. She had a pretty good idea what she wanted, dropped bars and disc brakes, but she wasn’t sure what kind of frame or gear set she wanted. She would just have to try a few until she found a set-up that she liked.
The saga began earlier with a ride to downtown to test out the feasibility of Kimi riding her bike to work. Now the family found itself at the sporting goods flagship mega-store in downtown. The store had good service and a big selection of bikes. They carried cruisers, mountain bikes, commuters, and racers. Kimi tried a couple of bikes on their test track, but none of them fit the bill. She liked the features and style of the third bike, but it was a little too big, and when she took it for a test ride, she had a small crash. No damage to bike, but skinned knees and an elbow for Kimi. Dad was afraid that she’d give up after that, but she bravely soldiered on.
“Do you have this in a 48”, she asked the sales woman who was taking care of her.
“No, I keep asking our managers to get some smaller sizes, but our buyers won’t buy that small. Sorry.”
“That’s OK”, Kimi responded. Mom-mom checked the web.
“Here’s a place that carries that same bicycle, over in Fremont.” Mom-mom called, and they just happened to have the correct model in the correct size. This should be easy, thought Dad. Off they went to Fremont.
It was another brand of mega-store. It had bikes, and skis and snowboards, and lots of clothes. The staff was helpful, and got the bike set up for Kimi. She took the bike for a ride. She was gone for quite a while and Mom-mom & Dad thought this would be the one, but Kimi came back with a sour look on her face.
“No, it doesn’t quite fit right”, she said as she handed the bike back to the salesman. Mom-mom and Dad’s faces sunk. “But I’d like to try on some clothes.” Mom-mom’s face brightened. Dad slunk out the door to get some coffee.
“Call me when you’re ready to leave.”
The phone rang about 15 minutes later. They met up on the steps of the store. “Looks there’s another bike store on that corner, let’s check it out”, exclaimed Kimi. This time Mom-mom’s face sank and Dad’s face brightened.
They walked a block along 35th Avenue North to the store. It was a Sunday, and the regular sales staff wasn’t in. One of the mechanics helped Kimi sort through the bikes, but again, when she found one she liked, they didn’t have the size. “Let me try our other store on Boat Street”, he said. He spoke into the phone for a moment and then turned to Kimi and said, “They say they have that size.”
When the family arrived at the Boat Street store, the staff could not find that bike. The salesman said, “Oh, yeah, that one’s over in our Freemont Store.”
The family left, feeling discouraged. Dad looked at his phone and saw another store just a little north. “Let’s try this last one”, he offered. It had been a long day for everyone, but Kimi and Mom-mom agreed to one last store.
They arrived at the address on Roosevelt and found a small store called Ride Bicycles. It was packed with bicycles and people. It had quite a few of the touring and commuter bikes that had piqued Kimi’s interest. She started talking with the saleswoman, and they had a Surley bike that met all Kimi’s desires and was the right size. They set it up and Kimi took off down the road to test it out.
A few minutes later Kimi came back with a big smile on her face. “Yep, this one certainly will do”, she chirped happily. At that, all three faces in the family brightened. THen she turned to the salesperson and said, “But does it come in any color other than sparkly purple?”
“But you love sparkly purple”, Dad exclaimed.
“Yes”, Kimi countered. “I did love purple back when I was 7 years old and believed in mermaids.”
There were sad faces again, as the sales woman looked endlessly in the computer. She finally answered, ““Yes, it also comes in black”.
Dad whispered to Kimi in a conspiratorial tone, “Black is very Seattle”.
“But we’ll have to order it for you”, continued the salesperson.
“Done”, said Kimi and there were smiles all around. A week later Kimi was the proud owner of a new Surley Straggler.