Friday, August 18, 2006

Biker's Terminology and Croaked Hellos

Well yesterday I discovered that the bottom bracket for my new single speed/fixie was on the verge of falling out, almost entire unscrewed. This was as I was flipping the rear wheel to the fixed gear for a nice ride down to Hanes Point with my coworker Scott. So, instead of a nice ride on a beautiful day I had to go run over to City Bikes to get my bottom bracket screwed back in. Now this isn’t something that takes an exceptionally long time or anything but going to one of the most popular bike shops on a beautiful Thursday evening around 6pm is like going to a grocery store on the way home from work; everyone does it.

So I stood around and waited for a half an hour or so (which actually considering the number of customers that came through was pretty good) and waited until the mechanic could fix it. I have to admit, I always feel a bit uncomfortable when I go into the store there; the people there all seem to know so much about bikes and sometimes it can be a bit intimidating to ask them things because you just feel like an idiot. It also doesn’t help that almost every time I go there I am fresh out of breath from the ride with a dry throat and their hellos are usually greeted by my own croaked attempt at hey.

So, I always enter the front, croak my awkward hello and then head back to the mechanics desk. The mechanics there are for the most part pretty pleasant although one guy who seems to be always there has never cracked a smile (at least that I have seen) and just keeps on working. I don’t think he’s an unhappy person and I couldn’t imagine he dislikes his job although maybe he just doesn’t really like customers or something. Anyway, the guy who helped me yesterday was a bearded (big bearded, talking like down to navel big) pony-tailed (down to mid back) teva wearing dude. Nice guy, seemed to know what he was doing and enjoyed talking to people; quite the opposite of the other guy there. Luckily I knew exactly what was wrong and what I needed with my bike so I didn’t have to feel too stupid (other then the fact that my bracket was about to fall out and I obviously hadn’t noticed for a while).

Someday they’ll learn to love my croak and insecurity about my bicycle terminology knowledge and I will enter and they will smile at my croak and chuckle along with me about my lack of bike terminology etiquette. Until that day I will remain self-conscious every time I enter my beloved City Bikes.

Oh and I liked how the bearded guy sent out some random guy that was there grab him a six pack down the street; I want that power!

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