Sunday, May 23, 2010

The secret confraternity of cyclophiles

A surprisingly pleasant bicycle-related experience this afternoon. After the chain coming off yesterday, and given that I've had a bit of trouble with it recently (not while riding, but it has a tendency to fall off between rides), I figured I should take the bike in for a tune-up - I'm racing on it in July (NYC) and in September (Madison), but will be riding it little otherwise in the interim. (I'll be on the second-string bike in Tropical Island Paradise!)

Notional tune-up presented complexities, in that I need to drop off bike and other stuff on Tuesday evening at adopted grandfather G.'s place, which is where I will stay when I am back in NY, and am flying to Cayman very early on Thursday. But I figured in a worst-case scenario (where, say, some part had to be ordered and it really wasn't ready even by Wednesday evening) I could prevail on Liz's good nature and ask her to pick it up for me...

Anyway, I rode down to Sid's Bikes, and the thing was that the mechanic just put aside what he was doing and helped me out right away! He thinks there's nothing wrong, just a rather dirty chain and some wear and tear - he says that I should wait for another 1000 miles and then replace chain and cassette together rather than replacing just chain now. So he cleaned and lubed chain and shifters, checked and cleaned all the cables, brakes, etc. And when I asked what I owed him, he waved a hand obligingly - it was on the house...

I made what I think was a very good decision the other day - I started on the task of disassembling TIP bike for packing in soft bike case, and realized after 5 stressful and sweaty minutes that if I couldn't even get the first pedal off, the rest of the job was going to be no joke! I called up the LBS and asked what they would charge to disassemble and pack the bike - they said $30 - so I walked over with bike and case and dropped both off. I have not yet handed over the dollars (I will pick it up on Monday or Tuesday), but I have a strong suspicion that this will be the best $30 I ever spent on triathlon (with possible exception of BodyGlide).

Once I have stowed the cheap bike in the basement bike room and hidden the spin bike behind the couch, I will have made a significant step towards getting my apartment ready for subletters...

10 miles easy

4 comments:

Rainmaker said...

Dang, $30 is quite reasonable...that's in fact quite tempting.

Black Knight said...

It is a reasonable price, I agree. Here we pay 30$ (25 euro) only for the "visit"!

Danielle said...

I love awesome bike shops! My bike shop fixed my bike for free yesterday with a hand wave as well.

And I'd totally pay that $30 as well!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Sounds like your bike shop is awesome! I totally would have paid $30 to have someone else pack my bike. That is a great price!