The Park PRS-5 workstand. Also great for training for downhills.
Ever wonder why you occasionally catch the guys at the bike shop snickering when you walk in the door? Well, they're either drunk or are laughing at some poor son of a bitch that just made a fool of him/herself while engaged in a casual bike-related conversation. Or, maybe they're laughing at you.
No doubt about it, with the exception of the nude beach with weight limits, bike shops are the coolest place on earth to hang out. You can learn lots of neat stuff, meet interesting people, and get the inside dope on what's hot. You can also get into trouble and dig a hole so deep you have no idea.
People say all sorts of stuff. They have questions, problems, rants, suggestions, all types of shit. Some even feel the need to brag. We can spot a bullshitter a mile away. For instance, we know you don't average 25 mph because we just fixed your piece of shit bike and the computer said you averaged 17. We also know you don't ride "all the time" because that same computer has only 200 miles on it and the tires we put on last year still have the fucking injection whiskers on them.
Regardless, After a few seasons you find yourself with enough murmurings of random foibles swimming around your head that you could write a book. I've been in the bike biz for a little more than 16 years, so I figure I could write a novel. Just take a gander at some of these gems I've been privy to over the years. Fascinating.
"I've got more to give than this bike can handle." - Vitus 979 customer. We didn't tell him Sean Kelly won Paris-Roubaix on one. That would have been mean.
"I am rather well endowed" - On the need for a smaller frame
"Ooooh! Is this for training for downhills?" - Said while pointing to a Park PRS-5 workstand
"I'm not a racer" - Really? You're monstrous waist and pasty complexion are totally the norm for racers these days.
"I...I...I can't. No...no... I just can't" - Said while repeatedly reaching for the brake levers on drop bars and lamenting the fact that it didn't have the "sissy levers" so he could brake from the tops.
"How much does a Campa-nolo cost?" - Rich dude trying to impress his girlfriend with how much he knew about bikes.
"You race right? Lemme ask you something. When do you make (pause) The Move" - A serious question on the finer points of cycle racing.
"These don't seem to fit right." - Hmmm...Let's see. Try wearing the shorts under your jeans.
"Can I get it back today? I have a race this weekend" - Every mechanic's favorite
"And when I stop, my wheels go like this (shakes head wildly while thrusting arms up and down and making siren noises through clenched teeth)" - You had to be there.
"I was just riding along..." - Almost every person that crashed a new bike and wants it fixed for free starts their sentence off with this. Known in the bike biz as a "J.R.A.".
"Consumer Reports said..." - It's time to walk away.
"Do you have those bikes that shift gears automatically?" - How the fuck do these people always find me?
"Why don't you guys carry recumbents?" - We're a bike shop, sir. Not a bunch of dorks.
"Why did you sell me a bike that I have to pump the tires up every week?" - Seriously. That one caught me completely off guard.