People talk about going to the auto mechanic as being a completely emasculating experience for a lot of Men. That may very well be the case. I don’t know a lot about cars, but I do know a little bit about not getting raped in butt by that treacherous lot (I hate mechanics. I have a deep loathing for the auto mechanics of the world. You may think you have a good one, but they’re just waiting to gut you when they can). I don’t feel emasculated going in there because I’m going in ready to strike down my opponent.
The bike shop was a totally different experience though. These guys are weirdos. The whole thing is this quazi clean and sterile place, but the second anyone in their opens their mouth it is made very clear to you that you’re in a different world. This is NOT like the auto mechanic. This is more like walking into the comic book shop (the super nerdy kind), or a wine vault, one of those snooty beer parlors (the ones that only serve rare hidden home brewed beers from the south of Barisal or the eastern mountains of Piura.) that kind of thing. I walk in just to get a tube, and I was regailed with tales of Appalachian St. Bicycling championships. What? They got stuff for the bicycle I’ve never heard of.
What in ‘The Source’ is all this citrus degrease stuff? Why is there any need for this 19 piece bicycle multi-tool? Can I just buy the 17-piece? How about the 9-piece? Look, I just have a Mongoose. I’m clearly not hardcore into this thing here. I just want a tube, and maybe a hand pump. WHAT?! That is not a hand pump. Oh, CO2 pump? I’m not even going to lie. What on earth does the CO2 do for my mongoose. I was looking at a cool tire guage, that also was a co2 pump and then the hand pump too. I’m so lost.
More to come later. as I’m writing this I realize that I just need to go more in depth about all my experiences with the local bike shops. There’s so much going on. The bike helmets, these freaky shoes that snap you onto the bike pedals and you can’t release. These nutso bike pumps. The number of tools. Stuff on the walls I didn’t understand. It be crazy, yo.