And, I know it may sound strange - yes, I have an managerial position with a company where I have an office, a view, a new hire, etc, which I do appreciate and enjoy tremendously - but I think it was one of the most fulfilling weekends of "work" that I've experienced. Not only did I get to learn and share knowledge about something that I'm passionate about, but I ended up working mostly with parents getting their kids their first bikes. (I guess since I'm a mom, a woman, and not an obvious candidate as a "gearhead" - not that anyone else in the shop is really, but you know what I mean, it naturally happened that way.) And it was illuminating. Literally. Because, once I talked to the kids, and the parents, I saw the "sparks" light up in their eyes, and I knew there was a budding cyclist there.
What was great was, when speaking to these little 'uns, their parents were often steering them towards the "cute" bikes, but the kids, and mostly the girls, were shooting for the "real" bikes - not the cruisers, the mountain-style bikes - and it wasn't because they had the bells and whistles. I heard reasons like:
- "No, I'm not just going to want to go up and down the street."
- "Pink isn't a serious color for a serious bike. I want the blue one, Daddy!"
- "I can ride a horse! Why can't I ride a bike just as hard!"
- "I need gears, Mommy. Have you tried going up our hill?"
- "Daddy, I want to ride with you! And I can't do that on a silly bike with ribbons!"
- "Can I ride the bike to school instead of the bus?"
- "If he gets front shocks, I get front shocks, too! Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I don't want to get dirty!"
the Trek 3900 Disc LE) to mount SPD pedals on and to take it home. Just as things were shutting down, a couple comes in and asks about a good, entry-level, hardtail MTB that was around $500 and had disc brakes. My colleague couldn't think of a model, so I sheepishly suggested the 3900. They asked if there was one to see, and the woman was about my height. Knowing that the bike that would suit her best was downstairs, with my name on it, I couldn't hoard it and not let her try it out. So, I told her we happened to have one Limited Edition version on hand for her to look at and I'd bring it up.
Now, bearing in mind I'd be representing LIVESTRONG as well as the shop when I do these MTB races, I had to modify the bike a little...