Has the ‘net destroyed the simple truths? Should buying a bike be so hard?

I was going over marketing ideas with my daughter (Becky), thinking about ways to bring people in for bikes. It’s tough competing with all the clutter out there, and it’s equally tough getting someone’s attention, sometimes even when they’re in the store, because they’re so concerned about knowing everything they overlook the obvious.

We’re told we have to master Google AdWords, we have to send out bi-weekly emails and figure out new services to offer all the time. And sure, you need to do all that (never mind that many really good customers either intentionally or accidentally remove themselves from our e-list because they get too many emails and an email from a local brick & mortar business is somehow more intrusive than the 5-10 emails they might get each week from Amazon and yes in fact that does hurt my feelings a bit).

But what about the idea that, you come into our shop, and you’re not going to get fed a bunch of techno-nonsense, you’re not going to get some young guy trying to mold you into some unattainable yoga shape on a bike because that’s how he rides, and you’re not going to be talked into a 16 pound $4000 carbon road bike if what’s appropriate for how you’re going to ride is a $1000 hybrid or maybe a $2500 e-bike?

Most importantly, you come into our shop and we’re going to try and addict you to what we believe is the fundamental truth. That thing that attracts people thousands of miles so they can be ushered into the Dalai Lama’s presence.

Life goes by at exactly the right speed on a bike.

How do you say that? OK, I just did, but what if you had to shorten this to just two paragraphs?  –MikeJ

After an echocardiogram, you feel a bit funny about pushing your limits

Friday morning was what, phase 3 or 4 or 5 in the continuing process of figuring out how to get me to ride faster up hills? A follow-up echocardiogram (the original was a year ago) to see if there have been any changes, along with a blood workup. What gets weird is having all this attention paid to your heart and then going out and pushing it hard. There is some reassurance that they didn’t stop in the middle of the test and admit me for a quintuple bypass though!

Kevin and I did the usual, nothing at all creative. Up Old LaHonda, down the other side, over Haskins to Pescadero, lunch & a cookie, then Stage Road, Tunitas and down Kings. A few seconds slower on Old LaHonda today than last week, but that’s OK, we weren’t actually trying to go fast.

Haskins we rode at a surprisingly-easy pace. Stage went well, but on Tunitas, Kevin seemed to show the effects of missing last weekend’s ride (when he ditched his bike in favor of a trip to Disneyland with his sister). Rather odd to see him having a tough time on Tunitas; I was expecting him to have to wait for me!

Ironically, I’m going through more intensive testing for my breathing at the same time I’m (finally) picking up a bit of speed again. I’m back to climbing at speeds I haven’t done since September and, in some cases, mid-August.  There’s still a long way to go though! In the meantime, I know I’ve got clean arteries and don’t need cholesterol meds.  –Mike–