Tag Archive | dad

Obtaining A Bike-Part 2


The plan was to meet at 11 AM get the bike, grab some lunch and possibly go for a ride.  You need to understand though that Dad is NEVER on time for anything.  In fact, it is quite normal for him to show up 1-2 hours late and that is on a good day!  So knowing this, I was not pressed to be there by 11 sharp!  I got there at 11:30.  Dad showed up 45 minutes later!

The tech guy goes and gets my bike.  Brings it out.  Looks at me.  Looks at the bike and says, “How tall are you?”  Of course his tone of voice is one that says he has a pretty good idea already and doesn’t REALLY need to ask this question but does anyway.  I tell him 5’7″.  He shakes his head and says, there is NO WAY this bike is going to fit you!

What?!  Well, I got fitted at a store in GR.  It should be right!  What size did my dad buy?  Well, this is a 48 cm frame.

WHAT!?!  That can’t be right.  I told him I needed a 51-52 cm.  After the first hour long conversation with dad about why borrowing a bike from him won’t work I could not imagine that he would have knowingly bought a bike too small for me.  He is too particular for that.  Too anal is probably a better way to describe him.

The guy checks the paperwork.  Yep, it is correct.

I call dad.  WHERE ARE YOU?  I told him about the bike and whatnot.  He confirms he did buy a 48 cm bike.  He thought it would work, because it looked bigger than another 48 cm bike in the store.  Sigh.  This is my father.  While he is still on his way, I ask the sales guy if there are any other bikes in the other Michigan stores in this model.

Nope.  The thing is that this is a closeout sale.  They are getting rid of all 2009 bikes so they can bring in the 2010 bikes.  So there is not even a chance of any coming in either.  So, we begin looking at other options.  Dad gets there and begins telling the guy (Chris) all about me and how I am swimming and running and now biking and all sorts of stuff my dad really knows very little about.  He is making me out to sound like I am going to be doing an Ironman next year!  Chris can look at me and know that is not true!  So I interrupt.  I figure this is ok to do, since ultimately the bike is for me, it has to fit me and my needs and be able to work for my immediate and long term goals, of which I know those best.

I explain.  I am a newbie.  I don’t know what I am doing.  My goal next year is to COMPLETE without dying a few sprint level tri’s.  The following year would be to COMPLETE without dying a few Olympic distance triathlons.  I wanted a bike that will work for that and be able to grow with me should I want to take this fascination I have further, understanding that at the price point dad is paying, if I get serious the bike will need to be replaced at some point.  But for now, I am NOT setting to break any records other than my own PR’s which would be going from slowest to slow!

Chris says, “Well with THAT info, I have a great bike, in fact, I don’t know who sold you THAT bike, but knowing this info, I would not recommend that one anyway.  The drop bars on that are great, but can be really tiring on your back if you are not used to riding and if you are not all about shaving time off yet, you don’t really need that hand position.  He pulls down this black bike with flat handle bars.  It looks kind of like a mountain bike, but with the skinny road tires.  It didn’t look like a sleek road bike.  But, I gotta hear Chris out.  He explains that once I get to the point of wanting to care about my time, I can switch out the handle bars or I can add a pair of tri-bars to the front and get the same aerodynamic position that comes from those two things.  This will help it to grow with me for a while before needing to replace it completely.

I took the bike out.  It flew!  It was so fun!  So effortless!  It would work.

So we are getting the bike.  Now comes the crazy adventures.


So I had brought my own helmet into the store when I knew I would be test riding the bike.  The guy takes one look at it and says, “That will need to be replaced.”

What?  Why?

He explains that helmets need to be replaced every 3 years or so.  Something about the foam hardening and the way it breaks on impact and its ability to protect your noggin over time.

OK, so we need a helmet.

Dad wants a white helmet with these reflector things on it, for safety.

Now I am not opposed to safety.  But if I gotta look like a dork with a helmet on my head, I want one that is the least dorky possible.  Which means no additional reflectors!  I picked out a black/silver helmet to go with my BLACK bike.  Dad didn’t like that.  He tried to tell me that black attracts the heat and it will be that much hotter on my head.  He then tried to get the salesman to buy into that theory and get him to convince me that the white one was the way to go.

I give this guy credit.  He knew who was paying and he had to please that person, but he also could understand my perspective as an ADULT rider.  He very carefully told my dad that the helmet is gonna be hot no matter what, but did not state any opinion about the added reflectors.  Good man!  But let’s check out the clearance table first before we decide.  I found a cool looking red and black one.  My first choice would have been green and black, but they didn’t have it.   Red it was.  Dad finally relented because at least red was more visible than a little strip of silver on all black!

Helmet is settled.  On to lights.  He insisted I have flashing lights on my bike.  Knowing him, I was envisioning a giant spotlight illuminating my rear end as well as one off the front.  Thank God for the sales guy who showed us some very effective and small lights for front and back.  They flash if I want them to, but stay steady if I don’t.  Now that I have them, I kind of want a red tail light that will flash to the tune of “Baby Got Back!”  HA!

At this point, I am thinking this is all that is necessary.  Dad however is still set on a horn.  At this point I hung my head and groaned.  I looked up at the sales guy from behind dad and just shook my head.  NO!  Dad proceeds to talk about all the benefits of horns.  He then turns to me and says, “I am sure all your biking buddies would agree with me Kim!”  HA!  I can see Coach now with a horn on his bike as he speeds down the road at 20 mph!  Especially the kind dad wants me to get.  The fog horn…for boats…on my bike!  So not cool!  But cool factor is NOT going to convince dad I don’t need one.  So I told a sort of lie.  I told him Coach said I didn’t need a horn and it wouldn’t benefit me in the triathlons to have one.  The truth is, when I told Coach the day before dad was talking about a horn and what kind, he busted out laughing!  I think that reaction gives me latitude to assume what he might have said.

The sales guy was wonderful.  He began to talk about how your voice is the best thing to use.  Dad argued with him.  The sales guy won him over with the fact that to honk the horn, my hand would have to come off the handle bar to honk it, which is not safe to do in a situation where you need full control of your wheel should you need to maneuver quickly.  Dad relented.  I could have kissed this sales man right then and there!

Moving on.  Jerseys.  Now I know that there is no article of clothing in this store that is going to fit me at this point.  Not yet.  But dad is not picking up on my hints about this in front of the sales guy, although I think the sales guy is and is trying to be polite about it, by not encouraging dad in this regard.  Dad points out a screaming yellow jersey.  For safety and visibility he says.  No dad.  Again I am not opposed to safety.  But I don’t want to have to get to the point of trying this thing on in the middle of the store to prove to him that it doesn’t fit.  I insist I neither want nor need a screaming yellow jersey.  He relents.

Padded shorts/shammies-OK, I know, I need these.  I also know, my pair of these are NOT going to be found in this store.  Dad is not clued in to my signals still, but again the sales guy is.  Dad wants to see what they have in the shammy liners that you wear under regular clothes.  I notice, there is nothing to fit me, of course.  Dad is asking how they work and whatnot.  The sales guy is explaining but not pushing a sale.  He knows.  I am certain of it.  Dad keeps pushing.  Finally I just know, I am going to have to say something about pushing clothing for me in this store.  So I did.  I told him that while I recognize the need for this item, it is not going to be found for me in this store, that I will have to go online for it.  He wants to know why.  Seriously?  The sales guy, (again I could kiss him) walked away at this point since he realized this could get embarrassing for me.  I finally spelled it out for dad and while he still looked like he didn’t quite get it, he relented.

Cyclometer- Well, if we are not getting you clothes then you certainly need one of these! Nope, I don’t. Not yet.  Ok, my dad is also a gadget guy in addition to a “sale” guy.  So, at this point, while he wants to get me one, it is also feeding the monster within him to buy it because it is a cool gadget and on sale.  I am also quite certain that while it would be cool, it is not going to be the thing I need most of all…and frankly he has already spent a lot of money on me.  He keeps insisting.  The sales guy is picking up my vibe and again not actively encouraging the sale.  Finally, I said, “Look, if you just want to spend the money, then give it to me and I will go online and buy the padded shorts, because frankly of all the things I would want or need, those are on my top priority list.”  Hmm…Suddenly he didn’t want to spend the money.  He wanted to justify buying a cool gadget!  Ha!  I know my dad!

By now, I have been in the store for 3 hours.  Chris, the tech guy has already put on my lights, and oh the cage and water bottle that were picked out.  We are almost done.  I think.  Throughout the day, I am taking little breaks…just walking away from my dad for a bit.  Patience with him is not my strong suit.  3 hours in a store with him is a bit much.  Breaks were necessary.  Fortunately, Coach was willing to text back and forth with me, and to see the humor with me…So I am now waiting at the front counter.  I am done.  Whatever else he wants to look at and consider, he can do on his own.

Oh wait…nope…he passed the gloves.  Of course I would need gloves right!  I thought this was a purely safety item and was nixing it right away.  No.  I do not need another item.  Especially ones that have all sorts of protective stuff on them and just look like they would be hot!  Note- now that I have ridden a little bit, I now see the need and practicality of gloves and they have moved up on the priority list…as well as the clipless pedals (which by the way is dumb because they actually have clips to snap your shoes in to!) that I also refused!

And that my friends is how I came to get a road bike!


Obtaining a Bike-Part 1

You all know that I now have a bike because you have read about the hilarity of my fall.  However, you don’t know yet how I came to get this bike!  Here is the story.

Pretty quickly after the Girl’s Best Friend Triathlon in August, I knew that I would most definitely be doing a full triathlon in 2010.  I had thought it before and even said it out loud, but when I crossed the finish line, I KNEW that I wanted to and WOULD be doing one.  The problem.  I didn’t have a bike and no money to get one at this point.

However, I have a dad.  A dad who likes to shop and buy things he doesn’t really need or use.  It is not uncommon for my dad to have 2-3 of everything he owns.  I knew he had at least one bike, so it was not a far off thought to think he might have a 2nd or even a 3rd that perhaps I could borrow until I am able to buy one of my own.  I called dad and asked.  He launched into a long discussion about how he might consider it but there are many factors that go into riding a bike such as fit and sizing and what not.  All of these things I knew and in an ideal world I would of course want a bike that fits perfectly, but this was a short term fix to a problem.  An hour later, yes, an hour, the end result was, yes he does have multiple bikes but he is not sure they would fit me, so ultimately, no.

Not a problem.  I was disappointed somewhat because all it would have taken was for me to come over and try it out to see if it would even work in the short term, but he wasn’t interested in that.

Two days later I was in GR, doing the Friday Night Tri.  During the Tri, my dad called and texted multiple times as though someone had died and I needed to be reached immediately!

Side note:  When most people call/text like that, it usually indicates some sort of emergency.  Not so with dad.

So needless to say, when I got back and finished the post race dinner that happens and saw all the missed calls and texts, I was already a little irritated.  I called him back though.  He wanted to know what I was doing on Saturday.  He proceeded to tell me that I needed to go to a bike shop (the most reputable one, of course) in GR and get fitted for a bike.  He proceeded to tell me all the different measurements he wanted/needed.  He also told me that I needed to try multiple bikes, specifically one with drop handle bars to see if I like it.

After 15 minutes or so of this, I still had no idea what was going on other than there is some sort of urgency to me being at a bike shop when they open in the morning.  Perhaps he is trying to find out the hard way whether one of his bikes will fit me?  I finally was able to interrupt him enough to ask.  Why am I jumping through these hoops like this?  He said that he didn’t think his bikes would fit me, but REI is having a sale on bikes (Labor Day Weekend) and he was willing to buy me one!  He needed to know what size frame, etc, I would need.  But because the Sale ended Monday, he needed to know my sizing right away.

Well alrighty then!  So much for sleeping in on a Saturday morning.  🙂  Carol and I went to a local bike shop based on the recommendation of Coach and because Carol knows the family who owns it.

While I was excited about the prospect of getting a bike, I was not sure what all was involved in getting fitted for a bike.  So I was a little nervous.  Not to mention the fact that, this sales guy is going to spend a lot of time with me and there is no way he is getting a sale.  Dad is set on REI.  This fitting is just for reference.

After talking to 2 sales guys and actually riding a real road bike, I decided I liked the idea of dropped handle bars and loved the feeling of flying with very little effort!  I was officially super excited about a new bike.  It was determined that I needed to have a frame that is 51-52 cm.

So after another hour long conversation with dad, rehashing all that the bike guys said and telling him I needed a 51-52 cm bike, he said he would be going to REI to get one.  On Labor Day, while eating sushi with friends he called twice to tell me what bike he got and all the details and of course he wanted to know what my cycling friends thought about it…aka Coach and anyone else I know that races.

6 days later…The plan is that on Monday I will go to REI and pick up the bike.  No problem.  On Saturday I spent the day with Adam doing really important things like watching Coach in his triathlon, napping first on the couch, then by the pool, learning all about UofM football and learning when to cheer or boo and when it is ok to talk to a man watching such a game and not, running and oh eating dinner.

During the running portion of the day with Adam (really he was killing me! He is worse than Coach I think!), dad had called my phone and texted again, repeatedly and got my mom and cousin to text/call as though someone were dying again.  Needless to say, I was going into this conversation with him slightly annoyed because of his method of reaching me, when it is NOT an emergency! (One call/1 text is sufficient.  I will call you back!)

Talked to dad, for quite a while.  He was asking all these random questions.  DO I have gloves?  Helmet? Air Pump? Special shoes with clips? Lights?  Horn?…Wait what?  A Horn?  “Dad, I don’t need a horn!”

He proceeds to tell me about how he almost got ran off the road a couple times until he bought this special horn from the hardware store that is really loud.  It is made to go on boats. It is a FOG HORN!  Ummm no.  I am not putting a horn of any kind on my bike, especially a fog horn.

Finally, I ask why he wants to know all this stuff and he tells me he is trying to figure out what he will be buying when he meets me to pick up the bike tomorrow.  Oh.  Well…I thought I was just going, but ok.  Well, I have a helmet.  That is all that I NEED at this point.  I will get more stuff later.  But for now, I gotta go.  I had already been on the phone for at least 25 minutes and Adam and I were trying to make dinner at (9PM at night!) and we were both starving!

Stay tuned for THE STORE