Sorry, you can’t test ride the bike

My daughter fell in love with an Electra Lil Betty cruiser. I went to my LBS to see if she could test ride it, but he their answer was “Sorry, she can’t test ride the bike, but she can sit on it”. I’ve been to about a dozen Bike shops and this is the first time I get this answer. I was a little surprised by their “No test rides” policy, how else would you be able to see if the geometry of a bike suits you?

So I’m curious, is the “No Test rides” policy common amongst bike shops?

What’s wrong with this picture?

The morons from Westgate Resorts have this picture in their rotating gallery on their website. What are they trying to convey? Ah, yes, that purchasing one of their timeshares is as stupid as that picture… Quite subliminal!!!

If Bicycle Helmets Looked Cooler, Kids Would Wear them More

Everyday I see kids riding their bikes to and from school without helmets. The other day when I was picking up my kids from school via bike, one kid comes up to me on his bike and makes a comment on how cool my Xtracycle is. I say thanks and I asked him where his helmet was. He then proudly taps his back pack and says…”its right in here!”

I tell him that if he were to fall, his back pack would be just fine, but his head wouldn’t…he looks at me puzzled, so I finally just said, “wear your helmet.” He tells me that his helmet looks stupid and that’s why he doesn’t wear it.

Well when he brought out his helmet to put on his head, I had to agree. It was this dumb looking thing and it didn’t even fit him. Plus he was missing a buckle on his straps to secure it. Being the dad that I am, I gave him a quick lecture about helmets and blah blah blah.

I tried to encourage the guy to talk to his parents about getting him a new one…the kind that not only fits, but looks good. The more I talk to kids, the more I’m learning they don’t want to look like a mushroom or look stupid in front of their peers because of their unstylish helmets.

Adults have so many choices of styles and colors for helmets, some costing as much as $150…but what about kids, their choices are limited and always lack in style. Oh and they are either too big or too small…but that’s another story. So if a helmet manufacturer is reading this, I say make some cooler looking helmets for kids…you might sell more too!

Blogs VS Mags

I subscribe to most major cycling magazines. Recently, I have noticed a couple of articles on magazines where they sort of vilify blogs. They claim that we are bunch of amateurs and that we don’t know what we are talking about. They mostly classify blogs as a form of ‘entertainment’ and not a bona fide source of information.

I can agree that most of us may not have a journalism degree, and sure, some of us are not professional writers. However, blogs have one big advantage over print material: Time. Have you seen Intebike coverage in magazines yet? I didn’t think so. There were more than a few bloggers covering Interbike and we were feeding the information to the readers almost daily (we came to find out that our hacker was responsible for our Interbike outage, not our web host). I remember reading Sea Otter coverage and race results 3 months after the event, 3 months!!!

I also think that our type of media has been embraced by the bike industry. When it comes to bike commuting, websites are THE source of information. Sure you read stories about ‘Bike Town USA’ but when have you seen an in-depth review of their bikes or gear?

I’m not saying that magazines suck — after all, they do get to play with $10K bikes and have pretty ads of expensive cars. But I do think that that some mags feel threatened by our ability to spread news and reviews three months earlier than they do.

How do YOU feel about bike magazines or blogs?