Bike Shops that suck

I was reading that a lot of Bike Shops suck on one of my cycling newsletters. They ran a poll and they found out that out of 2100 people that answered, 35% say they “frequently” encounter poor treatment in shops, 25% say “occasionally”, 13% say “rarely”,18% say their local shop is “the greatest” when it comes to customer service.

One of my LBSs is closing it’s doors this month; I attribute it to poor customer service and lack of parts. The shop was run by 2 young guys that would be too busy on the internet or too busy watching videos. Whenever I would ask for parts, 90% of the time they would be out of stock. Their attitude was also pathetic, sometimes I would go in and out without ever being acknowledged. I understand that hiring young guys lowers the salary cap, but at the same time, if they are not motivated, they will kill the business. Sadly, I won’t miss that shop at all.

What is it with people in luxury cars…

So the other day I was in an affluent area of the OC, Newport Beach. Think of people driving Hummers, BMW, Land Rovers and Benz’. I’m at the light waiting for it to change green and I see this guy in a benz next to me. I made eye contact and waited for the light to turn green. Light changes, I start to pedal, he lunges forward, stops, looks at me, then punches the gas to cut me off!

So I yell like crazy to him and throw my hands up in the air out of indignation for his actions…I then ride along the street to see if I can find him lined up in all that traffic he just rushed into. I see him, I yell to him, “Why’d you cut me off? I had the right of way!!!!”

The douche looked at me and then quickly turned his head away to ignore me. Aye…what a jerk.

Then this morning when I was dropping off the kids at school, another benz driver was pulling out of the school parking lot. There are two clearly marked signs that say, “Right Turn Only, Buses Exempt.” So what does she do? Yup you guessed it, a left turn. As she’s doing that, she nearly rams another car that was right in front of her!

Alternatives to the Safety Flag

A few weeks back, we posted a review of a safety flag…and while the device worked well, a number of our readers commented that it might be too dorky or ineffective for their uses.

The safety flag in question:
D-Tour safety flag

Those comments got us thinking: what could be some good alternatives to this flag? We came up with a couple novel ideas that we wanted to share. Let’s head to the Secret Laboratory, located in the hooker-infested wastelands of central Tampa, to see what we came up with!

The secret lab

Mad scientist and all-around great guy Noah came up with our first alternative. It is still a flag, but we GUARANTEE that this will draw far more attention than some puny, fluorescent flag — here it is:
Noah's pirate flag
This flag creates a tremendous racket when flown — the flag flaps in the breeze, the pole clanks and rattles. It sounds, well, like a pirate ship! We’ve found that this flag is most effective if some verbal invective is used simultaneously…you know, “Avast, ye scallywags, give me some space or I’ll SWAB THE DECK with ya!!!”

Our next alternative was created just after Florida passed their “step in the right direction, but unenforced” 3-foot passing rule. This alternative provides both a visual passing distance indicator as well as a text-based indicator. Here it is:

Friendly side

Had a rough day and don’t feel so charitable? Well, this alternative is reversible…just unscrew the two bolts and flip this badboy over to let motorists know how you REALLY feel:
Not so friendly

There you have it — two alternatives that might make you feel a bit less dorky and keep you VERY visible to motorists. That’s how we roll at the Secret Laboratory…coming up with great solutions to all your commuting problems!!!

Thanks to my homie, Terry, for allowing me to plunder his collection of yardsticks.

Our apologies

Our Hosting company had a major server failure that caused all our sites to go down for several days. Although we are back online, we have lost a month’s worth of content. We sincerely apologize to all of our readers and our sponsors. We are working hard to restore our sites so we can continue sharing with you our experience at Interbike and continue being one of the leading sites in bike commuting.


The Crew: Moe, RL, Priscilla, Randy, Jack, Nick and Jeff.

Richard Cranium

Lance, Anthony (not pictured) and I headed to Seal Beach for a quick 30 mile ride. Lance is testing the KHS Flite 300, so we wanted to see how it would perform as a recreational road bike. As usual, I take my KHS F20-R for these rides. The bike always commands attention, but today I had a roadie ask me the following:

Q. What would the bike like to be when it grows up?
A. The bike doesn’t need to grow up, it is able to keep up with the bigger bikes.
Q. (To Lance) Aren’t you embarrassed of being seen riding with this guy (me)?
A. mmmmphhh (biting my lips so I won’t say what a pompous a$$ the guy is)

Anyhow, I can’t blame the guy for being bitter, could it be that he is still frustrated at the Tour de France fiasco? or maybe that Landis was found guilty? or maybe he forgot to take his EPO this morning…

In times like this, I’m proud to say that I’m a Bike Commuter first, a Mountain Biker Second, and a roadie last.