Monday, April 14, 2008

buying a bike in DC? not for short people!

ok, so now i'm going to tell you about the tremendously annoying, demeaning experience of buying a bike in DC for people under 5'3" - which, i can safely say is about most of the non-amazonly tall women in this town, and some guys too??
so i want a new bike. a nice one. i've looked on craigslist, there's some stuff out there, but you have to sift through so much crap and you have to interact with someone who could potentially be weird, pay with cash for a bike that might have some flaws etc...wouldn't it be so much nicer to just go to one place, try some bikes out, and then buy one? shouldn't that place be a bike store?
well no. because there's a lot to consider. first, i'm short. yeah, 5'2" so a 52cm frame is just too damn big, what do you have in my size? nothing? why? i've gone to pretty much every store in DC. everywhere it's the same story. every bike they stock is either huge or huger, and if you want it in a small size, well then you have to special order it, and put down a deposit. you don't rrrrreally have to buy the bike perse, but you have to buy a bike from that store or you lose your deposit. essentially, you have to pick one bike without trying it and hope for the best. or you could start ordering bike after bike after bike and make your coolness meter go way down and eventually you'll end up putting down more deposits than a bike is worth.
and yeah, the coolness meter, there's the unwritten coolness code when you enter a bike shop these days, like, oh, you don't ride a custom fixie with no brakes and have a hip courier bag and hang out a asylum? rolling of eyes...well guess what, i do hang out at asylum and i just want a fucking bike to take me to work and back, maybe on some weekend rides, is that too much to ask?
choosing a bike is pretty intimate. i mean, i'm gonna be sitting on thing, it's gonna know...touching my private areas...would you buy a car without driving it? rent a house without entering it? no.
what would happen if clothing stores only carried size XXS, or supermarkets were all "we're just going to sell meat!" or a bar was all "too fucking bad, we don't serve ugly-ass people like you!" (ok, so they sortof do that as asylum but still...) wouldn't people be outraged? i am!
so what does this come down to? TOTAL BULLSHIT DISCRIMINATION. every store i've been to has had at least one or two other women standing around in the same predicament "i like this you have it in my size?" nope, sorry!
so i've been being a little more vocal these days and demanding that i should not have to put down cash to test out a bike because tall people don't have to. and no, i'm not interested in the girlie beach cruiser with tassles, thanks for asking. bike stores should carry a range of sizes, not just big, not just small, end of story. aren't there other small people looking for bikes? it's not like i'm not a midget or anything, i'm just a lady, lookin' for a bike!!
anyway, so here are my reviews on local bike stores if yer interested:
citybikes - sometimes known as shittybikes. most of the time you go in there and feel like a total idiot because you don't know what a blah blah is, or, you're wasting their time by asking them to fix something you could totally do yourself if you had bike tools, and cable cutters and like a million other things that you don't know, or care to know about. oh, and you're not wearing hip jeans rolled up to your knees. but then again, you just might happen to land on someone super nice and friendly and knowledgeable who actually helps you pick out a good bike for you, and keeps the store open late for you, cuz they know you really want a bike and they really want you to buy one. i'm probably going to end up buying from them because they said they finally ordered a small frame for me (with no deposit, after extensive going into the store and complaining) and i live two blocks away.
the bike rack - this place has the nicest of all salespeople ever. they can talk on your level, help you find exactly what you want, very friendly and very helpful. alas, they are just starting out and have a really small stock, so...not much to choose from. wish i could buy from those guys! however, lots of other cool stuff.
capitol hill bikes - the biggest selection of independent bike stores in DC, with lots of small women's frames and a nice owner who answered my emails about some bikes, but when i went into the store, the sales guy made me feel like i was bothering him by wanting to purchase a bicycle. well sorrreeeee!
REI - meh. who wants to buy their bike from rei? i guess you get dividends. they only carry a few brands.
Hudson Trail Outfitters - another chain...haven't been yet, sorry.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

your cat ran away, probably because you're annoying

my neighborhood has been plastered with lost cat posters. and not just any old posters, but professionally laminated posters that have little cut outs to take away the people's phone numbers, and are updated every week...first it was "lost cat," then "we miss you Lester [name changed to protect cat's identity]!" now it's "Lester is STILL missing!"
so i come home one night and what do you know, Lester is hanging out in my front yard. i say out loud, oh my, is that Lester? as i have his likeness and life story impounded into my brain everytime i leave my house. Lester, having recognized his name looks at me, and then runs away. i try to track him down in my backyard but he's gone. i lean my bike against the side door of my house and walk to the closest posted sign, which is about 3 feet from my front gate.
in the nano-second that i leave my bike unattended some dirty sketchy dude walks into my yard and is checking out my bike. now, i don't have my phone on me, so i'm a little nervous i can't call the copy, so i'm just standing there in my front yard entrance with my bike helmet, waiting, watching this guy. he slowly inspects the bike and finally decides to take it with him.
wtf do you think you're doing man?
he freaks out, drops the bike and is all, oh sorry mami, i was just looking for a place to pipi!
oh really? was my bike in your way?
i sortof shoo him away, wonder where on earth he came from and go inside to call Lester's owners.
there are two numbers on the little tab, and the first one is out of service...i leave a friendly, lengthy message on the second, like, don't lose hope! Lester is out there! he looks healthy! i call my friend who lives in Lester's building and is obviously constantly reminded of Lester's status. no way, you saw Lester? thank goodness, i'm sick of seeing 8 different pictures of him in the laundry room...
a few hours later, the guy calls me back. and he's super wishy washy, rather unemotional, like he was telemarketing and finally tells me that some lady who lives a few doors down from me has a whole bunch of cats, including one similar to Lester. so, would i mind calling her, asking her to send pictures of her cats, and then review them, and let Lester's people know if it was indeed Lester?
yeah, sure, i'll get right on it. because i have nothing better to do than hang out on the phone with crazy cat lady who i'm sure won't regale me with cat lady stories and your cat, well, i hate to say it, but if cats can sense anything, it's INDIFFERENCE, which i would say is precisely what Lester escaped from!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

sorry, can't fight your fire today

well, at least a sign is better than having fire fighters find out that the hydrant outside your burning building is broken...kinda like that place on adams mill a while back...

Friday, April 4, 2008

kinda creepy

the number of messages in my gmail spam folder hasn't changed in days and it's freaking me out.