In my world, every Saturday, every weekend, should have the same forecast — sunny and single track. I am nearly 58 years old, yet nothing brings out the boy in me more than days like yesterday. Even yet this morning, I am still energized, still buoyed by the ride. It was one of those days where the plan went right, even when there were hiccups.
Sun greeted me as I pulled back the drapes and opened the bedroom blinds, as is my routine. Prior to bed, the furnace had been turned off, the sliding glass doors in the living room and kitchen pulled open enough to let the fresh cool air fill the space in my small home. There is a simple pleasure to pulling back the warm covers to be greeted by the coolness of a fresh morning, the warmth of the bed still with me as I pull a shirt over my head, shuffle to the kitchen and put the water on the stove to boil. More often than not, I listen to some quiet music at the kitchen table while the honey sweetened oatmeal soothes me. I checked the weather from my phone to confirm the day’s weather would be as promised — cool in the morning, 70 degree temperatures by the afternoon. Satisfied, I determined my plan for the day would be to wait until the afternoon to ride, when I could ride in shorts and tee shirt, the damp from the previous days’ rain gone from the trails.
It was glorious. In the morning, I performed the needed tasks and chores for my weekend, drove my son to work (he no longer has a car), then hit the trails. My friend, Jim, has loaned me one of his two full carbon Trek Superfly mountain bikes to ride while I wait for a replacement. I had picked up his soft tail bike a few days earlier, found it needed a few tweaks to be fully rideable — clean up the pads and rotors (the geese would have been following me through the woods), refresh the charge in the rear shock, adjust seat height. The bike is indeed full carbon, including the wheels, so it’s a light ride. I was glad for a chance to ride the first few miles of trail by myself, since I had to get used to handling a faster and lighter bike. When I met my friends Greg and Ernesto on one of the trails, I was ready to go. While it still took some effort to keep up, I did keep up, even cleared the most technical trail without a single dab, something I have only been able to accomplish once on my heavier aluminum Camber. I witnessed Greg ride off the side of the trail to avoid some hikers, miraculously avoiding a fall down the side of a berm into the swampy waters. He was not feeling well the rest of our ride.
I did visit the bike shop in the morning, as I had only talked to them over the phone prior to yesterday. I wanted some more information on the frame replacement for my Specialized Camber FSR. They really hadn’t given me much information at all, have not told me what is going to be involved. When I brought my bike in to ask about the warranty, I had removed the chain and had installed a few new drive train components, so I wanted to know what was going to be reused. I also wanted to know if they would be installing the new cassette and chain that I had. They didn’t really know much at all, so I left them the new cassette and chain, assuming that the replacement frame was going to be frame only (I assume that is the case). I asked them once again to consider asking Specialized to send a large frame instead of a medium, a request that was instantly rejected. I didn’t fight and told them I wouldn’t fight them, but did ask them if it would be better if their customer was 100% satisfied instead of feeling placated. The response was a weak grin, as if I was being a jerk for asking. I don’t feel like a jerk for asking. I work for the factory, know it can be uncomfortable asking them for a little more, but also know it’s more important to make sure a customer is satisfied with the outcome than to simply do the least. That’s the sure way to lose a customer. Do I think I will go elsewhere? Not likely, but I sure would like to see my shop try to do a little more for me.
It was still a sunny day. It was a wonderful ride, the pleasant burn of fatigue in my legs a welcome reminder of an effort that was never an effort. When I got home, I showered, ran an errand, then enjoyed a pleasant dinner with a pretty neighbor who is becoming a nice friend. I walked her to her front door after dinner, early, then hit the sack around 10 PM. This was an early morning, since I took that neighbor friend to the airport at 5 this morning.
Enjoy your day. May your day be sunny and single track!