A few moments with a shop girl, reminded me how cool bikes are.
Annoyed that a second flat resulted from jacked-up rim tape in a demo bike, I ignored a shop girl’s repeated requests to observe me fixing it. Thinking something like, product managers from sunny climates have no idea what grit, grime and rain does to a bike; and details like a proper seated rim tape are important to not ruin an otherwise great ride, perhaps tape that cost more than 1/2 a New Taiwan Dollar should ship with this high-end bike… Then she asked again and one more time. Figuring out that the tape was twisted in the rim, exposing the rim holes, I rode straight to the nearest shop, flatting again en route and walked the rest of the way. With the tape replaced and seated, I put the wheel back on the bike and noticed she was still hovering nearby.
Then I realized her curiosity wasn’t from an exuberance of customer care and concern for my well-being. She wanted to see the bike, close up. An endearingly nice bike geek and nerd working a first shop job, her enthusiasm for what I was riding was twice, three-times that of mine. I waved her over and said, “Check it out, it’s the new Di2 9070.” Shifting it she replied, “It IS just like touching an iPhone button. WOW!” It was like she’d met Ariel at Disneyland. Guessing correctly the Focus Izalco weighed little more than 15 pounds, she may have raised her arms in a triumphant wave like the Target Lady on SNL.
Thanking the shop’s number one mechanic for letting me use his stand while he tended to other customers, I noted, “She’s great.” He agreed and I’ll ride the next demo bike to the shop and share it with her.
Remembering too, for all the flaws I could find with Di2 as a jaded journalist, a bike that shifts like a robot is still cool.
Ed. note: After a good run of 42 issues, our magazine app is no longer available, but we’ve archived the content here on our blog.
Also published on Medium.