May 31, 2016
4.7 miles, 00:23 time in the saddle, 109 ft of climbing
Total Miles: 1473
My goal for today was to secure a bike box, a duffle bag or something to pack my panniers into, and get the bike packed, and update the blog.
I was successful, but with a few bumps. So what follows is a bit of a rant, okay, it is a rant, so please skip if you wish.
I called a local bike shop that was a little over a mile from my hotel, but they didn’t have a suitable box available. Googling a bit I saw that there was a Performance Bike Store not much further away. Performance is a large chain bike store that also does a big Internet business. I have spent a fair amount of money at Performance. I called them and the person answering assured me they had boxes available. I told him I would be there in an hour or so.
I utilized the free hotel shuttle to get about half way to the Performance Store, and then walked the rest. On the way I went by a Target and picked up a duffle, and a Home Depot and got some zip ties, pipe insulation, and packing tape. Then I walked over to the Performance Store. My plan was to use Uber to get back to my motel with the box.
Once in the Performance Store, the service guy told me they had no boxes, but I was welcome to buy a $300 case from them. Uh, no thanks. I explained I had called and been told they had boxes. He questioned whether I had called the right store. I confirmed (on my phone) that I had indeed called the right store, and his response was, well “you didn’t talk to me”. He then said that they MIGHT be getting a shipment in with some bikes in the afternoon, around 3 pm, and it MIGHT contain a mountain bike with a box that would work for me, and I could wait around to see if that happened (this was around 11 in the morning). I explained my situation, he could have cared less. Complete and total asshole. Nevertheless I left my name and number for them to call if they got a box. They didn’t.
I left Performance, found a bench to sit on and googled some more. I contacted Metro Cyclery, which was several miles from my current location and about the same distance from my motel as Performance. They had a box, and would hold it for me. I then Uber’d a SUV and in less than 10 mins I was on my way to Metro Cyclery. These guys were the nicest and most helpful folks. They gave me the box for free. We talked about the ride. I was in and out in a few minutes, and the Uber ride took me back to the motel.
Take home on this. I will NEVER, EVER buy anything from Performance again. I will tell everyone I know about the terrible experience I had with them and encourage them to not do business with them as well. I still can’t believe how completely un-helpful, and frankly rude the guy at Performance was. In retrospect, there was a wall of boxed bikes behind him in the shop. He easily could have offered to pull a bike out of one and let me have the box.
After I got back to my room I realized I couldn’t get the pedals off my bike with my multi-tool. Just not enough leverage. Also, I had forgot to ask about a fork brace, the little plastic do-hickey to protect the fork from being squished. So I rode the couple miles back over to Metro Cylcery and they broke the pedals free for me and gave me the brace and some foam padding to help in packing up the bike. Again we talked about the tour, and bikes, tire’s, etc. Great folks. My only regret is that I did not spend some money at their store. The store seems to specialize in folding bikes (they had a bunch of Bromptons) and city type bikes. The box they gave me was from an Electra Cruiser. I can’t say enough good about these folks.
Okay, rant over. The box turned out to be perfectly sized, or, really, I should say, if it was any smaller it would have been too small. But I got it all in there. The challenge was finding a place for the front rack. Anyway, it is all neatly packed into the box now.
I fit three of the panniers and stuff into the duffel, and I’ll check one of the large panniers (with the sleeping bag and clothes) separately.
I spent the afternoon updating the blog followed up by dinner at a neighborhood bar called Home & Away, that was just a few blocks from my motel. It was Taco Tuesday, so I had tacos – they were delicious.