Wednesday, September 02, 2009

First, if there's one thing that pisses me off, it's shite riding of bikes around St Albans. The other day I was driving the kids into town, and as we drove up to the bridge next to the station this 20ish lad bimbles his way on to the road, riding between the yellow lines- ie in the gutter- but looking like he's going to peel off in any direction pretty soon. I clocked him, giving him a wide berth as I pass and join the queue at the traffic lights, keeping tabs in my mirrors. Sure enough he pulls out in front of another car then fires down the lane to jump the lights. Watching him as he goes up Victoria street he jumps the next set, then turns left down a one-way against the traffic.

People like this are the main reason reason bike riders get slagged off by drivers. This small(ish) group of stupid, risk taking, law breaking twats wind 'normal' people up so much that they see stupid roadsense as the average biker's skills. The result is that that those of us who do act as traffic get slagged off as roadscum by a large proportion of drivers and get agrro from the very aggressive few.

Next, retailing. This morning me and the kids went for a ride to meet my wife for lunch. I was riding the town bike since my mtb is still in bits and the townie needed air in the tubes especially the pancake front. I didn't have a pump on the bike and I didn't realise until we were on our way. No problem, plenty of time. We diverted, arriving at a garage to use their air line with limited success so we pushed on towards the triathlon shop on Hatfield road. They're bound to have a pump and probably have some HRMs for me to look at since my Polar has failed and I'm looking for a replacement some nice bikes to look at too, I definitely need some new shorts and I bet they've got some funky accessories to look at too. I have my card, I've just been paid. I'm impluse-buying retail fodder.

"Can I borrow your pump for a second please? I'm out on a ride with the kids and I don't have a pump"
"We don't have one to lend to people. We can sell you one"
Me- fx- looks flabbergasted
"People come in all the time to borrow a pump"
Me- fx- remains flabbergasted. Mutters about duty to the community, could charge people £1 for charity to use a pump. Leaves shop. Rides carefully for the rest of the day before topping up at home.

Doesn't this shop realise the value of good customer relations? A quick go on a track pump isn't really much of a hassle, after all. You could buy one for buttons and chain it to a wall inside if you think it will get nicked. Yes, I appreciate that you're a business and you'd like to sell pumps and being a triathlon shop you probably don't give a crap about a fat guy on a £300 hybrid with his kids or a scruffy teens from a few streets down or anyone else who just wants to put some air in a tyre. I would've spent £40+ pretty much without any sales talk. That kid you turn away could grow up into someone who would buy a bike from you in five years time, that older person could recommend you to a grandchild.

Fuck you, Triathlon Zone. Enjoy your karma.


Unknown said...

Theres nothing I enjoy more than a good rant. Right! They have lost any custom I might give them, and heaven forbid if my pram tyres go near their shop. They wont know what hits them when I cant move 2 screaming kids and they wont lend me a pump...

The Former 550 Pound Cyclist said...

Reminds me of my Trek and Harry Hall Cycles Manchester, no one in my office will shop there now !!!! (I work for local Government so my office isnt small)

Julie Oakley said...

Good on you for ranting, I hope it turns away a few customers - I'll tell hubby (with his half dozen or so bikes) so that he avoids them

Clive Andrews said...

You can add Halfords in Putney, London to the list: