I’m still seething…or am I?
I still can’t work out whether I’m angry or have been reduced yet again to being a stupid woman in a bike shop who knows nothing.
What is it with these bike shop guys who just make that instant assumption that I’m an idiot and know nothing about bikes, or riding, or in fact anything at all that requires even the tiniest amount of technical know how – like how to take my water bottle from the cage and drink, while heaven forbid, I’m riding at the same time! (It’s called multi-tasking I believe).
So I walk into the bike shop, one I wouldn’t normally go to, and wander around checking out the bike candy…nice gear I think to myself. I didn’t want to be too conspicuous because frankly I was just there to get one thing, on the off chance they’d have it…but oh the distractions of pretty bikes. The Dura-Ace on the carbon frame, glowing yellow bar tape, and the beautiful matt black underbelly of the frame…..STOP!!! This is NOT what I went into the shop for.
So, back on track I make my way to the wall display of bottle cages where I search out any side-loading ones suitable for a small frame. Not much there; just rubbish I wouldn’t put on my bike in a pink fit (or is the pink fit what happened when I got the bike?). On inquiry as to whether or not there were any other side loading cages I was given THAT look.
Yes THAT look that instantly says to me ‘you’re a girl, you’ve got no idea what you want and someone told you that you need this but in fact you need a pretty plastic basket on your bike with some flowers on it” look.
I stood there waiting for the answer I was hoping for, “yes sure, we have some other higher quality ones here that aren’t in the bargain bin and they might be what you’re after.” But no, I just got THAT look…and then the pause, and then the question. I just love that pause, as they draw breath, a slight roll back of the eyes and raising of the eyebrows, arms fold across the chest.
“Why do you want a side loading cage, we don’t stock them because no-one ever wants them.”
“Well, I need it so I can fit two bottle cages on my small frame.”
“Why do you want two bottle cages, why don’t you just get a drink bladder. That’s must safer because you can’t drink safely and ride at the same time. If you’re going on the road and you want a drink it’s much better to use a bladder in a backpack, they’re called a Camelback by the way, and then you can sip whenever you want. It also means that if there are people around you and you need to drink you won’t get all unsteady and wobble into them…what size would you like”
“No, I really want the side loading cages. It will be much better.”
“You don’t need them. Have you ever tried to drink while you’re riding. Its something most girls don’t like doing. Ha, even us fellas have a bit of trouble sometimes.”
So with that comment I just wanted to say “Fella, you couldn’t even drink and think at the same time, let alone ride a bike at the same time…d%$K!!!”
“Where do you ride love, do you commute?”
“No, I teach cycling to others…I’m a coach”
“Yeah well, anyway, if you’re putting them on your hybrid you just won’t need them…”
On that note I politely said thank you before I ran the risk of ramming the nearest Shimano crank up the his Khyber Pass. My blood was boiling and I walked away…why the hell didn’t I stand there and ask him why he assumed I knew nothing about riding? Because I also knew that people like him are not worth wasting my time with.
What is it with these guys who instantly assume that any woman who enters their bike shop knows nothing. And even if it seems we do know something, he still knows better. I am perplexed as to why he thinks he has the right to treat women in such a condescending manner, or make assumptions about what I know or what I ride.
I may not look like an Olympian, and I certainly can’t ride like one. And I may not be the skinniest or the fittest looking cyclist who has ever walked into his store. And I may not be the world expert on group sets and chain-ring ratios. But how dare you mister make an assumption that you know better, worse still, why the hell didn’t you just listen to what I wanted instead of telling me your stinking sexist opinion.
I guess I won’t be going back there again.
PS. I’d like it noted this was NOT at my usual bike shop!
I’ve now got one side loading cage…I can fit two of these. They’re just for decoration of course because I’d never be able to drink while I’m actually riding would I?