I went bike-shopping Tuesday night, then again today. Tuesday I thought I'd found more-or-less the place with the best options. My plan was that today I'd go there, test-ride a couple, then make my decision. First I stopped at one more store, a place that specializes in road bikes, just in case they had any nice hybrids.
The guy there was extremely helpful, and yes he did have several nice hybrids! Especially interesting to me: he had some that didn't have the fancy suspension forks that seem to be all the rage now. Given that the majority of my riding will be on roads around my house, I didn't need or want something made for mountains. The extra suspension stuff looked like they make the bikes heavier and clunkier, and it just didn't seem necessary to me. I wanted something fairly lightweight and simple, but comfortable with good components.
So I was pleased when he showed me a couple of static hybrids, without all the bouncy suspension stuff added on. We talked about the various options, what I wanted, what was out there, and he sent me out on several test rides. After much internal debate, talking, riding, and pacing around, I made my decision. A Smoke Grey Metal Bianchi Avenue diamond frame.
He said he had it in stock, so I pulled out my credit card and we started ringing things up. He said he could have it ready by tomorrow or Saturday! I could ride it all weekend! I asked him to install a computer, and we picked that out. We found a nice lock, and a water bottle cage. Then he stepped away for a few minutes, because they were having a problem in the back room. I amused myself by browsing the gloves and helmets.
When he came back, he looked crestfallen. "I sold you a vapor-bike," he told me.
"What does that mean? That doesn't sound good...."
"I mean that we have an invoice that says they shipped it, but it's not in the back. We never received it." He looked so distraught and guilty and upset about the whole thing. "It will take a few days to come from California. But come here..." and he pulled me to the window. "I'd like to loan you my bike, to play around with over the weekend. It's not the same as yours, but at least you'd have something to ride."
I looked at him in confusion, then out the window at the white hybrid parked in the bike rack. "Wait, you want to loan me your personal bike?" I'd never heard of such a thing! He nodded, explaining that it didn't matter, he could borrow something from the store, he just wanted me to have a bike this weekend like he'd said I would. He just felt so bad about the store's mix-up!
I reassured him that wouldn't be necessary, but I thanked him for the offer. I've waited this long to ride my bike, I can probably last another week. He reiterated that the offer stood, and if I wanted to borrow it I could just come in anytime this weekend and do so. What a nice guy.
We finished writing up the sale, and he took my number so he could call me the minute it was ready. I don't quite have a bike yet, but I'm much closer than I have been....not much longer now, I hope.