My buddy Pablo came down from Stumptown to hang out this morning. On the agenda: bikes and coffee...two things I obviously enjoy. He’s thinking about getting a new bike, and he thought it would be fun to hang out and hit the Salem bike shops today. I liked the idea of somebody from Portland shopping for bikes in Salem.
We started the morning at one of my favorite spots for coffee, the Ike Box. I am so impressed by Mark and Tiffany, and how their story has brought about such a great commitment to making a difference in the lives of troubled young people through the work of Isaac's Room. They have created a happenin’ little gathering place in the heart of downtown. I’m really proud to bring friends or have meetings there when I can.
After coffee, we headed for Scott’s Cycle to check out some road bike options for Pablo. Now that he rides his bike to work once a week, he realizes it’s time for a better bike. He’s been riding a 30-pound beast of a mountain bike that just screams “1985” at you when you look at it. As things would have it, his commuting has sparked an interest in recreational riding, and he’s realized it’s time to upgrade the riding machine. He’s thinking of getting a road bike with some versatility.
We were extremely fortunate that it was a quiet morning in the bike shop, and Pablo got to ask every possible question about frame geometry and materials, components, riding gear, racks and fenders, everything. I was so impressed by how Larry worked with Pablo, who has a lot of curiosity about road bikes. Larry listened, and really just dialed in to what Pablo wanted to know. As questions came up about how to find a bike that fits, they threw several headsets with different sizes and angles on a bike and had him try them on a trainer to feel the difference. When he tried the last one, he said, “I can’t explain why, but this one just feels right.” There’s such a clear difference between being pushy and being responsive to a customer, and Larry demonstrated that so well. It made me really proud to have brought Pablo there, too. We came away from the shop, more clear about what he needs to think about before ultimately making a purchase.