The Egret

Riding home today I spotted a beautiful white egret in the creek in the park. I stopped on the bridge to watch and was inspired to write this poem…

The Egret

Stoic stalker of piscine prey
standing solo amongst the fray
of mallards mocking and swallows swift
standing staunchly against the drift
Strike! A frog? A fish? I cannot say…
The egret feasts another day.

Customer Abuse @ Performance of Fair Oaks, CA

I know that you don’t go to Performance Bike for their great customer service, you go for the low prices and convenient hours. That said, you also don’t go with the expectation of being mistreated!!

My negative outlook on Performance started about six months ago when I went there with a friend to help choose a road bike. A specific Fuji bike was in the right price range and appealed on many levels. We had the bike out on the floor and she was looking at I was evaluating the fit. I held the wheel between my knees and the handlebars and had her sit on the bike while I evaluated the fit. While we were doing this a manager comes up and decides to take over. Without warning he forces himself between me and bike, nearly causing her to fall off! This upset me, but I continued anyhow. Later, when we were discussing the reach and the possibility of a handlebar swap he started moving the saddle forward. I told him that’s not how you adjust reach, but he got angry and said “just wait, I’ll show you!” I finally settled on the 47cm frame even though he was suggesting the 44. Interestingly, Fuji’s site suggests either the 47 or 50 for her height! Idiots…

So… last night I’m there with a neighbor. Everything is going fine at first. I pull out some bikes just to look them over with little concern about their size at first. My neighbor, being excited, is sitting on all of them, but I ignore it since that’s not what I’m looking at anyhow. We’re down to the last bike before we decide which one we should have him test ride when the manager (a different manager) comes over and says that the bike is too big (duh, thanks). I start to pull out the next smaller size when he immediately takes over and doesn’t allow me to see how that size fits. Deciding to avoid a confrontation I went away and started browsing the rest of the store while he gave his advice. Later, my neighbor calls me over to show me what they’d settled on. When I got there he said that this was the right size frame. I nearly laughed. It had a traditional geometry (horizontal top tube) so you’d go with a larger seat tube length than with a compact geometry frame. That said, he’d put my almost 6′ neighbor on a 54cm frame! I said something about the bike being far too small, that he was sitting nearly upright, far too cramped in the top tube, and besides the saddle was far too low. He said “no, the seat is in the ideal position! See how his top leg is horizontal, that’s ideal!” Top leg? Who looks at that? Then he went on about how the bike had a relaxed top tube geometry (huh? Relaxed head angle, relaxed seat angle, etc, but top tube?). I said no, that the saddle was at least 4cm too low! He started getting angry and barked “Fine, the bike is too small!” and stomped off. At the desk I could see him telling the other people something or other while staring at us.

There was more, but that’s the general gist of the experience. Amazing. I’m seriously considering contacting their corporate number, though I expect that they won’t have much concern.

For now, I’m done with Performance.