Acquired bicycles, two Giant brand machines. Not really made to order. In fact, not at all. “Want different petals? You’ll have to buy that other bike….want a different fork? different shifters? different handlebars? You’ll have to buy a different bike.” But hey, this isn’t a surprise. After all, this is a one size fits all industry, where frames and helmets are all the same. Remarkable. After a bit of personal negotiating I’ve convinced myself to buy the ‘high end’ bike. 2800 RMB, that’s about $400. Dan picked up the $200 bike. We’ll see which one wins the race. Shhh, he doesn’t know it’s a race yet.
With the bikes, during a very strange negotiation, as our ‘discount’ we were awarded computers. This negotiation essentially involved me saying, “come onnnn.” and them saying “No” and me saying “come onnnn” and them saying “no.” Then I reminded them about the dolla dolla bills we’ve been spending at their shop (these make bikes 4 & 5) and they said, okay, we can give you some equipment. So I think to myself, ‘what’s a trivial pieces of equipment that is important,’ and reply with “how about some lights?” and they say “NO. Too expensive!” and I say, “Really?!? lights are too expensive? Okay, well how about your suggestion.” So then they say, “How about computers?” Well, I figured computers were more hassle with installation and cost more than a couple of blinky lights, but they said it. So now we’ve got some computers. They’re a bit junky, Dan’s reads km quicker than mine andwe’ll certainly see that difference by the end of our journey, but in general, they’re good. They read the same speed. So we’ve been able to track our progress this far making our test rides quite effective. Yesterday was a 110 km day, today we went for time and made about 60 km in under 2 hours, we feel good about these tests. Our back ends are a bit sore and our legs stern with the new hobby, but in general, we can still climb the stairs to our apartment so we’re doing alright.
We had some bags made (Bright Orange) and have completed one ride with them on the bikes loaded with gear. We’ll have them back to the shop for a couple of adjustments and then should be good. While the material is waterproof, the stitching I think has compromised this feature, but perhaps a bit of glue or tape will fix this. Because they’re bright orange, we’re quite the flashy duo riding through town sporting hot pants, driving tall bikes, and the only two goons wearing helmets. But this is great for visibility, thumbs up & when I can’t get my foot out of my petal-basket and fall into a crowd of folks at an intersection, I can just get up and smile and say “Ni How.” Sometimes being a celebrity is a-okay.
In other news we’re holding a celebration on Saturday (July, 4 2009) for ‘no particular reason.’ And everyone is welcome to come. It will be complete with fireworks and BBQ (China style) and flags to boot! See you there!