While visiting the new Vino location at SE 28th and Ash, our friend and proprietor Bruce Bauer mentioned a new bike shop had opened around the corner. Bruce's generous nature has always supported the businesses around him and we've always benefitted from his discoveries, so we loaded up our wine cases into the car and walked into Crank bike shop.
Striking up a conversation with of the owners, Chris Harbert, and feeling absolutely no pressure to buy, I found myself looking for a bike. In short order, I was standing next to a one that would suit my needs at a reasonable price, the Fuji 2.0 Absolute. This hybrid between a road and trail bike would be ideal to ride around the hills in my neighborhood through rain or shine. We made an appointment for me to come back into the shop for my "fitting".
My most recent experience on on bike was to commandeer my sons vintage trail bike for the summer to see if I was truly serious about taking up biking and committing to buying my first real grown-up bike, one that wasn't found sitting under a Christmas tree.
Chris explained to me that most of the discomfort one can experience on a ride, such as sore shoulders, or in my case, fingertips going numb were caused by a poor fit on the bike. When I returned to the shop, I came with my bike clothing on and Chris had my bike mounted so he could watch me "ride" it in the shop. He carefully adjusted the alinement of my knee over the pedal, and my leg extension. He cut the handlebar length so that my arms would be at the correct angle and not put stress on my neck. I got off and on the bike for just under an hour while Chris adjusted the bike to order.
I couldn't believe how much power I felt on the bike when I took it out on its maiden voyage through my neighborhood. It was much lighter than the previous one I had ridden, but even so it seemed much easier taking it up the hills than pulling a few less pounds could account for. My hands did not and have not gone numb, which was a regular occurrance in the past and riding is more enjoyable overall. The fit between my sons bike and my own is night and day.
The Showers Pass cycling jacket I bought at the store- to ensure I wouldn't wimp out of my rides when it is raining has kept me warm and dry without overheating. Bonus, that the company is local. Can I rave a bit about local businesses without sounding too Portlandia?