28 August 2009
one of these things is not like the others.
When I first got my Mac and had some trouble making the switch, the guy on the support line told me that once I got past the initial challenges, I was going to put the experience behind me and absolutely love my computer. That's exactly what happened. I was trying to keep that in mind today because I recognize that I have zero patience for error, and really, five hours after it arrived, I am back from my first ride on the Dahon and feeling much better about the purchase.
I went all the way out to Performance (which is so far away that it is almost in New Jersey). The guy popped out the offending packing piece and pumped up the tires. I was there all of five minutes...
...Which was long enough for him to lecture me about how I shouldn't buy anything online and I should always come to the store. For his information, the store is too far out of the way to be useful to me after an extremely harrowing experience trying to ride through unavoidable Downtown on the way back (I ended up mostly walking the tiny bike and stopping for a worthwhile and much needed Hot Sausage from a street vendor).
Really, it is getting bitched at and denigrated that keeps a lot of people, especially women, from going into bike shops in the first place. I shouldn't have to defend my choice to buy something online when it is cheaper to anybody. The bike would've cost me $500 with tax from the store, which was more than I paid. I don't need to be intimidated when I come seeking help. That was disappointing and even if it was closer, I wouldn't go back to that shop.
So that pissed me off, but I got on my bike and rode off the angst. End of story.
So the Dahon- the bike, the actual bike itself- is fantastic. As a short legged person it is so hard to find a bike that fits perfect, but this one does. Once I got onto bikeable streets, I felt like I could really fly on that little bike. The Schwalbe tires were great on Philadelphia's debris laden streets (much like the ones on the ODT), and the gearing- well, usually on the ODT it takes all 3 gears to get me up the hill from the Downtown area and on the Dahon, I stayed in 3rd the whole time, quite comfortably.
The positioning is pretty upright and I felt visible and safe on the bike- though I will be adding a bell and using a blinkey light. I like that the rack came with a special little bungee so I could strap my purse on. Not having a coaster brake takes some getting used to, but what the bike has works fine. And of course, most importantly, it fits through the front door and is not hard at all to get up the stairs and through our sharp cornered hallways. I think it's pretty sweet that Dahon throws in a little vial of touch up paint and a bunch of stickers. I'm looking forward to many pleasant miles on my little bike.