Thursday, October 21, 2004

Telltale signs
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

Sen. John Kerry Drops By Bike Gallery in a recent visit to Portland, OR. Now, I know a few of the guys at the Bike Gallery, and they are great guys. Really. So, in no way do I want to give out the idea that I think lowly of the Bike Gallery at all. It's always fun to have a celebrity come into the shop and need service.

But, what is more interesting in this article is what John Kerry was doing there. He was having flat tires fixed... TWO flat tires fixed. As someone who worked in a very busy, very high end bike shop for many years, I have a little insight into what we can learn from this.

First off, let me describe John Kerry's riding kit first. He rides a steel Serrotta bicycle. The frames are made in the U.S. and the bikes are assembled in the States. They make a fine product. I find it kind of odd that Mr. Kerry would choose steel, when Serrotta makes a very nice Titanium bike. You'd think he would go for the best money can buy. I also noticed that he uses Campagnolo components on his bike. Oftentimes, we in the bike industry would label someone who buys a steel bike (heavier than Titanium or Aluminum) and they put Campagnolo on it (more expensive than Shimano) as a bike snob. People that will pay top dollar for components, but won't pay top dollar for the finest frame always seemed odd to me. Also, he was riding in baggy shorts and a baggy shirt. Anyone who spends serious time in a saddle will not use such shorts, as they chafe the skin and have some seams in pretty delicate places. Road Cyclists wear tights shorts for a reason... They feel better and take better care of the body. He might be letting public image get in the way of making a good decision here.

Now, as far as his visit to the bike shop the other day, we can tell this: First, he would rather drive to a bike shop and have 'a common man' change his flat tires rather than fix them himself and save the time. I'm sure, as he travels all around the nation that he prepares himself with a basic repair kit. Maybe he makes the secret service officers carry it. Also, two flat tires is extremely odd on a road bike... Unless the tires are well underinflated. Most road cyclists know, from experience, that tires have to be topped off almost every time you ride. If you ride a lot, maybe two or three days can go by with one pumping, but most of the cyclists I know check their pressure before every ride. It just takes a simple squeeze with the thumb to check.... (there is a possibility that two flats could have come from glass or thorns, but it's just not probable. Underinflation is the prime suspect.)

So, what can we gather from this? First, he doesn't pay attention to detail. And, when that lack of attention to detail comes back to bite him in the butt, he pays someone else to fix the damage.

I would, however, like to thank him for unnecessarily spending money at a local business in Oregon. Maybe Tuh-ray-zuh paid for it...

Please be sure to read Daredemo's post on the Duelfer Report. It is time well spent!

Update: When you take this event and combine it with his marathon record (thanks Michelle Malkin) you can really begin to see that his 'sporting life' is just an attempt to be popular.


Blogger Duke said...

I've seen similar behavior with the way people buy computers. They'll have a shiny new box with mostly good parts: a fast processor, the latest video card, a big monitor. And then they'll shoot themselves in the foot by hooking it all up to a poor motherboard, or strangling it with insufficient RAM.

Show me a system like this, and I'll show you a person who is easily dazzled by marketing speak and shiny objects. These people love to brag about the high specs of their equipment, while being completely unaware of the fundamental weaknesses that make it all just so much wasted money.

5:15 PM  

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