Once again, getting a late night necessary item or two at Wal-Mart had me checking the bicycle department like an after hours security guard wanders around a mall looking for hoodlums.
I act like things should change every time I walk into this little area, but they do not. All of the accessories look like a supply truck took a number two, expelling product all over the place in no particular order. The bicycles are a little more conservative, I didn’t see as many bastardized bikes that were made with monster coil springs and junky frame designs reminding you of old Giant Warps circa the late 90’s.
Versus what was actually in the racks:
What was the worst part about this trip you ask? Stems. Yes, Stems. I tried lightly turning the handlebars of ten bicycles while they were in those awkward racks, and SIX of the bikes’ handlebars moved while the wheel stayed still. This to me says that someone is not properly doing their job, and needs to to understand that there are lives potentially at risk.
Just like every time I am in the bike department, I took out my trusty pen and scribbled on whatever paperwork was on the bike. I clearly wrote
HANDLEBAR STEM IS LOOSE. DANGER.
I know this is a bit overkill for something that may only need a few twists of an allen wrench to fix, but not everyone knows that it would need to be done in the first place. Look at how many old and young drivers forget to change their motor oil and filter, and end up doing 15,000 miles with it until excessive wear causes something to not function optimally. This happens a lot more than you think…
I really wish there is more I could do. Something like write a manifesto of discontent to the store operator to show that they are possibly contributing to the 100+ reported cases a year of Mass Merchant Bike related injuries. Should I even go as far as telling them I could do a better job?
I’ll keep you posted~