I was in town today scouting for spokes for my new wheel when I was made aware that the Nike outlet store in West Bromwich had a pair of Air Max 90 infrareds with my name on them and they were only going to cost me £30.
I had to go. £30 for infrareds… thats me right there!
I wanted to ride but realised I had left my trusted spare tube and pump at home, no dramas, “I will get the train”. What a joke this idea turned out to be.
“Can I get a return to West Bromwich please?” I said kindly to the lady at the counter at New Street station, she told me it would easier for me to get the metro from snow hill as I was traveling with my bike. I am now at Snow Hill waiting to board the Metro, it arrives, I get on. “Does that fold?” he said, “Erm, No” I replied. The driver / warden then proceeded to tell me that unless it folds it can’t come on. All this after the lady at New street had flat told me it would be ok. There was tons of room, the tram was borderline empty and my bike could have travelled. The chap in the ( viscose heavy ) blue jumper, and trousers, the ‘Jobsworth’ must have just fancied empowering himself today by denying me right of passage. Well done pal, well done.
After my encounter with the driver / warden it took me a further journey back to New street, me having to raise my voice to a station ‘officer’, and then another journey across town to Moor street to finally get the go ahead to board a train, with my bike. Third time lucky.
Arriving at the Nike store after my nightmarish journey, not to mention the jaunt of a ride from the station to the centre, I am confronted by the store manager. “Excuse me, you can’t bring that in here” This guy was clearly not aware of the tribulations I had just gone through to get there, so unfortunately his words were quickly met with a certain venom from mine. “I have come here to put money in your till” I told him, with a slight increase in decibels.
I offered him countless suggestions as to where I could possibly leave it so as to not cause an accident ( in our current ” where there is blame there is a claim” climate ) but he had none of it.
I got my trainers and I went home but my god the whole process did my head right in.
If the government wants more people to ride bikes to lower folk’s ‘carbon footprint’ they need to be doing things to make the idea a little more attractive.
Clueless counter clerks, poor options on public transport and an uncooperative attitude towards cycles and cyclists is not going to cut it.
Rant over, I am off to build that wheel.