Last year I purchased two items that were too large for me: a dress and a bike. This week, I put each into the hands of professionals in order to change that. Inherently “frugal” (read: cheap), I am new to the idea of customizing anything.
As I prepared for the dress appointment, I noticed some familiar feelings from the bike appointment I already had: anxiety and excitement. At surface value, that surprised me, but once I started comparing the two items these appointments were for, I saw a lot more similarities than I expected:
- I “got a deal” for both of them which, oddly enough brought them to the exact same price;
- I knew they didn’t fit when I bought them;
- They are both a better quality product then necessary;
- They each have highly specialized purposes: getting married and racing, I’ll let you figure out which is which.
The excitement is an obvious feeling: I’m excited to marry my fiancé and I’m excited to be able to use this fancy bike. But what about the anxiety? For the bike, I was nervous he would tell me that nothing could be done to make it fit and I never should have bought it in the first place. As for the dress, I was nervous she would tell me that nothing could be done to make it fit and I never should have bought it in the first place. I worried I would forget the clothes and shoes I had to bring to each appointment. I fretted the seamstress and bike mechanic would be rude and make these experiences awful instead of fun and exciting.
What ended up happening? Everyone was perfectly friendly, accommodating, and knowledgeable. Duh.
My local bike shop mechanic did not shame me out of the shop, but instead did the reasonable thing and asked what I wanted out of the fit. Since I don’t race, I told him I want to be more comfortable and to put less pressure on my hands so my fingers stop going numb (after some research I learned I crush the ulnar nerve in my hand; feeling can take weeks to months to return). He worked with me for the next 45 minutes adjusting the saddle position (up and slightly more forward), the stem angle (negative to positive), the handlebars (so the brakes were closer to me), and perhaps most importantly (although many may argue the saddle position is most important, which I agree with in most instances but for this bike, I disagree), changed out the stem for a shorter one so the bike will fit my T-Rex arms. Adios over-extending; hello, sweet ride.
While it’s always a little nerve-wracking to have someone sticking pins in clothes I am wearing, the seamstress also crushed it. Wedding dresses are a little different than bikes (shocking, I know); you want to buy them a little large because it’s easier to remove fabric then add it. Makes sense. She calmed my fears by saying she could easily hem it and take the sides in. I didn’t stay to watch all the magic happen: cutting, hemming, seam ripping, stitching, etc., but from all the measurements she took that day, I’m confident it will come out as well as the bike did.
I have follow-up appointments with both for last minute tweaks AND in total, the appointments were the exact same price. How is that even possible?! Maybe it’s destiny that I should ride down the aisle…
Now spring needs to arrive ASAP so I can put them both to use!
Because when it’s beshert, it’s beshert, that’s why I love riding my bike.