4.00 AM:Trinnnggggggggg! For a moment I struggle to locate the source of the sound, and then the familiarity struck me. I reluctantly get out of the bed. It is a Sunday morning and I have to lead the TBA Sunday Leisure Ride. I had called riders who were renting out bikes from us the previous night and asked them to be on time, so I got to be at the store by 5 AM to avoid any embarrassment!
5.07 AM: I reach the store and saw a few riders already there and waiting for me! After an apology, we get to the drill. People get their bikes, more participants join in and everyone went through an orientation (yours truly being the instructor :P)
(Info for the uninitiated: Our Sunday Rides are leisurely and easy and are designed specially to encourage more people to take up biking).
8.30 AM: The first timers had an especially great experiance. We stop for our customary breakfast , getting to know each other better. Over the last one year, the sunday ride breakfast has become as important as the ride itself.
9.30 AM: Back at the store. I take a shower, change and get ready to take on the day!
10.30 AM: A rider drops by to leave his bike for servicing. Some new apparels had arrived the day before. I help out Anil to enter the stock and put them on display.
12.30 PM: I had dozed off. I get up and make myself a cup of filter coffee. Couple of new guys walks in to enquire about bikes. And soon they are followed by another bigger group.A few of of our old customers drop by as well to pick up some accessories. Did they smell the coffee? The store is suddenly busy.
2.00 PM: One of the visitors picks up a bike. He was super thrilled and so were we. We love it every time someone gets a bike – it signifies a bigger riding group! We help him load the bike and prepare for a late lunch.
3.00 PM: More customers drop by. They want something cheaper with rear shox and disc brakes. I offer them a cup of coffee, and explain why it is not a great idea to go for cheaper discs and suspensions. And how the frame, crank and hubs play a significant role in ride quality. I also mention that at that price point, it is better to go without any kind of suspension and disc brake. The usual blabbering that I do, you know. They left with a promise of getting back. I guess I confused them!
5.00 PM: A few of our riding buddies drop by and we start discussing about the next long ride - Srisailam, Araku Valley, Lavasa, etc. The conversation was interrupted by a curious customer whose one question was – “Why are these bikes so expensive?” I spent some time explaining things and also offered a test ride. He seemed part convinced.
6.30 PM: The live screening of the spring classic is on. Riders drop by to watch the race. There's a lot of banter and gyan-transfer about the races, about the peleton, the brakeaways and the team strategies.
9.30 PM: The race ends with a thrilling finish. Conversations continue about the race analysis and how it as won . Suddenly someone suggests beer and dinner. I guess I am going to skip the invite and head home now!