Best Bicycle Equipment (2000)

Richardson Bike Mart

We were rookies when we walked in, pros when we rolled out--or so it felt, with our nifty Specialized Expedition between our legs, our Bell helmet on our head, and our stylin' Fat Tire jersey over our shoulders. The last time we were on a bike was in 1982, back when Mom and Dad brought home that new Schwinn that long ago was reduced to bent, bruised metal after a nasty head-on with a car one night--enough to turn anyone away from biking for at least a little while. But two months after walking into the Richardson Bike Mart, looking for the instrument that was to be our salvation from an expanding waistline and encroaching lethargy, the place has become our home-away-from. The first day we walked in (underneath the framed Lance Armstrong jersey that hangs over the door), our salesman introduced himself (Sean Michael Dargan, whaddup?) and proceeded to introduce us to the right bike for the right build. Sean then explained that the bike had a lifetime guarantee and that the Bike Mart's expert staff would service it regularly, for a nominal (if not nonexistent) fee. But that wasn't the best part of the shopping adventure: That came when it was time to buy the accoutrements--the jersey and padded shorts, the gloves and helmet, the water bottle and bracket, the whole shebang that turns exercise into hobby into lifestyle. See, we like to bike--from nothing to 15 miles in two weeks, not bad if we do say so our own danged selves--but we like to look good while doing it, because that is, after all, the whole point. Uh, isn't it?

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