Halfords Fails, Local Bike Shop Wins

A while ago, Sam acquired a bike.  It was abandoned where she was working, so she managed to track down the person who’d left it, and bought it from them.  It’s a Claud Butler hybrid.  This was a while ago, but we’ve only just got around to trying to get it fixed up for use.  I’d had a go myself, but wasn’t confident of making it safe.

Along with getting Sam’s bike serviced, we wanted to buy a bike for me.  There would be limited fun to be had in Sam having a bike if I couldn’t come along too.  We’d popped into the local bike shop to have a look, but they had a rather limited range – plenty of options if you wanted a Land Rover branded bike, but very little else.  Halfords had a good range to look at, and were open at nice convenient times.  So we booked the bike in to be serviced and fixed up.

I spent a fair bit of time looking at their bikes, and reading up online.  I spent some time chatting to one of the staff who seemed quite knowledgeable, and settled on their Carrera Vulcan Disc 08.  I was planning on ordering it as soon as we knew Sam’s bike was fixed up and working, just in case there were any nasty surprises there.

The service was booked in for Monday, so we took it along on Monday evening, to collect on Tuesday evening.  When we arrived on Tuesday, it hadn’t even made it to the back room – it was still sitting with the front wheel removed, on the shop floor.  The staff there couldn’t tell us why it hadn’t been done, just that they’d probably run short of time.  A bit annoying that we hadn’t been told, but we’d hardly gone far out of our way, so it didn’t matter too much.  They said it would definitely be done the next day, so we could pop back in then.  We said that was ok, but we’d probably leave it until the weekend.

We decided to go and collect it on Friday evening.  This time, they didn’t know if it had been done or not, only that the wheel wasn’t on, so it probably hadn’t.  We said we’d come back the next day.

This afternoon, back we went again, and it still hadn’t been looked at.  So this time, we took the bike back, put it in the back of the car, and took it to the local bike shop in the town centre.  They’ll service it quicker and cheaper.  That means they get to sell me a new bike too.

I went for the Land Rover G4 – it’s a hardtail mountain bike, with front and rear disc brakes.  It has Shimano gears, and a SunTour fork, which is the sort of thing that seems to mean something to people who actually know about bikes.  I have a helmet and gloves, and a cable lock.  I’ve just ordered a handlebar mount to attach my torch (LED Lenser Police Tech Focus) to it.  Now I just need to find a nice soft surface somewhere so it won’t hurt too much when we have our first try of cycling in many years.

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