It’s the hardest snow we’ve had all winter here in Victoria. Catching the bus to my new job this morning wasn’t any kind of fun. Yes, new job. Epublishing isn’t paying all the bills yet, so I needed some kind of gainful employment, and have found it in one of the other fields that makes me extremely happy: bicycles.

Which leads me to today’s mini-rant on why buying your child a bicycle from a department store or toy store means you don’t love them.
Bike stores carry children’s bicycles, and that’s where it’s a good idea to get them. First, because a bike store bicycle will be a real brand – the kind that has warranties. The kind that has people who ride bicycles as the ones designing and manufacturing them, which is important, as sometimes people who do not know bicycles will stick the fork (the front bit that holds the wheel) on backwards. That’s dangerous, as it means that, if your kid hits a bump, they may come down hard enough on the shocks that are beneath their downtube and not out front where they should be hard enough to even momentarily stop steering from being possible. Second, bike store bikes are assembled by mechanics, not by you or by someone in the store who may or may not have even ever seen a bicycle before. And no matter how mechanically inclined you are, assembly by a professional helps. Third, your bike store bike will last longer – usually on to the next kid. Bike stores carry fewer sizes, but have the technical know-how to adjust the bikes to fit any kid, and to fit your kid as they grow. The bikes are also of high enough quality that they allow this kind of adjustment. Most bike stores also offer some kind of service deal, that you can bring in the bike once or twice and they’ll fix it as an extension of you buying it there. That keeps your kid safer.
Bike stores also usually offer a wider range of awesome bright-coloured streamers to choose from.
So buy your kid a bike from a bike store. Yeah, it’ll cost more. But that money goes towards buying a bike that will keep them safer and will last longer.
This rant brought to you by affection for children and economies of scale. Promised entry on Japanese literary culture still pending.
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