Wednesday, February 22, 2012

May the Thule be with You

If asked to complete an online dating profile, I’d say I was the “outdoorsy” type. Running, biking, and pretty much any type of activity that involves Lycra. Running is easy, a new pair of Pumas, a trip to the park and Voila, you're running. Cycling on the other hand is getting pricey to enjoy.

When I traded in my SUV for fuel savings, I didn’t think twice about where my mountain bike would ride. I simply thought I’d buy a rack, strap it onto my new sleek sports sedan, and away I’d go to the mountains. As last summer approached, I purchased a trunk mounted bike carrier. I then proceeded to spend the entire summer watching my rear view mirror as my bike bounced around on the back of my car. I’m not sure what frightened me more, the bike scratching the car’s paint, or the carrier letting loose and seeing mountain bikes bounce down the highway behind me.

I hear that spring will come sometime soon; if it does, I’m sure I will have the urge to head out and bike the trails. This year I decided to give up on the trunk mounted bike thing-a-ma-jig with its straps and clamps and buy a roof rack. They look so simple, every Whole Food’s parking lot in the world is just jammed with late model Audis all sporting Yakima or Thule bike racks. How hard could it be?

Quite. Apparently. First I had to get lost on the sleek Thule inc. bike carrier website, trying to decipher styles and pricing. I gave up and headed to our super-sleek downtown sporting goods store. The outdoor aficionado’s supply store with its fake pine trees and rock climbing wall inside of it. Patrons can climb the 50 foot high fiberglass rock wall, in air conditioned comfort. If I’m going to take up rock climbing, living in the Rocky Mountains, forget nature, give me this rock wall. I want to fall four stories onto my head in full air-conditioning and with a string version of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill playing softly in the background.

What I was looking for was a bike Jedi Master, what I found was Kip, (yes, that was his name.) I asked about their line of Thule brand car racks. Kip was nice enough to correct me that it’s pronounced too-lee not (and he signed heavily) thoo-lee. It was not, a “bike rack,” but a bicycle management system for automobiles. When I explained to Kip, that I didn’t want to “manage” my bike, just ride it, Kip suggested the website. I suggested he might take a trip off the rock wall.

Finally I did what any guy like me would do; I followed the instructions of a Lesbian Jedi Knight I found YouTube. The force was strong. Leave it to a woman who looks like she just walked out of an On Our Backs spread to simply explain a bicycle management system, It’s funny, she starting out by calling it a bike rack.


Sean said...

If you haven't purchased one yet, consider adding a tow rack installed on your car and then get a tow rack bike management system. When all is said and done the cost will be about the same as a roof mounted system, is lockable and won't scratch the hell out of your car.

In a past life I managed a bike super store and installed and sold my share of racks. Two years ago, I had a tow rack installed on my parents mini-van and bought the rack of the internet for a total of $400.

cb said...

I pronounce it "thool".

And since I have a lesbian subaru, I just fold down my seats and cram the bike in back if need be.

Doréus said...

I gave in and did not want to be bothered with Thule (however one wants to pronounce it). I just got the Volkswagen rack for my VW... I'm not sure if it's more or less expensive, but if fit perfectly and my bikes are secure on my roof.

Will J said...

"...the instructions of a Lesbian Jedi Knight..."

You went to the right place. Seems like she would know a rack when she saw one.

Wonder Man said...

that word Thule makes me think of Thulsa Doom