Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Bits & Pieces

Last Sunday I'm on my way back home to Moncton after having spent the holiday weekend riding through every backroad and coastal route I could find in the Acadian Peninsula (Northeastern New Brunswick, Canada) with my wife riding pillion. Everything about that weekend had been perfect: the weather was sunny with little wind, traffic had been generally light, the bike was performing flawlessly, heck - some of the roads had even been given a fresh layer of asphalt!

Back to Sunday afternoon. We've just left Miramichi after a nice lunch of liver & onions for me, and club sandwich for my wife (she can't stand liver). Traffic is a bit heavier now as most of the weekend's travellers are, like us, heading back home. I'm getting ready to pass a slow moving dumptruck when a small rock about the size of a gumball gets thrown up from under the truck's rear left tire and hits me right on the edge of my helmet visor. CRACK! I finish passing the truck, get a safe distance in front of him, then pull over at a convenience store to see how badly damaged my helmet is.

My inspection reveals that the visor has broken on the right side near the hinge, but the helmet itself seems to be without a scratch. I grab the roll of duct tape from under the seat and do my best MacGyver job of fixing the damage so I can get home without eating bugs (didn't have a spare visor - my mistake).

On Monday, after work, I stop by the motorcycle shop where I bought the helmet to order a new visor. The parts guy checks something in the computer, frowns, then makes a few phone calls and frowns some more. "The visor isn't available anymore" he says. My first reaction is confusion, I just bought these helmets last year (two of 'em - his and hers) and at that time they were current stock in the distributor's catalog! How can they discontinue the visor for a helmet they were selling just a few months ago? Kevin, the parts guy, sees my frustration (why are service guys always named Kevin?). I explain to him that I understand this isn't his fault - but I'm pissed-off with the distributor for crappy service. He dials the number and lets me speak to one of the reps at the distributor's office. She tells me that they dropped the helmet from their line because of poor sales - which is total bunk. Kevin tells me that they sold at least 30 of these helmets last year! The distributor is unapologetic. Asshole!

To make up for the situation (although it really isn't his fault), Kevin talks to the sales manager, then returns and offers me any helmet in the store at dealer cost. Talk about going above and beyond! I chose a new flip-up helmet (similar to what I had), ordered a spare visor for it, and of course - I made sure it came from a different distributor.

This weekend, I'll be burning my old helmet... Just for fun!