Friday, March 30, 2007

Commuting Dreams and a Broken Couch

I purchased a new couch from Fred Meyer's last week. Capt'n balance pointed out that the frame is broken - the arm isn't connected to the base. I never noticed it, the only visible signs are a slight wrinkle in the fabric at the base of the couch, on the side, not visible to you while sitting on the couch and he noticed the arm move out when Bike Boy sat down on it. I called Fred Meyer, they said it has to go through the manufacturer, who would come out and either fix it or replace it. I finally get in touch with the manufacture (not in Alaska), they say I have to go through the retailer - Fred Meyer. I call Fred Meyers, they say it's not their problem because it's been 2 weeks since I purchased it. I tell them it's not been 2 weeks since I 1st contacted them, I spoke to 1 male employee, who put me through to a lady employee who told me to contact the manufacture. It took a few days to get the manufacturer due to weekend and my work hours, the time differences caused delays, the manufacturer tell me to go through the retailer so I'm back where I started. So today, the department supervisor is on vacation and the assistant supervisor is not in today, maybe he will be there tomorrow. I have my receipt and all other paperwork, there is NOTHING that says there are no returns except within the 1st 24 hours. As I tried to explain to the 2nd person I spoke to today at Fred Meyer, THEY have been giving me incorrect information, based on THEIR directions, they have responsibility in this not being resolved in time-limits which they don't tell consumers about. I still have a broken couch, have not been able to talk to a single person who can actually help me and no end in sight. I am NOT happy about this.

I want the snow to be gone, the air to warm up. I want to start riding to work. BUT there is still snow on the ground, the air still has a chill, the bike path is still lost under snow.

I told Capt'n Balance that I am really looking forward to riding to/from work again. He isn't excited about it. He is concerned about me crashing on my skinny tires, getting hit by a truck, kidnapped and anything else that can go wrong. I certainly don't want anything to go wrong. Those are all possibilities. I all the precautions that I can. Probably the most dangerous part of my ride is crossing a main road, the bike path is in a really bad spot, not at a corner or a stop and I have to cross 5 lanes. It's a poorly thought out cross. Then about a hundred yards from that cross, the bike path becomes part of the road and a 90 degree turn is shared. This is a bad design because the only thing separating the road from the path is the painted yellow line, which wears away very quickly and the vehicles end up using the entire bike path as part of the turn. As this is an on-ramp, the road and path continue up a pretty steep hill. Going the opposite direction on this section, I can pick up a lot of speed, this hill is long and the steepest part of the entire ride. Going this direction, the hill ends at the 90 degree turn. Since vehicles are on the bike path 95% of the time, extra caution is required going both directions. There is no signs up showing the bike path is there and once the paint is gone, it's easy for the drivers not to even know they are on the bike path, so I don't blame them.

I then go through 2 more major high-volume intersections but I feel pretty ok there because vehicles have to stop, everything is well-marked and I am hard to miss with my hi-vis clothing.

The next problem area is another well-marked intersection BUT it is near a high school so there are a lot of stupid teenage drivers who don't know pedestrian laws, may parents who are dropping off kids who are in a big rush, etc. These drivers tend to look right through me, make right turns without looking and are just plain stupid.

One section is also regularly covered with a few inches of gravel and rocks kicked up by 4-wheelers, there is so much gravel you can't even see any pavement. My skinny tires can't ride that so I have to go into the road until it's cleaned off.

I recently purchased a hi-vis illumnite jacket and a Cygo-lite li-ion dual cross light. The small battery is GREAT! I won't need the light until fall, soon it won't get dark at all.

I'm thinking of taking the Kona out for it's maiden ride outside today. The road near my home is dry and ice-free, traffic shouldn't be too bad if I get out early enough. I have a few things to do today so it depends on if I have time.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a bummer about your new couch. Check out the warranties that should have come with it as well as your state Consumer Protection Law. My guess is that you are not without legal remedies you can enforce.

Michelle said...

Bummer is right. The manufacturer says it is covered under the warrenty, something in the frame failed within a week, but it has to go through the retailer to set up repairs or replacement. So far I haven't been able to talk with anyone at the store who knows anything. I'm thinking of talking to the store director.

Karen Travels said...

Your story about the couch people made my head spin. It was like I watching a tennis ball during a tennis match - the back and forth, back and forth. I hope you get that resolved!

Did you get to go out for your ride?

Jett said...

It probably doesn't hurt to mention that you've got people from all over the world reading about this on the internet. Sorry you're having so much trouble with them.

Thanks for the visits and links to my blog. You've got some great photos; the contrast with Atlanta jiggles up my neurons favorably. I've got Midnight Rider to thank for inspiring me to start adding local photos.

Snakebite said...

Is kidnapping an issue where you live? Maybe you need to get a permit and pack some heat.

A Midnight Rider said...

Cheese and crackers. You make Alaska sound like the most dangerous place north of Vancouver.

Kidnapings, dangerous roads, couch crooks. And snakebite wants you to arm yourself. Then you can be "the dangerous". Hey that may be a good plan.

I tried to add some pizzaz to my pictures on my blog. You like the blues?

Apertome said...

Bike paths are such a great idea, but so often their connections with roads are terrible. My commute is a lot less treacherous than yours, but even in my short ride, there's a really bad street crossing with no stop sign or light. It makes for some mad dashes across a busy road.

Bike lanes are even worse -- in most places around here, I think it would be safer if we didn't have the bike lanes. They're often covered in debris, rougher than the main road, and there are a lot of intersections, where cars will turn in front of or into you if you stay in the bike lane because they forget it's there. Sometimes it seems like it would be safer just to ride in traffic.

BikerB said...

I agree with apertome. Biker paths are worth a try. Check out my blog at

Michelle said...

Alaska is still the wild frontier, you never know what the in-bred people will do...I ride through some secluded spots and occasionally see people who don't belong there, I have to wonder what they are doing there...I do have a gun that we take with us on backcountry rides, light weight titanium something or other, for bear protection, we had quite a few bear sightings last summer and a couple of close encounters.

I figure I can out ride the in-breds, it's gotta be hard to run with 3 1/2 legs so I should be safe enough as long as they don't pike sticks through my spokes :)

Anonymous said...

Hi. I was just curious how you like your Cygolite Dual Cross?

Anonymous said...

Freddy's has a 90 day return policy and there should be absolutely no problem if you are doing a direct exchange and have the receipt.