I did it again. I went into an EMS store unprepared. On Thursday night I signed up for a bike maintenance class at my local EMS. Even though I haven't been riding lately, and probably won't ride outside again until the spring, I still wanted to go to a bike maintenance class. I had been meaning to go to a class like this since I got my bike in April 2011. As you can see, I don't procrastinate or anything. During a newbie night event a few days before my triathlon, I watched someone change a flat. Thank God I did not get a flat during my triathlon, because I still had no idea how to change my flat. I figured my luck might not hold out for two seasons in a row, so I needed to learn how to change a flat. Or at least watch someone do it again.
I am a member of a meet up group called CHAOS. They are all about doing outdoorsy (and indoorsy) crazy things. I'm not all that crazy when it comes to adventure type things, but when I saw an event pop up for a bicycle maintenance class, I sure as heck decided to be crazy. A member of the group, Jeff, works at the new EMS in Northborough,MA. He graciously offered to give the members of CHAOS, as well as EMS customers, a chance to attend this bike maintenance class for no charge.
Even though the weather was uncooperative, giving us snow in October, a few of us still showed up. In fact, one of the employees, Stephen, from the Marlborough store was there for the class. He works at the Northborough store now and even though Jeff taught the class, he still had a few helpful things to add here and there. Seriously, if I haven’t said it before (and I have, you just might not have been paying attention) EMS is pretty awesome.
Jeff showed us how to change a tire, front and back, how to tighten brakes, check for worn brake pads, fix minor problems with the gears, and bike cleaning do’s and don’ts, among other things. He was extremely patient and listed to all of our questions. He answered everything and was crazy good at what he does. An EMS employee told me later, that when the Northborough store was opened, they only hired the best of the best because they wanted good quality employees who know what they are talking about. That’s good to know! The next time I need a tune up for my bike, or I’m having problems with it, I’m bringing it to Jeff at EMS in Northborough!
In addition to the bike maintenance class, I was searching for some hiking supplies since I was supposed to go hiking this weekend. Thanks to 6-10 inches of snow half way up the mountain, that didn’t happen. However, on Thursday night, I didn’t know that yet, so I talked with yet another EMS employee, Ed, about hiking gear and what I might need to bring with me. Yet again, another amazingly positive experience! Ed was extremely helpful. He informed me of the right types of materials to wear while hiking and found some pants that might be helpful for me not only during the hike, but also for outside runs during the winter. While I was in the dressing room trying things on, he kept searching for things for me and brought me more things to try on. He was on his game! After I had decided on the pants, we talked about jackets, fleeces, outerwear, and other things that could keep me warm in freezing weather. He helped me look for gloves, then went down a list of things I might need for a hike. I’m pretty sure that if, in the future, I gave him a date, time, and place I was going to be, he’d have an entire outfit with gear waiting for me by the time I got to the store.
I’m definitely impressed with EMS and their customer service in the stores. Their employees are not only knowledgeable, but they are also active in their respective sports so they have the experience behind the knowledge. I definitely stand behind EMS and their products.
In fact, I just joined the EMS Affiliate program and I am waiting for them to review my application. If all goes well, I'll be an affiliate and you can get all your gear through me!!
So seriously folks, if you have an EMS in your area, check it out. If you don’t, come visit Massachusetts and check out my local stores. The people in there are fantabulous and they are worth the trip!