Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stand and Devour

I can't remember sitting down for more than a handful of lunchs in the 20 years I worked in a bike shop. The majority of lunches were consumed while lean against a counter. Lunch in the bike retail world is a phenomenon unto itself.

If business is slow, order lunch. This may be a question for lawmaker Murphy, but what is it with food and shopping algorithms? If lunch were a 12 noon thing, one could argue that people use their lunch to run errands. In a bike shop, there is no set lunch time. In the heat of the Saturday battle, lunch is an afterthought that presents itself long past noon, a fleeting memory like faces in a crowd. Hey, I recognize that rumble in my stomach. That shaky feeling in my hands. Oh yeah, my dear old friend lunch. Good to see you, old man.

Once the food has arrived, it sits in a box, cooling off, breaking down, and seeping its grease into the cardboard that houses the nourishment. There it will sit until it reaches room temperature and begins to congeal. At that point, five minutes will surface, enough time for three bites and a splash of beverage. If you're lucky, you will repeat these actions until the indigestion sets in, and the tempo of the shop resumes its break-neck pace.

Whatever the meal, whatever the time of day, there's a very good chance your meal will be consumed in a vertical position.

Bon appetite!

15 comments:

pvb said...

What about the schmoozing reps that come in and buy lunch for the everyone - even the high school lackey truing Huffy wheels in the corner. That was the best.

Matty Formaldehyde said...

Indigestion never tasted so good!

Frenchy aka Bike Boy said...

I loved this post...so true.

Lunches were/are for winter when the masses do not brave the cold and only the hardcore go out to get some miles in the bank. And they know not to bother the ministers of the wheel during lunch in winter.

Lunch in summer? it is at best a Powerbar being consumed in the bathroom while peeing.

Great post.

The IF Peloton said...

I used to work at a shop where one of the employees was nicknamed the Shark because he would circle the pizza boxes and have of it consumed before anyone else even got a bite.

Marla said...

Man, that brings back memories. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Awesome blog.

I guess I was lucky. Shop I worked at in the 1980s actually allowed most of us to escape for a 30 minute lunch – even on a busy Saturday.

The lunches are part of my bike shop memories.

Strombolli at Guy’s Pizza, sausage and peppers sandwiches at Walker’s Subs – complete with a little marinara sauce. Unwrap the foil from the sub to release the mini steam cloud of aroma, before devouring with a fellow bike shop comrade. Killer stuff.

In the summer, someone was elected for the Foodtown run - to pick up the daily snack supplies to sit a cooler all day to be shared. Juice, Pop tarts, watermelon, cookies and other snacks. No refrigerator or air conditioning to ward off the New Jersey heat.

I remember coming in one morning to work, with no breakfast in my gut – and spotting some left over marshmallow pinwheel cookies. Ah, the breakfast of champions.

Dan O

jd said...

seriously, I loved this post too.

-J
rideskidders.com

Anonymous said...

Bike shop fo' life.

Jan said...

great post as always, and one I can relate to.

this is where our hectic part of the world differs from old world Italy, though (and france?): NOTHING comes between an italian and his food!

Velopix said...

at my shop lunch was a call to Anna Maria's Pizza for an Italian sub. That would taste good right now . . .

Sky Pilot said...

Right on the money! Many was teh Saturday that "lunch" was a couple slices of cold pizza snarfed around 4:30 or so in the pm!
Now I opened my own little shop, and often didn't eat until after I got home, or closed around 9 pm. Sometimes living your dream means working 80 hour weeks during the season! Thank God for Clif Bars, etc!

Anonymous said...

Working at Michael's Cyclery in Ames, IA one of the greatest bike shops of all time, and Great Plains Pizza nuf said!

bikingbadger said...

The Flandriens trophy has been handed out to Van Avermaet. Would love to here your input on it.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2008/oct08/oct27news

Thom P. said...

Long ago I gave up on a proper lunch at the shop. Now I adopt a 100 Mile mountain bike race fueling strategy;
a bite of PB & J here, a handful of nuts and a few bites of an apple there, always making sure to stay well hydrated and caffeinated.

I never get lethargic from eating too much at one time and I never feel like I'm starving to death. This allows me to be more productive and seems to promote weight loss (or at least no gain).

It ain't so bad really.

MattDogTraining said...

Eat now, digest later!