I walked in to a local bicycle shop to look at front baskets and tail lights. I also wanted to talk about upgrading The Rig, wondering what they have in the way of commuter bikes. The sales people continually steered me to the "beginner" bikes and items. They spoke down to me as if I was stupid and they were the bicycling elite. They tried to give me advice on how to purchase my "first bike".
I told them I have ridden over 60,000 miles, many of those miles before they were even born. When one of them said the words "Yeah, right", I just turned and looked at him. I stared at that little arrogant face and thought about my bike trips through the Colorado Rockies, wondering how many times this "dude" had felt the invigorating feeling of cresting Loveland Pass, or riding over Fremont Pass and diving at 50mph into Copper Mountain. How many times had he watched a sunrise from the saddle during an early morning commute, or ridden so far out into the Desert Southwest that people driving by in cars stared? Who the ____ does he think he is? I said "Thank you" and just left. I will never walk into that shop again. I guess I'll keep doing my business online.
Sure, starting in about 2003 I stopped riding and gained weight. Yes, I know that now I do not have the "ideal" Cyclist's body, and yes I do have grey hair. However, the staff and management at this LBS could have treated me with dignity rather than looking down on me. I will not name the shop because I am not a lawyer and don't understand liability/slander law.