My communication skills are not outstanding, but I’m usually getting my point through. Not in this case though, so I need help.
The situation was this:
Inspired by George Barnes’ ultimate wheel I got the idea of building a new ultimate wheel around a fat cruiser bike tire. So off I go to a semi local bike store that sells cruisers to hear about components and prices.
A few minutes later I left the store in lowered spirit, leaving a frustrated and confused man in the store to tend to more normal customers.
I don’t think he ever understood what I wanted and why, and I’m not sure how I could have explained it.
When he had asked me what kind of bike I had
the conversation went along these lines:
ME: The thing I want to build is called an ultimate wheel. It’s like a unicycle without the frame. Like this one (showing him the wheel that I currently ride), I ride it as it is here, without the frame.
: I think you should buy a whole new unicycle, then you’d get a frame too.
ME: I could but it’d cost me more and I have a unicycle with a frame already. That’s where this wheel came from.
I think the big 24" tyres would be good 'cause they’ll give a smoother ride.
: But they won’t fit (pointing at my wheel which is picked off my 20" uni)
ME: No I’m going to build a whole new wheel
: But it won’t fit the frame
ME: I know, I just want to build an other wheel to ride without a frame. That way this one can go back in the frame I already have.
: So you want a wheel for another unicycle?
ME: No … I …
: Sorry we don’t sell unicycles.
After that I stuck to simple questions
(how much for the Thick Brick tire, what kind of rim does that bike use etc.)
How do you explain what an ultimate wheel is?
I couldn’t show him how I ride it because I didn’t have a tire on it at the time, and I can’t rely on having the thing with me next time I try to explain what it is.
I probably should have started out with making it crystal clear what kind of device I was talking about and how it works.
What would you have said?