Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just keep biking, just keep biking...

The boys LOVE the new seat arrangements.
About two weeks ago I had a really rough ride. I decided to meet my friends at the beach about 5.5 miles from my house. I took a route that was new to me and I ended up biking down a HUGE hill to get to the bike trail. On the way home I biked even farther up the trail hoping to find a way from the trail to my house without pushing my bike up a hill for half a mile... no dice. It took me 20 minutes to get to the beach... and it took me an hour and a half to get home. Not even counting the 30 minute break at McDonalds to catch my breath. Most of it was pushing my bike up a steep incline, with 65 lbs. of sleeping toddler on board, in the hot blazing sun. I cried when I got home.
Both the boys fell asleep on the way home from the beach.
After that I took about a week and a half off from biking. I wasn't motivated to get back on the bike and  the kids were sick anyway. But I knew I had to do it and I was afraid of losing the stamina I'd built up over the past couple months. Silas had the car and I needed to return some library books. Gideon was THRILLED to be going on a bike ride again and his enthusiasm rubbed off on me a bit. We tried a new route and it was flatter which left me pretty happy because it meant no more pushing up hills between my house and Lake City!
Used timercam to get a shot of us setting out for the library.
As we walked out of the library I knew something funky was going on. My basket was on the ground, instead of on my bike, and the kickstand was all weird.  I loaded the kids up, unlocked my bike and tried to move it... no go. After a few minutes of tinkering I discovered the problem. My front brakes had been disassembled and the brake pad was wedged between the rim and the spokes. The rear brakes were messed up too, but not as badly. Someone either knocked over or tried to steal my bike and screwed up my brakes in the process.
One of the pics I texted to the bike shop.
I was livid. Completely furious. Besides the fact someone had their grubby hands on my bike, they had had messed it up and then just left it. I obviously had two child seats on it. And now my bike was unrideable and I was stranded two miles from my house with two little kids at lunch time. I went into the library to ask the librarians if they had video surveillance of the bike rack. They didn't but felt bad for me and looked up a couple of numbers of mobile bike shops for me. I took the kids to the park adjoining the library and made some phone calls. None of the mobile units could get to me for a couple of hours. The guy offered to come pick up my bike, drive it to a shop, and bring it back to my house, but I still needed to get home with the kids.
And the other.
On a whim I called the shop nearest to the library (Revolution Cycles) to see if they could send someone over. The guy told me he was in Olympia but if I would text him pictures of the damage he could try to talk me through the repair. This sounded pretty laughable to me but I thought "why not?" and sent the pics. He called me back immediately with instructions on how to remove the front wheel and reassemble the brakes. All those hours I spent reading bicycle repair books (while Silas laughed at me) were not wasted! I was able to understand everything the guy was telling me and I fixed it!
The bike all loaded with groceries. Note: Sleeping Zeke.
Did you hear that? I FIXED IT! All the anger I was feeling melted away into a sense of accomplishment. I took the boys out to celebrate with coffee and treats at Kaffeeklatsch and then we even went grocery shopping. I was able to fit everything on the bike: My purse, diaper bag, a head of cabbage, a carton of strawberries, a case of Lara bars, a package of 12 chicken thighs,  a jug of laundry soap, and a slip 'n slide. BOO-YA! Happy ending.*
Today we went for a short ride to the park and a good time was had by all. Zeke toddled all over and ate some wood chips. (Don't worry - he barfed them up 2 minutes later.) Gideon played on the monkey bars and generally made me want to sob with his independence. And we didn't get rained on, despite the icky clouds!
We're all happy again and I have rides planned for tonight (We're meeting friends for dinner.) and tomorrow (The farmer's market is finally opening!!!!!) so I think I've got my riding mojo back. Ride on.

*I did yell at a motorist who passed us with about 6 inches of clearance. I almost dumped the bike in the bushes, I was so afraid he was going to hit is.  He pulled over and apologized. 

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