Monday, January 21, 2013

The thing about a bike

The thing about a bike is that it's like a boat. When you ride it out to someplace, and then have a problem, you're stranded.

I ambitiously took my allegedly fixed bike out for a ride yesterday evening, wanting to make the best of the remaining sun and unseasonably warm weather. Oh foolish me.

I live at the top of a hill, so I glided down without any problem. Turning onto a side street, I realized the handlebars were loose, but I ignored it as I began to churn up the next hill. A little handlebar problem couldn't stop me! Since I had begun to slow, I attempted to change gears, and found that, as usual, my trusty Huffy would not go into 1st. This has always been its problem. I believe it was born like this; with a genetic defect that prevents it from switching gears while riding.

I walked the bike up the rest of the hill and realized the tires were flat.

The light was waning, but I didn't want to give up yet and plotted out a relatively flat, roundabout course back home. No use in being out here if I wasn't going to get some exercise!

The long way home turned out to be more of what I would call a "constant, gentle upward slope" than flat. This caused what I would call "extreme burning and fatigue" of the leg muscles. If one were to be in such a situation, which I sincerely hope that they never are, they would probably find themselves leaning heavily on the handlebars....which turns out to compound the problem of loose handlebars which I mentioned earlier; forcing the rider to rely on their core to maintain a straight back while their legs pump away. Vehement swearing would be encouraged in this situation, if the rider had any breath to spare.

By the end of the ride between my weakened legs and faulty equipment I could barely ride in a straight line. I walked back up the hill home. By this time it was dark and the temperature was rapidly dropping back to more seasonal temperatures. How had I not learned my lesson about bike riding in Germany? Why would I submit myself to such misery again, this time voluntarily? Surely I could sell my bike for some extra cash.

The first thing I did when I got home was to tighten the nut for the handlebars.

1 comment:

  1. The night before my first (and thus far only) triathlon I got my bike back from the shop (where they had told me three days earlier that it would fetch a good price as scrap metal, but otherwise the gears change and the tires aren't flat so have fun!) I went to my roommate and asked him how to shift the bike's gears as I had never actually ridden the damn thing more than a block ever.

    Needless to say my experience racing it the next day was marginally more successful than your experience...but only marginally.

    I've never ridden it since, but I hear ridding is good exercise, so keep at it FSFlop!