koralleen (koralleen) wrote,

In which a great time was had by me for NO GOOD REASON

I went to a lot of trouble (meaning I dumped V at J's Saturday night) so that I could ride with whimmydiddle and chickenhat today at noon. This morning I was unable to assemble my real bike because I left half of the thingy that fastens the seat in the garage in Columbus (I hope). B can mail it to me. Undeterred, I wrested the seat off the crazy old Motobecan* in the garage, cursed mightily at the six discrete pieces that flew in all directions when I did so, found them all and managed to get my seat where I wanted it. I put my pedals on. As I was pumping air into the tires, I remembered that the last time I rode this bike I snapped the valve top off of the tube. Since I couldn't force air into it, I replaced the tube—but I am a terrible tire-changer and emit great waves of exasperation every time I do it. Now I had no spare tube, which practically guarantees a flat, but I had patches and the will to continue. Then I couldn't find my special bike socks! Seriously, someone wanted this ride called off. The start-and-stop rain was bugging me, too. Still, I set out for Proteus, the shop where we were supposed to meet, and things proceeded damply but apace. Then my phone rang. C needed to convey some information, something he is incapable of doing briefly. I am not blaming C but I will say that I missed meeting the ride by FIVE MINUTES according to the guy at Proteus. This guy radiates optimism: "You can definitely catch them! They just left! And they're slow!"

What a salesman! I took off, expecting to see them around every curve. It was not to be, however. I sorta convinced myself that no human-powered vehicle could catch the furious juggernaut that was a whimmydiddle-and-chickenhat-led ride. Later I figured out that they stopped for a polar bear encounter, which I missed. I don't have much experience riding around the Ag Center but after a few poor choices I managed to put together a really fun ride. I did end up coming back the way I came in, like a lollipop loop. I was trying to figure out whether I should return to the bike shop or go straight home (and also, thinking about a way to go home that would avoid an unpleasant spot on a trail Google had suggested) when my back tire blew. The one with the new tube. My last tube, of course. I think we all knew this was going to happen, but I was about two miles from the Greenbelt Metro station at that point so I went with option C. Pushed my bike there, got to Takoma Park, and stopped by a bike store on the walk home to pick up a couple of tubes. He wanted to sell me Sunlite tubes but I have had two defective tubes already from them and insisted that he find something else, which he was happy to do. You can tell I've had a good day when I fork over $20 for two bicycle tubes and I'm still smiling.

Pretty much everything went wrong but nothing terrible happened and I got to ride a bike. Win!

*Crazy mostly because it's a fab old bike I can't manage. I have to leave the chain on a middle cog in back and rely on switching between the two front gears or the chain pops off. Suboptimal.

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