Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Never Smooth or Predictable

I took the bike downtown this morning.

"It looks to me," I said, "like it needs a front derailleur alignment, the rack slipped on the back gears, that needs to be repaired, and there's some friction in the turning of the rear wheel, I'm not sure what's up with that."

"Well," said the professional, "let's take a look."

He raised the bike in the air and felt the spokes. The tension was different on one side than on the other.

"Your wheel is bent."

"Yeah," I said. "I'm not sure I even feel comfortable with fixing that."

"As you shouldn't. This needs to be replaced."

"Cool. Let's do it."

"Not so fast. This is a 700x23, I don't have any of those. I'll need to order one."

"How long will that take."

"About a week."

"That's too long, I can't stay in Albany for a week."

After a lot of agonizing and back-and-forth, he sent me to his competition.

"It's far, but it's the only one that might have it, I'd say."

It was five miles away. I called them up. They didn't have the right wheel either, but said it would only take them a couple of days to get one. And so, I hoisted Old Not-So-Rusty onto my shoulder, and off I went.

NY-5 here is the road from Albany to Schenectady. It is not a pleasant road to walk on by any means. It is also not pleasant to walk on it when there is a bike on your shoulder.

"What's up?" I asked a girl sitting on the sidewalk.

She looked up. "How's your day going?"

"All right. Just exercisin' my shoulder." I watched a truck pass by, kicking up dust from the road construction. "I see you picked a scenic view, how's that working out for you?"

"Could be better. I just got into a car accident. I'm just waiting for a ride."

"If it makes you feel any better, I got into a bike accident. And somehow that entitles the bike to ride me instead of vice versa."

"So you're having a similar day."

"Pretty much."

At the bike shop, I begged and begged for them to fix everything immediately upon receiving the wheel.

"I wasn't supposed to be stopping like this in Albany. I wanted to pass right through. I have nowhere to stay here. ....hey, do you know a cheap place to stay here? I'll pay you extra to finish it faster, it's better than paying for lodging." I had zero intent to pay for lodging, and zero intent to let them know that.

The man wrote "ASAP" on the ticket and said my bike will go to the front of the line. I thanked him.

Then I finally went to the buffet to which I'd never made it yesterday. But today I hadn't been riding, and by this time I'd been fed by all three of the people at the apartment at which I was staying, so when I stuffed myself, it wasn't the same. Walking back downtown, I felt like I was going to throw up. I needed to sit down. I got to the library and sat down (with "Betraying Spinoza," which had been recommended to me). I still felt like I would vomit if I didn't find a softer place to sit. I walked around with the book, but there was nothing soft at all. I managed to take a nap on a hard chair; by the time I woke up, I was feeling much better, and kept reading.

I really need to calibrate my food intake based on whether I'm biking or not.

1 comment:

  1. Thinking of you often... stay safe, auntie