I left for work this morning prepared to hitch a ride north with my employer, to go to Gainesville for the weekend to get my car back. “Being prepared” consisted of having a stuffed backpack. However, early on I began to feel that it was just too soon for me to be rushing off again for another long weekend. Truth is I felt guilty that the husband had no clean socks or underwear and I didn’t even have any laundry soap in the house to remedy the situation. Things needed to be done. I needed to stay home at least another 24 hours. Lucky I had the bike with me, huh?
So this time I rode the bike with a backpack on – makes a bit of difference in balance. All the way across the bridge I kept thinking about falling over in a freak accident and tumbling over the rather low railing into the pass below and being sucked out to sea in a rip tide. (been watching too much Anne of Green Gables). As before, I just barely made it to the bus in time.
I think the husband is going to make me take the bike back. Do pawn shops take things back? I don’t know. I felt kind of bike-stupid going into this whole thing but (my excuses – next) that feeling has only been magnified times over. As I mentioned in the previous post I wanted something cheap that rolled and that is pretty much all I got. Now that I have had time to closely examine this bike I realize that in order for brakes and gears to work there have to be cables coming from them, attached to the mechanics below.
|Gear shift on left moves easily (because it has no cable) Gear shift on right doesn’t move (rusted ).
Why did I not see these missing cables? Because they were missing? Again, I don’t know. I also think the frame is too light for me and perhaps I should not have valued flexibility over stability. Stability is much appreciated when vehicles are a mear 24 inches off your shoulder and blowing past at 50 miles per hour. Made me miss my car.
Anyway, all the above, plus having forgotten my sunglasses and having to squint for an hour and a half, created the perfect recipe for a headache which I’ve been trying to get rid of the rest of the afternoon. Live and learn, right?
I’m speaking of the kind of bike that one pedals with their own power. I decided I needed one because the county buses have a cool bike rack in the front. With a bus AND a bike I can get anywhere I need to go within a reasonable time, or so it would seem.
The first adventure was not actually on the bike, but rather buying the bike. I looked on Craigslist and could have spent all day calling people and seeing the one bike they had for sale but, I saw a bunch of bikes advertised by a pawn shop all in one place. Somehow that made sense. And the shop was only about a mile away, even better. The bikes didn’t look nearly as good in person as they did in the pictures but I finally found one that fit my parameters. It looked light enough to lift onto the rack on the bus. It had brakes. It wasn’t ridiculously hard to mount. That was about it, oh, and it was cheap. I bought it. The salesman was kind of surprised.
Today, the husband took me and my bike in his truck and dropped us off at work. (My car is presently out of town visiting a relative.) When I finished my daily duties it was nearly 1 pm giving me almost 10 minutes to get to the bus stop. No dallying allowed – I pedalled as fast as I could manage and just barely made it. I am not in shape for racing 2 miles, including up a Florida hill (bridge) so I’m just saying I was mighty glad to sit in a cool bus and catch my breath. I did good putting my bike on the rack and I watched to make sure no one took it off, hoping to steal it. That really does happen sometimes.
The next thing I learned was that when you disembark the bus you must remember to put the bike rack back up if you have the last bike on it. If you forget the driver will honk at you – a bit of an adrenalin rush there. I had a choice of routes to finish the trip home. One was short and had no sidewalk and sandy shoulders on the road. The other was sidewalk all the way but longer. I chose that one, partly because I had noticed a strange wobble in my front tire and didn’t want to be close to traffic in case I had a “fall over”. The long way became even longer as I tried to cut through a couple trailer parks that had no cut-throughs. The wind was blowing briskly in which ever way was opposite the way I was going. I don’t think my bike has any gears that make pedalling easier. It has levers and one of them moves but nothing gets easier. I was getting seriously tired and didn’t know if the bike was going to make it – kind of like riding a dying horse. But I did get home, right befoe a rain shower, thank you Lord.
I may have to ride the bike again tomorrow. I’m not sure I’m looking forward to that.