Thursday, April 16

the bike incident

Not long ago a good friend sent me a video of a double arm amputee successfully changing a flat tire on his bicycle. This week I tried to put a tire just filled with air back on my bicycle and failed. Thankfully no one was taping it, so you won't see it on YouTube anytime soon.

Granted bicycle maintenance is not something I've put a lot of time into, but with my dog looking forlornly up at me after several days of pathetic walks, I trotted down to the basement with great expectation.

I trudged back up with my unwieldy and uni-tired bike. Already exhausted, I assessed the situation before me. Thankfully, I had saved the hardware I'd removed with the second tire, careful to remember the order in which it needed to go back on. This only proved so helpful, however, as I attempted reassembly. I soon discovered that even if I could get the tire nearly into position, it was still impossible to open the breaks wide enough to fit around the tire.

After tinkering with oily parts to no avail, I pondered my predicament for several moments and made a command decision. I would take the bike, tire, and other necessary pieces back to the bike shop where I'd had my tire pumped up and ask them to put the tire on.

So I carried the bike, which seemed to have grown heavier somehow, down the alley to my car parked on the street. But the real challenge turned out to be getting the bike into the backseat of my sedan. Just when I thought I had it most of the way in, the front end would swivel and catch on the door frame. I cursed the handlebars. The break lever hit me on the jaw. I went to the other side of the car and attempted to pull it through. Then back over, nudging and pleading, seriously questioning life decisions that had led to this moment, not having a boyfriend being one of them.

Finally, the bike settled in just far enough for the door to close. Too exhausted and sweaty to drive anywhere by this time, I walked grumpily back to the apartment, seriously considering the possibility that bicycles are secretly trying to ruin our lives. 

That's when I saw my neighbor Dave's wife walk out of the house next door and remembered that Dave is a sometimes serious mountain biker and probably not only could put my tire back on, but probably could have filled it with air in the first place.

I wisely decided to eat lunch and walk the dog before taking the bike back out of the car. 

Yesterday, Dave stopped over and put the tire back on my bike in about two minutes. He also encouraged me to come to him in future before I decide to lose my marbles trucking it to the closest repair shop (well, he might have left out the part about my marbles).

OK, man who changes his tires without arms, you got me. I'm just glad I know how to ask for help.