Wednesday, May 16

Mishaps by way of Bicycle

I've recently been biking to work. Saves money on gasoline, and reduces my impact on the environment by way of emissions and what not, and guarantees me at least 30 minutes of activity each work day. Lots of good reasons to bike to and from work.

There is a problem, however. Bicycles and I have somewhat of a sketchy past. As if it were yesterday, I can recall my first mountain biking experience with my Wal-Mart Huffy. Handlebars spinning around uncontrollably, rocks, steep descension, thorns, and blood. Need I elaborate? And then there was the time in college when I would ride my Trek bicycle everywhere: to the grocery, to class, to the ice cream shop, to the Gas City Zoo. But the Trek and I, though it was my favorite bike, we had some issues too! Two trips over the handlebars in the street, my hands and face acting as brakes in the gravel. On one such ocassion, the president of the university, Jim Barnes, witnessed my fall, stopped his cadillac in the middle of the street, rolled the window down, and inquired as to my condition. Embarassed? Oh, Yes!

So, you see, I've had quite a time with bikes. My last Trek, I gave away before starting the Appalachian Trail. But when I got out here to Montana, I realized it would have been nice to have a bike. As good fortune sometimes pops up, a bicylce was lent to me for my use, whilst I reside in Billings. And I've been happily riding it to and from work for a few weeks now.

I've lost two things while commuting to work on my two wheel transport. One, was my wallet. The other: a pedal.

Wallet: I still haven't figured out how I lost my wallet out of the side pocket of my backpack, but it happened even without my understanding. Thankfully, a lady found it, called the YMCA when she saw my card in there and the YMCA contacted me to tell me to call the lady. All in all, a great day. I lose my wallet without knowing it, I get a call from the YMCA to tell me to call someone who has found my wallet, I pick my wallet up at the lady's house. Very pleased with that scenario.

Pedal: On my way to work. Pedaling fast and furious. On the downstroke of my right foot, pedal flies off of the bike, clattering into the middle of the street. Car almost runs over my runaway pedal. Retrieve the pedal from street but can't get it to screw back into the shaft. Still two miles from work. Ride to work pedaling with one leg. Charlie Horse in the worst way. But made it to work on time! Fix pedal. Two days, it is great. Today. Pedaling home from work. Pedal flies off in the middle of a street. This time it is not funny. One-legged pedal all the way home. Charlie Horse, again! This scenario, I don't much like.

Bikes! Why do I continue to love thee?


Brian said...

I understand the mystery of bikes. I have had several experiences of over the handlebars. My petal experience has to do with over the handlebars and then the petal striking the side of my head. Yet to feel the wind on my face and a seat three sizes to small, it just makes me feel free. Love the post. Miss you.

Andrew & Alaina said...

What a great post! I have a bit of trouble with bikes also - especially tandems. I remember a couple terrifying bike rides with you or Ivana in front and me always in the back. :) Andrew and I have a tandem but the last time we rode it, my shoelace got tangled in the pedal and Andrew got off the bike and let go - he claims he didn't understand the problem. :) Needless to say, I ended up sprawled in the middle of the street, right outside my house for all the neighbors to see, with the bike on top. memories. :) Hope you're doing well. Stay safe. Love ya.

Leslie said...

Definitely terrifying tandem rides with Ivanna. She was fearless, and I always pretended to be fearless when I was with her. I think the Sibert's tandem had no brakes. Obviously part of the reason it may have been life-threatening to hop aboard!

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