Adventures in Bike Commuting

Well as I mentioned, the weather has seriously turned around this week and the sun has come out.  At least for a few days, the rains are gone!  Couple that with the bike fresh out of a tune up, and it was time to bike commute again!

Monday and Tuesday, I hooked up the bike rack to my wife’s car and I biked home each day.  This was helpful as its been BUTT cold in the mornings still!  No ice scrapping, but it was close.  That happens in spring time up here.  When the clouds are gone at night, the temps go down as well!

It was windbreaker weather both days, and the headwinds sucked, but it was dry!  The sun was shining, the views were great, and people were out in force.  The bike felt great and I really enjoyed blowing the stink off me.

But then yesterday hit…

I decided it was time for a round trip commute!  I set the alarm and broke out the warm clothes, and good thing I did, it was 41 degrees outside.  I took off at 520 AM and headed down the hill!  I noticed the bike was acting up a bit with the shifting on the back cassette, but I blew it off to I was cold and messing up when I worked the gears.

Later though, when on the bike path, there was no doubts.  The shifting was NOT working well!  The chain was skipping, I had to shift multiple times to get it to the correct gear, just to have it slip out again!  I will NOT share the language and the words that I used each time it happened.  I was pissed off, the bike just got out of the shop!

Then, I noticed, there was a distinct rattle from the back wheel…  My bike does NOT rattle!  The further I went, the more mad I got.  I can do some repairs on the fly, but I don’t mess with gears!  I also started worrying about it just completely breaking down and stranding me miles from town….

OK, then things go worse, not with the bike, but just in general.  Just when I was getting the most frustrated, another rider, who was just a bit faster than I am, passed me.  Generally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but this guy was sporting MAJOR plumbers crack!  That’s right, staring me in the face was MAN ASS!!  He wasn’t fast enough to  pull away from me, and my gears would let me pass him.  I couldn’t slow down cuz I didn’t want to be late for work.  So I was stuck!  I was wishing for spackle (sp)  to cover that crack!

I made it to work, but for the second time this month (and I have only ridden to work twice all year) after riding to work, my bike ended up at the REI bike shop.   (Good thing its next door).

Turns out

  1. My rear cassette was tightened completely, hence the rattle.
  2. The gear cable had gotten old
  3. My bike shop did a crappy job on the tune up!

i will be looking for a new shop!

Three hours later, it was done and raring to go!

The ride home was perfect.  70 degrees, no wind, blue skies, gorgeous!  Adding to the list of strangeness though, I saw a lady with a full cockatoo (yep just like Beretta’s from the 70’s TV show!) Riding on her handle bars.

In fact, it also had a tether she tied to her handle bars!  I can’t help but wonder what happens if the bird took off and tried to fly away!  That can’t be safe…. I had pictures of it hitting the end of the tether and ending up in the front spokes!  Not a pretty site! (not as ugly as man ass, but still….)

The rest of the ride home went great!  I took the big hill, and got home no problem at all!  Loved it!  I never knew how different bike commuting is as compared to a car.  The car commute is faster, less exciting and, at least so far, no male nudity!

I am looking forward to more commuting as the spring moves into summer!  I am just hoping that one of these times I can get to work and NOT take my bike to the shop!


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