You know, I can commute home for weeks, taking the same route, and nothing overly memorable or different happens. I’m OK with that. When I bike commute, I am honestly trying to get home to my wife as soon as possible, while getting my exercise at the same time! Non-memorable means nothing goes wrong 🙂
But then there is a commute like todays. Nothing bad happened at all! My legs were tired as I haven’t completely recovered from the Crater Lake Century, but it didn’t affect me too much. Even so, it will be a commute I remember for quite a while!
First off, I am still having squeaking issues with the front disc brakes! I did some adjusting, and it is better than Tuesdays ride, but it is still annoying! I need to take a class on this, cuz I hate making noise as I ride. (sorry for the short whine there…)
Now last night, Michelle and I went out after work for dinner, and sipped some wine downtown. We took the back way home (which is close to my bike route) as the freeway was screwed something fierce. As we crossed the University Bridge we saw one of King County Metro‘s trolley buses.
These are the ones that run along the wires, propelled by electricity. I mentioned to her that I was surprised they still had these, as they had to be old and broke down a lot. Michelle asked if I had ever seen one broken down. Come to think of it, in my 20 years downtown I never had! We agreed that King County probably babies these buses as they are cheap to run. No gas!!
So what did I see today?? Yep, same bridge, luckily going the opposite direction. One that looked just like this one was dead in the water. Traffic backed up for MILES!!. Remind me never to comment on a plane the day before I fly somewhere!
I make it to the Burke Gilman, past construction detours, and head north. It felt weird tonight, sticky, like a storm was brewing. But as I type this, no rain yet. Anyhow, I am heading north making pretty good time, when I see two kids (under 12 easy) heading south. One was riding the bike, and the little girl was running along, pushing her’s, with a flat rear tire.
Editors note here: When I was a hiker, I firmly believed everyone on the trail should be self-sufficient. Enough gear, food, water and know-how to get to your destination and back. That being said, I also believe that all hikers have the responsibility to help others when it’s needed. Many times I have shared water, food, given directions, or loaned duct tape and swiss army knife. Its the right thing to do.
I bring this up because I know there were cyclist ahead of me, and some coming the other direction. But as far as I can tell, no one offered to help these kids. They jumped at the chance when I offered. Kind of makes me mad. I still believe in the self-sufficiency rule, but:
- Sometimes the best cyclist forget something or run out of something
- It does NOT apply to kids!
This means one should always offer assistance if there is a break down. Most will not need help, but that one who does will be VERY grateful!
Turns out it was a brother sister deal. The boy’s mountain bike had the flat. The girl let her little brother ride her bike, while she pushed his. (nice older sister!) The were heading to the park about 3 miles away to go swimming.
Out came the patches and CO2 cartridges. Both of them wanted to “help” and they were very polite kidlets. The boy seemed really interested in learning, so I walked him through the whole process. Removing the tire from the rim, finding the hoie, patching it and then refilling it. Then I went into science teacher mode to explain why the valve froze and the cylinder got cold after filling it.
10 minutes later, they were on their way to go swimming. I told them to tell mom they needed a new tube (took three patches to get them moving). Really hope they don’t get in trouble for talking to a stranger, but I felt bad having them miss swimming and pushing that bike 3 more miles. My good deed of the week!
You would think that doing that would’ve earned me some bike karma points! But nope. Not 2 minutes after leaving them, I just got back up to speed, when I got smacked, just above the sunglasses and just below the helmet, by the biggest, fattest juiciest bug ever! SPLAT!!! It exploded on me! GROOSSS!!! I still had bug guts on my face when I got home! Never been hit like that!
But by far, the most memorable thing. I stopped at Rite-Aid to get a refill on the BP meds. I’ve been going to this place for 4 years. The same guy has worked there the whole time. Every time, he asks my name, I spell it, and he still has to search High and Low. (How many last names start with ‘V’?) So today, I go in (just realized WITH bug guts on my face!) I walk up to the counter and he hands me my meds!! Saw me walking up and went straight to my prescription!! wonders NEVER cease!!!
Overall a great way to end a busy day at work!