Friday, August 01, 2003


I vowed today I would get our bicycles ready to ride, which primarily meant scraping off the rust, wiping off the dust, and inflating the tires. Before I could take the bikes to a nearby gas station to put air in the tires though, I had to get our bike rack ready. Several months ago, when I was also toying with the idea of riding my bike, I started fiddling with the bike rack and a little nut fell off...scampering into that pit of debris we blithely refer to as our "garage." After crawling around the boxes and boxes of what I call "junk" and Amy calls "stuff someone will buy in a garage sale" looking for the little nut, I decided I was a little nuts and abandoned the entire idea of bike riding.

Now, I have no idea where to look for that little nut, and of course I don't have one in my little kit of "assorted nuts of all sizes except the one you need" that I purchased a Walmart, so I had to drive over to the hardware store to buy another nut. My car overheated on the way, but I made it back home, seven-cent nut in hand.

After struggling with the bike rack trying to remember where the various straps go, I decided that the convoluted way I attached it to my car was "good enough" and lifted the bikes aboard. Next stop: the gas station.

50 cents for air. I didn't have 50 cents. Next gas station - 75 cents for AIR??? I could buy seven nuts for that!!

I became determined not to "pay" for air.

Five gas stations later, engine temperature gauge and my frustration gauge both nearing "the red", I found an Exxon station that waived their 50 cent air fee "for customers", which is apparently the label given anyone who can read the sign on the air gadget and has the audacity to go inside and ask them to turn it on for free.

I fill the tires, get back home. The car didn't blow up, but one of the tires falls off Amy's bike as I unload it. Luckily this is a "quick release tire". Why we need quick release tires, I don't know, but I guess some people have sudden urges to strip their bikes of their front tires. Having a quick release tire must be handy for them. In any case, even I am able to put a quick release tire back on. It only took about 10 minutes.

I'm pretty sure it's secure. Guess we'll find out. Poor Amy.

It's 95 degrees during this process. I'm drenched in sweat, covered in dirt and grease, and I haven't even ridden the bike.

The bikes are ready though.

Maybe I will be...tomorrow.

Right now it all seems like an exercise in futility.