Sunday, September 13, 2009

Get well soon, my precious old bike

Friday started out awesomely enough – Mom was on her last day of ACLS class, so I picked up lunch at Panera and we met at Finlay Park in Columbia for a picnic!  I brought my little zip-up picnic blanket and we set up camp in the big amphitheater…I didn’t want to sit out in the sun on the grass, and we found a really nice shady spot.

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To my disappointment, they weren’t serving soup yet (I picked up lunch at around 10:30am, mom’s break was 11-12), so I got half a Mediterranean Veggie sandwich and half a Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, sans chicken.  I LOVE Panera so much, but the last few times I’ve gotten to-go food, my order has been screwed up.  My sandwich was amazing, as always, but the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad had no apples.  It was lettuce, 2 pieces of onion, and cheese.  Sad and boring.

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Oh I forgot I got chips on the side.  Could’ve gotten an apple.  Argh.

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AMAZINGNESS ON BREAD.

When I dropped Mom back off at her class, I went to Saluda Shoals Park to ride my bike.  This was a big step for me – I’m still not a strong rider, and it was huge for me to go by myself.  I brought my iPod and my new gel bike seat and set off riding.  I even went off the trail at one point to pass a dude and his dog – giant step out of my comfort zone to bike off a 3” sidewalk (don’t laugh, I’m a pansy) and back up, but I did it!  Wahoo!  I was having the best time – the weather was cool, it felt amazing to be alone with my music and have the wind blowing through my…er…helmet holes.  At one point I saw a spider web stretched across the trail, so I put my head down and went through it.  A little while later, I saw something white and fuzzy on the bill of my helmet and just thought it was wadded up spider web, but I realized it was a stowaway:

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Look how fuzzy and cute he is!!

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Please don’t tell me he’s poisonous, because I picked him up and put him on a leaf and went on my merry way.  I finished the entire trail and went exploring at the park on my own – another out-of-comfort-zone experience that I’m proud of.  However, my happiness soon came to an end.

My bike has always shifted hard…you shift gears and it CLUNKS into gear, sometimes not even catching at all.  It’s not a smooth experience, to say the least.  I was on the last little leg of my journey (my rump was starting to hurt) and I shifted gears, experiencing a much bigger CLUNK than usual.  Then the bike started making a rattling noise and vibrating.  Here I am, less than a novice, by myself with a bike that’s suddenly inexplicably broken.  I got off expecting to see the chain hanging off or a gear rotor (don’t even know if that’s the right word) snapped in half.  However, it was the tire.  The tire was rubbing the fork on the left side, the side opposite the gear rotors.  How in the world could shifting gears suddenly throw the tire out of whack enough to rub the frame?  I rode it back to my car (huge no-no…I probably weakened the tire that way) and it was incredibly hard to pedal (duh, Katherine).  I tried shifting gears, hoping that would throw it back into place, but it never worked.  When I got near the car, I got off and tried to walk the bike the remaining few yards, but the tire wouldn’t even turn without huge force.

Mom and I looked at it when I got home, I consulted teh interwebs, read our manual, and couldn’t find anything to do to it without disassembling it and putting it back together (incorrectly, no doubt).  All I could find was that the wheel needed to be re-trued, and there were references to taking off the quick-release wheel and putting it back, but my wheel isn’t quick-release.  We took it by the shop the other day (the one I got my bike back from nigh 2 weeks ago) and they were baffled too.  So now my poor bike (who needs a name, by the way) is in the shop for the next 10 days, unless they get to it earlier, which probably won’t happen.  It’s so frustrating because 1) I have no idea how it happened, and logistically it shouldn’t have happened, and 2) I was just getting into biking and really wanted to do it more, and now it’s been snatched away from me again.  I’m whining over 10 days, but I feel justified.

That afternoon, I was hungry since I had only eaten once and had biked close to 5 miles (w00t!), so I had a snack of blueberries, cherry yogurt, flax, and Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal.

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Dinner was leftover onion soup biscuit cups (!!!!!) with more greens than a football field:

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And an icky cupcake with frozen yogurt for dessert:

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The purple icing was definitely made with that gross bitter-tasting red food coloring…I should’ve taken one bite then thrown the rest away, but y’all know that’s just not something always capable of.

Here’s a ridiculous picture of my Maddypants tucked up into a tiny ball on an impossibly small chair:

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Bless her heart.

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