Guys, yesterday I tried so, so hard to go on a bike ride. But it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe me riding a bike at all this summer isn’t meant to be…
You see, many months ago my summer internship supervisor told me that I could borrow a bike from the Willamette bike shop this summer to aid in my car-less transportation woes. Truth be told, I’m not really a bike person. I haven’t owned a bike since I was a young child, and even then I didn’t ride it much. I decided to challenge myself this summer and made a goal to conquer this whole bike-riding thing while I’m in Oregon. But the process has been such an ordeal already!
Here’s how it’s gone so far. First of all, you should know the bike shop is only open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-5 p.m…
Last Tuesday I went to the shop for the first time only to be told that all the bikes they had out of storage for the summer would probably be too small for my 6-foot frame. You see, the only students at Willamette in the summer are the Japanese exchange students, and most of them aren’t 6 foot. Thankfully the bike shop student said he would go to the storage shed and get me a bigger bike to be picked up on Thursday.
Last Thursday I went back to the shop to find that the student hadn’t yet gone to the storage shed to find me a bike, so he told me to wait 5 minutes while I checked it. Of course that 5 minutes turned into 15, and when he returned, he didn’t bring a bike. Turns out he had the wrong keys or they had moved the extra bikes without telling him, so instead, he brought some wheels to fix up a bike at the shop that might work. I asked if I should come back the next week, but he assured me these wheels would be a quick fix, and I’d soon be on my way. Half an hour later after unexpected problem after unexpected problem arose, bike student tells me to come back on Tuesday.
Tuesday I go back to the shop, and lo and behold, there is a bike all ready for me! I wheeled the bike back to my house because I also was carrying some groceries and other belongings. Tuesday night I had scheduled three Skype dates, so i told myself I’d take the bike out on the inaugural ride the next day, Wednesday.
Wednesday I got home from work and immediately starting preparing for my first bike-jaunt out on the town. I packed my backpack with my bible, notebook, pens, a book, my hammock, a sweatshirt, and a sack dinner in preparation for an evening out of the apartment, enjoying the pleasant mid-June Oregon weather. I tried on my new helmet, adjusted the straps, and headed outside to the bike rack. I unlocked my bike, stashed the u-lock in my backpack’s laptop sleeve, and gently eased the bike out into the parking lot. I sat down, balanced myself out, and started to pedal… only to hear awful noises of what sounded like a flat rear tire. I stopped, turned around, and there it was: the back wheel’s tire and inner tube were both separating from the rim. Seriously?!
I wheeled the bike back to the rack and thought, “Well… I guess I’ll just go blog about this whole thing.”
And that’s where we are now.
Today I will go back to the bike shop and try to get this thing fixed. Again. And it probably won’t be ready until Tuesday, if by then. God, if this is you telling me this is not my summer to learn to ride a bike, I understand your concern. I don’t really want to get hit by a car and die on my way to a local coffee shop, but I want to try! Safely! I promise to wear a helmet. And you can keep trying to dissuade me, but gosh darn it, I’m going to keep trying!