I biked to the farmer's market today and, while there, had the nice fellow at the bicycle-repair stand take off my hardcore clip pedals and replace them with ones that are flat and ridiculously enormous and may very possibly have come off of my old pink Schwinn. No matter; I can ride with them without having to spend an inappropriate amount of time staring at the pedals instead of the road. I'm no longer concerned that while placing my feet just right I'll run headlong into a parked car. And for my $2 I got not only the pedal replacement but the fascinating experience of watching the repair guy learn to replace pedals.
Starting back home, I pulled out onto MLK and thought happily about how easy this all was. Look at me! I'm so badass. I'm using my bicycle as viable transportation in a metropolitan area! I no longer look like a complete n00b! I have all the grace and competence of a -- what the hell was that clinking noise? Why is there no resistance on my pedals? How the fuck do I stop this thing?
In my desire to look casual and confident as I mounted my bike, I neglected to give even the quickest glance at my bike chain, which had gotten knocked around during the pedal installation. As I pedalled, it jumped entirely off of my front gear and hung down somewhere around asphalt level. Suddenly I was coasting rapidly down a fairly major street while my pedals spun wildly out of all relation to either my actions or the bike's motion.
As it happened, after coming to a screeching halt in the middle of the street and hauling my bike unceremoniously onto the sidewalk, I was able to poke the chain back into place without needing to drag it back to the repair stand and ask for help. The fact that the rear derailleur swings forward to allow the chain to be fit around the large front gears is one of those incredible piece of information which I really should have been required to learn before getting on a bicycle in the first place, but now at least I get to feel good about having gotten my hands nice and greasy figuring it out on my own.
Speaking of getting hands dirty, I've got some exciting archaeology pictures here for you. Please enjoy vicariously experiencing the sun and mud and corn, because it's bound to be better for you than experiencing it firsthand. You know all those reality shows where they try to make people stay in situations that are driving them slowly insane? They've got nothing on 250 hours of rocks.Posted by dianna at July 29, 2006 03:27 PM