July 29, 2006

I'm back in the bay area! Let's blog about bicycles!

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

Oh, admit it! You loved 250 hours of rocks! You'd have signed up for 250 more hours if you'd been given the chance.

Posted by: Zach S. at July 29, 2006 03:50 PM

Does that mean the Indiana Jones lifestyle isn't for you after all?

Welcome back!

Posted by: jason at July 29, 2006 05:07 PM

No, no, the Indiana Jones lifestyle is totally for me. Zach's got it right. 250 hours of rocks rocked. I'm just saying it drives you insane, not that there's anything wrong with that.

At one point my (somewhat punchy) dig partner and I were sorting trays of artifacts in the lab and labelling them. We had a whole pile of things that had looked like something in the field but turned out to be just ordinary rocks when looked at more closely. My dig partner labelled the entire pile simply, "this rocks."

Posted by: Dianna at July 29, 2006 10:14 PM