Bike to work

25 May
On Wednesday I took our Volvo out to John’s Auto Repair; it’s a bit out of the way (a 20-minute drive from downtown on the Carcross road) but Travis is a trusty mechanic, which is enough to make me loyal.  The car hadn’t had a tune-up in a while, but we didn’t expect any major problems.  Unfortunately, I ended up having to get a ride back into town with the guy’s brother because I didn’t trust our car to go even that far.
 
Turns out that one of the springs on the car (front driver’s side) was worn to the breaking point.  When the car went up on the hoist and the tires dropped down, a piece of the spring broke right off.  Travis showed me how the remaining spring was at risk of dropping right out, which would cause that side of the car to collapse with goodness knows what kind of consequences if we were driving at any kind of speed.  Besides that, the front brakes were worn down so that just a few millimetres of brake pad was left.  The bad news: Travis can get the parts needed for the regular maintenance (filters, brake pads and rotors, etc.) from his usual supplier, which takes two days to ship things up here, but the springs have to be ordered directly from Volvo, meaning they might not come in until late next week.
 
Being a single-car family, that meant we had to rent a vehicle for Michael’s trip to Nahanni Butte this week.  I had originally intended to rent a vehicle for the three working days I have next week, but since we’re already renting, we don’t want to spend any more money on rental vehicles.
 
So I will have to get creative next week.  If it were just a matter of getting me to the office, it would be easy.  The bus goes right by our house and there’s a stop two blocks from work.  (Coming home is a bit of a pain because it stupidly requires a transfer, but it’s still doable.)  Getting Jade to her daycare, however, is a big pain in the patootie with public transportation.  And the last thing anyone wants is a pain in the patootie.
 
I think I might be able to hitch a ride with a Hillcrestian friend on Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday.  That leaves Thursday to be considered.  And one potential option is my long-unused bicycle.  Actually, I have two bicycles.  One is a road bike that I got when I was about twelve and that I used frequently in the summertime in Ottawa, but not much since moving north.  The other one is a mountain bike (a species I have no experience with) and the ill-gotten gains of a negotiation gone wrong.  Michael doesn’t think my road bike is road-worthy anymore; personally, I think it’s just fine, but I’ve left it with the Fix-It Chick down the street for a tune-up.
 
Michael needed the car today to do errands before going on his trip, so instead of having him drop me off at work, I gave the bike option a try.  As I already mentioned, I have little experience with mountain bikes, but I’m quickly forming an opinion.  This bike is a pig!  The big fat wheels stick to the road and make even flat terrain seem like hard work.  Getting downtown means making a long drop into the river valley (Hillcrest is appropriately named, as it is indeed up on a hill).  I figure that if I can make it back up the hill on this bike, then getting up there on my road bike (which I hope to have back this weekend) will be a breeze, even if I do have the baby trailer on it.  But I don’t think that I CAN make it up the hill on this bike.  But I haven’t tried it yet.  But I can certainly imagine how not fun it would be next week to have to walk a bike towing a trailer up a long hill, with a tired, hungry, and cranky toddler to boot.  Are you getting the sense that I am somewhat apprehensive?  Where would you be getting that idea?
 
I will do my best!  However, the bicycle has not been very friendly to me.  It’s the first "boy’s bike" I’ve owned.  When I hopped off the seat near the end of my ride, I realized with a sudden and certain knowledge that  that I have never had to deal with a cross-bar before, and also that this bike is just an inch or so too high for me.  I was certainly glad that I am not a man, but even so I was softly cursing under my breath.
 
I’m really looking forward to getting my road bike back.
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2 Responses to “Bike to work”

  1. Elaine May 26, 2007 at 7:50 am #

    Good luck with the bike Fawn!

  2. Nemmy May 27, 2007 at 3:36 pm #

    Good luck!!

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