On Thursday when I was biking to work I realized that my back bike tire was going flat. Really, it was already flat. So, naturally my first instinct is to text my knight in shining armor, like he, on his way to work, could somehow help. When that got me nowhere fast I ran, uphill mind you, back home a half a mile. One thing I’m not very good at is wearing comfortable shoes. Fashionable, yes. Comfortable, no. As I ran home, my shoes were rubbing on my heels and decided they weren’t getting enough love and attention, so they started bleeding. However, I didn’t have any time for that – I had a train I had to catch! I threw (literally) my bike in the hallway, angry at the way she’d treated me that morning, and ran downstairs to hail a cab. I explained to the driver, who really didn’t know English, that he needed to get to the train station as fast as possible since I had a meeting with my boss that I would be late for if I didn’t make that train. He obliged, probably because he knew better than to make a sweaty woman with bloody feet angry.
On Friday my knight volunteered for me to take his bike. One thing I should explain to you is that the bike I’ve been riding is a 10 speed bike from the mid 90’s. I mean, it’s pretty nice if you’re not concerned about having many gears, having brakes, or any shock absorption. So, I was kind of pumped to take his bike. Maybe a little too pumped. I hopped on the bike when I got downstairs and proceeded to the end of our street, where there’s a stoplight. I squeezed the brakes to slow down and flew off the bike. It probably looked to passersby like I did a handspring off the front of my bike. I made a mental note that his brakes work. It wouldn’t be so bad if that was the only time I did it. About a mile later I forgot, like I tend to do, and came to a stoplight. This time I was a little more graceful and stayed on the bike, but you could tell by the pedestrian’s face in the cross-walk that he was concerned for both our lives.
Now none of this would be so bad if it weren’t for Monday. My knight bought a new tube for me over the weekend and fixed my tire. I was good to go again. So, picture this – it’s raining outside. Kind of a glum day. I get dressed in all my rain gear and take off on my newly inflated bike. I get about a half a mile from the train station, and I realize my back tire is flat. Again. And it’s raining. It’s so flat that the tire is starting to come off, so wheeling it is not a possibility, it has to be carried. And, I’m in a sketchy part of town where my bike will most likely be stolen if I leave it. Shit.
I found a doughnut shop down the street that looked like it had been converted from a gas station. There was a pole in the middle of their parking lot, in front of the store. If my bike had any hope of making it out alive, this was it. People leaving doughnut shops are just really happy people because they now have a tasty treat to indulge in and happy people don’t steal bikes. I assured my bike she’d be ok. I locked it up and parted ways with it, promising to be back later that night. I then half walked, half ran to the train station, knowing I’d already missed my train. There was another train leaving 10 minutes later that takes an hour to get to my office, versus the normal 45 minutes. I got on the train and called my boss. Naturally, I had a meeting planned that I was going to be late for not only with my boss, but also my boss’s boss that I’m not sure really likes me. My boss volunteered to reschedule the meeting and I made it to work. (Note to self, stop planning morning meetings with anyone important.)
When I got off the train that night I walked to where I remembered parking my bike. There was a car parked in front of the pole, so you can imagine the build-up that ensued as I got closer, trying to see if my bike was there. I’m happy to say destiny brought my bike and I back together. I shed a little tear and promised to never leave her again…as I realized I had no idea how in the hell I was going to get home. Carrying it 2 miles uphill was not an option. I tried a couple of cabs, but none of them were able to fit my bike. I figured my only hope was to find a bus and see if they’d let me take it on. As luck would have it, the next bus that came had a bike rack on the front! I happily got on and enjoyed crazy-people-watching for the next 35 minutes it took the bus to take me two miles.