Thursday, June 16, 2005

Good Karma

I have no idea what's going on, but I've had a mini-run of good fortune lately. Not that you can call your computer dying on you good fortune, but the resulting free-repair-after-your-laptop-isn't-under-warranty-anymore would be moved to the "good" category.

My bike has been sitting in the garage for a while in the recent past because it's used mainly for transportation to and from work. And because you can't really ride a bike from San Francisco to Seattle very quickly or very easily, the work commute has left the bike next to the rake and the broom and the hoe. Huh huh. Hoe. Anyway, the bike has been called to action lately because I've been working close enough to pedal down 14th street and coast to this week's worksite. That's livin'.

The gears on the bike don't shift like they used to, and I didn't think it was much of a problem until I tried to do the slick biker maneuver of blasting through a red light, pedaling my ass off to avoid being run over by a Toyota Tacoma. Well the gears didn't shift like they used to and the gears kinda snapped into an unintended gear at an unintended moment and I didn't have the cranking speed I wanted. That, and my foot nearly slipped out of the pedal, and that could have been disastrous.

So I tried to do the bike tune-up by myself. I'm no bike mechanic, but how hard can it be? It looked like I fixed the gear shifting when testing the gears out with the bike upside-down in my garage, but the riding was a different matter. The problem was worse than before. I'd shift gears and nothing would happen. I couldn't pass those road rage bikers like I used to.

There's a little bike shop on 14th street and Guerrero called "Box Dog Bikes" that has a pit bull type dog that's old and very sweet and slowly comes out to greet you on the street when you pull up. I brought my bike there and a bike mechanic with worn black nail polish came out and asked me what the problem was. He said the rear derailleur cable was too tight. I said "I wonder how that happened?" and scratched my head. He brought out a wrench and did some quick adjustments and took it for a ride. He rode it back into the shop and said "I think I fixed it. Do you want to put some air in your tires?" I did and then I took it for a spin right out front. Fixed. I rode back in and asked him "how much?" No charge. Wow. That's 2 free repairs in 2 weeks. Since everything comes in 3s, I can't wait to see what's next.

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