Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Intrepid Bicyclist Thwarts Danger Yet Again

I had no warning that the seat of my bicycle was going to snap off in the middle of an intersection. A loud pop and a sudden loss of altitude tipped me off that something was terribly wrong. I'm happy to report that instinctively, before I even figured out what had happened, my legs straightened and held me aloft. Metal pieces clinked loudly to the pavement, and I glanced down to see my bike seat pitifully askew, like the head of an animal with a broken neck. I coasted to the edge of the street and up the sidewalk ramp where I parked my bike and dismounted, the now completely severed head falling tragically to the ground. I scanned the intersection for parts. A man who had watched the whole event stopped his pickup on the crosswalk long enough to point down at the street through his open window and yell, “Over here!”
After fetching the part that the man indicated, I spent the next two green lights walking back and forth in the center of the crosswalk with my helmet still on, bent slightly forward and scanning the ground like a bird after a worm. When I thought I must’ve retrieved all the parts, I walked the last three blocks to my hideout and called my bike shop.

I thought of pedaling to the shop standing up the whole way but I didn’t dare straddle the bike for fear I’d forget about the absence of the seat and completely eliminate the already low probability of my producing an heir. Instead I operated the bike like a kind of push-scooter, remaining to one side of it while standing on one of the pedals. It’s a feat that lends itself to an appearance of superior coordination and balance but is unduly hard on the supporting foot after the first few yards.

Cultivating a relationship with a bike shop is highly recommended for these times when one needs immediate assistance. Hugh wasn’t there but Ron squeezed me in between other customers and fixed my bike right up. The whole ordeal from actual breakdown to my arrival back at the hideout with the bike repaired took an hour including transportation, and cost five dollars.


At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Julia said...

Hey there,

I am a fellow Portlander and read your blog every now and than. I saw this photo and thought you might like it:


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