Today when I was biking to the gym I noticed a little drag on my tire like it was braking, only I wasn't trying to brake. I thought that it was surely because I got in a bike accident this spring and have had problems because the front rim was damaged.
After the gym I hopped back on the trusty bike. I have to admit, I'm not really sure why this is, but I've stopped wearing a helmet. I think it has something to do with it being way too hot for me in this city and the fact that most of my bike trips are on my way to work... it's just not cool showing up to see a client with helmet hair. How unprofessional! Plus, although local Pasadenans have told me that helmet laws in LA include adults, I have seen many-a bike riders on the sidewalks without helmets riding to and fro. So I figure I will ride slow and stay on the sidewalks (I know, I know, UNSAFE! that's where I was hit by a car) and like pedestrians I will not wear a helmet. So far so good. Until today...
My brakes felt very touchy. It scared me because I felt like I might go flying over the handle bars... hence the thoughts about my reckless non helmet wearing for fashion purposes!
I stopped at the City Hall to pay bills and hopped on my bike once again. Only this time, the back tire was immobile. It took me a good two minutes to realize that somehow the back brake had collapsed on the tire. I still haven't figured out what it was that made it happen to the brake system, but I will tell you this: my bike and I have a very love/hate relationship, it takes a lot of ups and downs, and my bike is relatively bipolar in nature. This is just one anecdote to prove this and document it for the world to see. Let's see if I take YOU back to Portland, you stinky bike.
So for the afternoon I punished my bike by leaving it in the courtyard unlocked to see if anyone would steal it. Of course, they would have to carry it, as I had to when I walked home from City Hall (so much for yoga and relaxation!). You can see how I contribute to this relationship... both my bike and I act out at times. Just kidding... the real reason why I didn't take it back was because just another 200 ft of carrying that bike in the heat through locked doors seemed impossible to me.
Someday when I'm feeling nicer about my bike, I will tell you why I love it, not just why I hate it.
What I did gain from this experience was a nice chat with a Jamaican who was working at Hutch's BBQ, a local spot that we've never been to and are a little scared of (a restaurant that's always open but never has people in it!), and he was kind enough to ask why I was carrying my bike and demonstrate for me how to hold it without effort ... he made it look way too easy! I might even go to Hutch's because he seemed so nice. I also gained a conversation with a worker I see around Fuller often but have never chatted with, and a lot of stares!
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