Posts Tagged ‘chain’

You Needed A New

January 27, 2016

Cog.

Huh.

I never would have guessed that.

And in my own perverse little way.

I am a little proud of that.

I have ridden my bicycle so often and for so long that I basically had worn down the teeth of the rear cog and that was why my chain was slipping and my crank wasn’t turning.

Brava!

I mean.

I have had the bicycle for three and a half years.

But the last two years, living in the Outer Sunset, bicycle commuting to the Mission five days a week, putting in over thirteen miles a day, usually 14, sometimes 15, why, of course I had worn out my cog.

Damn Gina.

The shop also fixed the flat and actually replaced the tube for free considering that there was no evidence on my tire that I had punctured it, fault lay with the shop and they took care of it promptly.

It was nice to have my wheels back under me.

Especially after the shared Uber ride into work.

My God.

I don’t mind the sharing the resource, I don’t mind going out of my way a little bit to get from here to there–I like to think of it as taking the scenic route.

However.

I am scent sensitive.

No shut up.

I’m not being a fucking pussy about this.

There are two smells that really make me feel like I am going to vomit and I got both of them today.

The first was from an middle age woman with a bad bed head do and an obvious hangover.

The smell of alcohol was not so bad, yeah, I gagged a bit from it when she turned and asked if she could recline the front seat, um, ok?

But it was the smell of cigarettes.

Deep, dirty, skin yellow, brown in the wrinkles of the fingers, nicotine stained.

It was like driving with a sack of formaldehyde.

She reclined her seat, put in ear buds, popped on her sunglasses and fell asleep in the front seat.

The second passenger, though much more dapper and clean, was not a bouquet or roses either.

Nope.

He was a big smelly sack of raw onions.

I mean.

Fuck.

It was like he’d just eaten a raw onion sandwich and then shoved a few shallots under his arm pits.

I was like.

Dude.

The window went down and I got some fresh air, but it was a tasty ride.

So different to be on my bicycle, in the dark night, whistling through the Pan Handle, the rich smell of just turned dirt and the bark of eucalyptus trees.

The smell of evergreens in Golden Gate Park.

And the spot, the one spot, close to the De Young Museum, where Fenugreek must grow–the delicious smell of maple syrup always wafts out at me from the bushes, I invariably think about bacon, the skillet breakfast at a O’Malley’s in Waunakee where the family would go every once in a while for a Sunday breakfast, and waffles.

I could ride back and forth that little bridge a 100 times just to get to smell that again.

But I am too concerned with getting home, the whisk of my pedals beating the air and the sound of the waterfall splashing over Storybrook Crossing keeps me company.

A few critters, who though did not smell as bad as my companions from this afternoons ride, nonetheless, were not to be messed with.

A big rambling raccoon, that startled me in the grass as I turned onto Chain of Lakes and my front light hit his masked face.

And the dog, wait, what the hell, that dog is going to get schmucked crossing Lincoln, I should stop and scoop it up and.

Oh no.

That’s not a dog.

That’s a skunk.

I whipped past and watched the little critter scurry into the underbrush.

Lots of critters out and about.

I thought, as I rode, about how long I’ve been riding my bicycle, riding bicycles in general, in San Francisco.

I have bicycle commuted from the Mission to jobs in the Mission.

I remember, with much fondness the five minute commute I had for a year and a half when I worked at Mission Bicycle Company on Valencia and 18th.

I lived at Folsom and 23rd.

It was such a sweet commute.

I have commuted from the Bayview to the Mission–Palou and Third to 18th and Alabama.

I have commuted from Nob Hill to China Basin and Noe Valley.

I have commuted from Nob Hill to the Mission.

You may see a pattern here.

I do a lot of work in the Mission.

I have commuted from the Outer Sunset to Cole Valley, NOPA, and the Castro.

But the commute I have now, is the longest.

I also, briefly, for a few months when I was in transition and staying out in East Oakland (EAST not West, thank you very much) commuted from 51st and International to North Berkeley.

Yeah.

Like that.

I had some interesting rides.

The prominent scent was not Fenugreek however.

Although it did have a sweet, sickly smell to it, it was not a natural smell.

Nothing says good times like rolling through the valley of crack and prostitution on your way to nanny.

I have ridden a bike up to Twin Peaks.

I have ridden more than one century–that’s a 100 miles–though not for a while now.

I have ridden through parts of the Bay View that I don’t even think people now exist.

I have seen things.

I have been seen as well.

I whistled at a pedestrian about to walk into the street against the light as I was crossing Divisadero on Fell Street.

“Whoa!” He said, “thanks!”

Then, without much thought, he said rather loudly, “holy shit! You’re beautiful!”

Thanks man.

That’s always nice to hear.

Can’t say my ego minds.

Most of the time, though, it’s just me and the bicycle and my thoughts, which fortunately are usually not too loud, I’m in my body when I am on my bicycle, even when the knees hurt and the hips are a little tight and my bag was heavy with stuff tonight, I am in my body and alive.

It really is a gift.

I love my bicycle.

I really do.

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Maybe I’m Not Supposed

January 26, 2016

To be on my bike tonight.

The thought went through my head as I tried to turn on the head lamp on my handle bars.

That’s funny, I thought, I just charged this up completely last night and it’s dead.

Huh.

No front light to get home with in the dark.

And it’s one of the few things I know I will get stopped for on my ride, no front light is an automatic ticket.

I thought well, if I get stopped, I’ll just say I have it, but it burnt out and I’ll be replacing it when I get home, sorry officer.

Things go through my head quickly.

I also thought.

Huh.

That’s a weird bounce to my front tire.

It feels flat.

Or, I should say, it landed flat when I pulled it off the hanger in the garage at work, there is a kind of thud to it.

But I had just gotten the tire repaired last week, and had put air into the tubes this morning.

It should be fine.

I didn’t even bother to check it.

I just assumed it was fine.

It was not.

Then.

Oh shit.

I wonder if I’m going to have the same issue riding home tonight that I did coming in this afternoon.

I had my crank slip.

Not once, but four or five times.

The first time it happened I thought my chain had broken, but, no, I looked down and my chain was still on and I back pedaled and the crank caught and there was pressure on my pedals and away we go.

Sort of.

It happened a bunch more and I thought, hmm, maybe I should pop into the bike shop and drop the bike off.

But then it didn’t happen anymore and I just sort of forgot.

Then I was working and it was busy with the being Monday and cooking–triple batch of pureed broccoli soup–and being with the boys and a field trip to Flora Grubb for a new plant for the house and dinner and baths and stories, and next thing you know.

It’s time to bust on out and I have some place I got to be and get me out of Dodge.

Except.

The light.

The crank.

The flat tire.

I put my foot down slowly and sure enough, the pedal slipped through without any traction, basically just spinning the crank, but not turning the hub and moving the wheel.

Then.

It caught and I rode off.

No light.

Flat tire, which I wasn’t yet aware of, slipping crank.

I got to the end of the block and knew I was not riding home, now my brakes feel funny.

Well.

Duh.

The front brake felt funny because it was squeezing onto a tire that was fast deflating.

I hopped off, squeezed the brake, felt the tire and realized, Houston, we have a problem.

Fuck.

I texted a friend.

Then turned around and walked back to work with the bicycle.

Messaged the mom and said I got a flat, opened the garage, hung the bike and called for a car.

I had no profanity involved.

I was pretty calm.

I wasn’t happy about the state of bicycle.

However.

I wasn’t stupid either.

It was really obvious I was not supposed to ride my bicycle home and for that I am grateful.

Maybe that sounds funny to you, but it’s just such a nicer perspective to take, it’s God’s way of saying, “you’re grounded.”

Grateful I didn’t try to force the issue by riding my bicycle further out.

Grateful I can take a car back to work tomorrow before work and deal with the bicycle.

I’ll roll it to the shop.

Which, gratefully, is only two blocks away from where I work, drop it off and not worry about losing pedal traction, or having a busted light, or a flat tire.

And so it’s a little money out of my pocket.

Better that than having had an accident tonight.

No thank you.

In other news.

My hair is hella big.

I took a shower this morning before work and that basically undid the blow out.

I have big, huge, blonde, curly hair.

It’s rather fun.

And it’s very me.

Not pin up sexy, as I was compared to yesterday by an old high school classmate.

Nope.

But sexy, nonetheless.

It’s fun to be sexy and it’s fun to have so much hair, even after a good clean up cut.

It definitely acts differently and is a bit tender, breaks pretty quick, but, it’s soft and curly and big and blonde.

Sexy.

So there’s that.

And.

I got the Applied Spirituality class down.

I received an e-mail with a video from the professor who is teaching it remotely from Mexico.

I have changed my mind about doing the sonnet a day.

Well.

I may still try my hand at writing a sonnet a day, but perhaps not for the purposes of this class, rather, just for me and perhaps one or two of you.

The professor talked about deepening my spiritual practice and the fact is, I write a lot, that’s a huge part of my practice.

This blog and then my morning pages.

I write twice a day, anywhere from 2-3,000 words.

Sometimes more.

I also write gratitude lists and I have a prayer practice morning and night (and often times noon, you may think I have a small bladder, but I may just be taking a moment to catch my breath at work and have a word with the powers that be to get me through the day).

I also read spiritual readers, practice, never perfectly, spiritual principles, and do sitting meditation two to three times a week.

One of the things that caught my attention was the professors acknowledgement of the spiritual realm often being one where there are not words that adequately describe the experience.

I have tried.

I know what he means.

I feel that there are times when I am with the spirit of the Universe, when God is writing through me, speaking through me, I am the conduit, the words are not mine, they are God’s, the ultimate artist.

And then there are times when I just can’t seem to get the “i” before the “e” in that one word and why won’t spell check autocorrect this, and what rhymes with cantaloupe and I’m not in commune with God anymore, I’m just putting words on the page.

Something not word dependent, even though I am going to have to write papers to express the experience and post them up to the class for review.

I came up with a different idea.

And I am thrilled.

It feels easier and quiet and I won’t have to worry about producing, although, I guarnatee I will do the work.

I am going to color.

In a coloring book.

Yeah.

Whatever.

Coloring is considered a form of meditation and I have some great coloring books and some awesome colored pencils and it’s a way to turn of my busy brain.

To let God in through a non-verbal, non-written medium.

Oh.

There will still be writing.

Don’t you fret.

There will just be something else as well.

More will be revealed.

It always is.

And tomorrow.

I fix the bike.

Again.

Gratefully so.


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