Tuesday, March 13, 2007

ride ready

It’s a little embarrassing to admit some things that dictate other things in your life. On a particularly nice day last week, one of my students asked me if I’d ridden my bike to work that day. Ouch. Do you know how much I’d have liked to ride my bike to work? Why not then? Well, when I got ready to leave, I knew my battery was dead, and of course I didn’t have time to charge it. Of course I should have charged it on any given day for the past month, but truly, every time I had the urge to ride, I was too lazy to open the compartment, unhook the battery, hook up the charger… Are you kidding? all that stuff would take like a total of 6 minutes. And then I’d have to wait a couple hours for the battery to charge before I could start the bike. Of course, next time it’d be ready to ride. But alas… too lazy.
So I talked with my student about how strange it is that I would sacrifice the opportunity to do something that I absolutely love to do simply for the quick, easy, effortless preparation to do it. I was assured that this was not terribly abnormal. But I didn’t let the weekend get by without charging my battery and starting my bike. When I took it out of the garage to start it, I realized how nasty dirty it was and so was a bit too embarrassed to ride it until I had time to clean it up.
So yesterday, Molly and I drove to the bike shop to look for some cleaning goo to whiten my white walls (on the tires, no, I didn’t get a haircut). Alas, the metric bike shops are all closed on Monday. So we had to decide quickly whether to risk an appearance at the one remaining bike store in town. We assessed our defenses, confidence and fortitude, and drove to the Harley store. Molly was a bit worried, but I was more concerned with possibly feeling like a traitor. As it turned out, everyone at the store was quite cordial, despite the fact that they were being visited by Honda riders.

I wasn’t sure if Harley cleaner is actually meant to be used, or if it is only decoration, but I didn’t dare ask. I thought I’d go ahead and try it. To my surprise, it worked quite well, so I guess only the motorcycles are meant to be decorations. Of course, it was a third-party product.
So Molly and I cleaned the bike, and confidently took a spin. Now the minuscule prep for major pleasure and enjoyment is accomplished. My bike is clean and shiny and antsy. It calls my name in a deep stereo voice that everyone in the neighborhood can hear.
photo for Cong.


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