Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bicycle Travails - Ain't that a bitch?/How lucky is that?

So, I needed to get a new bike, as after three years the old one was showing some serious wear and tear - one brake was shot, the gears were slipping - so at Costco on Sunday I picked up this:

Good, yeah? And the super special bonus, I can now pedal a bike without smacking my knees into the handlebars.

But, as I bought it from Costco, and it's American style, it means that the tires/valves, as seen here -

- are different than 90% [warning, all figures pulled completely out of thin air] of the tires/valves in Japan, as seen here -

- so none of the pumps we have worked with it.

So during lunch hour I pedaled over to the bike shop using my old standby and bought their one, only, and last pump that worked with American style schrader valves.

Huzzah! Success! Good to go!

Except, as I pedal not 20 yards out of the parking lot, this happens -

- and no fat jokes people, I've been losing weight recently. Of course three years dragging around my heavier than the Japanese-usual frame probably did not help with the metal fatigue.

So, in the midday sun, I got to push my busted up bike, pedal sheered in two, chain askew all over the place, from the other side of town. I tried to ride it like a push scooter for a while, only to discover the trip back is surprisingly mostly uphill.

So, on the plus side, I picked up a new bike just as the old one breathes its last breath. Fortuitous, that. And, luckily, I didn't wipe out and completely bust my ass when my pedal snapped. It was close though.

On the other hand, the suck hand, pushing my bike across town in the middle of the heat wave that is summer in Japan sucked pretty hard, and my brief affair with having two bikes, one for me and the mrs, once again died a quick death.

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