An episode in which our heroine visits her Local Bike Shop (LBS).
The first time I went there with Binchy, my Bianchi Eros Donna road bike. I was wearing my "It's definitely Rainy/Winter/Nasty weather" jacket, which admittedly does cover me like a tent. Still, I'm not used to having someone address me thusly "Hey, man!" I mean... man?? I don't think I've been able to pass for a male since I was 10.
Still, a Merry is the forgiving type, as a rule. So I went in again, to ask them what they could do for my poor Iron Horse, the hybrid/mountain bike that I use for about town. The trouble is, riding this bike is hell on my knees. It wasn't always thus: I've ridden it to work for years; I've ridden 50 miles without a problem; I rode a few Bike Pedals without a qualm. And I haven't gained a noticeable amount of weight since then. So why, now, do my knees absolutely scream when I ride the Iron Horse?
The guy-up-front frowned. Then he said, delicately, "Well, knee problems are always caused by the bike not being sized right. I was thinking... maybe something in your position had changed recently?"
Wasn't until I'd left and headed home before it clicked that he was implying that my weight was causing the knee problems. This might be a reasonable suggestion if I hadn't ahem quite clearly mentioned that it was a recent problem -- quite recent -- and I'd been riding the bike regularly.
Went back again, this time with the bike in question, and took it straight to the Service department. They looked at the bike more than they looked at my hips, which I liked. They said what they saw was wrong with the bike. (Again, no hips were mentioned.) And they said that the bike did not need the Full I-mean-the-whole-enchilada Tune Up, which costs approximately 200 times more than the bike itself. (Okay, that's mostly because I got the Iron Horse for free, but even so-- a few full tunes ups and you'll start wondering if it might not be simpler to just buy a new damn bike already.)
"What's wrong with it?" I asked.
"Your bottom bracket is totally shot," was the reply. (Only in a bike shop would this be a response that didn't call for a slap across the face.) "Other than that, it looks pretty good."
I got the Iron Horse back tonight. Though I only rode it a mile home, the knees seemed to feel pretty good about the experience. We'll see how they feel tomorrow, after I ride to work.
Exercise du jour: Walked a few miles, i.e. walked to and from the Max station. One of these days I'm going to take a walk at lunch rather than work through that alleged 'rest' time. (My cynical self adds: yeah, and then I'll go dance with unicorns in a magic forest before riding off into the sunset with Prince Charming.)
May 18: Huh. Cycled a few miles. I spent the whole day stressing out at work -- another co-worker quit today -- and stayed so late that by the time I finally went home I didn't want to ride. Or walk. Or do anything but curl up in a ball and whine. Or wine. Whatever. Really, I need to work on my attitude. Whoever said it was going to be all fun? Tomorrow, 2 goals: ride to/from work and take a walk at lunch. Maybe I'll look for unicorns in the nearby forest.
May 19: Well all right, maybe the walk at lunch was a bit optimistic. But I'm planning on taking the weekend off, so I need to get things done while I'm there. Still managed some to and some fro cycling. Much easier to get 'er done when it's so absolutely beautiful out. [Merry Makes a Brilliant Discovery. No Film at 11.]