My bicycle is a work of art or a torture device designed by Nazies. No one else ever has had a problem riding it except me. I can ride a bike, but sometimes the bike likes to play little tricks on me.
One day, I was riding all across scenic Collegeville. Uphills, downhills, through streams and most of all through neighborhoods. I have nothing against small little neighborhoods except for that evil, lurking, waiting being that live in each one. That hell sent creature is the leashless family dog.
Peddaling up this one street, I saw an outline of a dog. Of course it couldn't be a nice friendly dopey dog, oh nooo, of course not. Instead it was a less-than-friendly pitbull named Butch. I stopped and stared at him. He stared at me. He had the power to rip me to shreds. All I had to do was turn around and pedal up the hill. One tiny problem. I was in my twenty first gear and had to get to at least my seventh to make it up the hill. I had to move and switch quickly before the dog had my leg for lunch.
We stared at each other like people in an old western film. My shifters were my gun and he was like a bandit. "Just hit my shifters, and go," I said to myself. Hit. Snap. Ahhhh. The chain came loose. I panicced, he charged, I ran with my bike between my legs. I nearly escaped with my life and feet.
That was nothing comparedto my vacation at the shore. A bicycle is a great vehicle at the beach, usually. Unfortunately, my bicycle was one of those thin-tire-type made for speed, not sidewalks. Coming home from seventh street, I tried to stay on the road until twenty-first street, where I was staying. I was forced on to a sidewalk somewhere near tenth. There were no ramps on the walks so I had to go up and down the curbs.
At fourteenth street, I went down a curb that seemed to have no bottom. When I hit asphalt, a loud pop and hiss sound hit me in stereo. My front and rear tires popped and locked into position. I had to carry it eleven blocks home.
When I came home from vacation, I had a wonderful piece of metal to fix. The repair person said that it would cost about seventy dollars but the bike only cost one hundred dollars to begin with. The bike still sits on my porch waiting for the bike fairy to come and fix it.
Oct 11, 1992
EDITOR NOTE: I still have bikes waiting to be fixed. 18 years hasn't really changed anything.