Sunday, April 22, 2007

Refresher course

Yesterday was the nicest day in Chicago since sometime last October. Today is shaping up to be actually better than yesterday. I started out by going to my local CVS, as the Gatorade I had bought last year had white stuff floating in it, and that just didn't seem like a good thing, so I bought more. Now, I'm not sure how many of you shop at a CVS, but their extra care rewards system totally pisses me off. I never seem to remember to bring back the little receipt dealies to actually reap the rewards of spending more at my local drug store. I just don't, and well, I get ripped off. Nothing too harsh, but still, the principle is there. Yesterday, however, I hit the mega-jackpot or something, as you can see in the picture- just for perspective, that is my size 12 foot next to the receipt of doom that printed out for my 5 bottles of Gatorade, 3 packs of gum and glasses repair kit.

The wonderful weather, of course, means that it's time to get out and bike, which I did. I was so looking forward to really opening up on the new bike, which I did, but only a bit- top speed was only about 24 mph. The more aggravating statistic is that I got my first flat tire on my new bike at 9.8 miles. Nine point eight miles. I was mad, but fortunately for me, I always carry a spare tube and a nice CO2 pump. So, I set upon changing a flat tire at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Monroe, being ogled by tourists heading to Navy Pier for a while. Until I noticed that things weren't quite fitting right. I got frustrated, and called a buddy, who wasn't at home. I then looked up and saw a sign- not quite like the burning bush, or the Bethlehem star, but a sign nonetheless. And lo, it said unto me "Bike Station 1/2 mile."

Quite literally, I thought I was saved. I was certain they would have repair guys that would help me get my tire fixed and re-inflated, as I had run out of CO2 in my pump.

I collected all my belongings and hoisted my bike onto my shoulder (fortunately, my new bike weighs about a much as a heavy bowling ball, so this wasn't a big deal) and hiked over to the McDonald's Cycle Center (nothing represents a greener, healthier Chicago quite like McDonald's!). Where incompetent helper #1 told me the repair guys weren't in, and that he had no tubes, except in a vending machine downstairs, but you'd need change to get anything out of there, but he didn't have a cash drawer, so he couldn't make any change. Much more competent helper #2 not only spent half his time correcting everything helper #1 said, but managed to not only do me a favor by finding a Presta valve adapter. So, about an hour after getting said flat, and after all the struggles, I was back on my bike, heading north to home, because I was just plain too pissed off to keep going. So, yesterday's ride, for those of you scoring at home, was 19.8 miles.

And, as always, I have complaints about the other users of the bike path, but I think I'll let Stephen Colbert do the talking for me: Just to warn everyone on this list- sometime this summer, I'm going to start taking pictures of you doing these idiotic things and I'm going to post them all over the internet. It'll be so much fun!

And just because I feel like it, here's a scary picture of my cat attacking my camera:


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