Saturday we loaded Rapunzel into a wagon behind my road bike and the Contraption Captain took his Tour Easy and we set out to run some errands, at least one of which was fulfilling Rapunzel's multi-month request to get her ears pierced. Heading down the hill just outside our house I thought my steering felt off but I chalked that up to the wagon. I turned onto the Alameda and asked Contraption if he'd adjusted my steering in any way. He shook his head no. I turned on to Avy and pulled over and eyed my bicycle gravely and then started feeling around. The front tire was low and getting lower. We moved the wagon to the recumbent and I biked home. Because of the impending ear appointment time constraints we (somewhat glumly) got into the car and drove downtown.
Once home again Contraption Captain started pulling apart my bicycle. He put on new brake pads and showed me how the existing ones were wore to the metal in one place. He took tire and tube off the bicycle and set them to one side. I studied my now ex-tire. It was covered in small holes, the endless insults of over a year of riding on roads shared with broken glass and other tiny sharp objects. New tire, new tube, new brakes, and I was back in action. We talked a little about how crappy changing a tire is, Contraption thinks that tire manufacturers do not stick by the standards entirely well causing at least some of the headache. The other part, he reminded me, is that a car doesn't mind carrying something huge and heavy but most bicyclists favor lighter transport.
Today was a good ride in. Most of them are good. I looked at the grey sky with was pocked with areas of clear quiet blue as the clouds cleared to either side. The cars did a certain amount of horsing around as they coped with the current construction on Sand Hill but it was nothing beyond the pale. I got shoaled by two bicyclists, neither of whom were very good which was a shame as I was stuck behind them for awhile. What is it about slow bicyclists that they always want to move their bicycles in front of you at a red light? I can always tell when my ass is going to be handed to me speed wise because the roadie will pull up behind me, wait there, and then blow by me a few minutes later when there is a break in traffic.
I witnessed a few funny instances of what I call The Fan Out Effect. This is when a bicyclist is clumping along in a lane without a bike lane and a car is behind the bicyclist and so the car drives up the oncoming traffic lane to get around and in the space of a few seconds causes both the bicyclist coming in the other direction and a car coming in the other direction to lose control of their respective bladders. The solution, dear cars, is not to try and pass (even if it's killing you) until no one is coming at you from the opposite direction.
Back in awhile crocodiles. Going to go get my bicycle and grab me some of that blue blue sky before my lunch break comes to an end.