Monday, July 30, 2007

Uh oh -- bike trouble

In the process of dealing with deceased kitties on Friday, I totally forgot that my bike developed mechanical issues. Laura drove me to work Friday because I started the ride and made it about a block before my rear derailleur (the part of the bike that changes gears) started jumping gears on its own. I didn't have time to diagnose the problem Friday, and I was planning on dealing with it over the weekend. On the easy side, it might just be a slipped adjustment somewhere; on the hard side, I might have to replace a cable. And it's pretty simple to replace a cable. It makes me happy when the worst-case likely scenario is so easy to deal with. There's also a chance that the derailleur itself has a problem, but it's not likely. I've probably got less than 3000 miles on the bike, and I wouldn't expect mechanical problems like this for quite a while.

It's odd being without my own transportation again. I've enjoyed riding my bike everywhere, and it's practical transportation for almost everywhere I go (though I still use the Jeep when it's time to buy cat litter). I ride it in all weather, any time of day or night, and it's fun and reliable. It also tends to keep me more in tune with where I am -- when you're in a car, your environment is the car. A bike makes you more aware of distance and neighborhood and hills and road quality and other vehicles. I'm becoming more aware of a Zen in-the-moment quality to riding a bike, which is why I never listen to music or books on tape while I ride. The bike ride has turned into my kinetic zazen practice, my daily exercise in awareness and concentration. And I miss it if I spend a few days away from the bike. So my evening agenda today will revolve around bike repair.

I'm wondering what I'll do this winter. I'm planning on cycling until the weather makes it impractical; I think I'm okay with the cold, but I'd prefer not to ride in the snow. And, again, I'll see how I feel when it actually gets cold. My definition of "impractically cold" might change when it starts getting chilly out....

No comments: