As a bike rider you have to be prepared for the worst situations.
It started with one bike when I moved into my apartment(this was when I had my car before losing it), I knew I was going to eventually switch over to riding a bike full time when I bought it. I bought the bike from a guy off Craigslist. I had to make the trek up to Valley Forge, but it was worth it. “The Cannon” has been treating me well.
Then I got another bike. This bike was given to me by a dear friend of mine who now is a resident of Australia. After going on a 30 plus mile bike ride starting in Lambertville he said, “I’m leaving in a few days and can’t really take anything with me, just take it.” Keep in mind that this bike was legendary, this bike went from New York to San Francisco. The body of the bike was littered with bumper stickers from this historic rides from all of the bike shops and cafes that he stopped at on this journey. It was a mean, “ferocious” looking bike too. It had the character of an ancient Wizard who had been living anonymously amongst the locals in hiding, just waiting for it’s next opportunity for greatness. Yes, the bike wasn’t perfect but when I started to ride it, I knew why it had made it across the United States of America. I was grateful and honored to have a bike like “The Legend.” I also had a bike to back up the other one in case there was some mechanical issues.
Time went by and the bikes were, generally, pretty good. Many times though I had to replace the inner tubes and do some general maintenance. There was a time three or four months ago heading to work where, halfway on the ride, I heard a pop and had to pull off to the side and hope one of my coworkers were on the way to work or could pick me up so I wouldn’t be late. What about the time when my chain busted in the middle of a downhill on a journey from school… The bike life, “You never know what to expect.”
Then, my brother, who was living in Philly at the time was moving back West. He had a bike too and he gave it to me. A nice purple Schwinn, who rocks a nice extremely cushioned women’s seat, which had an unforgiving power to it while propelling me to heights that only the most fortunate bike riders ever experience in their lifetimes. It took me a very long time to experience this and “Daisy’s” raw unforgiving power though…
It was this bike who saved the day on Saturday. She was third in line for use since the day I got it and didn’t receive any use other than the first test ride when I finally got it from my brother. To say the least she was a little upset and just anticipating when her opportunity would come. Days went by when I refused to acknowledge her. She was a forgotten “by product” of the past. “The Legend” and “The Cannon” had been first and second in line since virtually day 1… but I had been neglecting them. I had beaten them up and had forgotten to put the necessary love and maintenance into them.
The day was Saturday, and the agenda was full. “The Cannon” was first in line. I was ready to go. I just gave him some fresh air in both his tires. He was primed and ready to go, so I thought… First on the agenda, Laundry. It wasn’t until about 2 minutes later when I heard a loud, “Pop.” Damn it… I had to make a move. I picked up “The Legend” and was off to “cleansify” my Laundry. About halfway on my journey I experienced another unfortunate event… “Pop.” It was over… “The Cannon” and “The Legend” had been critically wounded. One of their tires had each popped. I couldn’t stop though. I left him there and proceeded to the laundromat to start the first cycle. When I started the trek back, while my laundry was getting “Cleansified,” I carried “The Legend” off the battlefield. I had to act quickly though, while my laundry was in the cycle I had some errands to run. When I got back to my place I saw “Daisy” and gave her the opportunity she had been waiting months for. ‘To prove that she belonged in the starting lineup.’ I took her out and she took me on one hell of a ride. I hadn’t ridden that smoothly for quite some time. Her shifting was the only thing that was a little off, but other than that, it was a clean ride that left me speechless.
At the end of the ride, “Daisy” was satisfied. She did a hell of a job. For now, “Daisy” is the starter. She earned it that day, after waiting patiently for her opportunity to present itself. Once “The Legend” gets healed from his wounds, he’ll move back to the starting spot. But for now “Daisy” is in that position, and after doubting her for too long and not putting the trust I should have, she proved that she belonged with the best that day.
Really though I learned a crucial lesson after all of this. Although some people started to hint that I was going to be a bike hoarder the rest of my life after, somehow fitting these 3 bikes in my room, I knew what I was doing and I knew who I was. I was over preparing. After this experience I learned that you never can over prepare too much. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare as much as you can and when people start to talk behind your back and call you crazy don’t let it phase you. Keep doing what you believe is right and block out the negativity.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”