My ride today consisted of dragging my daughter over to the country fair in a bike trailer. I’ve had easier goes of it, all things considered, single speed mountain bike and trailer full of kid and gear. But not many that were more fun. It was a good time all around.
In fact, I may even go back tomorrow.
To words, kid: Funnel Cake. You know just what I’m talking about.
I think the best part about riding bikes is eating bad food while you’re doing it.
I dunno, maybe that’s just me.
Today’s link dump:
Email coming at ya:
From: Primo Huesepole
Subject: Re: cailifony gum show
If I had to give today a name it would be “Enter the Dream World in Berlin”, after 5 days of sleep deprivation from jet lag, my grasp of reality and imagination are in short supply. However, I will call today, “Attack of the Talls”. And I am not talking about tall beers; I am talking about the people here in Berlin. The average man in the US is 5’ 10” tall, I have no idea what the average height is here but its gotta be 6+, as I am surrounded by fucking towering people.
So let’s get back to the bikes, for some reason they ride their tires half flat here. Perhaps it has something to do with traction? Anyways, I am riding my rented girl’s bike (they don’t call them girl’s bikes here) to work today and was wondering about pinch flats and under inflated tires. Bad idea. About a mile away from work, my rear wheel starts reporting bumps in the road with alarming jolts. “FUCK I’m going flat!!” I yell out loud. So in my sleep deprived dream state, I recalling seeing some documentary where some kid in china is riding a clapped out old Raleigh with no tires at all. So using my impaired judgment, I pushed my poor rental bike on for another few moments of sloppity slop on painful sidewalls in a semi coherent effort to fuck up both tire and rim. However, I am no 80 pound Chinese kid. Finally my bandido sensibilities kicked in and forced me to walk. After hitting up a few taxi driver for directions, I found one of the few gas stations in Berlin. The mechanic there was nice enough to air up my tires to no avail. “Das kaput…shizen” my tube was fucked as I suspected (riding on it flat probably didn’t do it much good either). I was directed up the street to a bike shop called “Stadler”. When I first got there I thought that I had gone to the wrong place, as this “shop” was the size of a Wal-Mart! The place had just opened for the morning and I was the 1st to the mechanic area, lucky me. They had easily a dozen mechanics going full blast with a queue of over 100 bikes to fix.
Lacking tools, I opted to have them go at my tire while retired to the cafeteria (yes a full cafeteria with real food and good coffee). They told me the wait would be 30 minutes. Since I had already eaten breakfast, I poked around the store and took some pictures of this bicycle coliseum. The place had almost every lousy high priced bike you could imagine. I could not believe most of the crap that they were selling. Okay there was some cool stuff, but mostly androgynous euro trash. 30 minutes later I went back to the mechanics area. There were now 20 people in line waiting with various broken bikes and components. I noticed two small wooden boxes had been placed near the mechanics waiting area, full of clapped out tools for wrenching fools of course (wish I woulda known). At this point, some gnarly manager type old dude that looked like Popeye started barking at me in German. I showed him my work order for my tire. He kept on barking and made a motion like he was taking a picture. I finally got the impression that he was saying if I took any more picture he was going to stick my camera up my ass. Thusly inspired I inquired about my bike, it was not ready.
Long story short, an hour and twenty minutes later and 18 euro later, I was on my way. The experience was ALMOST worth the money. I got outside and thought to myself, you moron, you paid over 20 bucks US to fix a flat on a rental bike! But then I thought, well at least they had to readjust the 3-speed hub so now you have all 3 speeds instead of an intermitted 1.5 gears. Wait, no such luck, this hub probably has bigger problems as I originally suspected. Just as I made that revelation, the cuff of my slacks got inducted into the chain on the front sprocket thereby twisting the cheesy chain guard into a piece of metal chewing gum. No tools, so I tear the balance of my cuff off and kick the chain guard back into shape with a pair of $200 leather shoes (yes I have that kind of job). So now I am on my way to work. A few hundred yards later I think I am going flat again. I check my tire, it’s under inflated!! Now I start thinking that, I have lost objectivity, maybe it’s me? So when I park my bike, I squeeze a few tires on other bikes at the rack, they are softer than mine, thank god I am not on crack…
The upside is now you know where to find the free tools for next time. Unless, of course, kicking the shit outta that bike with your $200 Gucci’s is working out.by