I made it through the second week of the train commute. Yes, the second week. It would have been the third week, but I got the flu right after the first week (probably from someone on the train).
Anyway, I’m learning a lot more about Chicago as a result of taking public transit and riding my bike. In fact, I would say I’ve learned more in the last few weeks than I did in the previous year. Sad, but true.
And now that the bicycle is such an important part of my transportation picture, I’m finding that I’m having to re-learn a lot of what I used to know about bikes when I was a kid. Little known fact… when I was living in Miami between 4th and 5th grade, I used to steal bikes with my cousin Bobby and our friend Joey. We would roll up to some other neighborhood and find bikes that had been left in the yard. Then we would take them back to Joey’s house, take the bikes apart and rebuild them. After that we would spray paint them and then sell them at the flea market. It was like a car chop shop, but for bicycles. I’m not proud of what I did.
I mention that only because today I had to change the tire on my bicycle. It brought back a lot of memories.
Yesterday I went over to Bikeworks, a local bike shop. The owner of the shop, Bruce, is a bit like the Soup Nazi. He’s cantankerous and gruff, and he is highly opinionated when it comes to bicycles. Here’s a video of him…
Who better to ask about the gear shifting problem I’ve been having? I spent a couple of hours with Bruce yesterday before he agreed to work on my gear problem. While there, I noticed something odd about my rear tire. The rubber was coming off where the tire met the rim. I bought the bike used… therefore the tires were used. I hadn’t noticed the rear tire issue until I was showing another customer how to fold the bike.
At any rate, Bruce, miraculously found the same exact tires (Kenda Kwest 20×1.50 High Pressure) that were on my bike somewhere inside his store (if you watched the video, you’ll know that would be quite a feat). This morning I replaced the offending tire. Got a little dirty in the process. It felt good.
Next up… I need to join the Bike Project… http://thebikeproject.org.