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Oh, Snap!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

So RELOCATEDCOWBOY asked me if I was still biking. Says he doesn't hear much about it lately. Yep, I still bike 3-4 nights a week. Lately, though, the rides have been pretty routine, with little to report. I do 20-25 miles, and I'm home before 11pm. The sky is getting darker earlier (can you believe it?) and unless I ride immediately after work, I'm not able to snap good photos of interesting things.

Here's a couple of things I didn't tell you about.

Ever blown a smile opportunity? You make eye contact, you politely smile. But then you feel that *click*and you're aware that if you would have actually really SMILED, there would have been some sort of better connection? This has happened to me twice recently. When you bike, people look at you. Sometimes I look back, sometimes I ignore them. Sometimes I'm friendly, sometimes I just keep on going. So I decided I would be friendlier, and see what happens. My first opportunity: There's a kid standing in his big front picture window, looking at me. I wave and smile. No reaction. Wait! It was a child mannequin! Some old lady had dressed it up with croched clothes and stuck it in the window. Oh well. Hi, mannequin.

- - -

Met another rider on a recumbant trike. A Windcheetah. It looked pretty comfortable and fun. But you're gonna pay $3500-5000 for it, baby. I would never pay that much for a bike. But I bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket last night, something I rarely do. Didn't win the 252 million jackpot. I'm not getting a Windcheetah.

- - -

My riding buddy Jason agreed to go out last night. I met him at the gast station. He had a flat tire, and was ready to call the evening off. Not so fast, Mr. Negative. I've equipped myself for such an occasion. I haven't needed to change a tire yet, so this was a great learning opportunity. Got it changed out in a few minutes, and went on our way.

(A quick note about Jason. At almost 400 lbs, he know he needs to lose, but hasn't bothered with a real gameplan. Told me he wieghed in on a recent Friday at 384, and by Sunday night, he had gained 14 lbs! FOURTEEN! And he just laughs about it. Well, I'm working on him.)

So Jason mounts his bike, and it's making this creaking noise. He said it didn't sound that way on our last ride. This was more than a chain-that-needs-oil creak. And not really a something-need-tightening creak. It sure sounded like a jalopy. Something was up.

Jason wants to ride to 'the office," his family's business. It's about 15 miles round trip, so that would be a good ride for him. The office, however, is in an industrial part of town, and not in the best neighborhood. And all those things you've heard about Detroit? They're probably pretty accurate.

One mile from the office, and we're waiting at the light, watching the goings on in Club Venus topless joint's parking lot. Jason mounts the pedal and BAM. The frame snaps! No one's hurt, but man, how scary. We walk the rest of the way to the office. Jason takes a company vehicle home, and leaves me to bike home by myself. !

And his busted bike has a brand new tube.

- - -

More later! Have a great one, SPeeps!
/insert big smile/
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SUZY6281
    You are a wonderful friend. Jason is very lucky to have you as one. And look at the links you got for reinforced bikes! Don't let him use it as an excuse not to ride with you. You yourself know how addicting exercise can be once you give it some time.

    Glad you made it back in one piece. Hey- at least the people watching was good, right?

    3696 days ago
    I hate that feeling of missing an opportunity for a good first smile. Boo.
    3698 days ago
    ok funny that you waved at a mannequin but I really NEED to know WHY there was a mannequin in someone's window??? Can you ride by over and over till theres a person outside to ask? You know strike up a little friendly chit-chat and work it around to "Hey, thats a nice mannequin, what inspired you to crochet it clothes and put it in your window?
    3699 days ago
    Well, since you're posting, guess you made it home fine!

    Wow, some adventure. and I was rolling about the mannequin! too funny, maybe more so cause I do stuff like that all the time!
    3701 days ago
  • E_JUST_E
    That's a nice crack...

    Looks like a cromoly steel frame that someone did not do a very good job waterproofing (the cross-frame will probably go next from the looks of it)

    Sounds like quite an adventure!
    3702 days ago
    jesus, what a bummer, glad he is ok, does he need a bigger heavier frame? holy moly...

    the mannequin part is HILARIOUS! have a goodie, zozo
    3702 days ago
  • SPARROW147
    Al, I just love your sagas on the biking trails of Detroit.
    3702 days ago
    Sounds like Jason needs to look at a bike built for big people. I have the place.
    BR>they have bikes and all kinds of stuff for "us big guys & gals"

    their bikes are not too expensive, and should be able to handle his weight and much more.

    Kudos to you for all that you do.

    Rock on dude!
    3702 days ago
    HOW cool that biking has become such a given as in breathing, that it's not so much an "event" any more!

    14 lbs in a weekend? WOW. Jason is blessed to have you as his motivational kick-ars bud. Seriously.

    Keep on Truckin' Sparks Dude!
    3703 days ago
    i'm glad you are still biking but be more careful . i am a menopausal and up all night i worry about the husband and children and don't need you on my list. lol. i hope jason doesn't give up because the bike is broke . he needs to get a reinforced bike that's is sad when you wave and give your best smile and you get a stone face back. i work with about 150 people and half are real and the other half mannequins. i like real people with feelings those are the best. if i win the lottery some day i'll buy you that wind cheetah but don't hold your breathe waiting i have no luck just like you. keep riding and blogging.
    3703 days ago
    Love that you are smiling more and kudos on the
    emoticon wave, even if it was a crocheted wearing little fella. At least you didn't do one of those waves only to have the person look back at you with a scowl as if to say, "Who the hell are you?"

    Sorry to hear the lottery news, but I'm sure you aren't alone in that.

    Glad to know you are still working on Jason and that you weren't going to let a little snafu of the tire. As for the other bigger snafu... emoticon that sucks! Hoping he is up and riding again with you soon.

    3703 days ago
    Sounds like interesting things do happen on your rides. We neeed more details. Remind me never to bike through Detroit!
    3703 days ago
    Really like your story, just keep an smiling, not only does it look good on you ,one day someone just might wave back

    Keep up the good work
    3703 days ago
    Al, I am so sorry about your friends bike, I am still shaking my head at the thought of gaining 14lbs, how does one gain 14lbs so fast? Then again, before I started giving a crap, I was no different, I just didn't care! Ridding back home in the middle of Detroit industrial corridor at night, man you are brave for doing that. Men around the globe are taking their hat off to you right now. I am glad you are still ridding and keep being friendly. When I first moved to Chicago, I still waived at people, you know that's how dem' tere' southern boyz do it, but that soon changed after The first few dozen middle fingers were signed my way. So no more waiving at strangers. I try to waive at neighbors in the neighborhood occasionally but some look a little frightened unless my wife is with me. I wonder what this culture is coming to!
    3703 days ago
    I love the story about the mannequin. You never know... Remember those movies in the late 80s where the mannequin came to life and fell in love with Andrew McCarthy?

    Loved your stories - you're writing is so vivid. I can picture the whole thing from your words. Have a great day!!
    3703 days ago
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