A few years ago my neighbor was duly impressed by my health efforts and getting into bicycling. So he reclaimed what was once an interest of his in the past (cycling) and got back on the bike himself. Soon he was biking with his son and other friends and relatives. His forte is mountain biking while mine is road cycling, so our paths, despite being neighbors, haven't crossed too often.
Over recent years I've noticed many folks coming around to his place talking bikes and bikes coming & going. Upon further questioning my neighbor explains to me that he has developed quite the hobby, semi-business in taking in, purchasing used bikes and rehab-ing them, turning around and selling them for a profit.
Finally it occurred to me: Why take my bike into my local bike shop for its annual tune up when I can just step next to my neighbor's place?
So that's what I did this morning, sticking around to see if this all-thumbs, mechanically-compromised fella could learn a thing or two in the process.
Well I'm not sure I learned all that much, but did what I could to help here & there. I learned some things at least in my head a little...doubt my hands would know their way around without major assistance...lol!
Both front gears and rear cassette were pretty messy & filled with gunk and are looking mighty spiffy now! The derailleur (the original Shimano) was a wobbly mess and fortunately he just happened to have a brand new one (an even better grade of Shimano than was previously on it) that another fellow never came back for to have put on his bike, so *sure* I'll take 'er and get things running as good as new! A fresh chain, true-ing both wheels, lubing the cables and everything seems pretty ship-shape! He kindly only charged me for the parts.
No trip to the LBS needed!
It's so cool to pay my Spark forward to have ignited my neighbor's cycling interests so and even MORE cool to have it come back to me in the form of a knowledgeable bicycle repair guy living right next door! I've put in my request for him to keep an eye out for a Surly Long Haul Trucker for me someday...lol!
And why, pray tell would I care to have my bike all prepped and ready to rock & roll when I have designated it as off-limits while taking anti-coagulant medication?
Well, last Friday I paid a visit to the Arrhythmia Center and had a check on my pacemaker and everything was A-OK. I double-checked with the technician: If everything checks okay, then my pacemaker is doing what it should, there's no more blood pooling in the atriums and no further need for me to take anti-coagulants, right?
He confirmed this "in theory"...of course the doc / nurse practitioner / physician assistant would have the final word on this.
Well my appt. with the physician assistant isn't until May 19th.
Do you think I'm just gonna sit on my hands until then and wonder?
Heck no! Started an e-mail campaign and WOO HOO! Got my confirmation that I will be able to stop my anti-coagulant at the time of my May 19th appt. as protocol after an ablation is to stick with the anti-coagulant for two months afterward to minimize any clotting risks.
Break out the champagne! I've got such PLANS for this cycling season!
Which helps me to settle into my current focus: gearing up for my 5K on May 3rd. Last week I did 3 consecutive days of hour-long jogs, interrupted with a couple of spinning bike and and elliptical workouts. Now I'm on a 4 consecutive day hour-long-jog (#3 coming tomorrow).
The thought occurs to me that if my 5K time was as low as 33 mins. in the past, as I become accustomed to jogging for an hour, that's approaching perhaps, at least in theory, a 10K in distance, right?
And a 10K is a half-marathon, right?
And it occurs to me I must be starting to think at least a little bit like a runner.
Not bad for someone who doesn't consider himself a runner! :-)
Keep 'er Sparkin' everyone! Pay it forward this Easter! Pay it forward EVERY DAY!
It just might come back on ya in all sortsa super ways that you never dreamed possible!
ps...oops! goes to show how outta the loop I am to running...my bad, a 10K is only HALF of a half-marathon...! Google is my friend...if I care to USE it once in a while...lol!