What’s to Break

I took today to do a lot of chores (well, errands, more accurately) that had been piling up. Going to the post office, making a few phone calls, that sort of thing.

No one cares about any of that.

Chief among those errands, however, was getting my totally sweet bicycle back in working order.

Back in October, I put new brakes on my bike. They were, and continue to be, totally awesome. Unfortunately, the drop on the rear brake was less than would have been preferred, and the rear brake pads rubbed the tire and sooner rather than later, you know, ruined it. Like you would expect.

Given the particular frequency with which I had misadventures with this bike, I was very frustrated. So this is the part where we cue up six months of me not only not riding it, but really ceasing to view it as anything other than an object in my living room. Sure, I ordered new tires, but I didn’t put them on, and I didn’t get new tubes or get the brake situation resolved. The weather was cold, I couldn’t ride my bike to work for lack of a place to store it, and anyway, I was getting a free MetroCard. So the bike sat.

One of the advantages of my losing my job is that I’ve eventually come back around to my desire to make things. The messenger bag that I designed and am in the process of building is one of the results of that inspiration. You could say that getting my bike working again is the direct result of the bag situation; after all, what’s the point of designing a bag meant for riding if you’re never going to ride with it? Add the fact that I don’t have access to a free MetroCard anymore and it begins to make a little more sense, I think.

So: last week, I went and picked up new tubes for my tires. I don’t own the tool necessary to remove bike tires, nor have I ever done it before. You would think that I would have taken those two things as clues. You would be wrong.

I went to a friend’s house and borrowed his tools to replace my tires and tubes. My inexperience screwed me, however: I hooked one of the new tubes with the tool and ended up with a bike that was totally unrideable. More so, even.

So that was the biggest thing I did today: get my bike in working condition. I took it to a bike shop and had a professional replace the tube I destroyed. I then went and got the new brake pads that my friend/enabler so graciously custom-filed for me. I helped him install them and rode home.

Now, not having ridden in six months, one couldn’t have blamed me, I don’t think, for begging off riding the entire 10 miles and change, but to my eternal credit, I did it. On top of that, my brakes performed beautifully and I was only nearly killed by an idiot once.

I am excited to have my bicycle back. I just hope it’s not bitter about being essentially ignored for six months.

Wait… now that I think about it, no one cared about all that either.


  1. leah

    one day you should strap a camera to your messenger bag and shoot the perilous streets for your readers in the plain states. it might make us more sympathetic to the bike riders here who we now currently curse for not being able to go the speed limit yet taking up our lanes. educate us.

    • Jesse

      Don’t blame the cyclists, blame the lawmakers. The riders have to ride somewhere; it’s not their fault there are no bike lanes.