Thursday, May 14, 2009
Bike Line to the Rescue from 6000 Miles Away
Some avid bicyclists really love bicycles. The love them as machines, love their design and engineering, love them as objects.
In fact when I started racing Joan Jett's song "I Hate Myself for Loving You" was still a hit. I started listening to that song to get psyched for those first races. I like going fast, I like competing, but I see the bike as the necessary and occasionally as an instrument of torture. The song seemed perfect for my relationship with my bike.
So while I can do some work on a bike, I don't work on my bikes if Bike Line of Lancaster is open. They know what they are doing and the bike gets fixed properly.
But there is no Bike Line of Tallil, Iraq, so three days ago when I bent a spoke and knocked my wheel out of true, I called up Bike Line to tell me how best to fix the bike taking no chances on breaking the spoke--which would take ten days to get here in the mail.
Jeremiah from Bike Line told me which spokes to adjust and by how much and what to look for to keep from breaking the wheel or the spokes. It worked. The wheel is nearly straight and I rode on the bumpy roads and gravel here without incident.
It is clear that the road bike I brought for Camp Cupcake is not the right bike for the rock-strewn sand pile I am in now.
Since the only bikes I can buy here are $150 beaters, Bill and Jeremiah found me a single-speed mountain bike at a reasonable price which I should have in a couple of weeks. It has 29-inch wheels and wide knobby tires which should be much better for riding on sand and gravel.
The bike is a GT PEACE 9R. I'm sure it will be pretty strange riding around a combat air base with a weapon on my back and a bike that says Peace on the seat tube.
By the way--I bent the spoke because I jumped on the bike to run a quick errand just slung the rifle on my back with wrapping another strap around it. A pedestrin jumped in front of me. I stopped short and the barrel swung into the front wheel.