"Maybe the universe is telling you something"

(the following is very funny if you read it in the manner intended...and quite miserable if you do not. You have been warned. If you complain, I shall send Ninja Attack Hamster Assassins to visit you. Just sayin')

The words in the title are what my lovely and loving wife texted in response to the text I had just sent her while standing along Mr. Riot Kitty while at Performance Bicycle...for the second time that day. And third time that week. And fourth time in a month for the same issue.

Perhaps I should back up.

The last month has been, in many ways, quite unpleasant. Preparations for the move were not smooth, the move itself was far more difficult than anticipated, and U-Haul stole 70 bucks from me I fully intend to try and get back.

But with amazing help from friends and family, somehow I made it through with what passes for my normal self intact. I also had some good laughs out of the various trials and tribulations.

Last Sunday I took the "quick release" rear tire off my bike and took it to Performance because it was flat.

It is not the first time I have had to do this. Trying to put it back on has also given me issues before. These issues reveal that though I have the intellect of a Greek playwright, the features of a Roman statue, and the wit of a to...(as in, to wit...still not funny, but at least you get it now)

Nor is taking off and putting on the "quick release, so easy a cave troll could do it" tire the only thing beyond my capabilities.

I gotta admit...being incapable of putting on a bike tire or bike helmet really help me get all steamed up about myself. My self-esteem is through the roof.

Well. That tire lasted for a couple of extremely light riding weeks...maybe 30 miles total?

It then went flat. Again. And was unrepairable. So I took it to Performance. Bought a new tube. They installed it. I was happy and looking forward to my rides to work.

And again...I could not get the quick release, easy to reinstall tire back on. This time, it was worse as I actually screwed up the chain so badly it had to be taken apart to fix.

Fortunately, Mr. Riot Kitty is a good friend who did just that for me.

And put the tire back on.

Happy as a clam, the next day I put on rain pants and rode the bike to work and home. About 10 miles round trip. Enjoyed riding in the cool weather and the damp did not bother me.

Thursday I drove because the dude was coming to install Internet and cable.

Get home, he shows up well within his allotted time, and the disasters start. Wanted the cable/dvr in the living room and, for the Goose, in the bedroom. She loves to watch tv in bed.

Problem one. No place to install it in bedroom. *Sigh*. She was quite disappointed...since hopefully she will be back her in March or April.

Oh, well. Kind of funny when you think about it. 33% of the whole reason for getting cable...because I can get zero channels without it...out the proverbial window.

Go to hook up Internet. Now, in the layout of the apartment, there is a nook clearly designed as office space. There is no other possible use for the space.

Unfortunately, the only place the Internet can hook up...is at the far end of the room. So although it was installed, it would not be usable until I got wireless tech for the computer or a really long Ethernet cord. Now we are up to 66% of what I was hoping to accomplish not workable.

The need for Internet is because it is extremely difficult to get any sort of cell phone service in this apartment. So not having it...well...seems counterproductive.

He goes to install the cable. And cannot get a signal. What should have been a 15 or 20 minute install ends up taking almost 2 hours by the time he gets it working.

So I am rolling in frustration. No breaks at all it feels like.

Friday I rode to work. Great ride, fun, energizing.

Mid-day, got a reminder from my youngest brother my cousin was getting married. Oops, somewhere in the move I lost the paperwork and forgot.

So I start going over how long it will take to ride home, shower, I did not shave that morning so need to do that, and drive...across town...in Friday Rush Hour traffic. I consider this about 50 times and hour. Maybe more.

Good thing that is not ridiculous, obsessive compulsive type behavior.

So I leave work early and am pushing my ride home, taking every short cut I can think of, driving myself much harder than I usually do. Perhaps this is why the bike starts to come apart...

The handle bars come loose. I stop and tighten them. Get back on, start riding. Tire feels squishy. I get off...sure enough, it is going flat. Grab my emergency pump, start pumping furiously, knowing I need to be getting home to get a shower and get across town in rush hour Friday traffic.

I hear air hissing out of the tire. Not good. Get it pumped up. Ride for maybe 5 minutes before it is too flat to ride anymore.

Get off, go to pumping.

Going over the time frame to get across town repeatedly.

Ride 5 minutes. Get off. Pump. Think about the time frame.

Ride. Pump. think.

Ride. Pump. fret.

Give up. Walk my bike the last half mile or so up hill.

I should point out...with all the problems, I STILL got home in less time than it took me to ride to work.

Jump in shower. Shave. Out in less than 5 minutes.

Out the door.

Now, since I live in a new location, I do not know all the routes...but think I know a short-cut to get on Highway 26. Turn right instead of left out my driveway. Drive towards intersection...and some woman paying know attention pulls out across 2 lanes of traffic to all but park in front of me, forcing me to swerve in the other lane...and then I cannot get back over.

So now I take a right turn I did not want to take and am on Beaverton Hillsdale Highway...heading AWAY from both Beaverton and Hillsdale. I have no clue where it leads.

So I whip out my phone, fire up the GPS...and it cannot get a signal.

I am stressing big time about getting to the wedding on time, figuring out how to fix the tire (it is embarrassing to suppose I could/should/would impose on Mr. Riot Kitty yet again for bike related repair issues), and now I am lost.

So I call the Goose. Fortunately, she is right next to the computer, fires up Mapquest...and it instantly goes on the fritz. Cannot give her directions.

So I cannot get directions from her, from my GPS, or my memory, I am frustrated from the bike tire issues, still torqued at U-Haul, stressed about time, stressed about traffic, stressed about getting lost, irritated the bike tire is flat again, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.

Meltdown. Total and complete.

Well, eventually the road turns into Capitol Highway which turns into...something....which turns into Barbur Boulevard which dumps me downtown where I get behind several bicyclists of the type I despise...riding two lanes wide in the middle of the road...

Finally I hit Burnside, cross that, get locked into the left lane when I encounter construction which forces me onto Sandy...

And end up taking Sandy all the way across town.

So roughly an hour and twenty minutes after getting into my car, I get out on the far side of town.

On the bright side, I still had time to swing by my house before meeting up with my brother and his wife who were carpooling with me out to the wedding.

Anyway, Mr. Riot Kitty had heard about my new flat and kindly offered to help. (He may have heard when I let him know I had to cancel our Saturday ride because the tire was flat...but that is pure rumor and conjecture. Despite having been the one who called him with that info, I put no credence in that rumor)

Well...I slept through his arrival. Oops.

But he came back, we (read "we" as "I stood around watching while he did all the work. It was faster, easier, and actually possible to accomplish things in this configuration)) pulled off the tire, found where the tire itself was coming apart and the steel inside it was poking holes in the tube.

Off to performance to purchase a new tire and tube.

Back home to put it one.

Spin it to make sure it is true...and it isn't.

Examine it again...and the tire...the brand new, fresh off the shelf, never before used tire...is defective.

It was at this point I sent a group text to the people I had been bewailing my bike fate the news.

To which I got the following responses, and I quote:

"Maybe the Universe is telling you something."

I just want to point out the type of loving, supportive family I have :-)

On the bright side, after Mr. Riot Kitty got the bike put together, we did have a lovely roughly 3 hour ride that covered about 30 miles, including some cool experiences in the trails behind Cook Park, all the way out to Sherwood and back.

On the other bright side, I am blessed with talented, helpful, caring friends.

And these are the worst things I have to complain about.

And they make some downright funny stories when you consider that:

A) the bike is faster now
B) we made the wedding in time, including bearing something that led my brother to get off a great line which shall be posted in the near future.
C) I was able to get to my old house, pick up the Ethernet cable (along with other stuff we had left behind) and am now online.
D) for a Saturday where I thought I had no plans, this one turned out phenomenal with the ride and some time with Space Monkey later that evening knocking off pizza and watching a very good football game. Some great conversation.

And the knowledge that if that tire goes flat again I may just install concrete tires.


G said...

Damn. Sounds like you had the week from commuter/newbie hell.

Riot Kitty said...

Hope this week is better! I had to laugh when I heard about you oversleeping, because in the 6+ years I have known you, you have always been early.

Robert Tres said...

Good news everybody! A ninja hamster assassin just maimed me. Perhaps because of my squirrel slippers, but probably not.

I'm glad that week is behind you. It is probably *right* behind you. Don't look.

Darth Weasel said...

G, actually, as far as commuting...it was great compared to the old one. I used less than 1/8 tank of fuel and never took longer than 15 minutes to drive or 30 minutes to bike so it was actually smooth.

RK, you know I am trying to build my delaying/late skills :-)

and Mr. Rk wins the prize for most inside jokes/callbacks in one comment. Well done. I shall send a Ninja Hamster Assassin to reward you, possibly with cooked squirrel that can be taken as a suppository