Maybe it’s the lack of sun. We had a week of smoke, and then the fall rain has begun. I’ve been feeling lethargic and low. I went for a proper ride for the first time last night after ten days off the bike. It felt foreign and strange and my headspace was wrong and I walked features I have ridden before and slid out on roots that I should have just rolled through because I was riding all slow and cautious.
But then we went for a beer and all our bikes lined up looked so pretty and the sight warmed my cold, cold heart. If they look strangely uniform, it’s because they were all built up by the same guy who is a fan of Kashima coat everything, and everything Fox. Every one of these wheeled wonders could toe the EWS start line. The only limiting factor would be the rider and out of the three, I’d be the weakest link.
I’ve been on the dirt jumper though, practicing, making slow stuttering progress. I’ve been told by several people to get wider handlebars. I borrowed a friend’s extra, along with stem, and attempted to swap the handlebars myself on Saturday night, after an impromptu dinner with the hubs to celebrate our anniversary.
You know how this is going to go, right?
The take apart is easy. Upon mounting the new stem though, I realize I need spacers, and in trying to tighten the headset, I manage to break the star nut, which is now lodged in the head tube.
I message the bike building friend above, because I don’t know what to do, and I am sad because I have no dirt jumper to ride now. He, as always, has both the parts and mechanical advice.
I pick up the parts Sunday morning, and get to tinkering. I break another star nut in the process, but he’d thankfully given me two, just in case.
It was like he knew.
Something that should have taken only ten minutes to do, took me an hour. But, I’m going to be so good at changing handlebars next time.
Bike rides are so essential because they not only clear the head, but every so often, you’ll stumble upon nuggets of conversation that make you realize you’re not crazy. Or that maybe you’re doing just fine.
Like the lament that eight-year-olds execute jumps so well, and well, I don’t, answered by the comment that perhaps my childhood was more…academic.
But yes, two degrees later, and where am I? Still trying to execute jumps on my bike.
Should I be upset that specialists from the city are getting referrals from my town, because a few of the surgeons clearly prefer not to refer to me? (A recent discovery…)
I don’t really care, but maybe I should? We spent the same amount of time in school doing the same degrees, and now I have free time, and they don’t.
Anyway, I came out of it all with some dirt on my bum and the realization that I’m not the “career woman” I thought I’d grow up to be; but it’s not wrong to be a career woman, and they can be smart and write papers and get really excited about work conferences and developing research, because the world needs people like that. I’m just not one of them. I don’t know if or how the world needs people like me, but I’m okay with that for now I think, because the amount of anxiety my job induces usually isn’t worth it.
Plus, messing up, and then fixing handlebars actually gives me great satisfaction.