someone i used to know Something to listen to while you read. I think there is a way to do it.
Ayn Rand ever heard of her? Years ago a Plastic surgeon friend of mine gave me the audiobook of the her book, “Atlas Shrugged.” I don’t read. I listen to books. I’ve listened to hundreds, mostly historical and autobiographies. Foote’s “Civil War” comes to mind…some 90 hours or so…went by like a dream, oh so well written and so wonderful. Um Um Umhhh!
Well I am listening to Rand’s book and at the time I am into mountain bike riding. I had at the time the van I have now, a 96 Chrysler Town and Country. The first van that had a door that opened on both sides, remember what a big deal that was? I got the car because my wife was tired of a sound that it made when you turned and went backward, ” I want a new car John.”
“But I think I can fix it,” I said. “It ain’t about fixing it, I want a new car.” Well it was about 4 years old at the time and had indeed been “rode hard and put up wet.”
So I give my Explorer to the child that turned 16 and I get the van. I “Man it Up” with a on top bike carrier and that doubled as my Kayak holder and I’ve been it ever since. Well, except when my youngest son took it on a tour of the U.S. for his band Sunglasses. Anyway I have it again and I was off this past Memorial Weekend and because I rarely have time off, I was bored as hell come about Sunday afternoon and worried about what in the hell am I going to do on Monday. I begin to look around the garage and see my mountain bike. The last time I had ridden it was before my prostate surgery back in May of 2007. It is 90 degrees here these days and after lunch I go out to size it up. Flat tires, spider webs everywhere, still had a little bag under the seat with bike tools in it.
Just like on “Lost” exactly like I left it when I had the surgery and then took up spin at the YMCA never returning to the estranged mountain bike.
Washed off with the hose and brushed away most of the spider webs and these little brown balls, like brown english peas, that must have been spider nests and then inflated the tires. There was rusty water in the tire pump and when I was trying to determine whether the lever should be up or down to inflate, blew under great force old rusty water into my contact laden eyes. I went in the house to get something to drink and by the time I had returned, the tires were flat again. I take another look around the garage and see on a peg board that I had put up over 10 years ago two tires and a plastic grocery bag. In the bag was my birthday present from my wife cycling socks from three years ago (much nicer, as usual, than I would have bought for myself). In the bag as well were two inner tubes that were the size for the mountain bike. Perfect. In thirty minutes I had the old tires and tubes off and the new ones on. Now to the bike carrier on the van.
The carrier is constructed to carry a bike with the front wheel off. You put the front wheel on a different carrier that is attached to the main carrier. So off with the front tire, open up the van door, grab the bike and lift it up to the carrier holder. The front spokes won’t fit. The holder won’t budge and I can’t tell if I am remembering it wrong, or if it is rusted. I decide to use the other side. Down with the bike and over to the other side and now the sun and sweat meet. I am frustrated and wondering why am I doing this? The truth of the matter is that I love fixing things that are old and using them again. I must say as a rule it doesn’t work and probably best to throw away the old and get the new and improved, regardless of the issue at hand. The other side is obviously rusted shut and will not budge and is rust brown in color and I abandon this side without a fight and go back to the original side to reconsider. I find some WD 40 and spray every portion of the contraption and miraculously it moves and ultimately accepts the bike prongs and I am in business. I attach the front tire and admire my handiwork. Bike with new tires and tubes and on top of the van ready for Chicopee Woods. I was very proud of myself and looking forward to mixing outdoor riding again with my new-found love spin.
And then I began to remember things about my bike and the carrier and …”Atlas Shrugged.”
To be continued…..