Fashionably “Broken” Bike Chains

  I have heard as you get older you tend to forget things.  I do know two things they say you never forget is how to tie your shoes, or how to ride a bike. I tend to believe that theory.  I can still tie my shoes. And as a matter of fact, I took up biking about 6 months ago.  No, I didn’t go telling people about it, because they would not believe it until they got the visual.

I remember when I was in graduate school, a friend of mine Jenny was telling me over the weekend she had cleaned out a closet and such. She said the rest of the time she argued with her husband. He told her when he entered the room and saw her balancing on their bar stool to change a light bulb, he laughed so hard. It reminded him of the elephant on the cartoons balancing on the chair.

So when I got my bike, you know what I did. I can hear my friend Georgia right now, “No you didn’t?” Yes I did. I brought it in front of the mirror and sat on it. Just to make sure I didn’t look like the elephant. Oh, the lengths we go to, a little “Bike Preamble” just to get ready.

Allyson and I even practiced at the local high school. We bought trail bikes, and we were going to be “avid” bikers when we hit the trails. We bought it all too. Helmets, gloves, knee guards, and even bought the best bikes. We purchased Trek bikes, which of course “avid” bikers would scoff at as low of the line. But for me, that was above the budget.

We unloaded those bikes like we always had.  Stretched as we checked to make sure everyone saw the bikers pull up. We loaded up and made a couple of rounds in the parking lot, when “clank,” wouldn’t you know it? My chain came off.  I went back to the truck.  A man has everything in his tool box. But this is Scott we are talking about. Anyone who knows Scott, knows he is more about neat and tidy, than ready to do the job. In the toolbox sat a small rusty looking tool bag with various tools, an emergency tool kit for breakdowns and a bag of tanning lotion and glasses.  I thought, wow, now that’s a “manly” man.

I smirked as I grabbed the bag and headed back to the bike. Now let’s see, the guy that sold me the bike told me to buy this little pocket kit for mishaps, this, that, the other, the chain comes off.  I had just spent all that money on the bike, the carrier, the through the bar holder, and now some pocket tool set? I don’t think so. Allyson and I would try the screwdriver, then the pliers, then the seven-year-old drenched from the lake. The kid got it.

So I guess it is true what they say about tying your shoes and riding the bike. But what about having a water drenched kid around when your chain comes off. By the way, thanks to the kid for helping us out today, at Lincoln Parish Park. I hope he is there next time. You can’t tell with us. We may get a shoestring caught in the pedal, and not be able to get loose before we get to a treacherous area, or just pull the brakes and take our foot out of the shoes.

Published April 26, 2012, Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Bench

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