One thing I know, I like bikes.
Last night I returned to the Bike Athens shop across the street from the Varsity. These days recovering from the trip have been rough. The mornings are good but by mid to late afternoon I get tired and moodier. I should basically not grab on to any emotions that arise during that time. The first half of the day I feel calm and focused and optimistic. Those are the feelings to focus more on.
Late yesterday afternoon, I almost changed my mind about going over to Bike Athens after going to the allergist. Dr.Hunt confirmed my own diagnosis of what happened to me on the trip. Daily exposure to high pollen levels was bombarding my system across the country. A little over two weeks ago at Blackwater State Park east of Pensacola, Dr. Hunt explained, the mast cells in my bronchial tubes were totally overacting to a combination of pollen, cold and damp air, and stress levels and released extra high levels of histamines causing my bronchial tubes to restrict. Understanding the physiological explanation for the tight chest and restricted and shortened breathing I experienced makes me feel less crazy about what happened.
Anyway, I made the effort and went over to Bike Athens instead of returning home. How comforting to return to the bike shop and work on a cheap Huffy kids’ bike. The bike will eventually go through one of our social services agencies to some child in need or desire of a bike. ( Shouldn’t every kid have a bike?) Last night Diane and I struggled to fix its cheap brakes and then just ditched the originals and installed some new ones, not new but recycled from some other donated bike. Don served as our bike mechanic expert for our consultation and occasional turn of a bolt. So refreshing to work with kind people who worked with me and laughed with me. I’m definitely in recovery from that ST trip.
I made occasional mean comments about my trip, and Don poured me some PBR beer in a coffee cup and then topped it off for me a bit later. Eventually Diane and I had it ready for a test ride, and I rode it around the parking lot. The huffy had been being worked on since the start of May and other volunteers had okay’d its drive train but it wasn’t shifting into the big ring. We fiddled with its limit screws way too long and finally got it right enough so we could sign off of it being ready for some kid. Back in Mississippi I had to adjust my limit screw on my back derailleur to keep the chain from dropping off the small ring and jamming into the frame. I guess expensive bikes do have better components. That adjustment took just one turn of the screw.
This morning I continued my bike work and finally got my touring bike back together. Peter at Joe’s Bikes in Tallahassee did an incredible job packing up my bike and using all my bike related gear as packing material. To do so, he had taken off several components, thus, giving me more opportunity to practice my bike mechanic skills. I succeeded and clean the bike thoroughly as I did so. Very satisfying and calming work, with NPR’s “On the Media”‘ and our neighborhood birds keeping me company.