Getting old

Getting old

Got home from the commute last night and noticed a thak-thak-thak noise from the back hub. Checked for broken spokes, nails through the sidewall (last week, got one of those), all that stuff. Nope. Sounds like the hub.

Been dealing with birthday fallout, all that getting-older stuff now that I’ve rolled by bio-odometer to 54. So it was like an echo of last week when I pushed my bike into the shop and had the guy there say, “An old T-700. Haven’t seen one of those in ages. Used to have one years back”.

I hadn’t noticed the years roll by on this bike. I’ve no idea how long I’ve owned it – but yes, it could be pushing about a decade. I’ve no idea how many miles my 2-3 times a week commutes have put onto it. But once the mechanic and I started looking it over for things to do, the age became apparent.

Brakes are shot (knew that). Cables are frayed. The handlebar tape is coming apart. Chain, yes, with all that TLC, cleaning and parking in the most non-stressing gear arrangement, it’s done. Same with the gears they’ve ground against. Yes, we’re swapping a lot of stuff out. The bike will be in the shop for a week. That sucks.

While I was waiting for them to add all those big dollar numbers up, I walked over and looked at some of the new road bikes, those greyhound thin things. I like road bikes – I bought the T-700 because (a) it was durable (I’d ridden two bikes into the ground) and (b) it looked like a road bike. I kept on road bikes when everyone was going mountain-bike-gaga. But oohh, they were so sleek. And when I lifted them – amazing! Purely amazing! I think my saddlebags (with clothing and lunch and laptop and repair kit) weigh more – not joking here. Light as a feather.

So my old bike is getting it’s surgery and I’m left with only a car, just like 99% of the other schmucks out there. Yes, commuting by bike can be hot, cold, exhausting, dangerous, and headwindy, but man, its riding. Really riding, not circuit-jerking.

Friday is a long way away. Sigh. I want my old friend back.