Sunday, the 22nd
Needless to say, I do not go biking today. D-POD has been sequestered in a corner, as far away from the other bikes as possible. Is it possible for a bicycle to brood and scheme? Oh yes.
Tuesday the 25th
I decide it’s time to hit the frigid waters of Lake Michigan, breathing issues and coughing-up-blood notwithstanding, so I set off to join Colleen’s CrazyFriendLinda, who swims on a regular basis off Promontory Point, near the U of C. I’ve also switched back to my original wheel on D-POD, and am certain that this’ll bring things back to “normal” – in the loose sense of the word where that damn bike is concerned. Luckily Bridget the Wonderful is going to loan me her Orbea, which is currently in transit from Connecticut. In the meantime, there is training to be done, so D-POD it is.
I get to the Point at 6:10AM, a bit late but figuring that since they’re starting at 6, surely they’ll still be swimming. Only to see Linda and her friend out of the water and toweling off. Apparently at this point in the year, their swim consists of a brief 25 yard jaunt. I guess when you don’t wear wetsuits (read: are totally insane), that makes sense. Okay, so much for the swim – but I can still go for a bike ride along the south part of the lake path. Ha, so there! No one puts Baby in the corner!
5 minutes later – okay, so apparently D-POD took the wheel changing thing as license to become totally fucked up and unleash his fury on the world – or maybe just on me. He now not only doesn’t shift properly, but also shifts at whim. On HIS schedule. When HE feels like it. This would be great if I had an intuitive, happy bike which sensed when I needed to shift and did it for me....but no, D-POD is nothing like that, and will shift into a silly gear when I’m busting ass to make it through a light. Bastard. I decide to head home, and when I’m making my way back, stuck in traffic, I realize this sad fact: today I spent more time commuting to my workout than I did actually working out.
Thursday, the 26th
The end is near. D-POD’s end, that is. Tomorrow I’ll get to check out Bridget’s lovely Orbea, which can only be an improvement. But because I need to get a ride in, I decide to take D-POD for his swan song ride out in the flatlands of Huntley. After all, if I don’t have to shift, how bad can things get?
So the winds have rapidly picked up, and they’re talking about 45-50 mpg gusts today, with a high wind advisory. Out here in the prairie, the effect is exponential, to the extent that when trucks go past me in the opposite direction, the force essentially stops the bike dead in its tracks. But on the bright side, I headed out into a strong headwind, so on my way back I should get the tailwind, yes?
Clearly, I misunderestimated D-POD and his evil powers and ability to harness weather phenomena. Because I do not in fact get a tailwind on my way back. In fact, D-POD is obviously sensing that he’s going to be put out to pasture, and is struggling mightily against his fate. An epic battle rages, as he refuses to go down without a fight.
Now, I now that I’m known for occasionally MSUing. Making Shit Up. But as God is my witness, I tell you the truth when I say that as I was finishing my ride and going down one road at about -10 mph due to the fierce headwind, I saw the right-hand turn up ahead and breathed a sigh of relief, because it would be impossible to go from one headwind into another after a turn. So one would think. And so one would think wrong, because lo, I turn right......again into the wind. How can this be? I come to the only sane conclusion: D-POD is possessed and is trying to marshal the forces of nature against me. I get about a mile from the end of my ride, and with one simple shift, D-POD drops a chain. Of course. One last attempt to kill me. This bike is beyond bike shop help; it needs an exorcism.
So, umm, would anyone care to buy a used road bike?
to be continued.....