Thursday, March 22, 2012
The Old Man and His Bicycle
I'm constantly being reminded of that old adage “you’re only as old as you feel” but it doesn't always apply. My doctor is always sending me to a specialist to eliminate certain risk factors. For instance, for past six months my blood tests keep coming back with high liver enzymes which prompted my doctor to send me to a another specialist because I disagreed with his recommendation of a CAT scan or a liver biopsy. The specialist recommended losing 20 pounds because he thinks it's a fatty tissue problem because I don't show symptoms of anything else, so now I'm working on losing the 20 pounds.
I've had a bicycle for two years now; it was a 7 speed road cruiser. Two years ago, I would've never use those terms because a bicycle was just a bicycle. I remember the only accessories were a horn, you remember the old black bulb horns. We didn't have any gears and aluminum alloy and disk brakes were unheard of. Bicycles were big and bulky and you adapted.
The road cruiser is not like our old bikes, where we could just spray WD40 on it when it was left out in the rain, and we were go- to- go.. My road cruiser accumulated a lot of moisture, freezing the mobility of the speed cables, so I was left with one gear. I gave the cruise a try on our wide open walk and bike trail and now I realize why those 7 gears are important. Carrying my extra weight is hard on my knees, so shifting to a different gear makes a lot easier on a windy day.
I decided that I needed to buy a new bicycle but I never knew how difficult it would become. I called an old friend who bought a $4000 bicycle when he retired, knowing he would know the basics but there was no way I was going to spend 1/ 10th of he spent. The conversation wasn't that informative because he lost me after a few minutes talking about the light aluminum frames, gear ratios, shimano, crankets, chain rings, shifters, and finally Giro Yen mountain bike gloves. About an hour after hanging up, I looked at everything that I had written down and decided to go to Wal-Mart and Academy but luckily a salesperson never approached me, so I left. I searched a little bit on my iPad until my wife gave me a brilliant idea by saying “Why don't you go to Bill's Bikes." I continued with my research because you just can't say “by golly you’re right" because we have to keep a sense of manhood, for at least a day. The next day I went to Bill's Bikes and the owners as usual were friendly and informative. They sold me a bike that suited my height, and adjusted the seat, so I wouldn't have to stoop over the handlebars. They took their time and explained the basics of the 21 speed bicycle. They let me test ride it before making a few more adjustments and explained their wonderful 90 day plan where they will make other adjustments if needed. It's not always about the price because good service is often overlooked. I've read many reviews where bikes that were shipped to Wal-Mart or Academy were not properly assembled.
On even a lighter side, did anyone see the clip of the mama duck taking her baby ducklings to the White House for a stroll? Mama duck got on top of a curb embankment and squeezed herself onto the White House lawn without her babies. The little ducklings were confused and I assume they were trying to figure out ways to join their mama. There were some tourists behind them hollering for someone to help them. I guess they figured it would trigger an alarm if they did. Then came the heroes of the day, a couple of armed secret service officers picked up baby ducklings put them through the fence to join their mother. The crowd gave the secret service officers a round of applause. I wonder what mama duck was doing at the White House? Perhaps she was protesting the proposed Planned Parenthood cuts...:-)