Sunday, July 24, 2005

Le Tour de Sauvie....

(This was originally an e-mail shared with friends and family)

Aka... Lance-a-pants, eat your heart out! So. It's Sunday. It's gorgeous out. Celeste is back in town after a zillion weeks in France. I'm starting to feel like the only person I know who isn't going anywhere FUN any time soon. But! I do have TWO bikes: a mountain bike, and a little funk-o-rific ten speed Huffy I bought off Craigslist for $30. Cool!

So we decided to hang out. It's either the Zoo or Sauvie island. We opt for Sauvie. Celeste, being the good sport that she is sounds totally enthusiastic to bike around said island for the afternoon. AWESOME. So we load up the Isuzu, and head north.

It's a STUNNING day. Nice breeze, not too hot, but gorgeous out. We're pedaling along, and it's the epitome of pastoral bliss. Hell, there are even SHEEP. We ride and ride and ride and ride. Ten miles whiz past. Our plan was to stop for a water break, then head back and get some fruit/veggies at a stand on the way out, and eat when we got home. Thus, we did not bring lunch.

3 o'clock rolls around and we are ready to turn back. We've ridden a little ways down a gravelly road, saw some fantastic scenery, and are set for the ride home. When my chain falls off. Oops! Oh well, it's not the first issue I've had with this bike. The brakes are wonky, and as a result, only the front set currently function. We stop, I put it back on, and we're back in business. Except now it's not shifting. Well, it sort of it, but it's really laboring. And now my pedals aren't turning very well, and the tension is insane along the top part of the chain. Huh!

So, in a pique of bull-headedness, I pull over and start wrassling with it. What can be wrong?? I'm doing this and that, and it's just NOT working. So a group of three men our fathers' age pull over and ask if we need any help. I say that no, we're fine, and kind of laugh it off. They stick around, to my chagrin. I keep toying with the bike, to my amazement NOTHING I do is fixing the darn thing! Bikes are not intended to be rocket science! It's pretty straight-forward: pedal moves chain around spikey gears, bike goes forwards. I figure, I'm a smart girl, I should be able to figure this out. Minutes pass. Celeste is helping now, we're baffled, and the men are still standing on the other side of the road, congenially watching and taking a break.

Well, one of them comes over again, and with a laugh, says, "Well girls, last chance... my friend here is a bike mechanic after all...." Wha?? You never MENTIONED that! Ok, Ariel swallows her do-it-yourself pride, and hands el $30 bike over to the bike mechanic. He looks at it for about 30 seconds and says, "Well, it's not good. Your rear axle is broken."



So... now what?

Let's recap: it's now about 3:30, Celeste and I are ten miles north of my car on Sauvie Island. We have water, but no food (we last ate at, oh... BREAKFAST), and the temps are climbing. Oh, and one bike is BROKEN. And it's now HOT out on the pavement.

So. We start hoofing it. How long can it possibly take for us to walk ten miles? We figure two to three hours tops. Which sounds miserable. But what do we do? So we chug along. Now, keep in mind, under normal circumstances, we'd just leave one person behind and send the other one with th ebike to go get the car. But we're up by the wildlife refuge on the northern part of the island, and there are people practicing shooting guns behind us. Along with a few other sketchballs. So we walk.

And walk.

And walk.

After what seems like an ETERNITY we hit Milepost Seven. That means we have seven miles left to walk. It's about 115 degrees out now. Nice.

My mom calls at about milepost 5. She wants to know why I'm laughing when she asks how I am.

It's 156 degrees now and the blisters are emerging out from under my chacos. I'm also thinking about the amazing cancerous skin cells that are slowly morphing on my shoulders, cheeks, and thighs. I KNOW that I sweat off that spf 15 about 15 degress and 4 miles ago.

Anyhow, at this point, mom points out that it might be a good idea to just send one person to go get the car. With 4 miles left, we agree to that, and since I am the resident stick-shift driver, I hop on the bike and put muscle to pedal. 20 minutes later I'm at the car. And about ready to melt in a little puddle.

I consider stopping in at the convenience store for a cold beverage (and one for celeste), but it seems like it would be a cruel thing to show up with water, while she's still walking. In the sun. Waiting for the car. So I don't.

I pick her up, and we go and retrieve the problem child (chained to a barbed wire fence ten miles back), and then hit the fruit stand. Woohoo! Green beans and cold bev's! Awesome!

Then we drive home. I am pretty tuckered out. After a cold shower, I felt like a triathlete. Except for that whole swimming part.

So, everyone else have a good weekend? xoxo lovies! A


Update on Le Huffy Puffy:

Rode home from work last night... the damn chain fell off THREE TIMES while pedaling through the Pearl. Awww... isn't it CUTE? Do I need mention it was at 11:30 pm? Brilliance all around.