Yesterday was Bike Annoyance Day. First I got a flat about five minutes into my ride. I walked it to the bike shop, about 20 minutes away on foot. The bike shop guy told me he didn't have any tubes that would fit my tire, and he would have to order some. So I sat down. My feet were tired, because my bicycle shoes are not the most comfortable for walking. I asked if he could patch it, but it turns out that the leak was on the joint where the post attaches to the tube.
He must have taken pity on me or something, because when I didn't leave right away he came up with a tube that fit. I was quite happy, even though it was a $10 tube, instead of my usual $5 tube. In fact, that may have been what he was telling me about not having a tube. Frankly, his English is even worse than my Korean, so our communication is based almost entirely on good will, bicycle jargon, and pantomime.
And let's be honest, you and I. You who are reading this have friendships based on weaker points than these, right?
So I rode out of the shop, and decided to take it easy. I took the gentle slope that comes up to the middle of Iggydae through a commercial/residential district. Lots of annoying stoplights, but about half of them can be biked through if one is very attentive. Some of the slopes involved are low enough to do in the mid-gears, but I found that I had trouble shifting. When I got to the top, I stopped and took a look. My front gear-shift wire had rusted almost clear through, and was barely hanging on. I'm not sure how it had held so far. I was unable to shift into any of my high gears, but it was all downhill coming home.
Today, when I go back to the bike shop to pay him for the tube because I was only carrying about $3 yesterday, I'm also getting all the cables replaced. Which will undoubtedly extend Bike Annoyance Day into today.