you had to say that, didn’t you…

January 30, 2003 — 3 Comments

So after my long-ish bicycle post yesterday, I ride up to campus. Near the base of campus there’s a very short but moderately steep incline.  Up I go, spinning in a lowish gear like I’m supposed to, and I crest the hill and pull over to make sure my bike bag (that green briefcase looking thing) is secured properly (sometimes I forget to push the locking tabs in).

Done.  I get back on my bike and start heading up to central campus and there’s an intense pain in my left knee.  Hunh?

I start walking on it and it hurts…there’s a definite spot right in the center of the kneecap that hurts when pressed.  A bus shows up and I chicken out of the ride, load my bike on the racks in the front of the bus, and take it easy, feeling somewhat odd given the post to the etherblog I made earlier in the morning.

As I’m on the bus, the driver says “hey, that’s a nice bike!  Kind of old, kind of new…” He goes on about the copper rivets on the leather seat and about the hubs and rims of the wheelset…clearly he knows something about bikes and he’s puzzled by the mix of traditional gear and high-tech gear my bike sports.

I say, “yeah, I like it.  It gets me around.”

Fast forward to 4pm. I’m in a hurry to get from a graduate seminar on the west side of campus to a lecture somewhere near the middle of the campus. I bike up the hill.  My knee’s still hurting but not as bad as it did in the morning.  I reach the bike racks near the classroom and start locking my bike up.  A man in his (late?) 40s walks by and stops, saying, “Now I have to get a look at this bike.”

He’s an art lecturer who has been teaching lithography at UCSC for ten years or so.  He gushes about his Bridgestone RB-1 and starts asking me about my bike. He tells me how just a few weeks ago he tried to get his son a “ten-speed”-ish type bike but all every store carries now is mountain bikes. We talk about Bridgestone, Rivendell (the bike company Grant Peterson started after Bridgestone pulled out of the U.S.) and gear that works. He tells me to stop by his office sometime to chat. He says, “It’s really nice to see people are still into this stuff.” Today I sent him an email with a few links to some internet resources for cyclo-sophists.

All things considered, not so bad.  (-1) full ride, (-1) knee for a day or two or three, but (+2) positive comments from total strangers and (+1) invitation to visit a lithographer who rides a Bridgestone.  Eh, that last one should count as (+2).

3 responses to you had to say that, didn’t you…

  1. Good morning, R.  Coffee’s good today, and I set the paper aside.  The knee thing sounds like something a friend had.  Don’t know the medical term, but it’s the seating of the knee cap among the tendons.  Bone spurs woud have been more persistent with a history.  Sometimes this thing is exacerbated by wierd things such as what shoes you most regularly wear, different shoes first day back on the bike than when you were riding a lot, etc.  Before visiting the doctor I would go to the best sports shoe store and before that I would see if it is just conditioning.  If it goes away, bless it for teaching caution and humility, and let its disappearance boost your hubris (unless already the meter’s pinned).

  2. HA! the ‘HUBROMETER”

  3. Yeah.  Clifford Stoll wrote of things that pinned his Bullshit meter, so why not a HUBROMETER.  Charles Barkley’s said more than once, if it don’t kill you it makes you stronger.  If you survive the knee pains, it makes you more hubracious???  For Barkley, his game as it was, he should have said, If I don’t kill you, I’ll make you stronger.  I saw one televised game where he and Shaquille had a disagreement, Barkley got a leg up on Shaq, two points for a clean takedown, and put in a neat short left-handed punch to the ear and the side of the head, knowing the ref was to their right.  Quintessential Charles.  It made Shaq stronger.

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