Friday, October 6

Theft averted, parking ticket, helmet drop...

There's an old blues refrain that goes like this: "If it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all!" That's how today has felt to me! So here's my whining rant.

Got up early this morning for a short ride before work. Opened the door leading to my garage and didn't see my bike. It's the first thing I see after passing through two doors. For a second, I thought I'd parked it elsewhere--haven't ridden in a few days. But as I walked in the direction of where my bike is supposed to be, I saw a huge mound of something on the ground. It was my freaking bike! It was as if she were resting--it looked too peaceful to be the result of a crash...just my gal-pal...on the ground.

Freaked, is not a strong enough word to express my reaction! I looked around as if to catch whomever could have done this. I stood there looking as if willing the bike to upright itself. I couldn't think. Then I couldn't lift her. I've lifted my bike before, but the way it was on the ground, left no space to stoop and get my butt against the seat to hoist it. I stood there puzzled, trying to think of what to do next. I think I was going into shock...

I noticed that the brake lever was broken, the bulbous end was on the ground and the right bar end was badly scratched. I couldn't tell if the body was damaged or scratched, but it didn't look like it. Thank goodness I put on those frame sliders! Finally, I asked one of the guys at my building's front desk to help me upright it. Like me, they were appalled at the nerve of some people! Once uprighted, I inspected the bike. The only problem was the disc lock. Evidently, the thief tried to roll the bike and could only get so far before the disc lock prevented further movement. The sound of the alarmed probably scared off the creep who then dropped the bike.

The disc lock was jammed pretty tightly on the disc brake. When I tried to dislodge it, the poor little yellow lock tried to scream but it must have lost much of its juice while averting the thief. It sounded weak but continued to beep and screech its heart out. Eventually, I was able to work the disc loose and unlock it.

With the exception of the broken brake lever, the bike seemed fine. Well...the handlebars seemed slightly crooked--or maybe that was my imagination. Rode to a local cafe to get some work done. Meter parking doesn't kick in until 8 o'clock so I had a couple of carefree hours yet. I worked well, despite being distracted about my bike's violation. Looked up and it was 8:03. I had a pocket full of quarters to pay for street parking. As I walked to the bike, I couldn't help but spot the large florescent, safety-orange colored parking ticket neatly tucked beneath the bungee cord on the rear seat. UGH!! The ticket was written at 8:04 a.m.! I looked at my watch: 8:05 a.m.! That one minute will cost me $30!

Loaded the meter up for a couple of hours and returned to work. When I finally left the cafe, I detoured to a computer store to buy ink. No street parking anywhere. At first I thought of parking illegally and just sticking my ticket on the bike. But knew the guilties would get to me. So, I found one of those 5 minutes spots and knew I'd be risking another ticket if I didn't get in and out of the store in a few short minutes. I raced to and fro and made it back before a new ticket appeared. Before zipping up my jacket that I had opened to keep cool while running, I sat my helmet on the bike's seat. I don't ordinarily do that--it's just plain dumb! Yes, it fell. A hard fall too! It fell with a bang and then bounced. My favorite helmet now has a gouge and I'll now wonder about the structural integrity of the helmet. Okay, I'm crying "Uncle" now!

I went home after the drop rather than go into work. I could work from home and cry openly whenever the mood struck. The work has been slow going because the whole day has been one giant distraction. I'm looking forward to the day's end so I can stop this dark cloud from following me.