On Saturday morning we had a first Palatine Community bike ride, with the Mayor and Village officials present. Although it was extremely hot, there was no question for me, whether to show up or not. Taking the weather into account, the participation was great. The police (both the cars and bikers) were escorting our cavalcade through the whole ride and would hold the traffic when we were crossing the Northwest Highway. It was a real community event, with many people participating for the first time.
And now guess what has happened to me! I fell off the bike! For no reason! And I fell hard! That was one of those “thank goodness I was wearing a helmet” moments, especially since my new helmet has a face shield. Because I fell forward, and a small bar mounted on the wheel to attach a smartphone got broken. My chin has touched the pavement a little bit, but if there weren’t for the face shield, my face would meet the asphalt pretty seriously.
I had a couple of minor scratches on my legs, but nothing serious. Somebody fixed my bike seat, which got tilted during the fall, and I was able to continue with the group. Everything was great, and we had ice-cream waiting for us at the end of the ride. I chatted with the other club members, assured everybody a dozen times that I am just fine, and then started my way back home.
And then the next bad thing happened. I was crossing the street, and accidentally went over the curb. And something had happened with my bike – the wheels stopped turning. It felt like the chain fell off, but I’ve examined it and made sure it is in the right place, and… I still could not continue biking!
I was half-way between Towne Square and my home, and for a moment I thought that I should go back and ask somebody to help me, but by that time everybody could be gone, and then I would waste my time. I decided to continue home, and later try to figure out again what does not work.
I didn’t have any luck with that. I left a message for Anna that I might need her consultation, and left a message for Boris asking him to be online at 5 AM my time. He said that most definitely a chain fell off, and we spent about an hour with me following his instructions and trying to fix the chain. I’ve learned a lot about how everything is operating, but when I tried to get on the bike, the result was the same – I press the pedals, and the wheels are not moving, although when I was not on the bike, everything operated just fine.
I hated the idea of not being able to bike. I started to think that if I need to take a bike to the shop, I need to ask somebody because it does not fit inside my car. And that I need to find the time, when to drop it, and when to take it back. And that this Saturday was a horrible day, because of my fall, and because of the broken bike, and because the upper step in the house fell off yet another time. And because one more sad thing has happened.
Then I talked to Anna. And she told me the same thing as Boris – that what I am saying does not make sense, and that I need to figure out where exactly the chain got off the ring. And because two members of my family were so sure about that, I went to the garage one more time and got the bike out one more time, and finally figured out what the problem was! The chain indeed fell off the front ring, and I could not see it because of the enclosure – looked like it was on, and it was not! Then it took just a couple of minutes to have things fixed, and I finally went for the bike ride!
When I was on my bike, I’ve realized that the broken bike was the only thing which bothered me, that all the other things which went wrong, didn’t really mean anything. And that the most important thing for me was to be able to get on my bike! And that I should never take my bike for granted.
And just a thought… maybe I should get a second bike?!