Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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I Hate Being Incompetent At Things

So I managed to screw something up on my new bike after just one ride! But – DON’T PANIC! – because it was just a little screw up that was easily repaired (by someone who actually knew what they were doing).

The screw up happened when I tried to figure out how to use my new pump. After my first little ride yesterday, I decided that my front tire felt like it wasn’t inflated enough, so I tried to check out what the tire pressure was with the fancy tire pressure gauge on my new pump. But no matter what I did, I could not get the pump to give me a pressure reading. I Googled, I watched YouTube videos on tire inflation, but nothing seemed to help. Instead, through all my fiddling, I managed to *completely* deflate my tire. Gah! I hate being incompetent at things!

At this point, I admitted defeat and decided to take it in for some professional help. Google Maps informed me that there is a bike shop located very close to my office1, so I brought my tire in on my lunch break. Now, I’m totally going to give a plug to this store – Rocky Cycle – because the guys there were super friendly and helpful, fixing my tire and sorting out what was wrong with my bicycle pump, all without making me feel like I was an idiot. As it turns out, the bicycle pump has various little components inside that need to flipped around different ways depending on the type of valve you have. I *thought* I had it right, but I didn’t, and that’s why the pump wouldn’t lock onto the valve, meaning that I couldn’t get a pressure reading. In my defence, these are the “instructions” that came with my pump:

worst instructions ever

That’s it. No words, just that ridiculous drawing. Use your words, bicycle pump manufacturer, use your words!!

Anyway, my pump is now assembled correctly, my tire is inflated, and my bike rides like a dream!

  1. Given that I bought my bike in Vancouver, I didn’t really want to have to take it all the way there for a fix []

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My Shiny New Bike! It’s Shiny!

I finally found a hybrid bike that fits in the trunk of my Smart car! And it’s shiny and new and fun to ride and it’s sitting in my apartment right now because I bought it on Saturday! Item #73 on my list of 101 of things to do in 1001 days, consider yourself crossed off that list!

The bike that I ended up buying is the Cannondale Quick 3. It’s a sweet little hybrid with a carbon fibre fork, two quick release wheels, and a whole lot of awesome.

My new bike (Cannondale Quick 3)

Look how pretty it is!

The best part, of course, is that I can fit it in the trunk of my Smart car!

Cannondale Quick 3 - It fits in the trunk of my Smart Car

Thankfully, I’m very short, so my bike is the “petite” model (which is what Cannondale apparently calls their “extra small” bikes.), which means its small enough to fit into my trunk. The quick release wheels take just seconds to remove and it’s really light, so it’s super-easy to get it in and out of my car.

Of course, once you buy a bike, you have to buy a few accessories to go with it! Fortunately, I happened to have a gift card to Mountain Equipment Co-op, so I went there to buy the things I needed. Things like:

Bike lock

A bike lock

Bicycle pump

A bicycle tire pump

Water bottle cage for my new bike

A water bottle holder

Coffee Thermos

A thermos that seals tight and fits into the water bottle holder, in order to bring my coffee to work on days when I bike!

I probably should get a few other things, like some lights and such, but I figure that we are still having fairly long days, it allegedly being summer1 and all, so I have some time before I need to figure that out. Because I have to say that this shopping for bikes and bike accessories has really made me feel like there are too. many. choices. The options for types of bikes2 and features on those bikes3 and what those bikes are made of, etc. – were rather overwhelming. And then I went to MEC and there were eleventy billion options for locks and pumps and really I just wanted someone to tell me what to buy! Anyway, I’m pretty happy with what I got, so it’s all good.

Last night, I took it for its inaugural ride4 – a quick trip around the block and have to say it’s lots of fun to ride:

My first bike ride

I’m looking forward to taking her out for some longer rides – perhaps a seawall trip in the near future? As well, I’m planning to ride her to work when I can – the beginning of this week doesn’t look good for that, as I have meetings I have to get to and thus will need my car. But perhaps Thursday or Friday I will be able to!

Also, I need to think of a good name for my bike5. Any suggestions?

  1. I say “allegedly” because, although the amount of daylight we get and the date on the calendar suggests it is summer, our weather is decidedly autumnal. []
  2. road, mountain, hybrid, commuter, fitness, cyclocross, etc. []
  3. Do you want disc brakes or V brakes? Internal gear hubs or derailleurs? etc. []
  4. Well, its inaugural ride as *my* bike. I did take it for a test ride before I bought it and I’m sure others test road it as well. []
  5. My car, of course, is named Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car []