Tuesday, May 7, 2013

When Bad Things Happen...

Looking at the glass half full, sometimes bad things happen.

Today I went out for a long, well deserved bike ride. It was a beautiful day to take the Guerciotti out for a spin, one of the bikes that I own with a collector's value of about $1,200. The bike frame is bonded aluminum tubing with glue that is screwed into the lugs, and it's really a reliable bike, despite the reputation for failure these frames have. I had a great ride, and felt fast despite not having a bicycle computer to tell me my average speed. 

I have a trunk mounted bike rack that I use to carry around my bikes. I could never justify the expense of owning a roof rack that would be worth about 20% of what my car is worth (for the record, I don't drive a fancy car, just fancy bikes). After my ride I loaded up my bike on my bike rack and took the scenic route home, which goes through a residental area with multiple speed bumps. These speed bumps are not marked and are difficult to see sometimes. I approached a speed bump at around 25 miles an hour an hit it on full force, the non-existent shocks on my car being no help whatsoever. The bike rack snapped off the car and flew in mid air with the bike attached to it.  I stopped in the middle of the road to pick it up, and noticed that the bicycle was fine except for the rear wheel, which was really wobbly  and out of true and dish. I will probably have to take it to the shop to get it rebuilt, since I am the one who rebuilt it originally and it was only a passable job.

This is not the first time that the Guerciotti takes a beating under my ownership. A few months ago, I backed into a Porto-potty with my bike on the end of my bike rack. Besides the stem shifting to the side there was no damage to the bike then either. Thankfully I have been able to not have any frame/component damage on these two occasions, though I am starting to rethink my logic about putting my bike on my car rack rather than just riding it on the street.

The city is repaving a lot of the local roads in my area that are notorious for their potholes and cracks. I have been taking my Guerciotti in the car to White Rock Lake trail to avoid having to ride through these roads, and possibly messing up my bike. I think from now on I still stick mostly to riding around my neighborhood route. 

Sometimes bad things happen, but sometimes its necessary to imagine how much worse a situation could have been.  My bike could have been totaled, instead of only a $50 charge at the bike shop to rebuild the wheel. I thought about how it had been the first time in a while since I got to fit in a long bike ride in my schedule, and how much better I felt after my ride. I also thought about all of the cool bikes that have landed in my lap recently, and how the Guerciotti came to being mine for $160 bucks. I can take my time putting the money aside to fix the wheel, and ride some of my other bikes in the meantime. Not all is lost, and there is no need to be a nihilist about it.  Once I get over my initial freaked out stage, I'm ready to look at things from a glass half full.

My Guerciotti is a lovely bike, but in the end it's just a thing. Things are replaceable, but people, time and experiences are not. I'm still simmering over the fact that its going to cost me at least $50 bucks to fix the wheel, because it feels like $50 with interest with the budget I am now facing these days. But it is what it is, as they say here in Dallas. Like I said before, no need to gloom and doom over it.

Overall, today's circumstances are what they are. Tomorrow lies the opportunity to get up, clean up the mess, and right the wrongs of yesterday. Without trying to get all philosophical about it, sometimes bad things happen: our bikes fall off our cars, we gain weight, we get tired. But as long as we are alive and kicking we can always fight back.  

Speaking of Alive and Kicking, enjoy this cool 80's song that always makes me feel better when I'm having a bad day.


  1. Thanks for that musical flashback. =)

  2. Surprisingly, some of my favorite music was made in the mid 80's, even though I was just born and too little to appreciate it. I'm glad you liked it!

  3. Sorry to hear about the bike!!! Damaging a bike is a tough deal but it happens to all of us.....some more than others...:) By the way.....great music!

  4. I wanted to give everyone an update on the wheel situation. It seems that after a couple of hours of truing, I finally managed to get the wheel true. No need to take it to a bike shop, or pay 50 bucks for that matter. It seemed worse than it was. The bicycle looks fine and hopefully there aren't any unseen damages on it.