The romance is back.
Yesterday I got my bike back from the shop. Maybe you remember me complaining about it a month or two ago? With the vague idea in my mind that it was a year, maybe two years, old, I was unhappy about how many things seemed to be going wrong with it. A new bike shouldn't have only half its gear range viable, a chain that slips, brakes that won't hold tension.
Searching back here, I found that it was actually three and half years old, with no maintenance beyond my clumsy attempts to adjust the brakes. So I took it into the nearby bike shop -- the Bicycle Repair Collective -- for a tune-up. And my miraculous flying machine is back. My noiseless, weightless brother of the wind.
Yes, I know bicycle maintenance is not rocket science. I know I could learn to do it properly myself. I also know I'm not going to. For the price of one of my massages (the basic unit of exchange, in my mental economic picture) I got my wings back. Walked to the shop, picked up the bike, and flew downtown to work. It's true that coming back up home from the river is not quite flying, even on my little blue Trek, but it still beats riding the bus by a wide, wide margin. And it takes about the same amount of time.
Actually it cost two massages, because I had managed to destroy the wheels by riding so long with bad brake pads. I will treat it lovingly from now on. The guys at the repair collective are going to be my best friends.
Still to figure out is how to ride in the rain, so I can keep doing it in the Fall. I suspect that the best solution, here in the maritime Northwest where it's so seldom really cold, is just to accept getting wet, and to bring dry clothes to have at the other end.
The blogroll. I really must do something about it. Blogrolling.com was taken over by pod people, who, after a long incubation, during which you couldn't update your blogroll at all, re-emerged and put ads on top of the blogs linked to, without consulting their subscribers. Not cool. They've completely forfeited my alliegance. So I need to fiddle with my template. Blogger has some kind of blogroll infrastructure now, I think, which I can probably use. I just need to get around to it. It's rather like fixing the bike. And after all, my template's been broken for ages. The corners of my border outlines went all funky years ago (no, it's not intended to look like that.) But this is probably like getting my bike fixed up: expect action in three or four years. Though I am anxious to get links up to some of my newer favorite blogs. Where There are no Chickadees. 20th Century Woman. Tejana Poet. Box Elder. (Box Elder isn't even new: she's been a favorite read forever. Why she's not on my blogroll is a mystery to me. I think the gremlins who get into bicycle brakes get into blogrolls, too.) Now that I use Google Reader, the blogroll has become a poor cousin, but it's still an important element of the blogosphere. I know that people sometimes click dead links over there. Sorry.
I have a backlog of five or six drafted posts which I hesitate to publish. This happens to me, every once in a while. The posts just seem wrong to me, and I can't figure out why. Is it that I'm afraid people won't like them? It is it because there's something genuinely wrong with them? Is it that my brain has gone the way of my bike and my blogroll, and I will never write good posts again? How could I know, and why should I care? It's none of my business.