The other day I was reading some news thing, and there was an article on saving money during tough times. So, of course, I went there. Unfortunately, they had advice about turning the air conditioner* just one degree higher, and not getting a super duper double whammy extra special coffee every day. But the real winner was the suggestion that women should give up getting a pedicure once a week and do it themselves!
Do real people actually get pedicures once a week? I mean, I can easily understand someone wanting to get one for a special sort of occasion, but do people get them once a week?
I have to admit right up front that I've never had a pedicure, nor a manicure. I wouldn't mind a really nice foot massage, but I'd like to skip the polish and stuff.
But, I do have my expensive vices!
After I took my new bike to the local bike shop, I started riding my old bike. I rode with a roadie friend and then with a trail friend, and noticed that there was a sort of rhythmic scraping of the rear tire against a brake pad. That either means the wheel is out of true or something, so the next time I was out to ride, I rode by the bike shop and stopped in. The owner said he thought he could fix it right there, sounded like he just needed his truing key, and took a look at it. He spun the tire, and looked, and spun it again, and then said something about this spoke pulling here, and that spoke, then touched the spoke and showed me that the wheel was cracked, and just waiting for an opportune moment to break. So the old bike needed a new rear wheel. But it seems to be a weird old size, so they had to order it up.
Meanwhile, he lent me a commuter to take my ride on. It had big tires, bar handle bars, and a tractor seat (okay, so not really, but wider than my seats). So I'm thinking, ooo, a mountain bike. But he said it was really a commuter. And off I went.
And yes, of course when I got to a dirt road, I went down it, because really, I haven't ridden dirt roads on a bike much. (True confessions: I do occasionally ride dirt roads on my old bike, with its sort of moderate tires, and it does okay on the more road than dirt parts. And like every kid, I road everywhere on the old Sting Ray and then three speed I had.)
It was very different, because I had to pay a lot more attention close up to where I was going, and didn't get to look ahead far or look around and enjoy the scenery (and I was riding by a little lake, so there was good scenery). And I kept bogging down in the sand, and almost falling, but not being clipped in, and going slow because of the bogging, I was able to just put a foot down and walk the bike out a bit.
I wasn't really expecting that much of a difference on a relatively smooth dirt road. Usually when I ride, my eyes are really relaxed and focused ahead (or looking occasionally at stuff around), and I only have to worry about looking close when there's a pothole or something. And I like that a lot. This felt more intense, and less rhythmic to me.
The bike convinced me even more how much I enjoy my current bikes. I like road handlebars so I can ride in the drops, on the hoods, on the top, on the sides. I move my hands around a bit and my palms and wrists are pretty happy. But on this bike, there was pretty much one place for my hands, and my wrists were cocked at a bit of an angle rather than neutral, so they got tired after 7 miles or so (at which point I turned back).
And the seat. You would think a big tractor seat would be more comfortable, but the seat felt in the way of my legs. And when I stood up to pedal, it felt like the seat was in the way still.
I wasn't going to ride today, but in the early afternoon, the bike shop owner called and said my old bike was ready, but they were still waiting on the part for the new one. So off I went!
And here it is! Not only a new rear wheel, but a new tire! (The old one was old and had to be replaced.) It's like a Bardiac style pedicure, right?
I always sort of feel like a noob about the little rubber nobby things on a new tire, like they should be worn off if I ride enough (and eventually, they are, and then it's time for new tires soon!). (If you click on the picture, you can see the nobby things.)
So we had a 21 mile ride, at a decent pace, and it sure felt good!
*I do have an air conditioner, but it hasn't been on yet this summer. My house has fans, and windows, and they work pretty well. I also really like coffee. It's my drug of choice. But usually I make my own because it would be embarrassing to have to put on my jammies to go to the coffee shop in the morning, even the drive through one! So the article did me no good at all, alas.