I started my new job on Wednesday June 1st. That was absolutely delightful in every way; this tale is about what happened afterwards.
Here’s a rough sketch of the distances and locations involved:
Every row is 1 km Home | | | | | Repair station Work / / Shopping centre
I commute by bike. It’s quite comfortable and in this instance very much simpler and often faster than bus (let’s not even talk about the horrible experience of navigating and parking downtown with a car).
Going to work in the morning was very nice, and as I said work was super fun.
After work I went to the shopping centre to buy a few things. I’m changing up some stuff at home to make it more suitable for new circumstances. It wasn’t much that I needed this time. Just a remote control for a colour changing lightbulb, some foldable boxes, and a lockable medicine cabinet. The cabinet in question only weighs a couple of kg but is understandably bulky.
The problem arose on the way back when halfway between the shopping centre and my work I hit a staple lying on the bike lane! It pierced through the back tyre, both the outer and inner tubes.
That sucked of course. The good (well, uhm, I don’t really know about that actually) news is that I’d fixed a flat on that tyre just two weeks before and had the method fresh in memory. I also knew that I could get tools and a new inner tube at a hardware store in town cheaply and that there’s actually a public bike repair station at the other side of the town centre. There aren’t any tools there except for a wrench, but there is a rack to hang the bike on and an air pump.
I led the bike the remaining km to town. The tyre was so flat that the outer tube threatened to fall off the wheel at any moment.
When I came to the hardware store they were fresh out of tubes in the size I needed, and the bike shop nearby was closed for the day.
I rolled the bike the remaining way to the repair station and parked it there for the night. Then I did my best to pack my unwieldy purchases in a way that would allow me to carry them for 5 km.
As you may have gathered by now I had to walk all the way home, with the foldable boxes under one arm catching the wind like a sail every now and then and the medicine cabinet stuffed into a duffle bag that I could barely fit my arm above. I had to remove the packaging of the latter to even get a third of it into the bag. At least it was only drizzling a little.
Come Thursday I packed a fresh change of clothes and a towel, key tags, wallet, and keys into my running backpack and ran to work in the morning. I’m lucky; I have access to a shower there and could make myself presentable for the day.
After work I walked to the bike store and bought the tube I needed. It turned out that the wrench at the repair station isn’t adjustable in size, but that doesn’t matter since I can attach and detach my tyres by hand.
So I fixed the flat tyre and could finally, with very blackened hands, take my bike home.
It just now occurs to me that I could’ve spared myself a lot of effort by leaving everything but my keys and keytag at the office on the Wednesday afternoon.
Oh well. What you lack in brains you’ll have to make up in legs, as they say.
-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal