Got my bicycle back!  Yay!

In addition to the bearings needing to be replaced, I’d also asked them to replace the headlamp mount.  They did replace it, but they didn’t replace it on the handlebars. They left the old one on there.  :: grumble :: 

Fortunately, it was a 30 second job to unsnap / resnap.  Back in biz with a new headlamp.  (Which simply eats batteries like they’re going out of style.)

Tonight was the first night since I got the bike back — on Thursday (today’s Sunday) — that I had a chance to take it out.  On Thursday, well, there was a bit of a problem.

I “bungeed” the milk crate to the back of the bike.  Put Dexter in it.  All we went.  At some point I felt the crate “slip.”  I stopped to make sure all was ok with my little white demon.  He was doing ok, but he crate definitely had shifted a little bit.  Figured it was better to cut my losses, turn back towards the house (hadn’t gone a mile yet) and get me and the dog back safely.

I had not replaced the headlamp mount yet.  On the way back, I hit a bump and the headlamp went into the street.  I swerved to pick it up . . . and the crate went the opposite direction.

Dexter went into the street.  Pretty hard, too.

Forget the lamp (it’s shining so it can’t be hurt that bad.)  Go for my dog.  (Who is limping so maybe he is hurt bad.)

I pick him up, dust him off, coo at him for a bit.  Set him down.  He walks off the limp while I fetch the lamp.  He doesn’t look enthused about getting back into the basket.  Can’t say I blame him, so, I just tote him back to the house in my arms.

He’s fine.  After that initial limp, he’s doing just fine.

Tonight I wanted to ride when the wind had died down and the heat was gone.  That meant striking out around 8PM.  I was just going to run around the neighborhood.  Get in maybe 5 miles.  I had strapped the cart back to the bike, made sure it was rock solid secure this time, put Dexter in, and off we went.

Since it was just going to be a quick jaunt around the ‘hood, I didn’t see the need for carrying any extra bags.  My phone.  My wallet.  Water.  Batteries.  All that crap that I normally drag around every time I get on the bike.  I swear, sometimes it’s like preparing for a moon launch.

In fact, not only did I bring nothing except the dog, I went in the very clothes I had on.  T-shirt.  Regular short pants.  Tennis shoes.  No biking pants.  No clipless-pedal shoes.

I had the thought that whenever parents get involved in Little League that the game pretty much gets ruined for the kids.  The parents organize, cajole, train, and coach the fun right out of the game.  I think the kids would be a lot happier if parents just let ’em play.

I applied that analogy to tonight’s ride.  I didn’t carry all the “safety stuff.”  All of the “what if” stuff.  All of the crap that adds weight.

I.  Just.  Went.  For.  A.  Ride.

And it was glorious.  Wind in my face.  Legs feeling the resistance of the pedals.  The simple pleasure of working up a sweat going up an incline.  The incredible joy of riding down hill.

That’s what bicycling is all about.