So I trot into REI to get Magic fixed because her derailleur is screwed up (and REI canceled the derailleur class for which is signed up the other night, so I don’t know how to do this on my own yet). The man behind me with his fancy bike smiles at Magic and we get to talking (as tends to happen with Magic).
After introducing the REI bike shop mechanic to Magic as well, I tell him that I bought a couple of new tires for my road bike (Attica) and need new tubes as well. “Do you have them with Presta valves?” I ask. “I only see Shrader. Plus, I need a new set of tire levers because I keep putting mine somewhere safe and then can never find them again (this is the fourth set I’ve bought).” I say I’ll bring Attica in next because the handlebars have drooped and they are torque-tightened so I can’t adjust them on my own since I don’t have the right tool (yet). And my bike, Data, needs a brake cable tightened because I’ve maxed out the barrel adjuster already, so that one will be heading this way, too. (I don’t even mention the Mulie problems yet, but I do want to get him back on the road again soon, too.)
He gets me what I need and then pops Magic up on the stand, and we talk about her problem and agree on the repair needed. I pay for my tubes and tire levers and leave. Back at home, as I open Attica’s quick releases and drop out her tires, I catch myself a moment and say, “You’re coming along, girl. You are coming along.” Sure, it’s pretty basic bike repair stuff, but I’m pretty darn proud of myself for being able to identify and communicate my problems, and even fix a few of them myself. And you have to admit — my new tires are really . . . pretty.