so, if all goes well, i’m gonna be riding my bike to DC in a few weeks (!!). as a result of this, i have to spend a shitload of money on stuff like bike repairs, panniers, etc. anyhoo, i went to kraynick’s (pgh’s local crazy-old-man bike shop. it’s pretty amazing, a tiny little storefront in a rough neighborhood that is completely crammed with every kind of tool and bike part there is.)
i got old man kraynick to put a new chain & cogs on my ride (ray tried to get him to do this earlier, but was rebuffed! the old dude yelled at him and said he should just do it himself! now, i’m all for the DIY approach to most things, but i’m about to ride this thing at least 320 fucking miles! i want it to be fixed by someone who actually knows what they’re doing.) and i went to pick it up. he had the big-ass steel basket that i wanted in stock, so i dug through drawers of screws & washers & allen wrenches. i had to kneel on the dirty floor a lot (this detail is relevant later in the story.)
oh, does everyone know that i have long-ish hair now? men sure are a lot nicer to me now, as opposed to when i was a bristly haired dykey lookin’ lady. it’s hot as hell, so i wasn’t wearing much, and every socially maladjusted bike-fiend dude in there was talkin’ to me. not in a gross way, but i definitely got the feeling that they wouldn’t be so friendly if i was looking more dudely. just sayin’.
my favorite random man-conversation was when an old, bearded hippy looked at my helmet (which looks like a watermelon, and which i get many compliments on!) and said, “you know, i’ve often thought that we should make basketballs that look like watermelons. that way, it wouldn’t be so unusual to throw watermelons, and people would expect them to bounce!” i was just like, “cool!” and then he was like, “kraynick’s is a bicycling institution in pittsburgh. it’s been here since before time began!” and then old man kraynick said, “whoa, now, that’s pretty heavy.”
i finally got the giant-ass steel basket on there. as another bike-man said, “whoa, you can haul WICKED groceries in that thing!”
as i was wheeling my bike out, the hippie said, “now your bike’s a truck!” i said, “yeah, it’s about as heavy as a goddamn truck now!”
riding home, a guy at a gas station yelled, “nice knees!” to me. i was befuddled by this statement until i came home. all that crawling around on a greasy dirty floor really took its toll.
this picture doesn’t really do it justice, but my legs are really white and my knees were pure black. ha!