But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion…
Luke 10:33 (context)
Fridays do not tend to be the best train-riding days. Different people run the commuter rail on Fridays; the train engineer tends to pull up so no doors on the train line up with the walk-on platform, forcing me to carry my bike up the awkward train stairs. Also the Friday conductor has a perpetually negative attitude, and no amount of friendliness can overcome his fixed grim expression… or his dislike of bicycles, apparently. He forces all bicyclists to put our bikes in one (tiny) vestibule in the always-empty front car. This Friday when I put my bike there, four or so other bicyclists had already jammed their vehicles into that awkward space. Loath to lean my bike against another, having experienced the chain-and-pedal tangling that inevitably ensues, I instead propped my bike precariously against a railing and some stairs, crossed my fingers that it would stay up the whole time, and went into the other car for the remainder of the ride.
I don’t generally like this arrangment; most often I sit with my bike to make sure nobody takes it and it stays upright through all the lurching. But as I said, the curmudgeon of a Friday conductor insists we leave our bikes unguarded in this empty car while sitting in a different one. When we pulled into Worcester, I went to get my bike and maneuvered it (awkwardly; that word covers almost all bike-on-train activity) into the space between the cars to wait for the train to stop. One bike had been removed since I got on, and my bike had been leaned more stably against a wall. Standing and waiting, glanced down at my bike and to my extreme dismay saw the chain hanging over the pedal, completely disattached from the front gears.
Now, I ride a bike, but I will be the first one to admit I know nothing about bicycle care or repair. I could not change a flat tire if my life depended on it, and this chain thing completely threw me for a loop. I had no idea how to fix it, but I needed it fixed so I could ride to work and then home. As the other bicycle owners came to claim their rides, I begged for help: Do you know anything about fixing this? The inevitable reply came back: No, sorry. Just as I started feeling really worried, a middle-aged bicyclist I have seen and chatted with a couple times came to claim his bike. He told me he rides through the winter, and I had the feeling he might know something to help. So, feeling rather desperate, I asked if he could help fix my bike.
He took a look and said, What just getting the chain back on? I assented, and to my joy he replied, Sure no problem! He would have done it right there in the car, but space proved an issue. We took our bikes outside, he flipped my rear derailler down to give the chain some slack, hooked the chain back onto a couple of teeth, turned the pedals a couple times, and voila! My bike was fixed! I could have leaped for joy, because this little thing made such a huge difference in my life. It absolutely made my day — possibly even my week. It was great.
Other great things:
- Ian has made RSS and Atom feeds for my blog, for all you RSS-savvy people. The RSS is available by clicking the little icon in the top right corner of my blog; Atom, being less popular, is available here.
- Slightly-burned carrot cake lacking coconut, broken in half, and frosted over in a manner that caused Ian to delicately tell me, “No offense dear, but you’ll never be a cake decorator.”
- The new Jars of Clay album, Good Monsters, and particularly songs 1 – 3 and 10.
- Reading 500 pages in one day and sleeping the rest of the day, eventually leading to feeling less cold-induced fuzzy-headed.
- A few pictures from our brief trip home. I only took about 200, and only 1/50th of those or so turned out. Check my Flickr page for those.