Rental Bike Time

Day’s Verse:
Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.
Acts 9:22 (context)

I finally caved and rented a bike for the remainder of the time my Seven is out of commission. I’ve ridden the Xtracycle all week, first for fun on Monday with Mom — I took the day off after my Bike Expo weekend bonanza — and then to the Bellevue Transit Center on Tuesday, all the way 20 miles in to the International District on Wednesday, and then 9 miles that evening to Greenlake for the house/cat sitting we did Wednesday and Thursday night. The house sitting meant I only had to ride 9 miles each way Thursday and Friday morning.

I was already mentally gearing up for the arduous, headwind-y ride home (we’ve had a steady north wind since Wednesday at least, meaning I had a headwind every night, making the usual challenge of riding the Xtracycle just one notch more difficult) when I talked to Eric, owner of JRA Bike Shop.

I asked about rental bikes; they rent some sluggish bikes for tourists to tootle around downtown on, but that wouldn’t be much better than the Xtracycle. As we talked about it, Eric thought it over and said, “What do you think of that red one?” He indicated a red Cannondale Hybrid 600. Turns out it belongs to the shop; it’s a used bike they just built up with new parts, and he decided to let me rent that. So, for $150 a week, I get to ride the red chopper.

It’s a whole different riding experience, let’s put it that way. It’s got cruiser-style handlebars and incredibly low gearing. I can’t remember the last time I sat so upright on a bike — possibly on my first-ever bike? Aside from some saddle adjustment issues, the bike felt awesome. It was a ton of fun to ride, zippy and responsive and light feeling after the Xtracycle (but then, what wouldn’t be?).

The different position made the ride feel like a pleasure ride rather than a commute, a feeling enhanced by my meeting up with Ian about halfway home. We rode together the rest of the way, and that made it fun, too. We haven’t gotten to spend much time together, with my hectic schedule, so even riding a little ways together on a beautiful afternoon felt like a fun break.

Oh, and an assessor from Frontier Assessors came out and took pictures of my bike. I hope she doesn’t lowball me to Hertz. I just want to get my bike fixed, but I’m afraid to pay the $1,500 it’ll cost (plus, of course, the $150 I’m spending every week for the rental bike, a cost approved verbally by the Hertz rep via my contact at Oracle) without some assurance I’ll get reimbursed for all the costs.

Worse comes to worse I guess I have to call in John Duggan.

Insult to Injury

Day’s Verse:
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2:44-47 (context)

Yesterday hurt, in all manner of different ways. My car-bike collision injuries ached worse than on Sunday, and the longer I spent sitting, the worse I felt. Then, too, the “cold” I contracted on Saturday night turned into an evil beast: I hardly slept on Sunday night, between the bruising from my fall and my congested nose.

For the first time ever, I commuted to the Bicycle Alliance completely without a bike. I took the bus and walked, which hurt, of course. As the day wore on, my bruised hip became increasingly painful, my head throbbed, I kept accidentally leaning on my bruised elbow, my nose ran, my eyes felt hot and scratchy, and I ached all over. By 2:00 in the afternoon, after having struggled through a minimal amount of work, I threw in the towel and caught the 255 back home. Most of the bus ride I spent with my eyes closed, trying to not feel my aching head and body.

When I got home, I curled up in front of the fireplace and didn’t move for three hours. By evening I had spiked a fever of 101 degrees and felt even more miserable than earlier in the day. I crawled into bed early, sent Ian to the store for NyQuil, and went to sleep early. About 10:50 I woke up drenched in sweat, took a shower, and went back to sleep. I don’t think I actually completely woke up for that shower, and I know for a fact that Ian didn’t wake up at all.

This morning I woke up feeling much better, but decided that, after the Monday misery, I would do well to stay home and rest. Turns out I actually haven’t rested much: I worked remotely for at least 4 hours, plus Ian and I drove my bike down to Pedal Dynamics to get Dean’s estimate on repair costs ($990). I left the bike at Gregg’s Cycles for a third estimate, which I’m assuming will come in right around $1,000 as well.

This afternoon a guy from Hertz called about the “incident” on Saturday. We talked about it a little bit and he asked if he could record my statement for the record. I agreed. He proceeded to ask me specific questions, which I answered as truthfully as I could in as much detail as possible. I told him exactly what I would have told the police, if they’d asked, and what I’d tell anybody else. I now have his name, phone number, and email address, which gives me a handle on Hertz. He said he would take care of all of the Hertz end of things. I agreed to email him copies of all the bike shop repair estimates, provided him with the phone number and case number for the Bellevue Police Department, and the (incorrect, as it turns out) medical report information.

The EMS medical incident report form really confused me. It’s a carbon copy of the form, and the guy who filled it out didn’t press down hard enough on 90% of the form, including the part where it says “Agency:” The form doesn’t say anywhere else what emergency medical response team it might have come from, and I couldn’t remember if I’d gotten it from the EMTs or the Fire Department, or which city either had come from. Some confused phone calls to the Bellevue Fire Department records people sorted it out: Bellevue Medic 3 responded, but since I didn’t have to go to the hospital, they left. It was Redmond’s Fire Department EMTs who treated me on the scene, and they’re the people who actually have the medical report I want. I called them, but nobody answered — which seemed odd — so I left a message.

This entire process is sure gonna take a long time, if only because of how hard it is to get all the paperwork in place. Come back in a month and I’m sure I’ll feel the same way, but more so.

Oh, and Ian’s job interview? He got an offer. Which he’s taking. We are super excited about that great news.

Job Interview Butterflies

Day’s Verse:
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

John 21:5-6

Ian has a job interview today at 10:00 with a company called StrataGen Systems. He had a good phone interview last week and today he gets to go to his first in-person interview since he started his job search. It’s a smaller company (but then, compared to Raytheon, Google, and Microsoft, everybody is smaller) that I’d never heard of, but a guy at church who works there passed Ian’s resume along and here we are.

I heard, I think on NPR but I’m not sure, that secondary connections like that tend to yield the best results for helping job searchers land a position. Let’s hope that’s true in this case. However it turns out, I’m in the extremely odd position of feeling nervous without even having to do anything nerve-wracking.

Happy Thought

Day’s Verse:
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Cor. 13:12

This year I agonized over what to do for Ian’s birthday (which, for the record, was January 25th). Our living situation means that we really don’t want to accumulate more stuff, since we’d immediately just have to try to find somewhere to store it. Actually, as a quick aside, it’s kind of nice to not accumulate possessions as much. I’m really good with that. That said, buying Ian some thing didn’t sit well with me.

Then I went to my AmeriCorps training and met Kit, another intern who has worked for years with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We talked about it on and off over the course of the 10 training days, and by the end I had decided what to give Ian for his birthday: A week in Ashland seeing plays.

This works because we actually really enjoy attending plays. Ian’s a theatrical guy, as many of you know, and when we lived near Boston, we would take a trip in to the city every 6 months or so to see some play or other. On top of that, Ian’s parents are long-time supporters of Taproot Theater, and seeing Taproot’s Christmas play is a Ferguson family tradition.

Despite all the theatricality in Ian’s personality, though, he’d never been to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I contacted Kit for some advice on what we should do, and this last weekend Ian and I finalized our plan. It includes 5 plays, one day trip to Crater Lake, and a guaranteed visit to an ice cream place highly recommended by Kit. We’re camping at a nearby KOA campground and planning biking as a primary means of transportation around Ashland.

This is the happy thought that gets me airborne these days.