Two mornings ago, as I rode my clunker bike to work, I heard a noise coming from near the crank. I couldn’t tell if it was a pedal squeaking in the rain or a problem with the crank. The noise came and went, and I continued to ride the bike carefully, not pushing too much on the hills.

After work, the noise got really loud. As I cycled along the river pathway, I no longer needed to call out “passing on your left” or ring my bell. In fact I even apologized to one lady as I passed her. She said that she had wondered what the sound was coming up behind her. At the time, we both still thought that the the pants pulling perve was on the loose, and wondered whether he would change his transportation method from bus to bike. After all, more women are alone on the path than on the bus.

By the time I reached the small hill just before our house, the noise was making everyone’s heads turn. NosyNeighbour was outside, and I asked him whether he heard the noise. After he confirmed that he had, I said that should make it easier for you to fix it on the weekend.

This morning’s plan was to borrow back my original clunker bike which had become NosyNeighour’s. I assumed that the seat would be at the right height because it looked really low for him and he said he hadn’t adjusted it. I took it down the street, applied the brakes and continued another 20 feet. Okay, I’ll have to squeeze both of them really hard to stop, well really it was more of a slow down.

After I crossed the first intersection, I realized that the seat was way too low, even for me. There was no way I could ride 5 km seated like that. So I turned around, recrossed the intersection and decided to take the folding bike. But the folding bike now has clip-in pedals, so I had to change my shoes.

NosyNeighbour pointed out that it does have the flat side too, but I had soft dress shoes on my feet that could easily slide off, so change of shoes was in order. Then I had to find the long cable so I’d be able to lock both wheels to the bike rack. Because his clunker doesn’t have a pannier rack, I had my cycling backpack on. Now I had to had the cable and U-lock to the back pack.

Off I went again. At least I could fast, really fast compared to the clunker. In fact, when I crossed by the war museum, I actually caught up to the traffic that had gone through the light ahead of me before the traffic behind me caught up.

Then I decided to bring the bike in. If the security guard said anything, I’d simply say I brought the wrong key for my lock. I folded it up while I waited for the elevator from the lower levels to the main lobby. The doors opened and three people and a guy in a wheelchair were on it. I asked them if they thought I could squeeze on. Up we went to the main lobby. One of the ladies told me I was still blinking. I switched my helmet light off and told her that it was a way to wake her up. We all chuckled.

Once off the elevator, I attached my ID card and carried the bike around the corner and through the card swipe area. Nothing was said to prevent me from getting on the elevator. Upstairs in my cube, the bike almost fit under my desk. In fact if I hadn’t had the ergonomic assessment, which lowered the desk height, and the boot hadn’t still been on the rack, it probably would have fit. So maybe this summer I’ll bring the folding bike a couple of times a week so that I can go for nice long rides after work.

What an adventure this morning! I even got an upper body workout!

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