Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

BicycleFriends ride to Newport Beach (Through Kevin's glasses)

(Kevin Donhoff Wrote)

It started like any other BicycleFriends ride:

Jason texts - "How about a easy ride down the Santa Ana River trail"

Now, I have learned a statement like that leaves much room for interpretation, so I ask "How far?" and "Who is going?", two critically important questions for a rider of my caliber (my classification is something like the pachyderm division, plus I am still getting back into riding condition after 8 months of due to a injury).

Jason texts - "Mike, Meme and maybe one other & it's an easy ride-like maybe 17 mile to beach then back"

Again such a statement leaves room for interpretation, but since Meme is closer to my caliber than Michael or Jason, I was comfortable, plus I have learned to always add at least three miles to Jason's estimates.

We started in Yorba Linda and things were going well until about mile 18, when I encountered a problem with what I thought was my cleat. A mile later we discovered that the treads had stripped from my crankarm, as my pedal fell out. Meme, doing his best Macgiver imitation, tried to fix it with a candy wrapper, sap from nearby bush, and a feather he found on the trail fused with sunlight concentrated through his glasses. WHAT A GENIUS! Well that lasted about two pedals before it fell out and the BicycleFriends crew took turns pushing me the last 1&1/2 miles to the beach (Photo attached). After a pit stop and some snacks, Michael and Jason headed back to the cars, while Meme and I were determined to make the best of being stranded in Newport Beach, not such a bad situation after all.

While waiting for the nearest bike repair to open, I did a google search and found Chicago Bike, and made a call that went something like this.

Man on phone: "Chicago Bike, bring it on down"

I was not sure whether I reached a machine, so I asked "are you open?"

Man on phone: "Yes, bring it on down"

Still not sure, I explained that my Shimano crackarm was stripped and my pedal fell out.

Man on the Phone: "Bring it on down" he then explained I was 3/4 of a mile away.

I told Meme I was not sure how this was going to go down, but figure it was worth a try. Well, low and behold, we found the small un-assuming Chicago Bike store with a sign that offered free air-24/7 and a gentleman out front helping folks with their bike woes. Soon he pointed to me and asked if he could help me. It was then when I met Tony Parry. I must have done something to please the Karma Gods, because not only did he fix my crank with a threaded insert, but he proceeded to provide Meme and I an education about bike mechanics. He emphasized the proper bike adjustments to make riding a city bike or beach cruiser effortless. We even tried on of his 29ers (just might have to buy one). His mantra "if you are comfortable, you will ride a lot more".

Time spent with Tony: Priceless (but he only charged me $25).


I plan to get Jason down to examine Tony's vintage bike parts.

If you need work on a beach cruiser, city bike, or any other for that matter, I would recommend checking it out with Tony. I think he will be honest and not pressure you. Plan to spend some time and get an education. He is on PCH behind JackInTheBox.

Chicago Bike



After the prolonged rest period Meme and I watered up and hit the SART. The last 5 miles or so were tough, but I made it. Happy to have overcome a mechanical problem and finish my longest ride yet, 43 miles, a little bit more than Jason promised.

Thanks to Meme, Michael, Jason, Tony and the SART for a great day.


GMR said...

Awesome story Kevin. What an adventure!

mikemanyoung said...

Nice job Kevin. Glad you guys rode the entire thing!

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