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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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Memegiver's a Good Guy, SART, Lead, CO2 ...

Kevin Wrote - I don’t care what they say about Meme, he is a good guy

I could complain after he talked me into doing a forty-miler, four weeks after having leg surgery and three month after last ride (I am definitely out of shape). I could complain when Meme said “don’t bring CO2”, only to find out he brought the wrong type (more on issue later).

It all started as we stage at the Yorba Regional Park to begin our Trek to Newport Beach and back. The ride to the beach alternated between drizzle and swallowing bugs. Cruising between 15-20 mph with peaks at 28 mph, (says Meme), we made good time to the beach.

We stopped at a favorite taco stand and ordered breakfast burritos. Memo insisted on paying to repay a past good deed. I definitely ate too much. Note to self: next time eat half a burrito. Anyway, after a short rest, with bottles filled, we returned to the SART.

About 4 miles up the trail, wouldn’t you know, I had a mechanical problem. My curse returned on the SART, I wonder why. I snapped a part on my pedal. Expecting some act of genius from Meme, he couldn’t be bothered. Instead, he played artist and took pictures of his bike on the moonscape. When three hands were needed, I pleaded for some help. Indeed helpful, he used his superhuman strength to pull the spring back while I inserted a clip cannibalized from my other pedal. Thanks Meme.

We were back on the SART for only about 3 quarters of a mile, when I hear a short hissing characteristic of a puncture tube. Oh, brother. After changing my tube, I thought “good thing Memo brought spare CO2”, only to realize it was the wrong (threaded) type. So Meme say “no problem, I can grind down the threads. It should work”. Why doubt one who is a metallurgical wizard. Feeling confident Meme grinded the threads down on the curb, and inserted it into the inflator. No air. The OD on the cylinder was nor too small. Oh brother, times 2.As I am wallowing in sorrow, thinking about making a call for help, Meme jumps the fence. “Hey where are you going?” I call out. Without answering he picks up something out of the gutter, a car tire balancing weight. “What are you doing?” Meme explains he plans to melt the lead out of the weight and layer onto the stem of the cylinder, making the cartridge fit into the inflator.

The only problem was he was not wearing glasses and we could find to any broken glass bottles. Meme looked at me and asked “let me see your Road ID dog tag”. After polishing it up using the rubber from his wheel, he was able to reflect and focus the sun on the lead. Not hot enough. Meme told me it takes 621 degrees to melt lead, and while we could burn leaves and ants, we would need more heat for the weight. So he pulls out his Madonna del Ghisallo pendant, patron saint of cyclist, and shines it up a bit. Using both pedants, supplied sufficient heat to melt the lead. Using his metallurgical expertise, Meme perfectly forms around the cartridge, making the inflator work.


It would not be for another 8 miles before Meme truly earned to honor of being called a “good guy”. After zipping past an older gentleman with a flat, I called Meme back after I asked if the guy needed anything. A cell phone was his request. Will fixing a flat the gentleman’s valve stem broke on his new tube. Without thinking Meme pulled out the spare tube he had and handed it to the man, who offered to pay Meme for it. Meme just said, “promise to help the next rider you see in need, and it’s yours”. Ignoring the fact that I had to call Meme back, this act is truly meritorious of good Karma. So despite what others say, I think Meme is a good great guy.

We fought heartburn (Kevin) and muscle cramps (Meme) for the last five miles, but finished with feelings of accomplishment.

Thanks to Meme, a lead weight, and the SART for another great, albeit challenging ride.

(See you next time, Jason)

1 comment:

GMR said...

Great story Kevin. Good to hear the surgery went well and you are out cycling. I like to carry my own C2 and a mini pump. But best of all I like my Kevlar Armadillo tires!

Hope your next ride is less adventurous and easy riding.

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