Today’s exercise: riding my bicycle to campus to take the recyclables to the bins without using gasoline. I only live about a mile from campus. No big deal, right?
The front tire was almost entirely flat. I tried using the pump that plugs into my car’s “cigarette lighter” port, but couldn’t get the tire inflated. So I grabbed two quarters and headed back to the air pump on the far end of the apartment complex. It swallowed my money and never started pumping air.
So I hike back home with my bike, grab 50 cents more, and go to the next apartment complex over. Here the pump is only 25 cents, and works just fine, but my front tire still won’t inflate. I can pump up my back tire just fine.
Before spending the last quarter, I take the fat-stem adapter off my front tire and notice a small threaded brass bead on the center post of the stem. I thread it halfway up, tap the post, and whoosh — air comes out. So apparently I was supposed to thread this little thing up the post in order to allow the post to take in compressed air.
I put the fat-stem adapter back on, test the post, and whoosh! It’s working. I spend the last quarter, inflate the tire, and it’s off to the races.
10-15mph on the flat parts of the road, according to my GPS (which also mounts on my handlebars). But give me a tiny uphill slope and I’m wheezing along at 5-6mph. Still, this is about twice my normal walking speed and I’m encumbered by a sturdy bike below me and a backpack full of glass bottles on top of me, plus drag. Not too bad.
But I’m burning water pretty fast, so I stop at the student union before traversing campus to the east, and finally drop off the recyclables. I am too exhausted to feel superior to the car-driving recyclers, and after all, they’re making an effort too, so we are all on the same team.
Then I remember Jodi wants me to pick up some pencils. Well, there’s an office store on the edge of campus. Mind you, it’s on the west edge of campus (30th Street) and I’m on the east edge (50th Street). So here I am at the centrally located library, cooling down, filling my water bottle, and planning the next leg of my trip. I figure there’ll be a water fountain at the back of the store by the restrooms, which should get me at least back onto the center of campus.
For future reference, I need to find out whether there are any air hoses on campus. It seems like something that Parking and Transportation Services (or Physical Plant) really ought to provide if they’re serious about keeping cars on campus to a minimum.
Still, I’m proud of myself for doing this, and I’ll bet not a bit of my three eggs, two string cheeses, and toast will be left on me by the time I get home. And the longer I stick with a reasonably challenging exercise plan, the easier this will get.