Today was the day. I was finally doing it.
The NCR Trail is a relatively level gravel bed trail built on the former North Central Railroad line running over 20 miles through northern Baltimore County into Pennsylvania. After much delay, I finally rolled my trusty Univega onto the path and started pedaling my way towards the Pennsylvania border (okay, I wasn't going to do the 40 mile roundtrip but rather the six mile roundtrip to the first road crossing). Whatever the case may be, I was getting my fat ass on the bike and on the trail.
The morning was beautifully sunny and a cool 73F. With the wind in my face, I greeted fellow cyclists and trail joggers with a hearty Bonjour! signaling all was well in the world. As I clicked through to higher gears on the Shimano selector and started to increase speed, I started to feel a strange oscillating wobble on my left pedal.
That's odd, I thought and looked down to see the left crank starting to separate from the shaft. Merde. I could just see myself now, pedaling harder and harder when suddenly, snaaap! The crack snaps off the shaft still cleated to my foot on the downstroke. The force of the snapping crank as my left foot charges downward sends the cleated foot straight to the ground at 25 mph.
The results of that occurrence didn't play well in my mind and only seemed that it would result in my crashing and burning in a very painful (if spectacular) manner. I decided to stop. Not even a mile out and my ride was over. Doomed.
Back in the truck, I had an hour to kill before the bike shop at REI would be open. I decided to head over to Budeke's to check out their selection of paint colors and wallpaper for project hampden.
I don't know how many of you have ever decided to look at wallpaper but it's absolutely bewildering (and I know what I'm looking for). Books upon books upon books of paper samples jumbled together with no rhyme or reason. Want a specific color? You're outta luck - just gotta look. And the books aren't light. They're filled with high-quality wallpaper and they are heavy. Up, down, up, down, again and again. It's exhausting and drives me mad.
After an hour of reviewing papers, I'm starting to freak out over the sheer enormity of the sample collection. This is going to take awhile.