Monday, June 20, 2005

Beautiful Wisconsin...

I tried to leave Madison a couple of days ago. I woke up and had a flat to repair. Yea! This really proved to be my lucky day. When I was putting my wheel back on my bike, I noticed that a leg on my fork was loose. The leg on a fork is not supposed to be loose. I touched it a few times and the leg came off the fork. This is REALLY not supposed to happen. Now I could not ride. Oh no!

I was getting frustrated. It was Father's day and I knew that bike shops would not open for a while. I was dropped off at a bike shop in town and the van drove away. All the other riders had started riding about an hour before this. I had to make something happen or I would have to call the van from our next destination to come back and get me.

So...I waited. I talked on the phone, ate three-quarters of left over pizza that I pulled out of the van before it took off, and waited some more. After two and half hours the store opened. I spoke with two different managers and was not getting anywhere. They wanted me to buy a new fork. I wanted them to take a fork off a bike that is identical to mine and put it on my bike. Then I would have the warranty replacement sent to them. My idea would require an act of good faith, but I am traveling for Habitat.

Finally, the owner showed up. He was trying to leave town, but he listened to me anyway. I got him on the phone with a bike shop in New Haven, CT and the deal was struck. However, he told me that I would be paying for the fork, but I would be paying for the labor involved. This included taking off a fork, putting it on my bike, and then reinstalling a fork when it arrived. I said ok, since I didn't have a choice...I wanted to keep biking.

The next problem was that the fork I needed was at a different store. They told me to get on a bus and go to the other store, with my bike. Luckily, minutes later a manger came up to me and told me that he would drive me and my bike. Things were starting to get better. Already two people told me how lucky I was that the fork didn't break while I was riding. That really could have been ugly.

I arrived at the other store and they went to work. Within 30 minutes my bike was fixed and ready to ride. The manager at the store told me not to worry about the labor costs. Oh yea!

I stepped out of the store about 1 PM and started to make my way to the planned route for the day. We were going to Richland Center, WI and I knew that most people would be finishing about now. I ended up having a great ride through some beautiful areas. I stopped at a house to get some water and the lady came out to see what I was up too. She ended up giving me some different directions around an upcoming detour. This saved me a few miles and some hills. Awesome!

I arrived just in time for dinner. It was a magnificent feast, as always. So, my doomed day went better than I could have imagined. I have a working bike again and it didn't cost me a thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment