Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Week in Review

Things could be worse. You could be battling cancer and trying to get over a broken pelvis.

The shop owner/manager rode the Prouty cancer benefit on Saturday. I had hoped he would have only wonderful tales to share with us, since the weather was so much better than last year. Instead he reported that the cancer patient for whom their team was named, who has been fighting some weird intestinal cancer for 11 years crashed 18 miles from the finish of their hundred-mile ride and broke her pelvis. Her brother did an endo over her, cracking her bike frame and landing on his face.

No one knows for sure whether she scrubbed the rear tire of a bike in front of her or had some other problem to cause her to lose control.

That cast a pall over Sunday.

Summer has hit Wolfe City, and various things seem to keep hitting cyclists. A guy from New Jersey who comes up to New Hampshire brought his Cannondale touring bike so we could examine it and do an estimate for his insurance company after he got tee-boned by a car he said was going about 55 miles per hour.

Front and rear views of the twisted but not crushed Cannondale.

No charges were filed against the driver because he was not exceeding the speed limit or chemically impaired. You do have to wonder what that big windshield is for if you're not going to look out through it for obstacles in your path -- like other human beings, for instance -- but apparently peening a cyclist crossing your path can be okay. If the cyclist was crossing from a side street without scanning properly for oncoming traffic, the crash would be the rider's own fault. It's called failure to yield.

The rider in this case looks pretty darn good for someone who did some serious air time over the hood of the impacting auto. He did have a broken scapula and five broken ribs, as well as other injuries. I don't remember the whole catalog. The crash was in May and he's up and around now, looking for repairs or a new bike.

The rider for whom I did the Campy repairs last month came in to report that someone had gone into her garage and stolen the bike along with her boyfriendianceusband's mountain bike. (I'm not sure of their relationship status.) That's ominous, because Wolfeboro had not seen such interest in bike theft since the mountain bike boom of the 1990s. Back then reports of brazen daytime theft were common, from homes as well as out on the streets. Of course back then you could park any road bike almost anywhere. Thieves only wanted mountain bikes.

Classing up the joint, a customer brought us his Pashley 5-speed to tune up. I'm glad it didn't need much, because the enclosed chain case, drum brakes, internal gears and dynamo front hub would make removing the wheels quite a pain.

After I finished the adjustments I did a quick, unimaginative photo shoot:
The big chrome tone-burger. It has a classy double ding.

On Thursday someone's kid defecated on the floor of the dressing room. The father offered to clean it up, and even made an attempt, but he did the job you would expect from someone who really just wanted to get out of there, with no intention of ever returning. It would have been good cover for a shoplifting spree, as we had the week before, when a couple brought in rambunctious kids while an adult member of their group switched tags on some clothes and brought them to the checkout. I believe Poop Kid and his father had no other agenda. It was just an unfortunate accident, as they say.

Our own much more thorough cleanup lasted well into the following afternoon. The little whipper not only let it go on the floor, he also walked in it and tracked it around.

These are the work weeks that make the heart of summer disappear, dumping us into late August, or even September, wondering where that chunk of our lives went. The work can be interesting. The studies in human nature can be equally illuminating. But it's a lot like being stuck in the coat room while the real party takes place out where we can only see and hear little scraps of it.

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