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Bike Buzz Kill

My girlfriend and I went on a mountain bike ride together and although it was great being in the woods together riding hard, we were mostly relieved to be away from our families for long enough to immerse ourselves in unabated fun.

Why does a refreshing day like that have to end with a bike, on the roof rack of the car, being smashed through the garage door? I mean, it downright sucks. My girlfriend texted me later with the story, saying that she was so happy about our ride that she wasn’t going to let ANYTHING bother her. In fact, she was sitting on the couch having cheese and crackers. I like to think she was also having a large glass of wine.

I’ve heard the story before—and I’ve done it myself. I hopped into the car with my then 5-year-old and mother-in-law on our way to bring toys to the children’s ward at the hospital. It was one of the things on our Christmas list to do. I grabbed the car keys instead of my truck. My husband’s bike was still on it, but it was locked. We were immersed in conversation as I cruised the parking lot looking for a spot. There wasn’t one, so I whipped into the parking garage.

It wasn’t until I drove down into the lower level that I heard the terrible screech, bang and snap that I remembered about the bike. Not MY bike. HIS bike. Far worse. I slammed on the brakes and screamed, causing my son to think he was in trouble. “I’m going to be in SO MUCH TROUBLE!!!” My mother-in-law immediately began giving reasons about how it wasn’t really my fault. I just looked at her and silently shook my head, trembling in what was to come.

The saddle, with half of a seat post, was laying on the ground. Beyond that, I really couldn’t see anything else wrong with it. Of course on further inspection that evening we would find the rear shock needed to be rebuilt as well. Talk about ruining a nice afternoon—and a good deed.

I’ve heard other stories. You just can’t help but feel incredibly stupid when something like that happens. I watched a car pull into a parking deck before, ripping a road bike from the roof rack. The frame was mangled in an s-shape, laying on the ground while the couple just stood there staring in amazement.

It’s a sad, sad moment when our stupidity gets the best of us, and it’s even sadder when it ruins a great day on the bike.

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