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Bikes. Parts. Chaos.
Me and the lady, we had a plan. Get up early Sunday morning and go for a somewhat extended ride. Maybe 30 miles out, have some lunch, then ride back. Take as much of the day as we needed because most of the laundry was done and the rest of the projects could wait. No problem. Well, there was one problem. For some reason the cat didn't want to get up. She didn't start walking on our faces and meowing at her usual oh-my-god-what-time-is-it hour, a time so early that in winter it's still completely, utterly dark. Instead she was all snuggled up and purring sweet. Like a dog watching you eat a sandwich, cats have the ability to turn on the cute when it serves them, which means we didn't stir. We were still stewing in the aftermath of the weekend and had not rested up from the previous work week. I remember getting up at one point to, uh, reconnoiter the bathroom and upon returning to the sheets I crashed back into the sleep of the dead and awoke several hours later at the crack of noon. ("Oh my god!" my brain cried when I looked at my watch, then slammed the door as it stormed out. It has not been heard from since.) Not being easily detoured from our purpose, we spent the next 2 hours getting ready...I did some housework, went back inside and got my clothes on, made sure the water bottles were filled up, and I put the final touches on my lady's Cross-Check, a nice original blue one which has been a single speed the entire time she's owned it. We're headed out in a week or so for some sort of hilly 60-70 mile days and although she doesn't really need gears, I thought she might like a little something extra. Despite my early nostalgic insistence of the superiority of 7 speed thumbshifters, in practice this option did not suit her so we started over with 9 speed Rapidfire. Sunday was the day to try it out. The shifter worked smashingly, and although we put in about half the miles we had originally intended they went mostly flawlessly. We felt good. We got home, showered, and thought about what to do for dinner. I asked her how she liked the shifter. Her answer made my heart leap, my blackened lump of a heart, my oxygen-starved charcoal briquette of emotion. "Yeah," she said, "I can see where gears are good, and I'll use them on this ride. But honestly, it just doesn't feel as natural as a single speed. I'll never give up my single speed." That's my girl. Baby, I love you. -----