This blog was guest written by a long-time Terry customer and friend. Enjoy!
When Pearl retired last year, Elbert tried to buy her a new bike. As we know, Pearl has never met a bicycle she didn’t like, probably as a result of having to wait till she was 10 to get her first “2-wheeler”. We also know Pearl has a stable of bikes and doesn’t need another one, but since others she knows have 5 Arab horses, she sees no problem with multiple bikes and they eat far less than horses. Anyway, the particular bike Pearl wanted was not available in her size anywhere in the country so she had to wait until this year. In April it arrived at her local bike shop and Mike, the bike shop guy, put it together for Pearl. All bike shop guys are either Mike or Dave. He is happy since he gets tired of working on WalMart specials.
This new bike is made of scandium – an element known only to bike snobs – and aluminum with other exotic elements making up various parts. It is guaranteed to fly uphill and scream downhill. Pearl will settle for not walking uphill (she buys her bike shoes for walking comfort); she has, however, been known to scream loudly when going downhill at any speed over 20. The bike is named for the Egyptian goddess of fertility and Pearl hopes that is not an omen or she will be in the next Guinness book of records. It weighs only 18 lbs – if Pearl would stick to her diet, she wouldn’t need such a lightweight bike to haul her extra 25 lbs uphill.
Pearl happily gets on the bike for her first ride on a short, but hilly cruise in her favorite national park. She has adjusted the clipless pedals so that they will release at the first twinge of panic and adjusted the seat height properly. The first mile Pearl goes uphill in a harder gear and faster than she ever has on the particular stretch of road. Pearl is jubilant.
The second and third miles are increasingly hard – Pearl is concerned, but then realizes that she didn’t tighten the seat bolt enough and the saddle has gradually slipped. Another inch and the bike will be a recumbent and her knees will be hitting her chin. At the half-way point she meets Elbert and they readjust her saddle, fiddle with the grips, swig Gatorade and eat PowerBars (breakfast of champions). A few yards into the return trip, Pearl realizes that a) the handlebars are too low, and b) the seat is now slightly too high. She wishes she had worked on triceps and biceps more at the gym since she is now holding a push-up for 5 miles. Back at the car with hands (and other parts of her anatomy) numb, Pearl loads up the bike and heads for the bike shop for a bit of tweaking. The bike shop guy will order a gizmo so she can raise the bars.
One week later, the gizmo arrives and is installed. Pearl does another tweaking ride. Since Pearl lives in the desert and spring was a week ago, she must start her ride at sunrise to avoid the heat. The gizmo works fine and Pearl rides a big 16 miles. Whoo hoo! The bike now has 43 miles on it, which brings the cost per mile down to …uhh… we won’t go there.