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in which my bike gets surgery and a nosocomial infection

 Written by    May 9, 2012

AKA my adventure at the Columbus Third Hand Bike Co-Op, and how I finally understood why people don’t like going to the dentist.

So my attitude toward my bike is, admittedly, one of exploitation and abuse. I’ve had it since I was about 10 years old (yeah, it’s a little small) and I don’t take particularly good care of it. All this used to be fine.

But then I got a flat tire. DANGIT! 4 weeks before I’ll never ride my bike again, no less.

Fortunately, I have a good friend who I like to consider my “bike doctor” because he has treated several small ailments of my bike/bike lock in the past. I, being quite ignorant, assumed I would need an entirely new wheel or something, and who knew how difficult that would be, and oh no!

But he set me straight. In fact all we needed to do was go to the Columbus Third Hand Bike Cooperative, where there were tools and tubes (for a mere $4!) to enable me to fix my bike.

Third Hand is a really cool place between OSU and Downtown where they’ll teach you to fix your bike and provide you with the tools to fix it for very affordable prices. I’d never been because I always thought it was a little too hipster for me, but I was surprised to find I really enjoyed myself!

One of the first things I learned there was that bike inner tubes (did you know they’re inside┬áthe tire–that’s why they’re called inner tubes? mind blown!!!) come from a box and start out flat:

I should have asked him to take a picture of me actually getting my hands greasy (and oh, how greasy they got! good thing Third Hand also has really good handsoap =p) but instead here’s a picture I took of some of their tools:

Anyway, re: the title. So I really felt as we were pulling the inner tube from my bike that it was like surgery! It was like pulling out an intestine or something. To take the health care analogy further, when I took my bike out for a test ride just outside the shop, the brakes were completely useless.

I’m probably making this up but I really thought they were fine going in! In other words, they acquired a malady at┬áthe “hospital,” which those of us in health care refer to as a nosocomial infection.

So fixing the brakes took another hour and to my dismay the other bike doctors there kept finding things wrong with my bike, when I really just wanted to go home and study for my Spanish exam tomorrow. (which, you can see I am clearly studying for now..? anyway)

AKA the reason why so many of the people I talk to hate going to the dentist– dentists always find a zillion other things wrong with your mouth besides the toothache you have! And eek, the money and the pain to come!

But as a current and future advocate for oral health, of course I still think you should visit your dentist regularly and do everything he/she tells you needs to be done. And likewise, I will try (..) to take better care of my bike in the future.

The end. Yay!

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