I seem to recall having mentioned a story about my bicycle, which I subsequently failed to deliver because of a screaming mimi of a headache. Likely due to a combination of something getting tweaked at my chiropractic appointment and breathing the cold air on my bike ride later that afternoon, but I was very, very happy when sleep came last night.
Anyway, as I mentioned, I recently bought myself a used bicycle after not owning one at all for 9 or 10 years. Disgraceful, really, but I gave the last one away to a guy who was looking for one for his son, and then life sort of kept me too busy to think about it much. Times being what they are, a new model was most certainly not in the cards, particularly not in the recumbent style that I would most like to own.
So after a bit of research into what's happened in the world of bicycles since the banana seat and handlebar tassels, I started doing a bit of searching on Craigslist and found someone with bikes for sale. Quite a lot of them, actually, so when the one I initially inquired about got snatched up, he still had a few other options for me, one of which is a model that had generally gotten good reviews and was very much in line with what I'd decided would be the best option for me to do a bit of casual cycling around.
Of course, it needed a few things, including a rack (hooray for my REI dividend!) and panniers so that I can, theoretically, use it to do a bit of grocery shopping in the warm weather. I say theoretically because it's a 12 mile round trip to the supermarket and I could stand to get into slightly better shape first, but seeing as I spent actual money on the panniers (cheap ones, mind, but it was still money), now I've really got no choice. Especially since I went to Homo Depot today and got a new Allen wrench set so that I can affix said rack.
Another thing it needed was new handlebar grips. The foam ones that were on it had seen better days and were close to falling off on their own. So along with the rack, the panniers, headlight and tail light, I also ordered a new and inexpensive pair of rubber grips for the handlebars. Basic black, no fancy tassels, just nice, cheap, unassuming handlebar grips. Which I decided I'd just pop in place before going out for a ride last week.
Except, of course, it wasn't that easy. Grip number one went on about halfway and got stuck. It wouldn't push farther up on the handlebar and neither pulling nor pushing to get it off would work. And like many bikes these days, there is no kickstand, which meant that in order to keep the bike from rolling away and flopping over on its side like it was going to die, I had to straddle it and then brace the top tube against my inner thigh, all the while contorting my upper body to try to jam the goddamned grip down on the handlebar. I was working up quite a sweat, and hoping that none of the neighbors were watching, because I'm pretty sure it looked I was doing something obscene.
Meanwhile, I was thinking to myself, This is taking forever and the neighbors are going to come home and what will they think and I can't do this a second time because it'll be dark and I'll still be wrestling with the goddamned thing and this is going to leave a hell of a bruise on my thigh and what I really really need is some way to lubricate the next one so that at least one of them will go quickly. And then I started going down a list of options for lubrication.
Water-based, of course, would be a bad idea to use on metal, especially since it would likely stay damp underneath the rubber grips and make the handlebars all rusty. Petroleum-based lubricants, on the other hand, would be a bad choice with the rubber grips. What I really needed to use was something silicone-based. And then it hit me.
I do, in fact, have a silicone-based lubricant in the house.
Um, yeah, that kind.
And you know what? It worked like a charm. Just a drop smeared around inside the second grip, and it slid right onto the handlebar as nice as you please, leaving me with enough time for a nice bike ride.
Honestly, though, that is how I got that bruise.