Wednesday night I ventured to the White Rabbit Cabaret for the third installment of the uproarious "Mom and Pop Porno Shop." I think I enjoyed the show and the cabaret's beer selection a little too much and my poor bike suffered because of it. Enjoying the innovative and cheeky show has become something of a Wednesday night ritual for me and a few friends. One that generally ends with a big bar tab and a splitting head ache.
After a drink too many, I paid my bill and made for the bike racks outside. My head was swimming from the final beer as I fumbled with my steel lock. I swung my right leg over the seat and lost balance tumbling to the ground. Thankfully, my helmeted head was protected from the impact. In fact it was the very first time my helmet was employed to do its duty.
I had already decided to catch a ride home with my dear friend Marti, but wanted to ride my bike to her car. Not a great idea, obviously. Marti lifted me off the ground. I decided to walk my bike to her car instead of riding it. In the parking lot, I over-zealously pulled on my front tire's quick release latch. Out came the axel, and two little springs disappeared into the ground.
We searched around for a bit, but finding a small metal object on a black top in the middle of the night is akin to the proverbial needle in a haystack challenge. Add my beer goggles to the mix and the challenge doubles in difficulty.
I reluctantly gave up, pushing my bike into Marti's back seat and throwing my detached wheel on top. Once home, I began the terrible process of sleeping off my clumsy stupor. That night I dreamed fitfully about searching for bicycle wheel springs. Plucking one off the ground in broad daylight, I'd triumphantly yell: "Found it!" The next morning I awoke having learned a valuable lesson: never fuck with your bike while you're drunk.
That afternoon, I turned up at Bikes on Mass Ave expecting the worst. Would I have to buy an entirely new bicycle wheel just to replace two tiny springs? Would I be forced to pay through the nose for a miniscule piece of coiled metal?
But the wonderful Bikes on Mass Ave reminded me of the fundamental difference between big corporations and locally owned businesses, the human element. I told them my story, but before I could finish the clerk nodded interrupting, "You lost your springs?" I hadn't even told him I was drunk, but somehow he knew. Perhaps this was a classic mistake made by reveling cyclists.
Regardless, they gave me two springs, free of charge, from a box of spare parts. Reminded of the satisfaction that comes from connecting with the bicycling community, I re-attached my wheel and swore off drinking altogether, at least until the next installment of my favorite live sitcom.