Newly single after my first ever break-up, discussing boys and dating, my best friend asked a seemingly rhetorical question:
“Don’t you like to be taken care of?”
I remember giving some ambivalent answer. Never having been comfortable batting my eyelashes, I still find it hard to expect to be taken care of. It’s too lady-like. Too La Dama Bianca. And with a passion for drop bars and mostly horizontal top tubes, I’d like to think I look better in a kit than a white dress.
Besides, white is so not slimming.
And when you’re handling bikes - or even just one - nothing stays white for long. Which is why you won’t find a Dama Bianca dress in my closet, much less anything very lady-like; things like tensioning my chain, wiping down my bike, and scrubbing my rims bring me too much joy.
Well, when I can actually do them.
Skipping home last night with a newly purchased pedal wrench [yes, I didn’t own one until now], I gleefully flipped over my Bianchi to switch back to single-speed-ness. With the ghetto lack-of-bike-stand set-up, I fitted the equally ghetto 6” adjustable wrench on the axle nut. And pushed. And pulled. And leveraged. And gritted my teeth. And seethed. And threw a temper tantrum.
The thing wouldn’t move. I know the adjustable is probably at least half the problem, but nothing feels more lonely than helplessness. The worst part being that when I do bring it in to IBC today, the guys are going to loosen it with a quick flick of their wrist, oblivious to the sheer misery and pain it brought me hours earlier.
I love those guys, but today, I hate the idea of going back to the shop. I don’t ever want to be seen as “the girl that uses her lack of a package to get bike mechanics to do things and consequently doesn’t know how to work on her bike.” Because I’m not. I wanted to flip that wheel and switch out my pedals, by myself. I wanted to know that I could still do it, even if it was the most simple of bike maintenance tasks.
Maybe that’s why it was so disappointingly frustrating. I’m going to buy a new wrench today though, and insisting on tightening those axel nuts by myself.
But just for the record, I’m not breaking up with IBC. I just need some independence...and room to wrench.