I am not one to put a lot of thought or faith into Karma, but I believe that there are reasons for how your luck sways. Sometimes everything goes right and you celebrate with your pals and a pint, and sometimes everything goes wrong and you console with your friends and a pint. Either way the beer is good, right?
Last week was a special case. One of those topsy-turvy weeks where you don’t know where you stand and only Bud Light is on tap.
Let me start things by clarifying that I am in Ashland, have been for a while. I know the travelogue says I am in Eugene, but that’s a lie. I just haven’t caught up to myself yet. I’ve been in Ashland for two weeks now.
So last week was my second weekend in Ashland, since I arrived on a weekend. I was walking to a bar, Louie’s (which my pal, Lo, calls Taylor’s because it is just as bad) to catch the Ducks game. I found the game got delayed and wouldn’t be on until 3. I’m thinking cool because that gave me time to go to the library and use up one of my half-hour internet sessions. As I’m unlocking my bike to head on over to la biblioteca I see a dirty bike unlocked with a sign on it reading: “Free Bike, Yes, It’s Free!” I look around completely astonished. This is a good bike. I walk it over to the police station to see if the bike is stolen and leave it there for them to run the numbers. Later, while I’m checking my emails I get a call from the fuzz telling me its clean and I am free to take it if I want.
After I was finished at the library I picked up the bike and now I’ve got a sweet-ass polo bike that can double as a mountain bike. Plus, I can give my dad a bike he can commute on when I’m done with it. After stashing the bike in the back at my house I once again walked to the bar to watch the game. Well, on my way I happen to see the Paul Components racing team. For those of you non-bike geeks. Paul makes a part that allows me to have the best shifters on my funky handlebars. For some reason I cannot get my thumbies to stay tight and I always have to adjust them, sometimes in the middle of my ride. So I asked the team mechanic if he could check out my bike and see what he thought. He affirmed me that putting Lock-Tite on them would do the trick, which was my plan but now I feel even more confident in my decision…Totally rad!
So here’s my question. Did I spend a major portion of my Karma dollars last weekend? Should I have passed on the opportunity for a sweet bike? Should I have ignored the fact that Team Paul was kicking it in the hotel down the street? I have a lot of riding ahead of me and I am going to need a lot of help from strangers and the elements that be to get me through it all safely or at least barely scratched and bruised. I don’t have a lot of opportunity while on the road to make any deposits into the Karma bank. Did I spend all of my savings before I’ve even begun?
Turns out I did. That free bike I got? That was merely a swapping in the Bike Universe. I was unwilling to sell my cyclocross bike before I left and was going to let it hang from my parent’s garage ceiling while I was gone until my friend told me that he was going to spend some money building up a bike for the upcoming cross season. I told him to take my bike instead and put it to use. And if he liked it a bunch he could buy me some meals for a month from afar and buy the bike. Well…my friend…he, uh…rode the bike to a party and left it unlocked so it could…uh…get stolen.
I’m not too upset. I’m going to get some meals out of it unless my friend can find it, which I sincerely and completely hope he does because he put a lot of love and money into it with some of his own parts.
There’s more to this discussion, but I don’t want to take away from a future post, so I’ll leave you hanging until then. But I will say that I learned two lessons from last weekend. A: Don’t trust your friends. They are scumbags. All of them. B: Never leave your bike unlocked. Ever.
If you are my friend, I hope you still remember my style of humor. Otherwise I’m going to lose even more Karma points…